Destination: New York City at Christmas
Date: December 2013
Activity: Behind the Scenes Tour of Tiffany’s Jewelry Store
One of the most amazing experiences Trent set up while we were in the Big Apple was a private tour of the Tiffany store on 5th Avenue. I have no idea how he set this up so I would recommend just emailing or calling the store to try and set up an experience like this. The reason why I loved the behind the scene tour is not because of my “every girls love” of Tiffany jewelry, but just to have the special experience of leaving the main sales floor and head up stairs where they treat you like royalty. (They really do!)
When we arrived at the store we checked in with an associate on the main floor who then delivered us to the elevator to take a ride to the mezzanine to be greeted by our customer relations associate. Here our coats and bags were taken and we were led into a beautiful room decorated in Tiffany’s finest jewelry and beautiful, fine furnishings. The view from the window is the hustle and bustle of 5th Avenue toward the Bvlgari store across the street. The day we visited there was a light snow falling so it made me want to curl up in the comforts of the couch and take a nap.
In the salon there was a butler who took our drink orders and since I carry my own herbal teas he brought me a beautiful china set to enjoy my hot beverage. Sitting on the glass top table was a selection of breads, and pastries for us to enjoy along with Tiffany colored suckers, candy canes, and sugar cookies for us to enjoy.
I couldn’t help but make a circle around the room taking in the beautiful jewels on display and trying to snap as many photos as I could. Our associate helping us encouraged me to try on a few pieces of jewelry and at one point I found myself wearing a 7.5 million dollar necklace that only the Queen of England could afford to wear. It was a glamorously overwhelming experience.
From the salon we were escorted through the watch room up to a second set of elevators that took us to the original manufacturing facility of Tiffany’s when it was established in New York in 1837. The facility is not very large and only produces one of a kind items now but these pieces were phenomenal! The craftsmanship that goes into producing Tiffany jewelry is amazing. There were about ten men that worked in this manufacturing facility working with microscopes and magnifying glasses doing all sorts of different tasks such as sculpting, polishing, setting stones, and creating settings. This hand work is time consuming and can take up to two years to create a certain piece of jewelry. While we were there they were working on teeny tiny angel and devil earrings from a very blurry picture from the Tiffany archives trying to reproduce them. At one point they showed me the tiny specks of diamond they were setting into the devils tails and with my naked eye I could not tell they were diamonds the work was so small and intricate. The craftsman then let me look through his microscope and see the diamonds set in the tail and just like a carat solitaire would look, it was plain to see. I can hardly believe the detail that goes into producing the fine craftsmanship of Tiffany jewelry.
At the end of our tour of the manufacturing facility we were led back down to the salon for more tea and pastries and a selection of rings for me to try on. There was no pressure to buy anything and in the end I thanked them for their time and told them I hoped one day I could come back and update my wedding ring but it was not in the cards for us today. They didn’t care in the least and even put together a swag bag of cookies and candy for me to take home to my kids. They even asked me to set up an appointment the next time I’m in town with my daughters so they could come in and try on some jewelry. At 15, 9,9,and 6 it will be awhile before I feel comfortable doing that activity with them but its fun to think this could be in our future!
Safe and Luxurious Travels!