Tiffany & Co. was just acquired by LVMH in a massive, $16.2 billion deal. Here’s how the iconic jewellery chain became one of America’s most beloved luxury brands.

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Audrey Hepburn, star of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’ Paramount/Getty Images

After nearly two centuries of outfitting America’s most stylish and influential figures with bedazzled accoutrements, Tiffany & Co. made history this week when it was purchased by LVMH in its most expensive acquisition to date.

On Monday, the luxury conglomerate announced it had struck a deal to purchase the iconic jeweller for a whopping $US16.2 billion. The acquisition marks the culmination of weeks of speculation over whether Tiffany would accept a bid from LVMH, which first made an offer for $US14.5 billion earlier this month. The deal is a strategic move by LVMH to better compete against its peers Kering and Richemont in the luxury jewellery category, embedding Tiffany within the company’s already robust 75-company umbrella.

Tiffany & Co. has a storied history, beginning as a New York-based stationery and fine goods store in 1837. US presidents have sought out the jeweller over the years, starting with Abraham Lincoln and first lady Mary Todd Lincoln. In 1886 Tiffany & Co. introduced the concept of the diamond engagement ring as we know it today.

Over time, Tiffany & Co. became synonymous with the lavish lifestyles of the Gilded Age. It later evolved to become an integral part of pop culture, with movies like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” as well as a beloved red carpet accessory among Hollywood’s elite. Today it has more than 200 stores across the globe and a voracious fan base.

We took a closer look at how Tiffany & Co. became the luxury powerhouse it is today.


Tiffany & Co. was founded in 1837 by 25-year-old Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young. Tiffany used a $US1,000 advance from his father to open the store.

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Tiffany & Co. in 1899. Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Source: Tiffany & Co.


Tiffany & Co. specialised in silver and was notable for using the 92% pure British standard method of producing its ornate products.

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A dressing table set with fine silver pieces from Tiffany & Co. Peter Nyholm/Condé Nast via Getty Images

Here’s an early Tiffany & Co. newspaper ad.

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Tiffany began its rise to prominence after becoming the first American company to win the grand prize for silver craftsmanship at the 1867 Paris World’s Fair.

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A rendering of the Tiffany exhibit at the 1867 Paris World’s fair. Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Source: Tiffany & Co.


Tiffany continued to garner attention when it acquired the world’s largest yellow diamond in 1878.

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Dubbed the Tiffany diamond, the gem was found in a Kimberley diamond mine in South Africa and was cut from 287.42 carats to 128.54 carats with 82 facets by gemologist Dr. George Frederick Kunz.

Source: Tiffany & Co.


In 1845, Tiffany began publishing the Blue Book, a catalogue of the company’s most ornate gems and silver.

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Source: Tiffany & Co.


The Blue Book was the first catalogue to be distributed across the country and is the origin of Tiffany’s signature blue branding.

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In 1886, Tiffany introduced the concept of the modern diamond engagement ring.

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A model wears a Tiffany engagement ring in a 1936 edition of Vogue. Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast via Getty Images

Source: Tiffany & Co.


Another Vogue model shows off the Tiffany engagement ring.

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By the early 1900s, Tiffany was already beloved among politicians and celebrities alike.

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Franklin Roosevelt purchased a Tiffany engagement ring for Eleanor Roosevelt in 1904. It was quickly becoming a go-to spot for notable high-society families including the Vanderbilts, Astors, and Whitneys.

Source: Tiffany & Co.


Over the next few decades, Tiffany established itself as the “world’s diamond authority,” thanks to its introducing shoppers to precious gems from around the world.

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The Fifth Avenue store became a go-to destination in Manhattan.

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Tiffany soon became synonymous with the nation’s most fashionable women, including famed magazine columnist and editor Diana Vreeland.

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Photographer Richard Avedon and Vreeland supervise a fashion shoot at Tiffany & Co. in 1955. Sherman/Getty Images

Before long, you couldn’t even crack open a magazine without seeing models draped in Tiffany jewellery. Tiffany was everywhere, from the pages of Glamour magazine …

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Models wearing Tiffany & Co. jewellery in a 1958 edition of Glamour magazine. Sante Forlano/Condé Nast via Getty Images

… to issues of Mademoiselle.

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A model poses in Tiffany & Co. alongside actor Sean Connery in a 1963 issue of Mademoiselle. Duane Michals/Condé Nast via Getty Images

Tiffany was also a favourite of First Lady Jackie Kennedy, seen here wearing a Tiffany brooch gifted to her by President John F. Kennedy following the birth of their son.

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The piece was designed by Jean Schlumberger, and today it exists in the Kennedy Library in Boston.

Source: InStyle


Tiffany & Co. further exploded into popular culture with the release of the classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961.

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Based on the book by Truman Capote and starring Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a romantic comedy chronicling the life of Manhattan socialite Holly Golightly.


To commemorate the start of filming, Henry B. Platt — the great-grandson of founder Charles Lewis Tiffany — affixed a Tiffany necklace on Audrey Hepburn.

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True to its title, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” features several scenes both inside and outside of the store.

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Tiffany & Co. was also featured in the 1967 thriller “Rosemary’s Baby,” starring Mia Farrow. In the scene, Farrow’s character visits Tiffany & Co. to order birth announcement cards.

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Farrow practices her lines between takes for a scene set at Tiffany & Co. Frank Castoral/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

In 1967, Tiffany was asked to design the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the NFL Super Bowl. It has created the trophy every year since.

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The next two decades ushered in a wave of fresh designers who each brought their unique flare to jewellery design, including Jean Schlumberger.

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Jean Schlumberger at work in Vogue in 1971. Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast via Getty Images

Elsa Peretti joined in the 1970s, bringing “design with an elegant simplicity based on natural forms.”

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Source: Tiffany & Co.


Paloma Picasso, the youngest daughter of Pablo Picasso, came to Tiffany in the 1980s and was best known for bold, flashy pieces.

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In the 1980s, Tiffany began to expand into new product areas, including fragrances.

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Model Kim Alexis presenting Tiffany perfume to the press in 1987. Yvonne Hemsey/Liaison

During the 1990s and leading into the new millennium, Tiffany continued to hold a prominent role in popular culture and American history.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton TIM SLOAN/AFP via Getty Images

In 1999, Hillary Rodham Clinton celebrated the release of a new commemorative silver dollar coin designed by Tiffany & Co.


In the 2000s, Tiffany continued to be a staple among fashion’s elite, including Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

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Anna Wintour attends New York Fashion Week in 2005 at a show set at Tiffany & Co. Trish Lease/Getty Images

It also retained its prominence in Hollywood.

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Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi at a 2006 Tiffany & Co. event in Beverly Hills. David Livingston/Getty Images

In 2012, Tiffany & Co. celebrated its 175th anniversary.

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Today, Tiffany & Co. remains beloved by Americans, including Hollywood starlets who are constantly seen wearing Tiffany designs on the red carpet.

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In the modern era, Tiffany has also experimented with new forms of retail, including adding cafes to select stores.

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Additionally, Tiffany has brought on fresh Hollywood faces to rep the brand, including Elle Fanning.

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It’s hard to say what the future holds for Tiffany & Co. under LVMH, but we expect at least another century of greatness for the iconic jeweller.

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