Tiffany & Co. unveils most expensive design in history – WWD

Tiffany & Co. asserts its expertise in fine jewelry by unveiling its most expensive piece of all time.

The World’s Fair necklace was unveiled at a Tiffany event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Sunday and is adorned with a total of 180 carats of diamonds, all set in platinum. At its center is an 80-carat, D-colored oval shape and an internal flawless diamond that Tiffany has dubbed “The Empire Diamond,” after the New York icon in the jeweler’s hometown.

And it is currently available for sale. While Tiffany declined to reveal the price of the collar sticker, industry experts estimate it would cost between $ 20 million and $ 30 million. It is the most expensive piece in the history of the jeweler after its famous “Tiffany Diamond” of 128.54 carats, which is not for sale and has been labeled by Tiffany as “priceless”. While the Empire Diamond is on sale, Tiffany is hoping whoever buys it will agree to loan the piece for special exhibitions of the brand.

Plans for the necklace were originally revealed by WWD in January. The design is inspired by the Tiffany necklace made for the 1939 World’s Fair, which was originally set with an aquamarine stone weighing over 200 carats.

The Tiffany & Co.
Chelsie Craig / WWD

When the 1939 World’s Fair was held at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York’s Queens borough, Tiffany put on an extravagant display of new jewelry expressly designed in the American Art Deco aesthetic on which the jeweler developed its name.

In 2020, Tiffany’s archivists unearthed an original sketch for the necklace, depicted not with an aquamarine but a very large diamond.

For Victoria Reynolds, chief gemologist at Tiffany & Co., the discovery of the sketch was a fluke. “Shortly later we were presented with the opportunity to work with an incredible 80 carat diamond and I looked at the diamond and thought, ‘This is how we re-imagine that [World’s Fair] necklace, ”she said.

The 1939 iteration of the necklace was set with a 200-carat aquamarine stone, 429 diamonds and was priced at $ 28,000 (or about $ 557,000 by today’s value). In contrast, today’s version has a total of 578 diamonds, including the Empire diamond, as well as 353 round brilliant stones and 224 custom-cut baguettes. The piece took two years to complete its initial design phase.

As has been customary for Tiffany & Co. diamonds since mid-2020, the Empire Diamond is fully traceable – it was mined in Botswana, cut and polished in Israel, and set in Tiffany’s New York workshop.

Seeking to evolve the design of the World’s Fair necklace, Tiffany included an element of versatility. The Empire diamond can be taken out and mounted on a ring by carefully unscrewing a few small fasteners around the stone. Whoever purchases the design will be offered lifetime service – a Tiffany jeweler will remain on call to convert the piece from a necklace to a ring or vice versa.

The Empire Diamond mounted on a

The Empire diamond can be taken out and mounted on a ring by carefully unscrewing a few small fasteners around the stone.
Chelsie Craig / WWD

“It’s a new twist, something to add and improve from a technical point of view. We have taken into account the incredible skills of our jewelers as well as modern engineering to [evolve the piece]”said Reynolds.

The World’s Fair necklace was unveiled on Sunday evening in Dubai, where Tiffany hosted the fourth stop of her high jewelry Blue Book event to sell her most extraordinary creations of the year. The concept launched in Shanghai in April, traveled to New York City in September and Los Angeles in October. The Dubai Blue Book event, held in the ICD City’s luxury multi-purpose building Brookfield Place, was held in conjunction with Dubai Expo 2021.

Tiffany CEO Anthony Ledru said fine jewelry is more important than ever to the jeweler and the category is experiencing increasing growth in global markets. “We are seeing a very dynamic trend for fine jewelry and are experiencing the highest level of high note transactions in the history of our brand.

“This year’s Blue Book collection was very well received, especially with our renewed emphasis on the historical works of Jean Schlumberger. Money can’t buy history and money can’t buy style – our customers know it. As a result, we had a record year in China and the United States for our fine jewelry collection. Dubai is the next natural destination for us.

While in previous years Tiffany had hosted a grand gala to unveil her Blue Book collection in New York City by flying priority collectors to see her latest designs, travel restrictions linked to the pandemic prompted the jeweler to consider a more localized.

For Ledru, this strategy reconnects with Tiffany’s roots and has been so successful that he hopes to implement it more widely in the years to come. “Our founders have traveled the world for international fairs since Tiffany’s beginnings – a practice that was not common then,” he said. “Being present in all of the world’s key markets is in our company’s DNA and we will continue this heritage. We have a large global footprint and we will build on that in every market with specialist events… This will give clients the opportunity to engage with Tiffany’s authority in diamonds and colored gemstones on a more level. respondent.

The Dubai event marked Tiffany’s first Blue Book event in the Middle East. Generally, in recent months, the luxury market has refocused its attention on the region, with events and marketing activities particularly anchored in Dubai.

Regarding this, Ledru said: “Dubai is a city of the future and a city of extravagance… There is a respect for heritage and a passion for the future, innovation and invention in Dubai – all of them. things that are essential to Tiffany. Our customers in the Middle East are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the finest quality gemstones and diamonds, set in the most intricate craftsmanship and design. Although this is the first time that we will be presenting the Blue Book collection in the Middle East, these markets will continue to be a priority for Tiffany going forward. “

The World’s Fair necklace is Tiffany’s latest high-profile initiative since joining LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Two weeks ago, the jeweler unveiled a collaboration with the streetwear juggernaut Supreme. Increasingly, Tiffany is emphasizing its fine jewelry designs in its advertising campaigns and social media posts to increase brand resonance. The jeweler has photographed these precious pieces on celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Jay-Z and Beyoncé in advertising campaigns aimed at young buyers.

Reynolds, who leads the design and creation of Tiffany’s most treasured designs, said, “I think this actually strengthens our position as King of Diamonds for the past 185 years. There is nothing new about our commitment to sell incredible stones with extraordinary design and craftsmanship. It’s the continuation of an incredible legacy and story… It’s part of our DNA and part of who we will be as we evolve with so many exciting things that lie ahead.