My father saved all the catalogs from Tiffany & Co that he ever received, starting in the mid 1970's, so we have quite a lot of them at my mother's house. They used to be much smaller and thicker then they are now--just the perfect size for my little girl hands to flip the pages as a kid. Oh how I loved looking at them. I would obsess over every page. That was probably an early sign that jewelry would become a lifelong obsession of mine. As I got older, I would grab the catalogs as soon as they arrived and pour over every page. I still get a thrill when a jewelry catalog arrives in the mail.
The other day I was looking at the oldest catalogs we have from forty years ago and it's shocking how much the prices have skyrocketed. It's also really interesting to see some of the old designs that are not made anymore and some of the ones that are. And, I was really surprised to find that Ralph Lauren designed a men's jewelry collection for Tiffany in the mid-70's.
I took photos of some of the pages I found most interesting. Enjoy this peek at Tiffany back then....
Old style Tiffany catalogs from the mid-1970's and 80's
The oldest two we have. I took the vintage photos from them.
One designer then and now is Jean Schlumberger. His beautiful enamel and gold bracelets are coveted by women all over the world, but out of the affordable price range for most. They look pretty much the same today as they did forty years ago. The only difference is the price. They are now about ten times more expensive.
Schlumberger bracelets sold for about $3,000 in 1975
Makes me want to cry!
A more recent catalog indicates they had reached a price tag
of $30,000 for the same design a couple of years ago.
The cufflinks were also comparatively cheap in 1975.
In addition to Schlumberger, other Tiffany designers at the time were Angela Cummings, Ralph Lauren (as mentioned), Donald Claflin and Elsa Peretti, whose designs are still sold at Tiffany today.
These Angela Cummings necklaces remind be of the bungee cord bracelets popular today.
Ralph Lauren's debut collection for Tiffany.
This Donald Claflin bracelet is one of my all time favorites.
Elsa Peretti's dainty designs were phenomenally popular.
Everyone I knew had the little heart necklace in gold or silver.
Here are the Peretti hearts recently, at ten times the price.
Here's mine. I think I've had it about fifteen years. It was
much less expensive when I got it.
My father loved their cufflinks and had a few pairs. I don't know exactly when he bought them, but I'm guessing in the 1980's or early 90's.
Barbell cufflinks in 1975
My father's Tiffany collection
Some of the random designs I like from the old catalogs are below. I wish they still sold these styles, and at these prices wouldn't hurt!
Lots of colorful beaded jewelry with semi-precious stones
I love these stud earrings.
Tiffany even had a selection of earrings for non-pierced ears.
Lots of gold in rope and bamboo designs
Someone gave my mother a necklace like the one at the bottom, but she didn't like it
and exchanged it for a silver heart ring (that I now have) and a partial credit!
Hard to imagine there was ever a time when anything could be
purchased at Tiffany for $6, like item M, the heart tag.
The new Tiffany T bracelet...apparently not so new.
Here's the vintage version.
A closer look at the vintage style
But the page that had me transfixed more than any other as a child featured a large selection of ruby rings. Ruby is my birthstone and I just could not tear myself away.