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10 Surprising Facts About Tiffany & Co.

Unfolding the secrets behind the revered brand

If there’s ever a place to really enjoy a Danish and a coffee, it’s outside the shining windows of Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly knew it in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the iconic film that arguably turned the centuries-old jewelry powerhouse into a household name. But that’s hardly the most impressive accolade on the gem giant’s resume. (Let’s not forget, they own a shade of blue—Pantone No. 1837, to be exact.)

Why exactly is the world so infatuated with Tiffany & Co.? A just-released documentary, Crazy About Tiffany’s, explores the answer to that very question. The company’s storied history is intricately detailed, from inventing the modern-day engagement ring (Tiffany Setting) to sourcing its infamous yellow diamond. A-listers like Fran Leibowitz, Katie Couric—who threw a Tiffany-themed 50th birthday bash—Baz Luhrmann, Jessica Biel and Rachel Zoe also weigh in on what makes patrons swoon over pieces inside those little blue boxes.

Below, check out 10 little-known facts about Tiffany & Co.

1. Charles Lewis Tiffany and John F. Young founded the company in 1837 as Tiffany & Young. It originally began as a stationery and fancy goods store with a $1,000 advance from Tiffany’s father.

2. When the French monarchy was overthrown in 1848, Young purchased a selection of the crown jewels, as well as a jewel-encrusted corset believed to belong to Marie Antoinette.

3. During the Civil War, Tiffany produced ​thousands of ​ceremonial swords. 

4. The storefront on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan has been the flagship location since 1940.

5. The largest Tiffany clock in the world—about 13 feet in diameter—resides at the top of Grand Central Terminal.

6. They were the first company to create a mail-order catalogue (Blue Book) in 1845.

7. The company designs the NFL’s Vince Lombardi Trophy.

8. In 1885, Tiffany redesigned the Great Seal of the United States, which appears on the one-dollar bill.

9. A Tiffany Blue Box (that term is trademarked, too) is only provided with the purchase of merchandise.

10. The Tiffany Diamond—a 128.54-carat fancy yellow diamond—is one of the largest to ever be discovered. It currently resides inside the NYC flagship store.