The Legacy of Charles Lewis Tiffany
The King of Diamonds
A visionary merchant with a passion for the rarest and most extraordinary gemstones, Charles Lewis Tiffany set the standard for American luxury. From the moment he opened Tiffany & Co. as a fancy goods and stationery store in New York City in 1837, it was clear he had a discerning eye for design. Charles Tiffany continued to redefine glamour and style with the purchase of jewels from French aristocrats in the 1840s. Marking the first appearance of major gemstones in the U.S., the press took note and crowned him the "King of Diamonds.”
The frenzy for royal jewels culminated in 1887 when Charles Tiffany purchased nearly one-third of the French Crown Jewels in an auction at the Louvre in Paris. Charles Tiffany understood that large diamonds of superlative quality had a hypnotic effect on people. He cemented his reputation as a purveyor of luxury goods when he unveiled the Tiffany Diamond. This 287.42-carat diamond was cut to 128.54 carats with 82 facets, becoming one of the most important yellow diamonds in the world and drawing thousands of visitors to the New York flagship each year, where it remains today.
A Commitment to Craftsmanship
Charles Tiffany was the first jeweler to establish the diamond ring as a symbol of love. In 1886 he introduced the Tiffany® Setting, the world’s most iconic engagement ring. Flawlessly engineered to allow the diamond to float above a delicate six-prong setting, it has played a part in the world’s greatest love stories for over 130 years. This innovation established Tiffany & Co. as more than a jewelry house—it has become a destination for timeless designs and unparalleled craftsmanship.