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17 surprising things you never knew about Tiffany & Co.

Crazy About Tiffany’s tells the 179-year story of the world’s most iconic jewelry company that’s influenced everyone from Steve Jobs to President Obama. Here are 17 things you probably didn’t know about America’s favorite jeweler.

1. Established in 1837

Charles Tiffany
Image: Gravatas Ventures

Founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany (pictured above) and John B. Young, their first venture store called Young and Ellis first sold stationery and “fancy goods.” Tiffany took over the company in 1853, renaming it Tiffany & Company and decided to focus primarily on jewelry.

More: 4 staple jewelry pieces every woman should have

2. Tiffany’s blue color was inspired by an empress

Empress Eugenie
Image: Gravitas Ventures

The wife of Napoleon III, Empress Eugenie de Montijo was the biggest fashion icon of the 19th century. When Charles Tiffany saw the above portrait of her, he knew that the shade of blue in her gown would become wildly popular. He decided to make it the official color for Tiffany’s brand.

3. Pantone No. 1837

Tiffany blue
Image: Gravitas Ventures

The robin’s egg blue color, officially called Pantone number 1837, used for the Tiffany boxes and bags, was named for the year Tiffany went into business.

4. America’s first mail order catalog

Tiffany's Blue Book
Image: Gravatas Ventures

Known as the “blue book,” Charles Tiffany created it in 1845. Many other brands followed suit.

5. Suppliers of the Union Army in the Civil War

Starting in 1862, Tiffany & Company was the go-to supplier of swords, surgical implements and flags for the boys in blue.

6. Charles Tiffany invented the engagement ring

Engagement ring
Image: Tiffany’s & Company

In 1886, Tiffany decided he would lift the diamond up, above the band, and market it as an engagement ring. Soon, every woman in America wanted one.

7. New York Yankees stole the “NY” logo from Tiffany’s

New York Yankee
Image: Public Domain/Gravitas Ventures

In 1877, Tiffany & Company created a police medal of honor for a New York police officer with an interlocking “N” and “Y.” The Yankees ditched the American flag top hat symbol for the “NY” instead.

More: Sears pulls swastika ring after sane people complain

8. President Lincoln gave Mary Todd a Tiffany set

Mary Todd Lincoln
Image: Gravatas Ventures

Seen in the photo above, Mrs. Lincoln wore this set of seeded pearls to her husband’s inauguration.

More: 8 ways to make cheap jewelry look expensive

9. Teddy Roosevelt’s knife

Roosevelt's Tiffany knife
Image: Gravitas Ventures

This beautifully carved sterling silver knife was worn on Roosevelt’s belt in his youth.

10. Judy Garland took home emeralds

MGM wanted to give Judy Garland a wedding present when she married Vincente Minelli, so they sent her to Tiffany’s. She most likely fell in love with the green gems when she made The Wizard of Oz, that featured the Emerald City.

11. President Kennedy had a brooch commissioned for Jackie

Jackie Kennedy
Image: Gravatas Ventures

President John F. Kennedy commissioned Tiffany’s designer, Jean Schlumberger, to create this brooch for the first lady after she gave birth to their first son, John Jr.

12. Peretti’s bottle pendant may have been for holding drugs

Tiffany's Peretti pendant
Image: Tiffany & Co.

Created in the 1970s, Elsa Peretti claimed this pendant was perfect for holding a flower. With cocaine’s popularity on the rise, however, some think she really intended it to be a drug vial.

13. Steve Jobs was inspired by Tiffany’s designs

Steve Jobs with a Tiffany lamp
Image: Gravitas Ventures

In the above photo, Apple founder Steve Jobs is seen at home in a nearly empty living room. Other than his record player, the only thing he deemed worthy of his abode was a Tiffany lamp.

14. Katie Couric’s 50th birthday party at Tiffany’s

Katie Couric
Image: Gravitas Ventures

To celebrate in style, Couric held her party at Tiffany’s in Manhattan, where the signature drink was the “Tiffanini.” Couric commented that the drink looked like “Tidy Bowl” but drank it anyway.

15. Made history with gay marriage ad

This ad was part of the “Will you?” campaign from 2015.

16. The Obamas gave Queen Elizabeth vintage Tiffany’s

Queen's gift from Obamas
Image: Gravatas Ventures

To celebrate the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle gave Her Highness this vintage Tiffany’s compact from the 1950s.

17. 50th Super Bowl trophy

Super Bowl trophy
Image: Tiffany & Co.

To commemorate the 50th Super Bowl, Tiffany’s created this stunning trophy.

The documentary, Crazy about Tiffany’s, is currently playing in limited release.

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