What’s It Worth? Tiffany’s – Sifting The Facts From The Fiction

There is much confusion about the term and brand name Tiffany, as the name has had many incarnations. That includes certain engagement ring mountings. The only true Tiffany mounting is signed Tiffany. It is not a generic term.

Louis Comfort Tiffany founded many companies over the years, including Tiffany Studios, Tiffany Glass, Tiffany Furnaces, and a few others associated with him and his father Charles. But he did not found Tiffany; his father did. Young Louis was an artist first. In fact, our sister company Hess Fine Art has purchased scores of original paintings that were created by Louis before he was involved in his father’s company.

In its early days, the business was owned by Charles Tiffany and business partner John B. Young, and was called Tiffany & Young, which was later changed to Tiffany, Young & Ellis. Many think items marked in this fashion are not genuine. But don’t be fooled. Items marked with Tiffany’s partners’ names can be quite collectible and valuable. We have owned a number of Patek Philippe watches co-branded with Tiffany, Young & Ellis.

In the early 20th century, Tiffany’s sold a range of items. Imported glass, dishes, soaps – even firearms – plus pottery and furniture, as well as diamonds, expensive watches of their own make and other fine and decorative arts pieces.

One of our most prized possessions is a genuine 1909 catalog, pictured here (the famous Blue Book that Tiffany printed from 1845 onward), which details prices paid for items at the time. We’ve pulled a few items with original prices and have added their approximate current prices:

1909 Catalog FMV Price -> Price Today

4 Tiffany chrysanthemum knives $48 -> $300
18k gold ladies’ hosiery garters $32 -> $200
Tiffany ladies’ 18k gold chronograph $50 -> $3,000
Rock crystal brandy jug $100 -> $1,000
Fancy sterling & ebony umbrella $9 -> $500

It takes highly educated experts like the team at Old Northeast Jewelers to understand and identify the true value of fine jewelry and works of art. Bring in your family heirlooms for an appraisal and offer; stop in or call 727.898.4377 for an appointment.

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