You may think you know everything there is to know about Tiffany & Co: Holly Golightly peering prettily through their Fifth Avenue shop windows; those duck-egg blue boxes under a lavish EastCoast Christmas tree; the vast yellow Tiffany diamond that travels the world with an army of bodyguards.
But did you know Tiffany & Co has an illustrious history when it comes to designing and crafting fine jewellery? And that the techniques invented by their diamond cutters and jewellery designers have had a profound impact on the industry? Probably not.
The Blue Book collection is an annual offering of fine jewellery that has allowed the house to push their unique crafting techniques to the fore and to debut some of the most outstanding designs coming out of America. You have to make an appointment if you want to see the collection,though and, that’ll only happen if you’re one of Tiffany & Co’s most valued customers — which has, of course, made the collection highly sought after by the who’s who of New York.
For 2016, the theme is the beauty of the deep ocean: think fine jewellery meets a very glamorous version of Finding Nemo. World-class gemstones take centre stage, with their shapes and colours determining the size and silhouette of the eventual piece. The jewels are then laid in delicate platinum settings to achieve the ideal dimension, proportion and angles of reflection.
Design director Francesca Amfitheatrof has used these gems to create a collection that’s so reminiscent of the ocean, you can practically smell the sea salt just by looking at the pieces. There are earrings that look like seaweed glistening underwater, a cuff shaped like starfish and an octopus-design brooch encrusted with diamonds. There’s a sapphire pendant inspired by the glowing sun over the sea, and a bracelet made from round, pear-shaped, emerald-cut, oval, marquise, square-cut and trilliant (phew!) diamonds that are set to mimic the movement of rivers pouring into the ocean (read more about diamond cuts).
Now it’s that kind of attention to detail that transforms fine jewellery into fine art.