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Tiffany’s gift of coloured gems

The jewellery house’s legacy is in adding vibrancy – not just to its fine pieces, but to the entire industry.

The delicate, pale lilac hue of kunzite. The vibrant colours of morganite – pink in some lights, and violet or orange in others. The blue tanzanites that burn with a purple flame within. The intense, deep green of tsavorites. These exotic gemstones adorn fine jewellery pieces today – yet the world might not have known their beauty, if not for Tiffany.

The jewellery house’s founder Charles Lewis Tiffany had a fierce passion for distinctive excellence. And to find the most exclusive gems for Tiffany, their eminent gemologist Dr. George Frederick Kunz (1856–1932) traversed the globe.

  • Discovered in California in 1902, Kunzite was named after Tiffany gemologist George Kunz.

The pale-pink kunzite found in California in 1902 was named in his honour and introduced by Tiffany the same year. Ten years later, Kunz ennobled what was previously known as pink beryl. Named morganite, the stone is named after banker JP Morgan, a loyal Tiffany patron.

In 1967, Tiffany named and introduced the first transparent blue gemstone discovery in hundreds of years, discovered at the foothills of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro: tanzanite. This is followed by the 1974 debut of a rare green garnet found in Tsavo National Park near the border of Kenya and Tanzania: the tsavorite.

Known as Tiffany Legacy Gemstones, these four gems – alongside some extraordinary red rubies, emerald, sapphire and yellow diamonds – are celebrated in Tiffany’s latest jewellery exhibition: Vivid Dreams, The Extraordinary Colors of Tiffany. Showcasing at Tiffany’s flagship boutique at ION Orchard on April 8.

This story is brought to you by Tiffany & Co.