Lifting the diamond to a higher level

Why Tiffany & Co. engagement rings are the perfect symbol of enduring love


At Tiffany & Co., it’s not just the diamonds that are brilliant, the craftsmanship is too.

It’s a level of artistry that has enabled the company  to become synonymous with the modern engagement ring. Then again, that should be no surprise, given that Tiffany invented it.

The renowned “Tiffany setting”, known the world over, refers to that miniature feat of Victorian engineering that enabled a diamond be held in place on a ring by six raised claws.

This innovative and enduring design was the brainchild of founder Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1886. We’re so used to seeing diamonds presented in this manner today that it’s hard to imagine that, prior to Tiffany’s inspiration, diamonds sat submerged in surrounds, called bezels, which hid much of their natural beauty.

By creating this setting of  six prongs to elevate a diamond off the band, Tiffany maximised the light reflected from its exquisitely cut facets, producing a dazzling ‘charisma’. He, quite literally, lifted the diamond to a higher level.

It was the start of a trend that grew into a tradition. More than 130 years later, Tiffany’s innovation remains the world’s most enduring diamond engagement ring design.

Now synonymous with romantic love, engagement rings are perhaps the best symbol of Tiffany’s heritage, one also built on a reputation for crafting the most beautiful diamonds on earth.

By combining the highest standards of quality with excellence in design, Tiffany’s engagement rings are the perfect symbol of enduring love.

It’s why Tiffany engagement rings are still crafted by jewellers today, to the delight of couples everywhere. Couples can rest assured too, knowing their Tiffany diamond will have passed the most rigorous grading standards.

“Our parameters far exceed those established by the industry,” says Melvyn Kirtley, Chief gemologist and vice president of high jewelry for Tiffany & Co. “We reject fully 99.96 per cent of the world’s gem-grade diamonds.”

The .04% that make the grade are the elite of diamonds in terms of colour (D–E) and clarity (IF–VS2), which together indicate stones of superb quality and transparency.

Each round, brilliant diamond that is mounted in the Tiffany Setting is cut to maximize brilliance and polished to perfection, revealing its extraordinary beauty and quality.

“A diamond is not deemed to be a Tiffany diamond until the Tiffany Gemological Laboratory, our own in-house state of the art facility, grades the diamond to Tiffany’s exacting standards,” says Andy Hart, Senior Vice President, Diamonds and Gemstones Division at Tiffany & Co.

“Every polished diamond, regardless of size, is looked at by three to eight people, to ensure the consistency and accuracy of our grades.”

Brothers Bhagwati and Manek Patel are Tiffany diamond cutters and polishers with a combined diamond industry experience of almost half a century. Artists whose chosen medium is diamond, they can execute any cut, on any stone, of any size. And they “work as a team”, says Manek.

It’s a team that also includes master diamond-setters such as Tomasz Dziwura, who believes that “people associate engagement rings with the Tiffany Setting. It’s the best-known ring in the world. I know I’m working with the finest diamonds, and it’s my responsibility to create a ring that meets the level of quality that Tiffany demands of its artisans. Imagining a couple choosing a ring that I created makes me very happy.”

Buyers of a Tiffany diamond engagement ring also get the peace of mind that comes with a warranty and a Tiffany Diamond Certificate guaranteeing the stone’s grade for life. This is one of the most trusted and comprehensive gemological certificates in the world.

It’s just another reason why Tiffany has become the ‘gold standard’ for engagement rings.

“The Tiffany Setting’s captivating presence reflects our reputation for the most beautiful diamonds on earth—icons of glamour and modern love,” says Kirtley.

“Over time, more and more couples chose the Tiffany Setting as the worthy symbol of lifelong commitment. To this day, it is the most sought-after engagement ring, with a legacy that has been celebrated in film, art and literature.”

Ask him does he feel proud of Tiffany’s unique heritage in relation to engagement rings and he surely has to say ‘I do’;  “We feel very privileged that the Tiffany Setting has played such an important role both in the lives of our customers and in the many cultural interpretations of love and romance.

For more see www.tiffany.ie/engagement