Tiffany: The Good, the Bad & The Ugly (Including That Discontinued China Fuss)

Hello-hello!

There are so many things going on all over the Preppy Planet, we are forced to do a one-topic-Tuesday. Today’s topic is one near and dear to the hearts of many readers: Tiffany.

We begin with The Good: news that the storied company is launching a handbag collection, along with small leather goods. Now some may be saying “Nay, nay oh Miss Princess, not so fast, there *have* been Tiffany handbags before!” And that would be accurate, we described them on more than one occasion, most tediously way back in this post (July of 2008). Remember these?

We were actually rather fond of the style, liking the contrast in texture and color between the canvas and the leather. The bags were only available online, something that frequently raises an eyebrow, and at $395 they didn’t seem to tip the Outrageous-o-Meter in the red zone. ( Some can still be seen online, although they are not available for purchase, it may be a case of someone simply not taking the page off the site.)

Elizabeth Holmes at the Journal did a splendid job sharing news of the jeweler’s new foray into leather in “Something New in Tiffany Blue” last week. (You do not want to contemplate the shriek the poor Consort had to tolerate, emanating from yours truly upon first spotting the story in the paper, the poor man really deserves hazardous duty pay.)

Tiffany & Co.

The Collection may be previewed on the Tiffany website, we are very fond of the tote shown above when done in another of the available color combinations seen below.

Tiffany & Co.

One of the best things about the new line? The designers: Richard Lambertson and John Truex, hired by Tiffany about a year ago when the duo shut down their own Lambertson Truex accessory line.  Below, two more styles.

Via BestFan

The Journal story points out the benefits of offering leather goods:

“Handbags have enjoyed sparkling sales in recent years and are in some ways easier for a retailer to move: Women are more likely to splurge on bags for themselves than on jewelry. “Unlike jewelry, which sometimes feels extravagant, handbags always serve a purpose,” says John Long, a retail strategist…”

Next, the Galaxy Clutch with Austrian crystals and semi-precious stones on silk, $1295, a style that dovetails with the Tiffany look.

Tiffany & Co.

Something that shrieks says “Tiffany”, the Avenue Tote.

Tiffany & Co.

The Tiffany East Side tote in leather, $1495.

Tiffany & Co.

The men’s products include a leather card case and top out at $1295 for a crocodile organizer.

Bryan Derballa for Wall Street Journal

More from Ms. Holmes’ story:

“Every piece bears an element of Tiffany’s signature robin’s egg blue, whether on a clasp, in a lining or all over a dyed-crocodile purse. Prices for women’s handbags start at $395 for a small suede tote and rocket up to $17,500 for a large crocodile handbag.”

Here is a look at that higher-end Manhattan satchel.

Stephen White for Tiffany & Co.

The Tiffany blue may be seen in the accent on the clasp.

Bryan Derballa for the Wall Street Journal

We are also impressed with several of the formal styles, the satin Camille ($1195) and the Morgan ($995).

The marketing campaign is in full swing, Tiffany has posted photos of Jennifer Aniston carrying the Reversible Tote on their Facebook page.

FAME via PopSugar

The firm also placed one of the new bags with Jessica Biel for the London première of The A-Team.

The collection will not be offered at all Tiffany stores; click here to see a list showing where the handbags will be available.

Bryan Derballa for the Wall Street Journal

We’re putting Tiffany’s new leather collection in the “Good” category.  We move on to the “Bad”.

Beyond the Rack

Yes, that is authentic Tiffany jewelry at discounter Beyond the Rack, one of those ubiquitous members-only (ahem) pop-up sale sites. (If in need of an invite, just email us at thepreppyplanet@gmail.com.) The sale was buried in a Saturday morning start, it ended yesterday at 11am.  We counted 32 different pieces that were offered, most sold out quickly, like the Atlas key ring (sold at $179 versus $235 at Tiffany).

Tiffany via BeyondtheRack.com

Pieces by some of the jeweler’s more notable designers were on sale, Paloma Picasso and Elsa Peretti.

Tiffany via BeyondtheRack.com

We harken back to the WSJ handbags story for this insight, applicable to the discount sale over the weekend.

“And Tiffany continues to walk a thin line as it tries to drive sales through accessibly priced goods while maintaining its uptown image.”

It can be very difficult to regain the luster in a consumer’s mind (and pocketbook) once a brand is cheapened or otherwise damaged.

This brings us, finally, to The Ugly.

The sad subject is best explained in a post receiving more comments than many others: the drearyTiffany Makes the Princess Pout” from back in March of 2009.  It involved Tiffany Blue Band china.

DISCONTINUED

Blue Band was/is our formal pattern, and ‘back in the day’ we were fortunate to receive many pieces from our wedding registry, also adding pieces over the years. The post was essentially a whine-a-thon of epic proportions about our deep disappointment in the company, we were never told about the pattern going away.

It turned out we weren’t alone in the situation, as seen by the comments left by readers:

  • “I have just had the same thing happen with my pattern, Palm. I simply cannot fathom why Tiffany would not notify customers using their registry information!”
  • “I now own an incomplete set of Platinum Band china and I had no idea it was being discontinued until last week. The girl on the phone said they would have sent me an email. I asked her when I would have received the email, and she said, “I wanna say…. like a year ago.” !”
  • “… turned to Tiff for my bridal pattern AUDUBON and naively thought I would be able to add to my pattern at any time. That’s why you go with Tiffany, right?? Because of its long history of customer service and dependability??”

One comment was helpful in shedding some light on the situation:

“My mother squeaked to her connections and was informed that Limoges is closing the factory in France that makes certain Tiff patterns. Limoges is relocating that factory to a location that La Tiff feels will not have the same level of quality control.”

The story Ms. Holmes did on Tiffany’s new handbags also explains what has been going on:

“The new bag collection will take up display space in stores that has been vacated by tabletop china and silver. Tiffany says it has been trimming down its selection of tableware, which also includes crystal, for a “number of years.” For example, there are fewer china patterns offered today than five years ago.”

One would think yours truly might have figured this out, but it never occurred to us; it makes perfect sense.  The post has now created something akin to a tiny clearinghouse for those in need:

“Looking for the following to complete my Aunt’s DESIGNED BY TIFFANY & COMPANY PLATINUM BAND, LIMOGES-FRANCE china:

1 SUGAR BOWL WITH LID
1 CREAMER
1 CHARGER PLATE
5 RIMMED SOUP BOWLS
5 CREAM SOUP BOWLS WITH SAUCERS

If you have any of these items please notify me at lanceromancetroy@cs.com

That is merely one example; we share all this because comments continue to be posted by those looking to purchase (or in some cases, sell) certain patterns.  We do not want to become a go-between for those engaged in buying or selling of Tiffany china, we simply offer a suggestion that those desperate and unable to locate pieces they need via Replacements, online auctions, or other resources, take a gander at the comments section to see if there is any hope.

We have received notes and comments, Tweets and Facebook messages in the 18 months since the post was published, and thank everyone for their kind input. We felt an update was in order as the comments and email inquiries continue to come in, and we thank everyone, especially those with no stake in the matter for their gracious indulgence with today’s post.  Hopefully this will serve to conclude our public discourse on the topic.

With that we say goodbye until next time!

PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Ian Gavan/Getty Images

33 Comments

Filed under preppy, preppy lifestyle, Updates

33 responses to “Tiffany: The Good, the Bad & The Ugly (Including That Discontinued China Fuss)

  1. Thank you for all of the information, the good and the bad.

  2. Wonderful post Miss Princess! I’m not a handbag person – thank goodness. The jewelry line – ahem, well, that’s a different story!! xoxoxo

  3. LPC

    I will be very curious to watch the evolution of the Tiffany handbags…and I hope you many good china finds, TPP!

  4. Princess Freckles

    The evening bags are just darling, but I thinks it’s a little random for Tiffany to be sellinghandbags at all! I’m sure they know what they’re doing though.

    I’m sorry that your China pattern was discontinued! I’m almost done with my crystal (I need a few water goblets), and now I’m worried it might be discontinued! We went with Kate Spade crystal and flatware (my grandmother gave me her china). I was lucky to finish my flatware on Rue La La last winter.

  5. Lambertson Truex plus Tiffany equals crazy delicious. That East Side Tote makes me a little weak in the knees and all the clutches-like-jewelry: ooooohahhhhh.

    I have been on this tear about staid companies like T&Co catering to the tasteless masses–NOT everyone on the planet needs to be marked with the ubiquitous dog tag necklace! Knock it off, companies I loved! My wedding rings are Tiffany. I don’t need them to logo-ify the world and I resent what they’ve done.

    (DO YOU HEAR ME, JCREW? COACH? I quit you.)

    It’s more my problem than theirs, though. I guess if I want these companies to exist at all, I have to accept what they must do to stay in business. But, T&Co on discount flash-sale websites? Gag.

  6. How interesting! I had not heard this news about Tiffany. I must say I really like the Manhattan Satchel! Very classic.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  7. china, yes; handbags, no… unless you’re a japanese tourist!

    kHm

  8. FASCINATING!!!! Simply fascinating!!!

  9. I have to say…most of those handbags are just unappealing to me. Very sad about the china.

  10. Autumn

    I’m part of THE UGLY. I got left with an incomplete set of china and nowhere to turn to get the missing pieces – Replacements doesn’t have any but they do have a L-O-N-G list of unhappy Tiffany customers hoping that someday an odd piece or two will show up in their inventory.

    I am hoping someone with TIFFANY PLATINUM BAND china will see this and if they happen to have any extra soup bowls (rim soup or cream soup) please contact me. You will make my day!!!

    ldptroy@cs.com

  11. Chloe Karlson

    Beyond the Rack is a website that sells second hand merchandise. Tiffany does not sell any merch to this website. Please research before you try and tarnish my favorite stores name.

  12. Elma

    Don’t care for the handbags (THE GOOD); don’t care about the discounted jewelry (THE BAD); but what am I going to do to about my discontinued incomplete set of TIFFANY PLATINUM BAND china (THE UGLY)!!!

    I need soup bowls too…TIFFANY PLATINUM BAND…both kinds, rimmed soup and cream soup. Anybody got any???

    Tiffany has tarnished their own name (THE UGLY) by leaving so many customers in a lurch with incomplete sets of china…by discontinuing most of their patterns of china without advising their customers. What are we to do? Tiffany offered credit if china was returned. A little late for that. Then, why would I want Credit and be “forced” to continue doing business…

    I just want TIFFANY PLATINUM BAND soup bowls. Either kind. Got any???

    Please contact me at evptroy@cs.com

    Thanks.

  13. Beth

    I’m looking for a Tiffany Platinum Band China place setting. It is very frustrating that they discontinued this pattern!! I would also be interested in a partial place setting (dinner plate and dessert plate). Please contact me at bethmoye@att.net if you have any of this. THANKS!!!!

  14. Elma

    It’s not GOOD, it’s not BAD, it’s just UGLY that I do not have enough TIFFANY PLATINUM BAND china soup bowls to go with the matching soup tureen that I would love to use over the holidays! All I need to complete my set is:

    3 RIMMED SOUP BOWLS
    5 CREAM SOUP BOWLS WITH SAUCERS

    If anyone has any extra TIFFANY PLATINUM BAND soup bowls they are willing to sell I would be very interesting in purchasing them. You can email me at:

    evptroy@cs.com

  15. Anne

    I never got the email either. And, when I learned of this and called Tiffany’s up, I was put on hold and later disconnected. I would be interested in purchasing any Platinum Band pieces.

    My email is: becker9310@gmail.com

  16. Heather Kramer

    Add me to the list of covering-my-bases-and-posting-here folks. Desperately seeking Tiffany AUDUBON china. Don’t need dinner plates, but eager to find anything/everything else. I may have a few dinner plates to trade? Please please contact me!

    heatherkramer@yahoo.com

    Thanks and good luck!

  17. amytopham@me.com

    I also did get the email, but was unable to purchase the cups and saucers for the platinum band as well as the cream soup bowls with saucers. I need 12 of each. Thanks… please contact me at mrandmrst@me.com

  18. Found what you are looking for on ebay
    check item number 260741634080 30 Pieces Tiffany Limoges Blue Band China 6 Settings
    Best of luck

  19. Susan

    The following is what we have available :

    Tiffany platinum band china

    Tea pot with lid
    Sugar bowl with lid & creamer
    5 – 5 piece place settings ( dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl, tea cup and saucer )

    If interested please contact us at – nolidesign@aol.com

  20. Hillary

    Thank you so much for your post. T&Co. first broke my heart when they discontinued their stationary line. They had the most beautiful note cards and letterpress. Now they discontinue my “Palm” china. No email, no notice. For the last several years, I scrounge the internet looking for random pieces to complete her beauty. My china set just may remain oddly incomplete. Tiffany, you broke my heart.

  21. Lance

    Got left behind when TIFFANY & CO discontinued their PLATINUM BAND CHINA pattern before I was able to complete my set. I still need
    3 RIM SOUP BOWLS
    5 CREAM SOUP BOWLS
    If you have either of there available please contact me. Make my day!
    Lance
    lanceromancetroy@cs.com

  22. Anonymous

    All we need to complete our set of TIFFANY & CO PLATINUM BAND CHINA is:
    5 CREAM SOUP BOWLS WITH SAUCERS
    Anybody have any spare ones (incomplete set) and are willing to sell?

    Lance
    lanceromancetroy@cs.com
    or
    evptroy@cs.com

  23. Steve

    Another unhappy customer when Palm pattern was discontinued. I purchased 20 assorted pcs. about 2 months prior to it being discontinued – think maybe they would have mentioned it to me at that point – if they sent an email a year prior, guess it was a secret after that. I have not been able to use what I have nor find any more – I was a supporter of Tiffany’s prior to this – obviously would not purchase anything that would be a collectible item again

  24. Elma Pearn

    I am still looking for TIFFANY & CO PLATINUM BAND CHINA (5) CREAM SOUP BOWLS WITH SAUCERS. If you are interested in selling any of these please contact me at evptroy@cs.com

    Thank you.

    Elma
    evptroy@cs.com

  25. patty seymour

    Hopefully I am “hope” to someone…I have 4 TIFFANY & CO BLUE BAND RIMMED SOUP BOWLS TO SELL! EXCELLENT CONDITION! if you are interested please contact me at pattyseymour4@gmail.com

  26. Nanda Hydrisko

    I have some Tiffany American Garden to sell..Excellent condition. I also think that I might have the blue band charger plates but I have to look. please contact me at isabellawolfskill@gmail.com

  27. Elma Pearn

    Might be interested in purchasing TIFFANY & CO PLATINUM BAND TEA POT or COFFEE POT if the price is right. They are pieces I probably would never use but they would compliment our set of china. If you have either of these pieces, are interested in selling and the price is right please give me a call @ 248-879-6599 or contact me at evptroy@cs.com

  28. Karen

    Boo hoo, just found this post while looking to add to my gold band china collection. Need 2 salad, 1 dinner and 3 bread & butter plates! Off to eBay. :-(

  29. Jacquelyn

    I have 6 NEW Place settings of the Tiffany Platinum Band China. Email me at jacquelynoneil@live.com

  30. Courtney P

    I have a Tiffany Blue Band oval platter and 2 Tiffany Blue Band vegetable serving bowls. I also have a full set (12 place settings) of Tiffany Gold Band China (dinner plates, salad plates, bread plates, cups and saucers), 2 cream soup bowls and saucers, gravy boat, cream and sugar. You can email me at cpeschel at gmail dot com if you are interested in making an offer. They are all in excellent condition, and I love them. But I inherited my grandmother’s set of china and sentimentality trumps beauty (along with a lack of space for both).

  31. I think the blame for this should fall squarely on Martha Stewart’s shoulders. After all, she’s the one who encouraged women not to be so
    “Matchy-Matchy” and mix up their sterling by purchasing random place settings wherever they could find them at estate sales as well as porcelain and set their tables using different patterns all together at once. Was that not her “I know it all” voice beseeching is to do things like that when we wanted service for 18? I never went in for that sort of thing. I am a proponent of fish knives, cocktail folks, iced tea spoons and the like which had me purchasing (go ahead, you Southern Belles, turn up your noses) choosing more heavy-plated restaurant ware simply because I did want those things AND service for 16. Without good help and a childhood spent polishing silver, I knew *I* wasn’t going to spend hours upon hours polishing up 7-Piece flatware settings for 16-person dinner parties with 5 courses, I’d rather be making out placecards.
    I chose instead to register in a quaint shop in Palm Beach for mid-range priced china by Fitz & Floyd that offered cream soup bowls with saucers, rimmed soup bowls for broths, and the like. And the best part was, the dinner plate is a lovely mint green with a gold rim and I purchased several different sets of salad plates which I interchange according to season and the casualness of the dinner; many of which have no gold on them at all and can be put into the dishwasher. Yes, it’s discontinued. But I buy sets of salad plates from Replacements Ltd. in South Carolina often. I just registered for a Christmas set. Then family always knows when they’re stick for a gift precisely what to buy. Also because my china was not terribly expensive, I got everything I registered for. My mother-in-law had wisely cautioned me that if I went crazy and registered at a jeweler, I might not get enough of what I wanted and would have to purchase the balance with cash. She said it’s hard to do. It would make more sense to put all the monetary gifts into a savings account for the future. That was safe advice; I was grateful for when I was diagnosed with cancer a year and one-half later. One just never knows what kind of curve balls life sends even at 26.

  32. Susan

    Available to complete your china– Tiffany & Co. “Audubon” set of 12 gold rimmed soup bowls.
    Getting my home in order to put on the market… must sell.
    swbossert@gmail.com

  33. I have some green and gold band Tiffany China if anyone is interested, please contact me at kelli817@gmail.com

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