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Exclusivity Conception Poll: HW vs. Tiffany

Harry Winston vs. Tiffany and Co.

  • HW

    Votes: 84 90.3%
  • Tiffany

    Votes: 9 9.7%

  • Total voters
    93

aquanaut

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
125
As a kickoff of the other thread, wanted to see the general perception/conception of this forum regarding these two jewelry houses.

I know many here are opposed to buying designer jewelry, especially ER's, but and I don't want to touch that subject here. (Even though I admire both companies, I myself, ended up going with finding my own diamond and having the ring made by Leon Mege, and neither I nor my fiance regret it a single bit!)

However, which brand do you consider more "exclusive" or as being higher-end? If you HAD to choose one, which would it be?

I'm curious to see the results purely as a conception indicator of the two brands.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,968
Tiffany's cards and coffee mug have very exclusive . . . prices.

2t.png

1t.png
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
8,087
What fascinates me about this debate - in general, not just this iteration of it - is how any criticism of Tiffany's is dismissed as coming from haters. I have no dog in this race, myself - I respect both companies, though, frankly, I wouldn't shop from either - yet whenever I see one of these threads, here or on another forum, I see this endless litany of self-congratulatory back-patting. Makes me wonder what it is about luxury brands in general, but Tiffany's in particular, that attracts this kind of defensiveness.*

*Note: unless you have ever said "They're just jealous" or any variation thereof, I do not mean you, O Tiffany Owner.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Circe|1312482864|2984197 said:
What fascinates me about this debate - in general, not just this iteration of it - is how any criticism of Tiffany's is dismissed as coming from haters. I have no dog in this race, myself - I respect both companies, though, frankly, I wouldn't shop from either - yet whenever I see one of these threads, here or on another forum, I see this endless litany of self-congratulatory back-patting. Makes me wonder what it is about luxury brands in general, but Tiffany's in particular, that attracts this kind of defensiveness.*

*Note: unless you have ever said "They're just jealous" or any variation thereof, I do not mean you, O Tiffany Owner.
It *is* fascinating, isn't it? I think people get defensive over brand-name luxury purchases sometimes- unecessarily so! Obviously on this board, we *all* have some degree of interest in frivolous luxuries. Also people want others to reassure them, often, and it's frustrating to them when the masses don't cooperate. It's hard for people to go against the grain/general consensus and just say, "Because I wanted to."
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Messages
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LGK|1312484110|2984211 said:
Circe|1312482864|2984197 said:
What fascinates me about this debate - in general, not just this iteration of it - is how any criticism of Tiffany's is dismissed as coming from haters. I have no dog in this race, myself - I respect both companies, though, frankly, I wouldn't shop from either - yet whenever I see one of these threads, here or on another forum, I see this endless litany of self-congratulatory back-patting. Makes me wonder what it is about luxury brands in general, but Tiffany's in particular, that attracts this kind of defensiveness.*

*Note: unless you have ever said "They're just jealous" or any variation thereof, I do not mean you, O Tiffany Owner.
It *is* fascinating, isn't it? I think people get defensive over brand-name luxury purchases sometimes- unecessarily so! Obviously on this board, we *all* have some degree of interest in frivolous luxuries. Also people want others to reassure them, often, and it's frustrating to them when the masses don't cooperate. It's hard for people to go against the grain/general consensus and just say, "Because I wanted to."
I guess so! What I find interesting about it, I guess, is that in this instance it's apparently hard to say "I want the intangible" slash "I want the experience" with the unspoken addendum "and I can afford it, so, stop hassling me" without having to denigrate other brands. It almost always degenerates into a declaration of brand quality (with the implication that no-name jewelers don't care about quality, or that other top brands are somehow inferior). I've just ... never seen it to such a Cartier thread, or a VC&A thread, or an HW thread. It makes me wonder if, in some way, if relates to the exclusivity debate in and of itself: if, because of the greater accessibility of Tiffany's, it's more of an aspirational brand at this point than some of the others, thus leading (in a somewhat contrary fashion) to the dogged insistence on its value, because it's being bought by a market which does, on some level, still need to think about dollars and cents in a way that the super-rich who shop JAR just don't.
 

aquanaut

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
125
Circe|1312485303|2984225 said:
LGK|1312484110|2984211 said:
Circe|1312482864|2984197 said:
What fascinates me about this debate - in general, not just this iteration of it - is how any criticism of Tiffany's is dismissed as coming from haters. I have no dog in this race, myself - I respect both companies, though, frankly, I wouldn't shop from either - yet whenever I see one of these threads, here or on another forum, I see this endless litany of self-congratulatory back-patting. Makes me wonder what it is about luxury brands in general, but Tiffany's in particular, that attracts this kind of defensiveness.*

*Note: unless you have ever said "They're just jealous" or any variation thereof, I do not mean you, O Tiffany Owner.
It *is* fascinating, isn't it? I think people get defensive over brand-name luxury purchases sometimes- unecessarily so! Obviously on this board, we *all* have some degree of interest in frivolous luxuries. Also people want others to reassure them, often, and it's frustrating to them when the masses don't cooperate. It's hard for people to go against the grain/general consensus and just say, "Because I wanted to."
I guess so! What I find interesting about it, I guess, is that in this instance it's apparently hard to say "I want the intangible" slash "I want the experience" with the unspoken addendum "and I can afford it, so, stop hassling me" without having to denigrate other brands. It almost always degenerates into a declaration of brand quality (with the implication that no-name jewelers don't care about quality, or that other top brands are somehow inferior). I've just ... never seen it to such a Cartier thread, or a VC&A thread, or an HW thread. It makes me wonder if, in some way, if relates to the exclusivity debate in and of itself: if, because of the greater accessibility of Tiffany's, it's more of an aspirational brand at this point than some of the others, thus leading (in a somewhat contrary fashion) to the dogged insistence on its value, because it's being bought by a market which does, on some level, still need to think about dollars and cents in a way that the super-rich who shop JAR just don't.


Very intresting points!
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Circe|1312485303|2984225 said:
LGK|1312484110|2984211 said:
Circe|1312482864|2984197 said:
What fascinates me about this debate - in general, not just this iteration of it - is how any criticism of Tiffany's is dismissed as coming from haters. I have no dog in this race, myself - I respect both companies, though, frankly, I wouldn't shop from either - yet whenever I see one of these threads, here or on another forum, I see this endless litany of self-congratulatory back-patting. Makes me wonder what it is about luxury brands in general, but Tiffany's in particular, that attracts this kind of defensiveness.*

*Note: unless you have ever said "They're just jealous" or any variation thereof, I do not mean you, O Tiffany Owner.
It *is* fascinating, isn't it? I think people get defensive over brand-name luxury purchases sometimes- unecessarily so! Obviously on this board, we *all* have some degree of interest in frivolous luxuries. Also people want others to reassure them, often, and it's frustrating to them when the masses don't cooperate. It's hard for people to go against the grain/general consensus and just say, "Because I wanted to."
I guess so! What I find interesting about it, I guess, is that in this instance it's apparently hard to say "I want the intangible" slash "I want the experience" with the unspoken addendum "and I can afford it, so, stop hassling me" without having to denigrate other brands. It almost always degenerates into a declaration of brand quality (with the implication that no-name jewelers don't care about quality, or that other top brands are somehow inferior). I've just ... never seen it to such a Cartier thread, or a VC&A thread, or an HW thread. It makes me wonder if, in some way, if relates to the exclusivity debate in and of itself: if, because of the greater accessibility of Tiffany's, it's more of an aspirational brand at this point than some of the others, thus leading (in a somewhat contrary fashion) to the dogged insistence on its value, because it's being bought by a market which does, on some level, still need to think about dollars and cents in a way that the super-rich who shop JAR just don't.
Yeah that could be actually. You're right, though, that there is... something... there, driving the super-defensiveness about Tiffany in particular. (And definitely it happens over, and over, and over again, here.) Maybe there are more Tiffany customers, so we see it more WRT that brand? I dunno. But your point is really interesting regardless.
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
HW does seem like a more "exclusive" brand in many ways, but Tiffany seems to have their hold on the engagement ring market and really set a standard in that niche. So for engagement rings, Tiffany may be seen as an exclusive more so than it is for the rest of it's products.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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Messages
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I would choose HW over Tiffany any day but I would choose Cartier over both!
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
I definitely view HW as more exclusive/prestigious than Tiffany, and I think most people do, not just PSers. Tiffany has really done that to themselves by selling the less expensive silver jewelry and branded stuff like playing cards (!). When high school girls wear your jewelry, you can't really claim to be exclusive, IMO.

I also don't get the defensiveness regarding Tiffany, but I think Circe's theory is solid. And the thread that inspired this is beyond strange!
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
HW is absolutely more exclusive.

By marketing to the masses, Tiffany's has diluted their brand and gone from a true luxury brand to something that is very achievable to the middle and upper-middle class. Your average suburban teenage girl can sport one (or several) pieces that have come in that little blue box, and that removes the luxury element. HW, however, begins at a higher price point (I think you'd be laughed out of the store if you asked what they had starting around $100), and they also don't sell non-jewelry items (when was the last time you saw a HW passport cover or luggage tag?). It is a luxury jewelry brand.

The reason I think people get more defensive over Tiff's is that Tiff's is like your high school sweetheart - when you fall in love with something as a teenager, it holds a soft spot in your heart, beyond all reason or rational thought. And because it's something that is within the grasp of people who can afford luxuries, but still have to budget for them, the people who get defensive over them are probably trying to buiy their own inclusion in a higher SES than they truly feel they are in (yes, sweeping generalization, but this is what I've seen in my experience). They feel like it will prove that they have made it. Think about it like those bags with the labels ALLLLLLLLLL over them - the need to shove your "luxury" (or true luxury) brand in somebody's face reeks of insecurity. It says, "Look at me! I want to show you how much money I have!" (And, again - this is not all people who own pieces from Tiffany's - I'm talking specifically about people that get defensive about people "attacking" Tiffany's.)

Now, not all pieces are like this - like I said in the other thread, I think that above a certain carat weight (or age - if it's passed down from a family member it seems to retain its cache - perhaps because it is assumed it was purchased before the brand was diluted?), Tiffany's pieces retain their luxury standing. But as far as general branding? It's just barely in the luxury category, and even then only in the high carat-weight pieces (at least, IMO).
 

kindred

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
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Messages
945
Before ever reading on this forum, I think I would have ranked Tiffany as high or higher than Harry Winston. I would say that pricesocpe has made me see HW as more exclusive.
 

aquanaut

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
125
I think this "debate" of brand exclusivity can easily be compared to other sectors such as car companies, watches makers, and fashion houses of high end purses.

Rolex is surely a wonderful brand with solid products (I wear one myself) however it cannot be compared to other watchmakers such as Lange & Sohne, Patek, or Vacheron Constantin in terms of exclusivity and brand cache.

Same thing with high end-purses, many many people swear by Louis Vuitton, but it simply is not in the same bracket as Bottega Veneta or Hermes.

And price differences certainly reflect this.

It may just be a defense mechanism as some of you have mentioned for some customers of the more "aspirational/watered down" brands to get offended if someone else brings it down.

In the end, I think it's ironic that the less one cares about this sort of things the more it actually shows status. Someone who has grown up wealthy and considers luxury a normality will never think as seriously about any of these matters.
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
880
princesss|1312491398|2984307 said:
It's just barely in the luxury category, and even then only in the high carat-weight pieces (at least, IMO).
I find that true for all luxury brands. Wasn't there a thread here awhile back that Graff diamonds of about one carat are price competitive with HW and Tiffany?

Normally I would think of Graff being way more exclusive than either HW or Tiffany's for diamonds but if I can take the same money and get a Graff, HW, or Tiffany's, is one really more exclusive than another? Graff's may be less known but then so are a lot of other small boutique houses that very very few people have heard of.

I don't think of HW or Tiffany pieces as being iconic until you get into the rare signature pieces or high carat range. HW to me means large colored rocks or the diamond wreath necklaces; Tiffany's design is more defined to me by the Jean Schlumberger line. Neither one is in the reach of most consumers.

So brand exclusivity doesn't impress me unless I see you with something that gave the brand its exclusivity - a rare stone, a large stone, or a very unique design.
 

princesss

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Messages
8,035
AmeliaG|1312492939|2984331 said:
princesss|1312491398|2984307 said:
It's just barely in the luxury category, and even then only in the high carat-weight pieces (at least, IMO).
I find that true for all luxury brands. Wasn't there a thread here awhile back that Graff diamonds of about one carat are price competitive with HW and Tiffany?

Normally I would think of Graff being way more exclusive than either HW or Tiffany's for diamonds but if I can take the same money and get a Graff, HW, or Tiffany's, is one really more exclusive than another? Graff's may be less known but then so are a lot of other small boutique houses that very very few people have heard of.

I don't think of HW or Tiffany pieces as being iconic until you get into the rare signature pieces or high carat range. HW to me means large colored rocks or the diamond wreath necklaces; Tiffany's design is more defined to me by the Jean Schlumberger line. Neither one is in the reach of most consumers.

So brand exclusivity doesn't impress me unless I see you with something that gave the brand its exclusivity - a rare stone, a large stone, or a very unique design.
I see what you're saying, and agree to a large extent, but to me it's the starting point that helps define whether it's luxury or not - not whether I can get the same stone for roughly the same price at Tiffany's or Graff's, but how much I have to spend in order to get *anything* from their store. So if I have to spend $5k to get the lowest priced item at Graff, but $100 to get the lowest priced item at Tiffany's, I consider Graff more exclusive.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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princesss|1312493440|2984337 said:
So if I have to spend $5k to get the lowest priced item at Graff, but $100 to get the lowest priced item at Tiffany's, I consider Graff more exclusive.
The $30 cards and mug was the cheapest I found, but maybe by now they they have T&Co $10 gum-ball machines at the door.

Oh wait!
Gum could not double as advertising that converts people into unpaid walking Tiffany & Co. billboards ...
Tiffany T-Shirts could command $80 ...
Hmm ...
Perhaps $10 refrigerator magnets, Post-It notes or bumper stickers are next in Tiffany's race to the bottom.
 

ChloeTheGreat

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Dec 25, 2009
Messages
682
I haven't read through all the replies yet...but I think Harry Winston is more exclusive.
Tiffany's seems much more commercialized and "accessible"...I don't even know where/how to purchase from HW. There are two T&Co locations in my area.
I, personally, obsessed about the Tiffany Legacy for quite a while...when I finally went to the store to try it on I was underwhelmed.
 

kenny

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I first went to a Tiffany a few years ago before I knew they had a low-end inventory too.
Before I went I was intimidated and afraid they'd throw me out when they find out I cannot afford 20 carat diamonds.
Boy, was I in for a surprise!

There were literally two rooms.
When you entered the store everyone had to walk through one side of the quiet and elegant high-end room to get to the low-end room. (Very clever)

The high end room had no customers.
The low end room was a madhouse.
It reminded me of a WalMart the morning after Thanksgiving, just buzzing with frenzied activity.
You could not even see the merchandise cabinets without pushing the other cattle out of the way.

This bull bought a gift, a bracelet of silver with gold accents in the low end section . . . so I fell for it too.
The gift was appreciated by my SO because of what it is but ALSO because it came from Tiffany.
 

AmeliaG

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princesss|1312493440|2984337 said:
AmeliaG|1312492939|2984331 said:
princesss|1312491398|2984307 said:
It's just barely in the luxury category, and even then only in the high carat-weight pieces (at least, IMO).
I find that true for all luxury brands. Wasn't there a thread here awhile back that Graff diamonds of about one carat are price competitive with HW and Tiffany?

Normally I would think of Graff being way more exclusive than either HW or Tiffany's for diamonds but if I can take the same money and get a Graff, HW, or Tiffany's, is one really more exclusive than another? Graff's may be less known but then so are a lot of other small boutique houses that very very few people have heard of.

I don't think of HW or Tiffany pieces as being iconic until you get into the rare signature pieces or high carat range. HW to me means large colored rocks or the diamond wreath necklaces; Tiffany's design is more defined to me by the Jean Schlumberger line. Neither one is in the reach of most consumers.

So brand exclusivity doesn't impress me unless I see you with something that gave the brand its exclusivity - a rare stone, a large stone, or a very unique design.
I see what you're saying, and agree to a large extent, but to me it's the starting point that helps define whether it's luxury or not - not whether I can get the same stone for roughly the same price at Tiffany's or Graff's, but how much I have to spend in order to get *anything* from their store. So if I have to spend $5k to get the lowest priced item at Graff, but $100 to get the lowest priced item at Tiffany's, I consider Graff more exclusive.
Yeah, I hear you. I guess what I'm having a problem with is the exclusivity factor to begin with. I like unique stuff but I'm not too hung up about people recognizing I bought an exclusive brand. A brand either has what I want or it doesn't. If it doesn't have what I want (which is usually the more unique piece), it doesn't matter how prestigious it is. I've seen the Cartier jewelry and I know its prestigious; it's too masculine for my tastes. Tiffany's and Harry Winston both have individual pieces that I love; but they both also have a lot of pieces I wouldn't be caught dead in. I like pieces from Tiffany's Victoria and Jean Schlumberger collections and individual pieces from Harry Winston's New York collection. The rest - meh.

So I don't understand buying a piece JUST because its from Tiffany's or Harry Winston. And I don't understand avoiding all Tiffany's just because its not as exclusive. Wanting something unique I do understand, but I think you can get unique from either brand depending on the individual piece you choose. Both HW and Tiffany's have a high jewelry category which is where I think most of their really exclusive jewellery resides and that stuff doesn't come cheap.
 

pregcurious

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Messages
6,724
I like Tiffany's, but they definitely try to cover the entire market. I think some of their original designs are beautiful, but I don't see myself buying anything "standard" from them. For that price, I would rather get a high end, custom piece made.
 

maria121

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
89
I agree that both brands have pieces that are considered exclusive and unique to the brand. I don't necessarily compare brands when I'm shopping for jewelry because I care more about the quality and design. Having said that, the moment my DF and I laid eyes on my e-ring at HW, we noticed their quality and craftsmanship was at a higher level than Tiffany. Also, not to mention their superb customer service. To be fair, we did request to see an e-ring with the same specs at Tiffany and we were somewhat disappointed. When I brought up the heated topic that has been going on for these two days regarding exclusivity of these two brands, DF brought up a good point. He said that most of the time you can tell whether a brand is exclusive by the locations of their stores. That being said, I see Tiffany in many locations that are not recognized as high end shopping districts. Also, I realized their stock of merchandise varies in different locations which caters to the demographics of the area.
 

Imdanny

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Messages
6,186
I read this and was tempted to say, "Are you serious?" Harry Winston, hands down.
 

Rhea

Ideal_Rock
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I asked a male last night. He didn't recognise either brand other than "that swiggly necklace you have is from Tiffany, right?" This is a male friend who has a partner and is attempting to learn some stuff as he has a woman he's quite serious about.

He recognises the name Cartier and that they are very expensive and have a cool red box in their adverts, but no real idea of cost or what they sell. Just that they are high-end.

For me, HW is more exclusive. Though, to be honest I wouldn't shop at either unless I had a large chunk of change to put down and the ring was going to be a surprise. And then I'd consider pointing man in my life to Tiffany simply because their Ribbon Ring makes my heart stop. But give me Single Stone or Neil Lane over any of these luxury brands any day!
 

aquanaut

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
125
Imdanny|1312534724|2984683 said:
I read this and was tempted to say, "Are you serious?" Harry Winston, hands down.
I put up this Poll because in another related thread, I was accused of making up data with no evidence by saying that HW is hands down more pristigious/exclusive than Tiffany. So I wanted to use this thread as one general indicator.
 

princesss

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Messages
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AmeliaG|1312508521|2984495 said:
princesss|1312493440|2984337 said:
AmeliaG|1312492939|2984331 said:
princesss|1312491398|2984307 said:
It's just barely in the luxury category, and even then only in the high carat-weight pieces (at least, IMO).
I find that true for all luxury brands. Wasn't there a thread here awhile back that Graff diamonds of about one carat are price competitive with HW and Tiffany?

Normally I would think of Graff being way more exclusive than either HW or Tiffany's for diamonds but if I can take the same money and get a Graff, HW, or Tiffany's, is one really more exclusive than another? Graff's may be less known but then so are a lot of other small boutique houses that very very few people have heard of.

I don't think of HW or Tiffany pieces as being iconic until you get into the rare signature pieces or high carat range. HW to me means large colored rocks or the diamond wreath necklaces; Tiffany's design is more defined to me by the Jean Schlumberger line. Neither one is in the reach of most consumers.

So brand exclusivity doesn't impress me unless I see you with something that gave the brand its exclusivity - a rare stone, a large stone, or a very unique design.
I see what you're saying, and agree to a large extent, but to me it's the starting point that helps define whether it's luxury or not - not whether I can get the same stone for roughly the same price at Tiffany's or Graff's, but how much I have to spend in order to get *anything* from their store. So if I have to spend $5k to get the lowest priced item at Graff, but $100 to get the lowest priced item at Tiffany's, I consider Graff more exclusive.
Yeah, I hear you. I guess what I'm having a problem with is the exclusivity factor to begin with. I like unique stuff but I'm not too hung up about people recognizing I bought an exclusive brand. A brand either has what I want or it doesn't. If it doesn't have what I want (which is usually the more unique piece), it doesn't matter how prestigious it is. I've seen the Cartier jewelry and I know its prestigious; it's too masculine for my tastes. Tiffany's and Harry Winston both have individual pieces that I love; but they both also have a lot of pieces I wouldn't be caught dead in. I like pieces from Tiffany's Victoria and Jean Schlumberger collections and individual pieces from Harry Winston's New York collection. The rest - meh.

So I don't understand buying a piece JUST because its from Tiffany's or Harry Winston. And I don't understand avoiding all Tiffany's just because its not as exclusive. Wanting something unique I do understand, but I think you can get unique from either brand depending on the individual piece you choose. Both HW and Tiffany's have a high jewelry category which is where I think most of their really exclusive jewellery resides and that stuff doesn't come cheap.
I totally understand! I'm all about falling in love with the piece of jewelry, not the bag it comes in (as are most PSers, I would assume).
 

Imdanny

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Circe, thanks for your excellent posts about the history of Tiffany in the other thread. I really enjoyed them. :))

And I was tempted to think Tiffany was the only one of its kind, the best on earth, and beyond all reproach including accusations of sleazy marketing techniques. Thanks for setting me straight! ;))
 

Circe

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Imdanny|1312570624|2984954 said:
Circe, thanks for your excellent posts about the history of Tiffany in the other thread. I really enjoyed them. :))

And I was tempted to think Tiffany was the only one of its kind, the best on earth, and beyond all reproach including accusations of sleazy marketing techniques. Thanks for setting me straight! ;))
Aw, thanks, Danny! The history of the great jewelers is one of my pet topics: I love digging into the details of how they got to be where they are.

On which note - oof! Even the greats can make some tone-deaf calls sometimes.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/galler...s-in-the-new-york-times-by-ross-bleckner.html
 

Imdanny

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Messages
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Oops!

As a follow up to something you said in the other thread, what were the dubious circumstances under which Tiffany's business partner acquired part of the crown jewels?

I know it's a recurring theme in the history of diamonds, for instance, that they disappear and reappear, during which time a statute of limitations may have run out, thus hiding a crime (e.g. theft).

I'm wondering what Tiffany's business partner bought and the surrounding circumstances. I'd love to hear more about this, Circe!
 
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