November has come and is on its way out in the blink of an eye. Wish lists are made, and people are shopping for new sparkle to bring home for…
Tiffany Engagement Ring Review: These pages may reference products from companies that help to support PriceScope.
The Luxury Box
When you purchase from Tiffany & Company, you’re not just buying jewelry. You’re buying membership in a club of little blue box owners with prestigious brand-bragging rights. In fact, the why one buys from Tiffany might be more significant than the what one buys from Tiffany: When a grandmother, mother, sister, or best friend owns a Tiffany ring there can be “legacy motivation” to join the club. That may come from pride, or it may come from pressure, but you should know it will come with a premium. That’s because Tiffany’s name is synonymous with prestige. From historically designing the Great Seal of the United States, to profound corporate social responsibility measures today, the company is a poster child for legendary brand building. Whether you’re buying a diamond, a fragrance, or an engraved flask, you’ll pay a premium for that prestige. For this reason, we encourage readers to become fully informed, in order to make purchase decisions with confidence.
Tiffany & Co at a Glance
An American Icon
When Tiffany opened in New York in 1837 the store made a total of $4.98 the first day. Nearly two centuries later, having expanded to 300 boutiques around the world, the company was purchased by LVMH for $15.8 billion. From establishing the American sterling silver standard, to designing the USA’s Great Seal – still seen on every dollar bill – to producing the NFL Vince Lombardi Super Bowl and championship trophies for the NBA and MLS – Tiffany’s presence as an American luxury jeweler has been profound, enriching our country with first class products, philosophies, and practices.
President Abraham Lincoln purchased a pearl necklace and earrings from Tiffany for his wife. Charles Lewis Tiffany introduced the Tiffany Setting, which has become a symbol of the world’s greatest love stories. The colored gemstone Kunzite was named after Tiffany’s Chief Gemologist, Dr. George Kunz. The flagship store in New York has been featured in countless movies – most prominently Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sleepless in Seattle and Sweet Home Alabama. From the 2000 formation of the Tiffany & Company Foundation – awarding over $75 million in grants to conservation and the arts over two decades – to introducing their Diamond Source Initiative in 2020, providing provenance information for every diamond they sell – Tiffany operates with social responsibility and consumer consciousness at top of mind. Their iconic blue color was first introduced in a direct mail catalogue to clients in 1845 – a publication still released annually as the Blue Book featuring the world’s rarest jewels. In 2001, Pantone established “1837 Blue” as an official color.
Bottom line? It’s cool when your jewelry store designed the Great Seal of its home country, has the world’s most popular engagement ring style as its namesake and even has its own color.
Tiffany’s name is recognized around the world. It’s like saying Mercedes, or Rolls Royce. To that end, there is a prestige factor associated with showing anyone a piece of jewelry from Tiffany’s – whether it’s a delicate engagement ring or a masculine watch. Like other prestige brands – Cartier, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bvlgari, etc. – Tiffany & Company designs bring instant recognition in distinctive cases. And, while a diamond engagement ring may not be immediately recognized as coming from Tiffany & Co when it’s on the finger, there’s no doubt the wearer will know what’s coming when the blue box is presented, and little doubt that the wearer’s friends, family, and others will be regaled with its provenance when it’s worn.
Tiffany & Co issues the Tiffany Diamond Certificate for its loose diamonds. This is controversial for some people since other sellers, including iconic brands, use an independent gemological authority to establish grades. The company’s reasoning for internal grading is quality-control and consistency – holding themselves accountable for the accuracy of the grades. Considering that Tiffany was evaluating and selling diamonds 100 years before the current international diamond grading system and standards were established by GIA, their argument does have legs.
When you’re a big brand you go wide. Tiffany & Co has a stunning range of jewelry for which they are known, spanning rings, bracelets, earrings, pendants, necklaces, and charms in many combinations of metal alloys with natural diamonds and colored gemstones. The styles and collections are as varied as you might expect from a jeweler nearly 200 years old. They also make watches, and have expanded to offering collections of accessories, gifts and fragrances.
Ease of Use
The Tiffany & Co website is beautiful and responsive. The images and storyboards used for descriptions are first-class, beautifully shot, and post-processed in a harmonious way throughout the site – always coming back to that distinctive “1837 Blue.”
While Tiffany’s prime focus is not eCommerce, they integrated increased functionality during the 2020 pandemic. You can now search for a diamond solitaire by shape – round or square – by carat weight, color and clarity to return retail pricing. In most cases you need to contact them, but there is an “available online” toggle to identify solitaires you can add to a cart and purchase online. Tiffany posts no photos or information specific to the actual diamond you will be buying, apart from their grades, however.
- Diamond Engagement Rings
- Wedding Bands and Couples’ Rings
- Silver Jewelry
- Diamond Jewelry
- Colored Gemstone Jewelry
- Featured Jewelry Collections
- Watches, Housewares, Accessories, Fragrances & Gifts
- Customer service available 24/7
- Free domestic ground shipping
- Paid next-day delivery shipping
- Financing options
- 30-day inspection period with free return shipping, if needed
- Diamond expert consultation
- Personal shopper assistance
- Lifetime jewelry cleaning onsite
Tiffany offers more than 50 engagement ring options. Their ring builder permits you to match it with a loose diamond from their inventory, size it, and order it online – with some exceptions. The ring builder includes three stone rings with colored gemstone sides, selected according to Tiffany’s quality standards.
Tiffany offers a collection of unique, high-value pieces of auction-worthy caliber, examples of which are regularly seen adorning celebrities at red carpet events. Examples from their high jewelry collection can be seen on the website, but you will need to contact them for precise details and pricing.
Other Fine Jewelry
Tiffany has distinctive programs and initiatives which are not common to all sellers.
Full Brand Experience
Any membership in the Tiffany family is a full-on brand experience ranging from a sterling silver key ring to accessories like a silver and brass whiskey flask. From unique jewelry pieces costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to shot glasses, the Tiffany store offers a wide range of items.
Tiffany prides itself on their selectivity in all of a diamond’s Cs after carat weight. They only sell diamonds graded I color and higher (it used to be H and higher) and VS2 clarity and higher. They exclude diamonds with chips, extra facets, knots and sell no diamonds with visible inclusions. They take pride in their cut quality standards, boasting that they reject 99.96% of the world’s polished diamonds. The range of cut proportions they permit is strict by industry standards, but not nearly as strict or consistent as some of the cut focused super ideal diamond brands which now exist.
Tiffany True square diamonds
In 2019 Tiffany introduced an innovative square cut diamond, and a modern geometric setting concept called Tiffany True. The fancy shaped diamond is a square, mixed-cut stone with brilliant (kite-shaped) facets on the pavilion and a step cut design, using flat facets on the crown in a style reminiscent of the legendary Asscher cut.
Diamond Origin Tracing
In 2020 Tiffany announced a program detailing the provenance of the diamonds they sell, beginning with country and mine of origin. The narrative includes each component from mine to market: Where the diamond was unearthed, where it was cut, polished & graded, and details about its incorporation into the finished piece of jewelry.
High Jewelry: Collection Gemstones
Tiffany’s selectivity of colored gemstones for their high jewelry collection is confined to the top fraction of 1% of all colored stones on earth. They do not perform even routine heat treatments or other enhancements which are commonplace throughout the industry, making every colored gemstone they offer an exceptional rarity.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Tiffany is a founding member of the Responsible Jewelry Council, as well as the Colored Gemstone Working Group – organizations committed to improving human welfare and environmental preservation in channels such as diamond, gemstone, and precious metal mining. Tiffany has committed to carbon neutrality worldwide, with a published sustainability plan, supplier Code of Conduct and foundations benefitting humanitarian and environmental concerns.
The question should be: Is the recipient’s heart set on Tiffany & Co? If the answer is yes, and you’re reading this from your yacht on the French Riviera, then jet to a store and go for it. We’d still like you to be fully informed, however, so be sure to browse our other reviews and education pages. If your budget is stretched to the limit we can help you find Tiffany quality (or better in terms of diamond cut quality) for less than half the cost with certain online sellers. If that seems like a more prudent path it may be helpful to educate the recipient as well. The same breathtaking sparkle and jewelry quality can be had elsewhere, while applying those savings toward a honeymoon, a house down-payment, etc. And remember, Tiffany & Co offers everything from earrings to accessories so your recipient can still become a member of the blue box club, regardless of where you get the engagement ring. There is no wrong decision here. However, whatever the decision is, we want you to make it fully informed, deliberately and proudly.
The blue box needs no introduction, but it has an interesting history.
That distinctive color was selected by founder Charles Lewis Tiffany for the cover of their annual “Blue Book,” which was first published in 1845. According to the Tiffany & Co website, this color may have been chosen because of the popularity of turquoise gemstones in 19th-century jewelry, at the time Tiffany arrived on the scene. Turquoise was also a favorite of Victorian brides – who often gave their attendants a brooch of turquoise as a wedding day memento – so its association with love and marriage-gifting was strong.
In 2001, Pantone established “1837 Blue” as an official color, returning full-circle to Charles Tiffany’s original reasons for selecting the color, and reinforcing it not simply as a color with historic ties to love and gifting, but as a Tiffany-specific color – in recognition of Tiffany’s contributions to history.
The information in this review is current, to the best of our knowledge, as of June 1, 2021.
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