From the moment the Tiffany Setting was introduced in 1886, founder Charles Lewis Tiffany made sure experts presented the special qualities of the ring and the center stone to each client, honoring the importance of a diamond engagement ring purchase. Tiffany & Co. has steadily added layers of assurances to validate the quality of its diamonds and guided clients through a gem’s characteristics over time. Today, a Lifetime Warranty backs the Tiffany Diamond Certificate that accompanies the purchase of a Tiffany Setting. This documentation is unlike most jewelers’ gem certificates.
Tiffany’s gemologists have rigorous requirements that far surpass the conventional review of color, cut, clarity and carat weight commonly known as the 4Cs. Tiffany rejects 99.96% of gem-grade diamonds. Color must be in the top six grades. Stones with inferior clarity characteristics are unacceptable. Brilliance, a term used to describe how well a lapidary has cut the facets, removed flaws and brought out a gem’s scintillating light, is of the utmost importance. A unique condition that Tiffany scrutinizes is “presence.” “It is the combination of all these qualities coming together as one,” says Melvyn Kirtley, Tiffany’s chief gemologist.
All Tiffany diamonds come from resources practicing responsible global mining standards, human rights protections and a strict chain of custody controls. “Sustainability is an important issue for us,” says Frédéric Cumenal, CEO of Tiffany & Co. “I feel we owe our customers nothing less than complete integrity.”
The Tiffany Setting
Among the many enduring jewelry styles Tiffany has created, the Tiffany Setting has been in the collection longer than any other. For 130 years, this engagement ring has delighted brides all over the world. The iconic design and story behind it forms one of the most beautiful chapters in Tiffany’s history.
In 1886, founder Charles Lewis Tiffany introduced the Tiffany Setting to glorify a solitaire diamond, a symbol of everlasting love. The groundbreaking design had six prongs lifting a round diamond above a slender gold band. It put the beautiful diamonds Tiffany had become famous for on a pedestal and let them shine. Light could literally pass between the ring prongs and through the diamond, heightening its brilliance.
This elegant innovation was a departure from other engagement rings that held a stone close to the band. The unadorned metal was another change from the ornate engraving and embellishments that decorated engagement rings of the period. Mr. Tiffany didn’t want any distraction from the diamond’s beauty. With the design’s completion, Tiffany became the first jeweler to create a signature engagement ring. Mr. Tiffany was so confident in the ring’s appeal he put his name on it. Then he presented it in his unique way.
At the turn of the century, the majority of European jewelers focused on custom designs for elite clients. Mr. Tiffany, however, had an uniquely American approach. From the moment he established the company in 1837, he maintained a stunning variety of designs in a range of prices. When it came to the Tiffany Setting, there was an array of dazzling diamonds in different sizes to accommodate any number of budgets. No matter the price, Mr. Tiffany ensured a special experience. Honoring the importance of purchasing an engagement ring, a diamond expert carefully explained the qualities of the stone and details of the Tiffany Setting.
An instant success, the Tiffany Setting has remained steadily in demand for 130 years. This most meaningful jewellery purchase has been mythologized in movies and written about in books. Indeed, it has inspired countless grooms to obtain their bride’s ring from Tiffany and then propose right in front of the Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York City. A legacy Charles Lewis Tiffany would have surely loved.