The Tiffany & Co. Group Director (and 24-year veteran!) looks back on the company’s storied past—and anticipates nothing but a sparkling future.
Your family has been in the jewelry business for four generations.
I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by family who all worked in the jewelry industry. My family’s jewelry store in Huntsville, Texas opened in 1893. I have had a passion for gemstones since I was a little girl. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, I moved to Los Angeles and earned a Graduate Gemology Certificate from the Gemological Institute of America.
When you attend weddings, what is your go-to gift?
I love giving gifts I know the recipient will cherish. One of my favorite wedding gifts is a sterling silver frame, hand-engraved with the bride and groom’s names and wedding date.
What is your favorite engagement ring in the store?
It’s still the classic Tiffany setting, introduced in 1886. The six-prong “Tiffany” setting lifts the diamond above the band and into the light. The band is elegantly tapered so the viewer’s eye focuses primarily on the diamond. It will never go out of style.
Is there a telltale sign that a groom is serious about his relationship?
You can tell how serious a man is about his relationship in the way he describes his girlfriend and how he talks about what style ring he thinks she will like. When a gentleman is selecting an engagement ring, there is sincerity and excitement in his voice and a twinkle in his eyes.
What is the next jewelry or engagement trend?
We are seeing a heightened interest in colored diamonds and colored gemstones as engagement rings. Yellow diamonds are very popular and we offer a number of engagement ring styles featuring them. This year, Tiffany will be launching our new 175th Anniversary jewelry collection that includes rare pink diamonds.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you wear all the time?
My Jean Schlumberger 16-stone diamond band ring. Jean Schlumberger is one of Tiffany’s four exclusive designers and this ring is one of his best-known designs. Most of the time, I wear it as a right-hand ring. When I travel, I often wear it in lieu of my wedding ring.
What does it look like behind the scenes at Tiffany in Fashion Valley?
The backroom is a busy area filled with our signature Tiffany Blue boxes. We also have a private salon where clients can enjoy a more personal shopping experience. In fact, many proposals have taken place in our private salon.
What are some things most people don’t know about Tiffany?
In 1885, we redesigned the Great Seal of the United States, which is seen on official government documents including the one-dollar bill. Tiffany was the first American company to employ the 925/1000 standard of silver purity, a ratio later adopted by Congress as the American sterling standard. The U.S. government commissioned Tiffany to design the Congressional Medal of Honor, which is the highest military honor, and was in use by the Navy from 1919-1942.
Tiffany turns 175 this year. How are you celebrating?
In February, we launched a new metal called RUBEDO™. It is a combination of silver, gold and copper and is available as part of our “1837” collection. For this year only, the signature of Charles Lewis Tiffany will be stamped onto