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Is Harry Winston just a blatant copy of Tiffany?

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
I'm new to PS and love it. I was looking for a first time e-ring and PS saved me and educated me. You all are great. I came into this lamenting how much I'd need to spend on "a piece of carbon" but now I'm a cut nerd obsessed with HCA, Sarin data, angles, IS images, AGS cut guidlines, etc. I'm ruined!

My fiance-to-be would be happy with anything I gave her but I knew that she would really prefer a luxury brand where she new she could always go for quality service. I knew that no amount of PS info would change her mind.

Armed with my PS knowledge I knew how pick out the outstanding performers from the luxury stores' stock knowing that all their stock would likely be very good to excellent to begin with.

Purely out of patriotism (I'm American), I wanted to stick with a US brand and that seemed to rule out Graff, Bulgari, Van Cleef, Cartier, Chopard, etc. It seemed my choices really were just Tiffany and Harry Winston -- until I did a little research.

Tiffany was founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany ("the King of Diamonds") and most here know the highlights: the iconic 6-prong setting that is still a legend today, the retailing innovations, acquisition of French crown jewels as a marketing stroke of genius, the designs, the service, the quality, and so on.

Then I read up on HW history. I was expecting an equally impressive history considering how highly-regarded HW seems to be but came away thinking HW was just a blatant, shameless copy of the Tiffany history and innovations. And I was really surprised that I'd never seen this discussed here.

Harry Winston started HW in 1932 partly from his father's firm. His father Jacob was also a jeweler and had immigrated to the US from the Ukraine changing his name to "Winston." Harry chose to call himself "the King of Diamonds" (sound familiar?) and also began acquiring famous enormous diamonds and publicizing this. HW retail operations are now owned by a Canadian mining company formerly known as Aber and now called Harry Winston Diamond Corporation.

So, unless I'm wrong, HW is a fake name with a copied business model that is now not even a US company -- it's Canadian company. I realize that history and originality won't necessarily make the diamond or setting quality any better. And what I've seen and read about HW pieces surely do not make me question the quality. But I feel if you are going to "pay up" for a name there ought to be some substance and honesty that come with the name. The HW story seems like a blatant and not very good copy of the Tiffany history and business model. And they're really just a front now for a Canadian miner. Knowing all this, can anyone here tell me why anyone would prefer HW to T&Co? Am I missing something?
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,249
Very interesting story! Never knew the history behind HW.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
I've never heard that story, so thank you for the background.

I imagine a woman choose either Tiffany or HW jewelry for one of several reasons. Perhaps she wants something that the masses will recognize as being a brand-name piece of jewelry. Perhaps she loves the design and could not imagine going with a copy of it. Perhaps she fell in love with the idea of having a ring from HW or Tiffany as a child and it has become an important part of engagements to her.

As for your, you said your fi-to-be would prefer a luxury brand with excellent customer service. If that's the case, I think there are other options than just the big brands with chains dotting the country. I chose to have my local family jeweler create a custom ring for me because their work is lush, and the customer service is to die for. I have something I would never have at Tiffany, and that's the owner and jeweler himself as a close contact, not a sales rep. I'm not trying to tell you that your choice between Tiffany or HW is wrong, just that there are other options out there. I personally believe that a well-crafted piece from an artisan jeweler is extremely luxurious, and if your STB fiancee isn't interested in a brand name for its recognizability as a brand name, then maybe you want to look into this other option a bit, as well.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,273
Also, in terms of American heritage, unless of 100% Native Indian descent, we are all of us (or our forebears) immigrants to the US. And many, many immigrants changed their names upon reaching America, albeit some unwillingly or unknowingly through the Ellis Island (and similar) reception process. It could be argued that HW is the more American of the two companies.
 

maria121

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
89
Thank you for sharing the history of these two companies. I wouldn't say that HW is a copy of Tiffany because they both have their own history and no two companies are alike. Tiffany has its legacy and HW was known for their acquisition of rare gemstones. Personally, when my DF and I were shopping for my e-ring, we didn't have a strong preference of sticking to a certain brand from the U.S. or foreign countries.

That being said, I would love to share my experience with you since my DF ended up purchasing my e-ring from HW. Also, this is only based on our personal experience so it may be different for other people.

1. DF and I are not jewelry/diamond experts so we relied on the expertise of a branded company to assist us with this purchase. Our SA (whom we formed a really good relationship with) was very knowledgeable on diamonds and their products.

2. We had superb customer service at HW. They offered assistance right when we stepped into the store and our SA worked with us
diligently to find the ring that we wanted. Whereas, in Tiffany, the SA's just left us to browse even though they were not attending other customers. After couple minutes of browsing, we had to ask a SA to assist us. He was friendly, but showed us e-rings without explanations (i.e. - 4 C's). We always had to make the initiative to inquire.

3. HW's diamond and craftsmanship are superb. I'm really picky and being a designer and perfectionist, I expect everything to be of good quality and detailed. I know we can't rely on 4 C's all the time, but HW specifies that they only use D - F colors and clarity wise, nothing lower than VS1. My e-ring was custom made and the process went very smooth and the ring was delivered at the time specified.

I think it really depends on you and your fiance. DF and I didn't confine ourselves to choosing an e-ring from one or two brands. We even looked around at the jewelry district to find a ring that fits all of our criteria. Also, to be honest with you, I would have never thought that we would fall in love with HW until the moment I slipped the ring on my finger! :love: Thanks for letting me share and I hope my long reply hasn't put you to sleep. :twirl: Good luck with the e-ring shopping!
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
Lula|1312233726|2981783 said:
Tiffany & Co. is no longer owned by the Tiffany family. It is part of a large holding company and its stock is traded on the NY stock exchange
http://investor.tiffany.com/overview.cfm.

I'm not sure where the holding company is headquartered, but it may or may not be in the United States. ETA: The site says its headquarters are in NY.

Some other considerations if you are looking to buy a true "luxury" brand:

Tiffany & Co. has made some poor business decisions in the past that many believe have cheapened its image, e.g.,it's sterling silver jewelry line.

While it's true that Harry Winston (the man) had a more humble beginning than did the members of the Tiffany family, one could argue that Harry Winston (the company) has made the better business choices in terms of protecting its image as a luxury brand, because HW has not diluted its brand with cheaper products as has Tiffany & Co.

Both stores will give you great service.
Yes, both HW and T&Co are publicly traded companies. HW is now Canadian and T&Co is American. The HW parent Canadian company trades on NASDAQ under the symbol HWD.

Given that T&Co is the most successful (sales/sq. foot) retailer in the US after Apple I don't think you can say that the decision to sell silver was a poor business decision. It was a genius decision. I think what you mean is it cost them some exclusivity. To me that hardly matters. It's the same as when Apple decides to sell an inexpensive iPod Nano, when BMW decides to offer the 1-series in the US, Porsche starts selling the Boxster, or Ferrari adds the California model. A few purists are disappointed but the brand is strengthened, quality is maintained, and customer base is broadened.

Additionally, Tiffany's history with silver goes far back into its history -- it wasn't a recent decision just to increase sales. Tiffany supplied swords and silver medallions to the Union Army during the Civil War.

Charles Tiffany had a fairly humble beginning similar to that of Harry Winston. Tiffany had a successful father but built his jewelry business from scratch. Winston inherited a jewelry business from his father and grew it by copying the Tiffany model. Both men seem to have had equally humble beginnings.

I think what's appealing about Tiffany is not so much any perceived exclusivity (or relative lack thereof) but rather the history, innovation, service, authenticity, design, and absolute commitment to quality. The enduring and unique American story behind Tiffany is also appealing. HW (and Graff, VC&A, Cartier, Bulgari, etc), no matter how good they may be, simply cannot claim all these qualities.
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
marymm|1312234676|2981793 said:
Also, in terms of American heritage, unless of 100% Native Indian descent, we are all of us (or our forebears) immigrants to the US. And many, many immigrants changed their names upon reaching America, albeit some unwillingly or unknowingly through the Ellis Island (and similar) reception process. It could be argued that HW is the more American of the two companies.

Agreed. But my point is that HW (the company) now is Canadian. Both Tiffany and Winston (the men) were, of course, equally American. And I agree that the name change could have occurred accidentally at Ellis Island. It just seems fishy though in light of all the other things HW copied from Tiffany.

As I mentioned, these facts really might not seem to have any rational bearing on a diamond purchase but who here could argue that a diamond purchase is a rational act? It's an emotional act more than it is rational. And the history of the jeweler might justifiably matter when emotional decisions are being made.

Additionally, since I am buying now in 2011, the question of which firm is currently more American is completely clear. HW is not American. Tiffany is American.
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
maria121|1312235811|2981797 said:
Thank you for sharing the history of these two companies. I wouldn't say that HW is a copy of Tiffany because they both have their own history and no two companies are alike. Tiffany has its legacy and HW was known for their acquisition of rare gemstones. Personally, when my DF and I were shopping for my e-ring, we didn't have a strong preference of sticking to a certain brand from the U.S. or foreign countries.

That being said, I would love to share my experience with you since my DF ended up purchasing my e-ring from HW. Also, this is only based on our personal experience so it may be different for other people.

1. DF and I are not jewelry/diamond experts so we relied on the expertise of a branded company to assist us with this purchase. Our SA (whom we formed a really good relationship with) was very knowledgeable on diamonds and their products.

2. We had superb customer service at HW. They offered assistance right when we stepped into the store and our SA worked with us
diligently to find the ring that we wanted. Whereas, in Tiffany, the SA's just left us to browse even though they were not attending other customers. After couple minutes of browsing, we had to ask a SA to assist us. He was friendly, but showed us e-rings without explanations (i.e. - 4 C's). We always had to make the initiative to inquire.

3. HW's diamond and craftsmanship are superb. I'm really picky and being a designer and perfectionist, I expect everything to be of good quality and detailed. I know we can't rely on 4 C's all the time, but HW specifies that they only use D - F colors and clarity wise, nothing lower than VS1. My e-ring was custom made and the process went very smooth and the ring was delivered at the time specified.

I think it really depends on you and your fiance. DF and I didn't confine ourselves to choosing an e-ring from one or two brands. We even looked around at the jewelry district to find a ring that fits all of our criteria. Also, to be honest with you, I would have never thought that we would fall in love with HW until the moment I slipped the ring on my finger! :love: Thanks for letting me share and I hope my long reply hasn't put you to sleep. :twirl: Good luck with the e-ring shopping!

Wow! Great story. Thanks and congratulations. And I'm not surprised. I've read many similar happy HW stories here at PS. Likewise for T&Co.

And I totally agree that I might be limiting myself too much. It's just that for us, all signs seem to point to T&Co. It's a personal decision I suppose. No clear right or wrong.

Thanks for sharing.
 

maplefemme

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
874
Klokke|1312237098|2981809 said:
marymm|1312234676|2981793 said:
Also, in terms of American heritage, unless of 100% Native Indian descent, we are all of us (or our forebears) immigrants to the US. And many, many immigrants changed their names upon reaching America, albeit some unwillingly or unknowingly through the Ellis Island (and similar) reception process. It could be argued that HW is the more American of the two companies.

Agreed. But my point is that HW (the company) now is Canadian. Both Tiffany and Winston (the men) were, of course, equally American. And I agree that the name change could have occurred accidentally at Ellis Island. It just seems fishy though in light of all the other things HW copied from Tiffany.

As I mentioned, these facts really might not seem to have any rational bearing on a diamond purchase but who here could argue that a diamond purchase is a rational act? It's an emotional act more than it is rational. And the history of the jeweler might justifiably matter when emotional decisions are being made.

Additionally, since I am buying now in 2011, the question of which firm is currently more American is completely clear. HW is not American. Tiffany is American.
Then buy Tiffany, if you personally feel they are superior, want a "brand", and feel patriotic....it's all a personal choice ;))
 

Rhea

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,301
I think your original question is very misleading. The two companies seem to have similar business models and ideas. Hardly uncommon.

I have always been very taken with the Tiffany story and adore their jewellery. However, I've never received good service from them. In the London store I went to try on wedding bands and even with no one else in the store I was dismissed I was barely acknowledged as I was told the rings I was looking for were on the 3rd floor. I hiked it up to the 3rd floor, patiently waited the assistant to stop chatting to her work colleague and assist me, and was then told that the specific ring I had requested was down on the ground floor. Went down, found the ring (I had to point it out to the sales assistant) and was told that it wasn't in my size and they didn't know when they'd be getting it in, I should "check back in a couple of weeks."

Similar experiences in another London store, the Atlanta store, and one in NYC.

I went into Cartier in London a couple of times and Paris once to try on a small by their standards (about .33 carat) engagement ring, and later to try on a wedding band. The sales assistants were great every time. Service at Harry Winston was amazing, same with Graff, and De Beers in London. A couple times it was probably clear I was just having a nose in those stores, other times I went to try on fairly inexpensive (for them!) solitaires or wedding bands.

I love Tiffany and will happily go and visit exhibits when they come to London. Their story is wonderful and inspiring. However, their current customer service leaves something to be desired. I'd prefer nearly any other "luxury" brand based on customer service alone.
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
Addy|1312238285|2981819 said:
I think your original question is very misleading. The two companies seem to have similar business models and ideas. Hardly uncommon.

I have always been very taken with the Tiffany story and adore their jewellery. However, I've never received good service from them. In the London store I went to try on wedding bands and even with no one else in the store I was dismissed I was barely acknowledged as I was told the rings I was looking for were on the 3rd floor. I hiked it up to the 3rd floor, patiently waited the assistant to stop chatting to her work colleague and assist me, and was then told that the specific ring I had requested was down on the ground floor. Went down, found the ring (I had to point it out to the sales assistant) and was told that it wasn't in my size and they didn't know when they'd be getting it in, I should "check back in a couple of weeks."

Similar experiences in another London store, the Atlanta store, and one in NYC.

I went into Cartier in London a couple of times and Paris once to try on a small by their standards (about .33 carat) engagement ring, and later to try on a wedding band. The sales assistants were great every time. Service at Harry Winston was amazing, same with Graff, and De Beers in London. A couple times it was probably clear I was just having a nose in those stores, other times I went to try on fairly inexpensive (for them!) solitaires or wedding bands.

I love Tiffany and will happily go and visit exhibits when they come to London. Their story is wonderful and inspiring. However, their current customer service leaves something to be desired. I'd prefer nearly any other "luxury" brand based on customer service alone.
We agree. HW & T&Co have similar business models. What I, personally, don't like is that HW just copied T&Co playbook about 100 years later. This might not matter to others and that's OK.

Anyway I can see why you, personally, would avoid Tiffany based on the bad experience you had. I've personally had great SAs at all the brands you mentioned (except for DeBeers - have never been/would never go there) so it has come down to other criteria for us to make our big decision.

Thanks for your story!
 

Lula

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Joined
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Messages
4,545
Klokke|1312239248|2981835 said:
Addy|1312238285|2981819 said:
I think your original question is very misleading. The two companies seem to have similar business models and ideas. Hardly uncommon.

I have always been very taken with the Tiffany story and adore their jewellery. However, I've never received good service from them. In the London store I went to try on wedding bands and even with no one else in the store I was dismissed I was barely acknowledged as I was told the rings I was looking for were on the 3rd floor. I hiked it up to the 3rd floor, patiently waited the assistant to stop chatting to her work colleague and assist me, and was then told that the specific ring I had requested was down on the ground floor. Went down, found the ring (I had to point it out to the sales assistant) and was told that it wasn't in my size and they didn't know when they'd be getting it in, I should "check back in a couple of weeks."

Similar experiences in another London store, the Atlanta store, and one in NYC.

I went into Cartier in London a couple of times and Paris once to try on a small by their standards (about .33 carat) engagement ring, and later to try on a wedding band. The sales assistants were great every time. Service at Harry Winston was amazing, same with Graff, and De Beers in London. A couple times it was probably clear I was just having a nose in those stores, other times I went to try on fairly inexpensive (for them!) solitaires or wedding bands.

I love Tiffany and will happily go and visit exhibits when they come to London. Their story is wonderful and inspiring. However, their current customer service leaves something to be desired. I'd prefer nearly any other "luxury" brand based on customer service alone.
We agree. HW & T&Co have similar business models. What I, personally, don't like is that HW just copied T&Co playbook about 100 years later. This might not matter to others and that's OK.

Anyway I can see why you, personally, would avoid Tiffany based on the bad experience you had. I've personally had great SAs at all the brands you mentioned (except for DeBeers - have never been/would never go there) so it has come down to other criteria for us to make our big decision.

Thanks for your story!
And Buger King and Wendy's copied McDonald's business model. So what? I mean, how many different ways are there to sell hamburgers, or diamonds for that matter?

HW's "style" is very different from Tiffany's. If you were saying that HW copied Tiffany's designs, well, then maybe I'd agree with your belief that it's better to go with the original over a copy. But copying a "playbook"? Not seeing the problem there. That happens all the time in business, and in the NFL, too.

I agree with the other posters - if you want to buy "American," buy from Tiffany's. They are more "American" than HW, but I believe that very little of what they actually make (the jewelry) is crafted on American soil. I bet they, like many other manufacturers, outsource most of their production (i.e., diamond cutting and benchwork). So are you really buying "American" if nothing they sell is actually produced on American soil

ETA: Well, looks like they're opening a manufacturing plant in Kentucky. http://www.kentucky.com/2010/11/04/1507888/tiffany-co-to-open-lexington-manufacturing.html
 

sonnyjane

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Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
2,476
Lula|1312239887|2981841 said:
And Burger King and Wendy's copied McDonald's business model. So what? I mean, how many different ways are there to sell hamburgers, or diamonds for that matter?

HW's "style" is very different from Tiffany's. If you were saying that HW copied Tiffany's designs, well, then maybe I'd agree with your belief that it's better to go with the original over a copy. But copying a "playbook"? Not seeing the problem there. That happens all the time in business, and in the NFL, too.

I agree with the other posters - if you want to buy "American," buy from Tiffany's. They are more "American" than HW, but I believe that very little of what they actually make (the jewelry) is crafted on American soil. I bet they, like many other manufacturers, outsource most of their production (i.e., diamond cutting and benchwork). So are you really buying "American" if nothing they sell is actually produced on American soil?
:appl: :appl: :appl:
 

Rhea

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Messages
6,301
Everyone copies everyone else's business model. Of course I agree they are similar, so are a host of others! It's a bit of a classic story when it comes to business and money, no?

Any particular reason that you wouldn't go to De Beers? I never thought I would because of their bad reputation. Their reputation may be a bit shaky, but they've only recently started to cover it over. HW and Tiff's have long covered their tracks and made it all seem glittering, shiny, and new. They hire some fab PR staff, wrapped the same item in that perfect little packaging and sold it as true love! Or do you not like De Beers for another reason other than questionable business ethics to do with mining?

Very little gold is mined in the US or North America at all. The US has no descent diamond mines. Most of the raw materials are going to the found in Africa. And they are all pulled from the same mines. Tiffany doesn't have a special mine that makes it any different from a De Beers one, a Cartier one, or a Graff one. Tiffany buys the same rough from the same mine with the same practices in Africa. They then send it the same cutter, also usually not located in the US, for the same result. Their package is niffy though!

At the heart of it, it sounds as though you bought their story. You love Tiffany and Co. You are coping millions of others who also chose Tiffany every year. People who want the story and the gloss. No problem with that, they've carved out a nice niche of being seen as affordable luxury. But why the need to justify it? Their board, like hosts of other rich folk aren't necessarily American, don't necessarily live in the US, and probably have tax havens in other countries. The mines they buy from don't have different mining practices to any other retailer. The raw product is the same and they patented the final product. It's smart business. A business model that is copied worldwide everyday. No harm in loving them as you do. I don't understand the justification.

Since they are right for you, hopefully we'll see a ring on Show Me The Bling soon?
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
Lula|1312239887|2981841 said:
Klokke|1312239248|2981835 said:
Addy|1312238285|2981819 said:
I think your original question is very misleading. The two companies seem to have similar business models and ideas. Hardly uncommon.

I have always been very taken with the Tiffany story and adore their jewellery. However, I've never received good service from them. In the London store I went to try on wedding bands and even with no one else in the store I was dismissed I was barely acknowledged as I was told the rings I was looking for were on the 3rd floor. I hiked it up to the 3rd floor, patiently waited the assistant to stop chatting to her work colleague and assist me, and was then told that the specific ring I had requested was down on the ground floor. Went down, found the ring (I had to point it out to the sales assistant) and was told that it wasn't in my size and they didn't know when they'd be getting it in, I should "check back in a couple of weeks."

Similar experiences in another London store, the Atlanta store, and one in NYC.

I went into Cartier in London a couple of times and Paris once to try on a small by their standards (about .33 carat) engagement ring, and later to try on a wedding band. The sales assistants were great every time. Service at Harry Winston was amazing, same with Graff, and De Beers in London. A couple times it was probably clear I was just having a nose in those stores, other times I went to try on fairly inexpensive (for them!) solitaires or wedding bands.

I love Tiffany and will happily go and visit exhibits when they come to London. Their story is wonderful and inspiring. However, their current customer service leaves something to be desired. I'd prefer nearly any other "luxury" brand based on customer service alone.
We agree. HW & T&Co have similar business models. What I, personally, don't like is that HW just copied T&Co playbook about 100 years later. This might not matter to others and that's OK.

Anyway I can see why you, personally, would avoid Tiffany based on the bad experience you had. I've personally had great SAs at all the brands you mentioned (except for DeBeers - have never been/would never go there) so it has come down to other criteria for us to make our big decision.

Thanks for your story!
And Buger King and Wendy's copied McDonald's business model. So what? I mean, how many different ways are there to sell hamburgers, or diamonds for that matter?

HW's "style" is very different from Tiffany's. If you were saying that HW copied Tiffany's designs, well, then maybe I'd agree with your belief that it's better to go with the original over a copy. But copying a "playbook"? Not seeing the problem there. That happens all the time in business, and in the NFL, too.

I agree with the other posters - if you want to buy "American," buy from Tiffany's. They are more "American" than HW, but I believe that very little of what they actually make (the jewelry) is crafted on American soil. I bet they, like many other manufacturers, outsource most of their production (i.e., diamond cutting and benchwork). So are you really buying "American" if nothing they sell is actually produced on American soil?

Sorry but if you equate fast food with diamond jewelry you might be on the wrong forum. Bad analogy. And I don't eat at any of those places anyway. It's not healthy. Chipotle yes - but they have an original business model. :naughty:

Seriously though, I'm not looking for an argument. I'm just saying how I was surprised to find these things out about T&Co and HW and wanted to see if others here realized it. Maybe it's because I'm a bit of a newbie but if you read about the luxury brands here you'd get the impression that HW is beyond reproach. They clearly market themselves as pioneers and as and American company but this simply isn't true. Their image, to me, is misleading and their model copies that of T&Co without acknowledgment. If that doesn't bother you that's OK. It does bother me when I'm spending tens of thousands of dollars. Maybe I wouldn't care if I were just buying a BigMac but I'm not. I don't want to spend tens of thousands (and thousands extra) on something that's not authentic and original.

One could say that the HW solitaire is a near copy of the Tiffany Setting but otherwise you are correct, HW has a different design style.

Tiffany diamond cutting is done at several locations but is done by T&Co employees. Benchwork is done for the most part in the country/region where the ring is sold. And Tiffany is an American company. So yes, you really are buying American if you buy Tiffany. That's one point I'm trying to make. But I realize this might not matter to everyone.
 

maria121

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
89
By the way, I forgot to mention that if you've been into HW, you'll notice that they do not have a wide selection of designs. The SA told us that HW's objective is focusing on the diamond and to create jewelry where the stone itself will take center stage. Whereas, I believe Tiffany is quite famous and successful for their designs. Even though my e-ring is from HW, I also have wonderful pieces from Tiffany. By the way, do you know which brand your soon to be fiancee prefers? Also, my ring was made in New York. :wink2:
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,100
Do you have an alter ego named Isabelle, by any chance? Or Red Robin?


Your counter to Lula's argument... doesn't make sense to me either. But you do whatever you feel best for you and your situation, you don't need to justify it to us! The history is interesting, thank you for posting that!
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
Addy|1312241826|2981862 said:
Everyone copies everyone else's business model. Of course I agree they are similar, so are a host of others! It's a bit of a classic story when it comes to business and money, no?

Any particular reason that you wouldn't go to De Beers? I never thought I would because of their bad reputation. Their reputation may be a bit shaky, but they've only recently started to cover it over. HW and Tiff's have long covered their tracks and made it all seem glittering, shiny, and new. They hire some fab PR staff, wrapped the same item in that perfect little packaging and sold it as true love! Or do you not like De Beers for another reason other than questionable business ethics to do with mining?

Very little gold is mined in the US or North America at all. The US has no descent diamond mines. Most of the raw materials are going to the found in Africa. And they are all pulled from the same mines. Tiffany doesn't have a special mine that makes it any different from a De Beers one, a Cartier one, or a Graff one. Tiffany buys the same rough from the same mine with the same practices in Africa. They then send it the same cutter, also usually not located in the US, for the same result. Their package is niffy though!

At the heart of it, it sounds as though you bought their story. You love Tiffany and Co. You are coping millions of others who also chose Tiffany every year. People who want the story and the gloss. No problem with that, they've carved out a nice niche of being seen as affordable luxury. But why the need to justify it? Their board, like hosts of other rich folk aren't necessarily American, don't necessarily live in the US, and probably have tax havens in other countries. The mines they buy from don't have different mining practices to any other retailer. The raw product is the same and they patented the final product. It's smart business. A business model that is copied worldwide everyday. No harm in loving them as you do. I don't understand the justification.

Since they are right for you, hopefully we'll see a ring on Show Me The Bling soon?

Addy, you seem to be upset. I'm not trying to justify anything since nothing is yet finalized for us. I'm just trying to do my research beforehand and get some information from all the well-informed folks here at PS. As I said, I looked here and read lots of good things about HW but when I researched things it became clear to me that HW copied Tiffany's history and model. I thought I was missing something but apparently it was just that not many people here on PS knew or cared about this.

Yes. DeBeers has a bad reputation. That's part of what ruled them out for us. Not everyone cares about that. I know. We do care.

And you are uninformed about Tiffany - as was I. I've actually researched them as I have HW. The nice thing about both of them being publicly traded companies is that they are required to truthfully disclose a lot about their businesses.

Laurelton Diamonds is a subsidiary of Tiffany & Co. Laurelton is an American company that is a rough diamond trading and manufacturing firm with operations across the globe. They procure rough diamonds and manage the worldwide Tiffany supply chain that cuts, polishes and supplies finished stones to Tiffany. As part of that supply chain, Laurelton operates diamond cutting and polishing factories as well as their own gemological laboratories all with Laurelton employees. Tiffany/Laurelton also has ownership interest in several of its own diamond mines. Engagement stones are sourced from their Canadian mine. This way they control the whole chain from the mine to your finger. All of this information is available in their corporate and SEC filings.

So it is 100% incorrect to state that Tiffany is doesn't have a special mine that makes it different from a DeBeers or a Cariter or a Graff. That is EXACTLY what they have and more. As stated, they control their WHOLE supply chain -- not just the mine and the retail store.

So yes, I am beginning to buy (haven't bought yet) "their story" as you put it because it seems to be a unique, original, authentic, ethical, and American story that no other retailer has. There is substance to their story. If it doesn't matter to you that's fine.
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
Yssie|1312243747|2981901 said:
Do you have an alter ego named Isabelle, by any chance? Or Red Robin?


Your counter to Lula's argument... makes no sense to me either. But you do whatever you feel best for you and your situation, you don't need to justify it to us!

Hi. No alter ego. Just a newbie trying to get some information.

Not looking to justify anything as nothing as yet has been finalized.

Seems like this tread is drawing out the Tiffany haters though. Not sure why. But nothing yet seems to contradict my OP or make me not buy T&Co. Still waiting... Thanks though.
 

seminoles

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
2
I am fairly new to posting on pricescope as well, although I have been researching on the site for a while. I do have a question for you. Are Tiffany's diamonds mined here in America? If not then I don't see how they can be more American then HW or any other company, since the diamonds are the most important part of the ring.
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
seminoles|1312246345|2981931 said:
I am fairly new to posting on pricescope as well, although I have been researching on the site for a while. I do have a question for you. Are Tiffany's diamonds mined here in America? If not then I don't see how they can be more American then HW or any other company, since the diamonds are the most important part of the ring.

The Tiffany diamonds are not mined in America but Tiffany is an American company. They own their own mines and supply chain. When you buy a diamond from them you are supporting an American company that pays taxes in America and employs other Americans who also pay taxes here -- if that stuff happens to matter to you. The same cannot be said for other luxury brands or wholesale suppliers.
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
995
In short? Heck No. There are far too many overgeneralisations that span such a huge span of time to just claim what your question states.

I think they are both rock solid companies.

I personally LIKE that Tiffany lets me browse as much as I wish. All I need to do is look up and smile, and a waiting sales assistant would come over with a velvet tray and a glove to assist me.

No, they do NOT spout much in the way of the 4Cs. But they are typically completely not pushy and quite patient. They will models rings and chains for you, or call more appropriate people over to do the same (if you are a guy).

I personally don't like having someone fawning over me the moment I step in the door, and shoving things in my face to look at, or asking an incessant stream of questions. But this really IS personal preference.

My IDEAL shopping trip to ANY store is:
1. Smile at me slightly, nod/bow/tip head whatever is culturally correct a bit. Make me welcome.
2. Stay invisible, or at arms length. Don't push, but pay attention to my body language. If I look like I WANT to ask something, or WANT to see something, politely ask if assistance is required.
3. When I seem like I've done enough of a walk around, let me know that anytime assistance is required, please just ask. Smile, continue to hover unobstrusively.
4. Be incredibly friendly when I want to see/try on/look at/poke things
5. Don't be pushy with a sale.
6. Try to be knowledgeable, admit it if you don't know. Don't EVER bullshit me.
7. Try to hide your disappointment when you leave, do give me a namecard if you have one. If you did 1-6, you can be assured I will give you my business if I return - for all those stores where the staff have a sales target/quota.

Tiffany always does 1 through 7, no problems. Christmas time, mothers day... they are swamped. So forgiven that they are a little frazzled, and the wait time to be served is longer.

Harry Winston - I've not been in yet. But they look the part too. I LOVE the bulletproof glass in the mall, and the double doors (one must completely close before the other will open) and the panic steel gate that slams down when you're in the double doors. The one in my mall has these. I've not dared to go in. hahaha.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,100
Klokke|1312245069|2981918 said:
Yssie|1312243747|2981901 said:
Do you have an alter ego named Isabelle, by any chance? Or Red Robin?


Your counter to Lula's argument... makes no sense to me either. But you do whatever you feel best for you and your situation, you don't need to justify it to us!

Hi. No alter ego. Just a newbie trying to get some information.

Not looking to justify anything as nothing as yet has been finalized.

Seems like this tread is drawing out the Tiffany haters though. Not sure why
. But nothing yet seems to contradict my OP or make me not buy T&Co. Still waiting... Thanks though.

No.. that's not it. It shouldn't be a surprise that people on a forum with "price" in the name generally steer those without specific preference away from Tiffany or other big name brands, where much of what you're paying for isthe brand, but... there was a Tiffany nut on here a little while ago - posted under half a dozen handles - had conversations with herself, and didn't have much to say that wasn't either painfully exaggerated or blatantly idiotic. Her posts would start much like yours - interesting, if bemusing, and - well - deteriorate. Hence the skepticism from me, at any rate.

Tristan - you are male and out of your teens, it's no wonder you automatically command attention in jewellery stores! Trust me when I say that a solo young woman does not generally merit the same enthusiasm 8)
 

Scorpioanne

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
394
Oooh as a proud Canadian I am very excited by the idea that Harry Winston is a Canadian company now :appl: .
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
Yssie|1312250897|2982008 said:
Klokke|1312245069|2981918 said:
Yssie|1312243747|2981901 said:
Do you have an alter ego named Isabelle, by any chance? Or Red Robin?


Your counter to Lula's argument... makes no sense to me either. But you do whatever you feel best for you and your situation, you don't need to justify it to us!

Hi. No alter ego. Just a newbie trying to get some information.

Not looking to justify anything as nothing as yet has been finalized.

Seems like this tread is drawing out the Tiffany haters though. Not sure why
. But nothing yet seems to contradict my OP or make me not buy T&Co. Still waiting... Thanks though.

No.. that's not it. It shouldn't be a surprise that people on a forum with "price" in the name generally steer those without specific preference away from Tiffany or other big name brands, where much of what you're paying for isthe brand, but... there was a Tiffany nut on here a little while ago - posted under half a dozen handles - had conversations with herself, and didn't have much to say that wasn't either painfully exaggerated or blatantly idiotic. Her posts would start much like yours - interesting, if bemusing, and - well - deteriorate. Hence the skepticism from me, at any rate.

Tristan - you are male and out of your teens, it's no wonder you automatically command attention in jewellery stores! Trust me when I say that a solo young woman does not generally merit the same enthusiasm 8)

Right. I tried to make it clear in the original post that I realized that using PS methods and vendors makes more sense and saves money in a lot of ways but that I sort of felt I wanted/needed to go with a luxury brand. The original post was really more about T&Co vs. HW and others. I wasn't trying to compare a PS vendor purchase with a Tiffany one. And I don't think I've said anything exaggerated or idiotic. I've just stated what I've found by researching and have tried to ask you all if you have reason to doubt what I've found.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,100
Okay - clearly I have crossed some line. I apologize Klokke! My words weren't meant to be implications. I should really know better than to stick my head into one of these threads, given my disdain for anything branded. Good luck with your research and purchase, whatever you choose!
 

Klokke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
40
Lula|1312251272|2982012 said:
Hmm, HW's FAQ page is pretty specific. I'm impressed. http://investor.harrywinston.com/faqs.html

Their stock is also less expensive than Tiffany's and it's sold on the NYSE not Nasdaq.

From the link you listed:
Is Harry WInston Diamond Corporation vertically integrated?
No. The Company focuses on the most profitable segments of the diamond pipeline: mining of rough diamonds and retail of luxury diamond jewelry and timepieces. Harry Winston does not participate in the cutting and polishing of diamonds.


Unlike HW, Tiffany IS an vertically integrated company and controls and owns its entire supply chain.

HWD stock has a P/E of 56 while TIF stock has a P/E of 26. TIF is therefore technically a less expensive stock even though its share price is higher. A stock's value is determined by it's P/E ratio or PEG ratio, not by its share price alone. The stock exchange difference is not really relevant. Not sure how any of this is relevant. Both are publicly traded in the US but HWD is Canadian and TIF is American.
 
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