Cover The six legacy gemstones of Tiffany & Co

In 1876, Tiffany & Co. embarked on an entirely new journey—a lifelong quest to discover the rarest and most exquisite coloured gemstones that adorn their most fabulous jewellery

1. Turquoise

Signifying good fortune, protection and tranquillity, this smooth and silky gemstone’s hallmark colour is synonymous with Tiffany & Co.’s signature blue. First offered in the 1860s, it was during the Gilded Age that Tiffany’s turquoise-and-pearl brooch sets became a favourite wedding gift of grooms to present to their brides.

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2. Montana Sapphires

Discovered by one of the world’s leading gemologists Dr George Kunz, these vibrant blue sapphires from Montana were displayed during the company’s gold-medal exhibit at the 1889 Paris World’s Fair. It was a milestone for American gemstones as it was the country’s first major presentation. In 1990, Tiffany & Co. won the grand prize at the Paris fair that year with their floral corsages, one of them being a nine-inch iris brooch of Montana sapphires, demantoid garnets and diamonds. Till today, the deep, translucent blue of wildflowers, sea and sky reflected in these gemstones is used to craft beautifully intricate Tiffany pieces.

Read more: 5 Things To Consider When Buying Coloured Gemstones

3. Morganite

Named after financier John Pierpont Morgan, this pink-hued beryl was discovered in Madagascar and introduced by Tiffany in 1910. A leading figure of the Gilded Age, Morgan was a major collector of coloured gemstones and one of the brand’s most devoted clients. He commissioned Dr Kunz to assemble several collections of gems, which was eventually donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems was then established.

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4. Kunzite

Named after Dr Kunz himself, this lilac pink stone was found in California and delivered to the gemologist. It was apparently a variety of spudomene, a notable gemstone that hadn’t surfaced for many years. Known for his unbridled enthusiasm for minerals, the gemologist had apparently braved the Ural mountains of Russia, the deserts of Africa and even the steppes of Siberia to find exotic gemstones for Tiffany.

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5. Tsavorite

Known for its rich, viridian colour, the tsavorite stone was discovered at the Tsavo National Park in 1970, near the borders of Kenya and Tanzania. Tiffany, having always been passionate in their pursuit for undiscovered treasures, took interest and identified it as an exceedingly rare garnet distinguished by an intensely rich green hue. Henry B Platt, then president of Tiffany, named it tsavorite and introduced it in 1974.

Read also: How to Buy Coloured Diamonds

6. Tanzanite

Lauded for its deep, transparent blue that reflects the sea’s depth of colours, this extremely rare gemstone symbolises the peak of glamour and style among many of Tiffany’s curated collections. While introduced by Tiffany in 1968, this unique variety of mineral zoisite was discovered in 1967 by a Masai tribesman at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. A momentous find, this was an entirely new species of gemstone that was named after its country of origin. To this day, Tanzania remains the only known source of the stone.


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