Tiffany & Co. is a world-renowned jewelry store known for innovative jewelry designs, expert craftsmanship, and legendary style. The original Tiffany engagement ring design came out in 1886, becoming the blueprint for the engagement rings we know today. Tiffany engagement rings are also known as the ultimate symbol of love and commitment.
In this article, we’ll go through the complete history of Tiffany engagement rings and what they stand for today.
What Is the Tiffany Ring?
The first Tiffany’s store was opened in New York City in 1837. In the beginning, it was labeled as a fancy goods and stationery store. The person responsible for Tiffany & Co.’s conception is Charles Lewis Tiffany, otherwise known as the king of diamonds. Introducing luxury jewelry to the U.S., he was the first jeweler to make the diamond ring a symbol of love.
Tiffany’s stands behind many extravagant novelties in America. In 1886, Tiffany’s introduced the Tiffany Timer, the first stopwatch in the U.S. Today, you can find various luxury goods at Tiffany’s, including jewelry, porcelain, fragrances, sterling silver, crystals, accessories, and watches.
Let’s not forget about the famous Tiffany Yellow Diamond, which weighed an astonishing 287.42 carats before it was cut. Discovered in 1878 in South Africa, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds in the world. Only four people have worn this diamond so far, including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Mrs. E. Sheldon Whitehouse, and Audrey Hepburn in the famous 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The diamond’s permanent home is the Tiffany & Co. flagship store in New York City.
Tiffany’s greatest milestone is the iconic 1886 Tiffany engagement ring. Charles Lewis Tiffany designed the famous Tiffany Setting – a six-prong setting that allows the center stone to float on top of the ring. This setting better accentuates the diamond and increases its shine.
What sets Tiffany engagement rings apart from other engagement rings of that time is their simple yet classic look. While other jewelers focused on ornate details, Charles Lewis Tiffany wanted to make the diamond the star of the show. This ring setting revolutionized jewelry design, becoming so popular that Tiffany & Co. had to keep warning their customers about counterfeits. It became known as the Tiffany Setting.
History of Tiffany Engagement Rings Throughout the Past Century
When you imagine an engagement ring, a picture of the Tiffany ring most likely comes to mind. That’s because this iconic setting was so popular when it came out that it became the model for many engagement ring designs even to this day.
Engagement rings with outdated designs featured diamonds in bezel settings. The bezels hold the diamond securely, but also hide half of the diamond’s height. Tiffany engagement rings are prong-set, drawing more attention to the diamond. A prong setting also makes the diamond appear bigger and brighter. Tiffany engagement rings are solitaire rings. Even though more than 130 years have passed since this engagement ring design came out, it still remains the most popular ring design.
Over a century, the Tiffany Setting went through minor changes, as some designers tried experimenting with variants. However, the six-pronged style of setting remained the same. There’s a reason the Tiffany Setting remained and will continue to be a classic. People love it.
In 2018, Tiffany’s introduced the Tiffany True collection, which was the first new engagement ring design in nearly a decade. Tiffany’s describes engagement rings from this collection as icons of modern love. These rings come with a discreet T hallmark in the setting. What sets the Tiffany True collection apart from traditional Tiffany engagement rings is the number of prongs. The new collection features rings with four prongs, whereas the original Tiffany Setting has six prongs.
From 2014 to 2020, Tiffany’s focused on their trademark Tiffany T and Tiffany T1 collections. These are simple bands that are shaped like the letter T at both ends, symbolizing the house of Tiffany. Even though the Tiffany T collection is very popular, it’s still overshadowed by the Tiffany Setting, which is more suited for engagement rings.
What Does a Tiffany Style Engagement Ring Mean?
If you’re planning to buy a Tiffany Setting ring and you come across the term “Tiffany-style engagement ring,” be careful. Tiffany-style rings aren’t original Tiffany engagement rings, they’re just made to look like them. Tiffany-style engagement rings are solitaire rings that are set in six prongs, but they don’t come with the Tiffany & Co. logo on the inside.
Keep in mind that just because a jewelry store offers a Tiffany-style engagement ring, it doesn’t mean that it’s a low-quality ring. Since the Tiffany Setting is a model for a lot of engagement rings, it’s normal that they look alike, or even identical. Not to mention that the condition of the diamond determines the overall quality of the ring, not the setting. Of course, this doesn’t mean the setting doesn’t play an important role; it’s just secondary compared to the diamond.
There are a couple of reasons you may want to consider getting a Tiffany-style ring. A Tiffany ring and a Tiffany-style ring can look identical, but the price can be significantly different. You can even get a Tiffany-style ring for half the price. To be more precise, while a 1-carat Tiffany ring can cost from $14,000, a one-carat Tiffany-style ring can cost from $3,000 to $7,500, depending on its quality.
Tiffany-style rings are also more available than Tiffany rings, which are only sold at Tiffany & Co. stores. You can find Tiffany-style rings in nearly every jewelry store. Tiffany rings usually have a brilliant cut, whereas Tiffany-style rings are available in a number of other cuts and designs. If the brand is important to you or your loved one, you should stick to original Tiffany engagement rings.
Shop for Vintage Tiffany Rings
Here are some of the vintage Tiffany and Co. Engagement Rings from our collection. If you are looking for a specific ring, please feel free to email us.
Vintage Tiffany Platinum BraceletContact For Price
Vintage Tiffany Schlumberger BraceletContact For Price
Tiffany Emerald Ring. Circa 1950, Vintage, Mid Century.$9,000
2.33 Carat Tiffany Ring$45,000
Tiffany Fancy Yellow Diamond RingContact For Price
Tiffany Wedding Band (Polished Finish). 4.6mm$2,200
Tiffany Wedding Band (Matte Finish). 4.8mm$2,200
1.10ct Tiffany Ring$20,000
5.92ct Tiffany Diamond RingContact Us
Click here to view our entire collection of Vintage Tiffany Rings.
Variation Styles of the Tiffany Ring
The traditional Tiffany engagement ring has the standard design: six prongs, a platinum ring, a high center stone, solitaire settings, and no additional diamonds on the shank. All Tiffany Setting engagement rings feature a triple excellent cut, which is the highest grade established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This means that it contains the highest level of brilliance.
While Tiffany’s has been consistent with its design, some variation styles of the Tiffany ring are available on the website and in various flagship stores. They can make the classic setting look slightly more interesting without changing the ring’s timeless design.
Pavé Tiffany Setting
If you’re a huge fan of Tiffany engagement rings but the classic Tiffany Setting may be too simple for your taste, the pavé setting may be a better option for you. In this setting, the surface of the ring is paved with additional diamonds, which are placed close together. The pavé setting is also known as the bead setting, since the adjacent diamonds are connected with beads.
Pavé setting engagement rings are the ideal solution for those who want a little bit more sparkle.
Channel-Set Diamond Band
If you believe in the saying “bigger is better,” the channel-set diamond band variant of the classic solitaire design might be worth looking at. What makes this setting different from the regular Tiffany Setting is a wide band that has two parallel walls of metal. Even though this type of ring may seem bulky, it doesn’t look too large when you put it on.
Channel-set diamonds are a great fit for those who like bling and those who want their engagement ring to capture the attention of everyone in the room.
18k Gold Setting
While most Tiffany engagement rings are sold in platinum, they’re also available in 18k gold. You can choose between 18k yellow gold and 18k rose gold. Platinum is more expensive than gold, and it can blend in with the diamond. For those who like to combine different colors or simply prefer gold, a Tiffany ring with a gold setting can make all the difference.
Tiffany Three-Stone Ring
Solitaire rings are beautiful and elegant, but for someone who wants a little more, how about a three-stone ring? Check out this Tiffany three-stone ring that’s set in four prongs and flanked by two pear-cut diamonds on each side. This ring looks stunning no matter what angle you look at it, and it has that special effect that makes it stand out.
Tiffany Non-Diamond Ring
The Tiffany Setting is all about the setting, not the diamond. If you don’t want a traditional diamond engagement ring, but you like the Tiffany Setting, you can get a ring with a different gemstone. For example, this Tiffany ruby ring is just as beautiful as a diamond ring, and it has that pop of color you might be looking for.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Tiffany Engagement Ring
Buying a diamond engagement ring is not something you should rush through, especially if you have your sights set on a Tiffany engagement ring. Here are the main pros and cons to consider if you’re interested in Tiffany engagement rings.
Pros of Tiffany Engagement Ring
Tiffany engagement rings are classic, and they will never go out of style. They usually feature a brilliant-cut diamond, but they are available in other cuts as well. Once placed in this setting, diamonds are sometimes called “the most brilliant.”
If you plan to buy a Tiffany engagement ring, you can expect only the finest quality. The reason behind this is the strict selection process of gems. The gemologists who work at Tiffany & Co. reject 99.96% of gemstone-grade diamonds they receive. The diamonds they end up choosing have to meet high requirements to be made into fine jewelry.
When it comes to the most important quality-determining factors of the diamond, the four Cs (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight), Tiffany diamond rings pass with flying colors. Tiffany engagement rings come in a variety of styles, not just the classic Tiffany Setting that may be too simple for you.
We also have to mention the name that comes with these rings. There are few people who would reject an engagement ring from Tiffany’s.
Cons of Tiffany Engagement Ring
The only real issue with prong-set engagement rings is that the diamonds are more susceptible to wear and tear. This is because the diamond is physically exposed to a higher degree. If the diamond’s prongs are properly finished, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Since we’re talking about Tiffany engagement rings, which are of the highest quality, the rings are durable enough to withstand years of use.
As beautiful as the Tiffany Setting is, it may not be for everyone. If you’re looking for an extravagant diamond engagement ring with intricate details and additional diamonds, there are other Tiffany & Co. rings that are a better fit. The Tiffany Setting is more suited for those who want a simple and elegant solitaire diamond ring.
Another reason a Tiffany engagement ring might not be for you is that they tend to command a higher price. Even for the simplest, 1-carat Tiffany engagement rings, you can expect to pay around $14,000. If the ring has details, like a pavé band or additional diamonds on the ring’s shoulders, the prices can go up to $23,400.
Should I Buy a Tiffany Ring From Tiffany’s Directly or From an Estate Seller?
If you want to buy a Tiffany engagement ring, you have two options. The first is to buy directly from Tiffany & Co. (whether it’s at a flagship store or online) or from an estate seller. The reason you won’t find Tiffany engagement rings anywhere else is because they’re patented, and they are only sold in Tiffany & Co. stores. Estate jewelry stores sell vintage and antique jewelry that has been previously owned, so it’s possible to find original Tiffany engagement rings there as well.
Whether you buy a Tiffany ring from Tiffany’s directly or from an estate seller should depend on a few factors.
Buying From Tiffany’s Directly
If you have chosen to go to Tiffany’s to buy a Tiffany engagement ring, you will surely have a wonderful experience. Walking into Tiffany’s is the dream for many brides-to-be, where you will be able to find the ring of your dreams.
However, you can expect to pay much more if you buy a ring from Tiffany’s directly. Unlike estate jewelry stores, where you can bargain for a lower price or talk about a payment plan, you won’t find any of that at Tiffany’s.
If you want a unique ring that may not be for sale at Tiffany’s anymore, you might be able to find it at an estate jewelry store.
Shopping With an Estate Seller
Taking the price into consideration, you might be wondering, are Tiffany’s engagement rings worth it? Yes, they definitely are worth it. However, as beautiful as they are, you don’t have to pay full price for a Tiffany engagement ring.
If you don’t mind wearing a vintage ring, you can find a Tiffany engagement ring for a much lower price at an estate jewelry store. Estate jewelry stores will often let you bargain for a lower price, and they offer various payment plans.
It’s important to shop with a reputable estate jewelry seller or you may end up buying a fake Tiffany ring. Consider too that the ring’s documentation might not always be available from estate jewelry stores.
For those who care about ethical jewelry, shopping for a vintage engagement ring is a better option.
That being said, some people don’t like vintage jewelry, and they want something brand new. There is nothing wrong with wanting an engagement ring that was never worn before. If this is you, then you should go to Tiffany’s directly to buy a ring.
Can I Buy Just the Tiffany Setting Without the Diamond?
You’ll very rarely find the Tiffany Setting, or at least its rendition, in the jewelry stores you go into. Some people wonder if it’s possible to buy just the Tiffany setting without the diamond. While getting only the ring’s setting is slightly tricky, it can be done, but it’s not common.
Note that you won’t be able to buy the Tiffany Setting without the diamond at Tiffany’s. You can only buy a loose diamond or the complete ring at Tiffany’s. They don’t give you the option to buy the setting alone. You may be able to buy the Tiffany Setting without the diamond from estate sellers, but this is also unlikely.
It’s always a better option to buy the complete ring with the diamond and the setting. Otherwise, you would have to know exactly which measurements to look for and a lot of other details that you shouldn’t be bothered with.
Talk to a Tiffany Jewelry Expert
In 1886, Tiffany & Co. set the standard for engagement rings. Even 130 years later, Tiffany engagement rings continue to be the most popular engagement rings in the world. New trends come and go, but the classic solitaire prong-set design will always remain timeless.
Estate Diamond Jewelry has several stunning, vintage Tiffany & Co. rings in our diamond engagement ring collection. They come in different designs and with different diamonds, so you’re sure to find one you’ll like.
If you are interested in any of these Tiffany engagement rings, or if you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact us.