Antique Platinum Diamond Band Eternity Tiffany
1910s Unknown Art Deco Antique Platinum Diamond Band Eternity Tiffany
Early 20th Century American Art Deco Antique Platinum Diamond Band Eternity Tiffany
Tiffany & Co. for sale on 1stDibs
Tiffany & Co. is one of the most prominent purveyors of luxury goods in the United States, and has long been an important arbiter of style in the design of diamond engagement rings. A young Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed to his future wife, Eleanor, with a Tiffany ring in 1904. Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Astors and members of the Russian imperial family all wore Tiffany & Co. jewels. And Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis preferred Tiffany china for state dinners at the White House.
Although synonymous with luxury today, the firm started out rather modestly. Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young founded it in Connecticut as a “stationery and fancy goods emporium” in 1837, at a time when European imports still dominated the nascent American luxury market. In 1853, Charles Tiffany — who in 1845 had launched the company’s famed catalog, the Blue Book, and with it, the firm’s signature robin’s-egg blue, which he chose for the cover — shifted the focus to fine jewelry. In 1868, Tiffany & Co. gained international recognition when it became the first U.S. firm to win an award for excellence in silverware at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. From then on, it belonged to the pantheon of American luxury brands.
At the start of the Gilded Age, in 1870, Tiffany & Co. opened its flagship store, described as a "palace of jewels" by the New York Times, at 15 Union Square West in Manhattan. Throughout this period, its designs for silver tableware, ceremonial silver, flatware and jewelry were highly sought-after indicators of status and taste. They also won the firm numerous accolades, including the grand prize for silverware at the Paris Exposition of 1878. Among the firm’s glittering creations from this time are masterworks of Art Nouveau jewelry, such as this delicate aquamarine necklace and this lavish plique-à-jour peridot and gold necklace, both circa 1900.
When Charles Lewis Tiffany died, in 1902, his son Louis Comfort Tiffany became the firm’s design director. Under his leadership, the Tiffany silver studio was a de facto design school for apprentice silversmiths, who worked alongside head artisan Edward C. Moore. The firm produced distinctive objects inspired by Japanese art and design, North American plants and flowers, and Native American patterns and crafts, adding aesthetic diversity to Tiffany & Co.’s distinguished repertoire.
Tiffany is also closely associated with diamonds, even lending its name to one particularly rare and exceptional yellow stone. The firm bought the Tiffany diamond in its raw state from the Kimberley mines of South Africa in 1878. Cut to create a 128.54-carat gem with an unprecedented 82 facets, it is one of the most spectacular examples of a yellow diamond in the world. In a broader sense, Tiffany & Co. helped put diamonds on the map in 1886 by introducing the American marketplace to the solitaire diamond design, which is still among the most popular engagement-ring styles. The trademark Tiffany® Setting raises the stone above the band on six prongs, allowing its facets to catch the light. A lovely recent example is this circa-2000 platinum engagement ring. Displaying a different design and aesthetic (but equally chic) is this exquisite diamond and ruby ring from the 1930s.
A Close Look at art-deco Jewelry
The Art Deco period, encompassing the 1920s and ’30s, ushered in a very distinct look in the design of jewelry. There were many influences on the jewelry of the era that actually began to take shape prior to the 1920s. In 1909, Serge Diaghilev brought the Ballet Russes to Paris, and women went wild for the company’s exotic and vibrant costumes It’s no wonder, then, that jade, lapis lazuli, coral, turquoise and other bright gemstones became all the rage. There already existed a fascination with the East, particularly China and Japan, and motifs consisting of fans and masks started to show up in Art Deco jewelry.
However, the event that had the greatest influence on Deco was the excavation of the tomb of King Tut in 1922. When the world saw what was hidden in Tut’s burial chamber, it sent just about everyone into a frenzy. Pierre Cartier wrote in 1923 that “the discovery of the tomb will bring some sweeping changes in fashion jewelry.” And he couldn’t have been more right. “Egyptomania” left an indelible mark on all of the major jewelry houses, from Cartier to Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron and Georges Fouquet. (Cartier created some of the most iconic jewelry designs that defined this era.)
While a lot of Art Deco jewelry was black and white — the black coming from the use of onyx or black enamel and the white from rock crystal and diamonds — there is plenty of color in jewelry of the era. A perfect accent to diamonds in platinum settings were blue sapphires, emeralds and rubies, and these stones were also used in combination with each other.
Many designers employed coral, jade and lapis lazuli, too. In fact, some of the most important avant-garde jewelers of the period, like Jean Després and Jean Fouquet (son of Georges), would combine white gold with ebony and malachite for a jolt of color.
A lot of the jewelry produced during this time nodded to current fashion trends, and women often accessorized their accessories. The cloche hat was often accented with geometric diamond brooches or double-clip brooches. Backless evening dresses looked fabulous with sautoir necklaces, and long pearl necklaces that ended with tassels, popular during the Edwardian period, were favored by women everywhere, including Coco Chanel.
Finding the Right band-rings for You
You don’t need a special occasion to dazzle friends with a flashy sapphire band ring or to make a statement with a wide band ring — this accessory knows no boundaries, and many different iterations have materialized over the years. Whether you’re seeking an unadorned modern sterling-silver band ring for everyday wear or dual gold wedding bands for the big day, there are lots of options waiting for you.
On 1stDibs, there are enduring antique wedding bands to be found dating from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Jewelers who were active during the reign of Queen Victoria — specifically, the Romantic period — designed rings with large colorful gemstones and decorative motifs, while the jewelry of the latter era was all about the exquisite diamond, platinum and pearl creations made by such famous names as Cartier and Boucheron. Matching wedding bands, which may reduce the stress of wedding-band shopping if you prefer a traditional route, afford you and your partner the chance to have the engagement ring and wedding bands in the same metal and design.
And because band rings aren’t necessarily relegated to black-tie events, they’ve come a long way, design-wise. David Yurman’s band rings, for example, are well known for their integration of mixed metals, and the celebrated jewelry designer’s powerful silver and gold bracelets, rings, pendants and earrings frequently express his iconic industrial-cable motif.
A simple and chic band ring goes with anything, from the evening gown you’ve chosen for a weekend gala to the jeans and vintage tee you’ve thrown on for a casual lunch with colleagues. Browse a distinctive collection of contemporary and vintage diamond band rings, gold band rings and other accessories on 1stDibs today.
- 1stDibs ExpertAugust 17, 2021A Tiffany & Co. engagement ring can cost as little as $13,000 or as much as $500,000 depending on the center stone’s carat weight, the band material and whether or not there are any side stones. The smaller the stone, the cheaper the ring will be. Find engagement rings designed by Tiffany & Co. on 1stDibs.