Box as good as the ring: How Tiffany & Co. owned the color ‘blue’

Tiffany Box branding

Sharing a trivia nugget from 1906, Tiffany & Co. recently underscored the fandom around their boxes, we explore what makes them unique.

The infamous colour of Tiffany & Co. boxes came to life in 1845, via being featured on the cover of Blue Book, the brand’s annual collection of jewels. The distinctive coloured boxes soon became home to engagement rings. Their popularity grew so much that people started approaching stores just to buy the box — something Founder Charles Lewis Tiffany was vehemently against. In fact, in 1906, he told a newspaper that he would happily give the box for free as long as the buyer would select a design to put in it.

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A shade often referred to as robin’s-egg blue or forget-me-not blue is one that is linked to the popularity of the turquoise gemstone in the 19th-century jewellery. Reportedly, turquoise was also a favourite among Victorian brides. These can be considered the roots of the iconic shade that has become synonymous with this jewellery brand.

In 1998, Tiffany Blue was trademarked by the brand. It was standardised to ensure that no matter the medium in which it was reproduced, may it be a shopping bag or any other advertising, it would be instantly recognisable. The custom colour that the Pantone Matching System created for Tiffany is called 1837 Blue, named for the year Tiffany & Co. was founded.

Over the years, Tiffany’s boxes, jewellery and store displays have featured in various Hollywood movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Great Gatsby. Even when the brand is not mentioned particularly, the Tiffany box is often spotted in romantic movies at the time when an engagement ring has to enter the narrative.

An example of this phenomenon is Bride Wars where the protagonist finds a box in her boyfriend’s cupboard and she and her friend are seen to be excited about her possible engagement.

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In real life too, the brand has been associated with the big day, evidently seen in Priyanka Chopra’s bridal shower back in 2018 which was organized in an Tiffany store.

The brand has been able to create a niche for itself — they are a part of one of the most important days of a person’s life, one where they choose a partner. Though the communication is largely put forth in the context of a man proposing to a woman, the brand has put in efforts, over the years, to portray inclusive images of love and love stories.

Irrespective of whether or not one could afford Tiffany diamonds, it is likely that people are aware of the brand because of their boxes — a unique branding story of a luxury product.



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