Fir-colored emeralds, a 95-carat melo melo pearl from a poodle-sized snail in the South China Sea, and red diamonds so rare that a stone barely exceeding the one-carat mark has A price well within the seven-figure range: these are elements of Tiffany & Co.’s new Blue Book collection, its annual release of exceptional fine jewelry pieces, which was revealed in New York this week.
In the interest of creating a new intimacy with its spendthrift customers, Tiffany has changed its formula this year to suit the current times. While the jeweler had previously held galas or large exhibitions to sell pieces from his Blue Book collection, this year he took over a well-maintained five-story townhouse just north of the Pierre Hotel – marketing a series trade fairs and exhibition spaces to entertain customers with private one-to-one meetings.
The idea was to delight loyal Tiffany collectors with the feeling of being invited to the brand’s own house, which is why the jeweler aptly named the concept his Tiffany Townhouse. Authentic turn-of-the-century Tiffany lamps and flower arrangements by Emily Thompson, in-house demonstrations with diamond setters and hand engravers from Tiffany, as well as a high-end tea set, seem to have transformed a charm. – much of the Blue Book collection sold in the early days of installation, with some customers even coming out with their newly acquired pieces.
Tiffany CEO Anthony Ledru said of the concept: âThe Tiffany Townhouse is the epitome of the lifestyle approach we take. We are delighted to offer an immersive experience that showcases the world of Tiffany & Co., showcasing our heritage and our heritage of craftsmanship. The Townhouse allows guests to interact with the home in an intimate and personal setting and also brings unrivaled art, architecture and tailor-made offerings, to show off our extraordinary Blue Book collection.
The collection is in a way a portal to the early influence of LVMH MoÃ«t Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Tiffany. Tiffany chief gemologist Victoria Reynolds said the focus is still on legacy colored gemstones like morganite and tanzanite, popularized by Tiffany founder Charles Lewis Tiffany. âPeople are familiar with rubies, emeralds and sapphires, and of course Tiffany diamonds are the best, but they don’t really know these lesser-known stones. This is where I feel so passionate about having these inherited gemstones like kunzite, morganite, and tanzanite. It’s part of the tradition of what LVMH will want to do – lift the world’s most extraordinary diamonds and colored gemstones, âshe said.
Upon entering the Tiffany Townhouse, attendees were greeted by the Tiffany Blue Basquiat painting recently featured in the jeweler’s ad campaign with Jay-Z and BeyoncÃ© Knowles. The entrance was also marked with a display case featuring the 128.54-carat Tiffany diamond, worn by Knowles in campaign footage. Tiffany has teamed up with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Sharon Coplan Hurowitz to exhibit pieces from MET 150, a portfolio of special works by contemporary artists co-published by Coplan Hurowitz.
Each townhouse floor has been showcased with elements from this year’s Blue Book offering. The residence’s music room housed pieces from Tiffany Blue Book that tackle the theme of nature’s colors – with unique designs, each of which has been in the works for two years.
Among the most special pieces in the room: a solid gold walnut-shaped travel clock; a high jewelry gold watch with 197 diamonds on its bracelet for a total of 24 carats; special Australian black opal pieces and diamond and emerald dangling earrings, in which the pear-shaped emeralds weighing 13 carats can stand out – turning into more modest diamond studs.
Embroidered on silk masks worn by every Tiffany employee on site was the silhouette of Jean Schlumberger’s signature “The Bird on a Rock” brooch, designed for Tiffany in the 1960s. This year’s Blue Book collection is composed half of creations signed by Schlumberger, a designer known for his surrealist jewelry designs, first for Elsa Schiaparelli and later for Tiffany.
âI think you might take it as a sign of our exuberance,â Reynolds said of Tiffany’s renewed interest in Schlumberger’s historic works. âI think you’ll probably see a greater emphasis on this. Schlumberger is uniquely at Tiffany & Co. and I think it really strengthens all that we are, doing unexpected and extraordinary craftsmanship.
In the Schlumberger gallery – already sold through much of its product line – Tiffany revealed a roadmap for putting a new emphasis on one of their legacy collections. While Schlumberger designs have always been an important part of the jeweler’s arsenal, Tiffany’s new management sees it as an essential advantage that deserves more resources and attention.
For Blue Book, an assortment of unique Schlumberger pieces had been either remade with stones or produced for the first time, drawing on Schlumberger’s sketch archives.
“It would have looked different if you had walked in here four days ago – once something is sold, it is sold. [and we take it off the display] – you wouldn’t want someone to see it and fall in love with it, âReynolds said.
“I think [LVMH] has been an incredible asset. They love, LOVE fine jewelry and Schlumberger and craftsmanship and authenticity. They have been so involved and passionate about it so it’s been an amazing few months. [since the acquisition]Added Reynolds, who has worked at Tiffany for 34 years.
While many stones from the collection are among the rarest and finest in the world, they have been set in a distinctly relaxed fashion.
For Reynolds, it’s part of Tiffany’s success and DNA as an American jeweler. âI think fine jewelry isn’t just something you wear in a formal setting – I wear jewelry with jeans, when I go out at night. It’s about loving jewelry and being a part of who you are and how you style it. It’s a form of self-expression – something you wear everyday, not just to keep in the safe, âshe said of her take on the collection.
And for the first time for Tiffany, the jeweler has set up a room of exceptional loose gemstones that can be purchased for a bespoke jewelry design experience. Flawless Diamond Pairs, Special Demantoid Garnets, and the aforementioned red diamonds – of which Reynolds estimates there are around 20 in the world – can be purchased and made into unique pieces that match the unique tastes of collectors.
This is the second collection of the Colors of Nature concept, and the first available in New York. In April, Tiffany exhibited a Blue Book installation in Shanghai, and the remaining unsold pieces from that release were also transferred to this exhibition in New York. Then, Tiffany will take the remaining pieces on the road to Los Angeles to be unveiled before the holidays.