First introduced in the 1970s, the cuffs designed by Elsa Peretti marked a revolution in Tiffany & Co's history

American jeweller Tiffany & Co’s storied heritage and its trove of archival pieces have no shortage of jewellery icons that have made their mark in history, but one classic piece remains relevant today, with no sign of its popularity waning.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the house’s Elsa Peretti Bone Cuffs—originally available in gold, rose gold, and sterling silver—are now available in a special edition collection reimagined in vibrant red, blue and green finishes over copper, a nod towards the now 80-year-old designer’s love of colour.

The iconic Bone cuffs were first conceived by Peretti in the 1970s, in the early days of her jewellery design career. Formerly a fashion model in Barcelona and New York, Peretti began creating jewellery for a number of fashion designers in Manhattan in 1969. Her first designs for American fashion designer Giorgio di Sant’Angelo were an instant success and cemented her signature style—one that primarily toys with silver and organic forms.

By the time Peretti joined Tiffany & Co as an independent designer in 1974, she already had a number of accolades to her name, including the 1971 Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award for Jewellery. Her debut collection sold out on the day it was launched, elevating sterling silver to luxury status overnight.

“The day Elsa Peretti became a part of Tiffany & Co was the day we entered a new era in our history of design innovation,” describes Michael J. Kowalski, former chairman and CEO of the jewellery house.

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The Bone cuff, especially, was revered and coveted for its ergonomic sensuality. Sculpted to conform seamlessly to the left and right wrists, it can be worn alone or as a pair.

According to Peretti, the organic form of the cuff was drawn from her memories as a young girl in Rome and her time spent in Barcelona near Antonio Gaudí’s Casa Mila.

“My love for bones has nothing macabre about it. As a child, I kept on visiting the cemetery of a seventeenth-century Capuchin church with my nanny. All the rooms were decorated with human bones. My mother had to send me back, time and again, with a stolen bone in my little purse. Things that are forbidden remain with you forever,” she explained in her catalogue for 1990 exhibition Fifteen of My Fifty With Tiffany.

Peretti went on to design a number of coveted collections over the decade, including Bottle, Open Heart and Bean—all of which are still available at Tiffany & Co.

Bone, however, remains a signature icon, seen on the wrists of A-listers like Liza Minnelli (one of its first wearers), Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, and Angelina Jolie. It made an appearance in the opening scene of Sex and the City (2008) on the wrist of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw, and will soon be gracing the silver screen again, worn by Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince in Wonder Woman 1984 (2020).

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Above Gal Gadot as Diana Prince in Wonder Woman 1984 (Image: Warner Bros)

The special edition Elsa Peretti Bone cuff will be available at the Tiffany & Co Takashimaya S.C. boutique or via personal shopping service at 1800-TIFFANY (1800-843-3269) and email in August 2020.

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