Cover (Image: Tiffany & Co.)

The 180th-anniversary exhibition will feature the 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond and other precious artefacts

The Tiffany Blue Box, Tiffany Setting, and the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s—these are not merely icons of the American jewellery house, but milestones achieved through more than a century of history.

Which is why Tiffany & Co. is celebrating its 180 years of jewellery-making in a one-of-a-kind exhibition in Shanghai, China this September.

Titled Vision & Virtuosity, the showcase is “a tribute to Tiffany & Co., which has stood for masterful craftsmanship and innovative design since Charles Lewis Tiffany founded his company in New York City in 1837,” said chief executive officer Alessandro Bogliolo. The title also nods towards the two values close to the heart of Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany's largest scale exhibition in almost a century, it will feature approximately 350 artefacts from the French Crown Jewels to the celebrated Tiffany Diamond. This includes over 100 objects that will be displayed to the public for the first time.

Visitors at the exhibition will embark on a thematic journey of the jeweller’s history, divided into six chapters—Blue Is the Colour of Dreams, The World of Tiffany, The Tiffany Blue Book, Tiffany Love, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Diamonds: Miracles of Nature. Here’s what to look out for:

1. Tanzanite: The gem discovered by Tiffany & Co.

There are many jewellery houses with iconic designs, but few have introduced brand new gems to the world as Tiffany did. In 1968, the jeweller unveiled tanzanite, a year after discovering the purplish-blue stone in Tanzania. Henry Platt, then the president of Tiffany & Co., hailed it “the most beautiful blue stone to be discovered in nearly 2,000 years.” Find out more about the legacy of these coloured gemstones at the exhibit.

2. The Tiffany Blue box

How did a tiny box in robin’s egg blue become one of the most coveted packagings in the world? While the colour was first used on the cover of Tiffany’s Blue Book in 1845, it wasn’t until the Tiffany Setting was introduced that the blue box became such an icon of luxury and prestige in 1886. The box couldn’t even be bought—you could only get it for free when you purchased a piece of jewellery from Tiffany’s. Follow the evolution of the iconic box and how the jeweller is making sure it is eco-friendly and sustainable.

3. Tiffany Setting: The first modern engagement ring

Many engagement rings today feature a pronged setting that lifts the diamond off the band. This quintessential design is actually credited to founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, who introduced the innovative Tiffany Setting with six platinum prongs, amplifying the brilliant cut of the stone. Discover the role this ring has played in the world’s greatest love stories, and how the new Tiffany True engagement ring is living up to its status.

4. Audrey Hepburn’s original script

Released in 1961, Breakfast at Tiffany’s remains a cult film cemented in pop culture. The opening scene, filmed outside the Fifth Avenue flagship store was so iconic that Reed Krakoff recreated it with Elle Fanning for his ‘Believe in Dreams’ campaign last year. See Audrey Hepburn’s original script with her personal annotations, behind-the-scenes photos, and other curated objects from the film.

5. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond

The crowning jewel of Tiffany & Co., the Tiffany Yellow Diamond is one of the world’s largest yellow diamonds. The 128.54-carat gem features a cushion-shape brilliant cut with an unprecedented 82 facets—24 more compared to the traditional 58-facet cut. It has only been worn by three women: Mrs E. Sheldon Whitehouse, Audrey Hepburn, and most recently, Lady Gaga at the Oscars. See the brilliance of the Tiffany diamond for yourself, along with other treasured diamonds in the jewellery house’s collection.

Vision & Virtuosity opens to the public from September 23 to November 10, 2019 at the Fosun Foundation Shanghai in China. Ticket sales begin in September, with proceeds benefitting the Fosun Foundation and its charitable programs.

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