Bargains at Tiffany

July 6, 2010 by Lila Delilah

Tiffany has made so many changes in the past decade. The company stopped distributing products outside their own boutiques, expanded their affordable gift collection, over saturated their affordable gift collection and, most recently, refocused on fine jewelry.

As cheesy as Tiffany can seem at times, it’s always a nice gift. As gold soars towards $1300 an ounce, we thought it would be fun to crack open few vintage Tiffany catalogues and compare prices. In 2000, gold averaged $279 an ounce. So you would imagine that prices could have easily quadrupled in the past decade. Think again.

Jean Schlumberger’s “Sixteen Stone” ring in 18k gold with diamonds was $5,600 in 2000 and presently costs $6950. In 2000 the price of an 18k gold “Return to Tiffany” heart tag bracelet was $995. Today the same bracelet is $2150.The Etoile band ring with diamonds is currently $1800 but was $1000 in 2000.

Even several gift items have stayed at a relatively steady price. A hand painted “Bunny” bank was $65 in 2000 and the redesigned version is now just $95. A “Rock Cut” dessert plate was $16 in 1997 and is now $35. The 9″ Hampton candlesticks were $40 each in 1997, $50 each in 2000 and are now just $70 each.

Careful, not all prices have held steady. The “Man on the Moon” stirling silver rattle was $90 in 1997, $100 in 2000 but the current lighter weight re-deisgn is a wapping $260.

As always, shoppers should be careful with what they buy but one has to wonder where shareholders stand with these shrinking profit margins.

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