Tiffany & Company

Tiffany & Co. was founded in 1837 in New York City by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young. A $1,000 loan from Tiffany's father allowed the two young men to open a "stationery and fancy goods" store on Broadway.

At first, the store operated under the name of Tiffany, Young and Ellis but it changed to its current name in 1853 when Charles Tiffany took control and established the company's focus on jewelry. Under his guidance, the firm soon developed a style that differed from its European influences and was distinctly American.

The company flourished and by 1870 it had moved into its new store at 15 Union Square West, Manhattan, designed by John Kellum and costing $500,000. It was described by The New York Times as a "palace of jewels". Tiffany stayed at this site until 1906.

International acclaim came in 1878 at the Paris Exposition when Tiffany won a gold medal for jewelry and a grand prize for silverware. In 1887 Tiffany bought the French Crown Jewels which attracted publicity and further solidified the Tiffany brand's connection to quality diamonds.

Charles Lewis Tiffany died in 1902 and his son Louis Comfort Tiffany became the firm's first official Design Director.

Tiffany & Co. never produced all of its goods in house. It had partnerships with many foundries, jewelers, and silversmiths who would produce goods that were sold under the Tiffany label. Gorham Manufacturing Company for example produced silverware for Tiffany; the jeweler Gustav Manz produced jewelry that was sold under the Tiffany name.

Some of the most beautiful American silver medals were struck by Tiffany (or one of their partners) and to this day the name "Tiffany" evokes images of artistry and high-end luxury.

Columbus Quatercentenary Medal1893
by James H. Whitehouse & William Walker

This is the 9th medal issued by the American Numismatic Society.

The obverse bears bust of Columbus l. wearing cap. Around, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS GAVE A NEW WORLD TO HUMANITY / + ; signed below truncation, TIFFANY & CO. N.Y.

The reverse bears wreath around circumference with ANS seal at 4:30. In center field, AFTER / FOUR HUNDRED / YEARS OF PROGRESS / FREE AMERICA / HONORS ITS / DISCOVERER

The circular medal measures 77mm in diameter and was produced by Tiffany and Company of New York City. The mintage for this medal is unknown.

Grant Monument Medal1897
by Tiffany & Co.

This is the 11th medal issued by the American Numismatic Society.

The obverse bears bust of Ulysses Grant r.; below, seal of the Society; to left of truncation, four stars denoting his rank. Around, GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT; signed on trunctation, TIFFANY

The reverse shows a view of Grant's tomb. Around, DEDICATED NEW YORK APRIL 27 1897; in exergue, ISSUED BY THE THE AMERICAN NUMISMATIC / AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY; signed at bottom, TIFFANY & CO.

The medal measures 64mm in diameter and was designed and struck by Tiffany & Company. The reported mintage for this medal is 1 piece in gold, 81 in silver, and 500 in bronze.

References: Marqusee 376

Greater New York (Charter Day) Medal1898
by Edward Hagaman Hall and Tiffany & Co.

This is the 13th medal issued by the American Numismatic Society.

The obverse bears five seated female figures representing the five burroughs, the names of each burrough beneath them. Behind figures, within ornamented pediment supported by two columns, inscription, NEW YORK / JANUARY 1 / MDCCCXCVIII; view of New York harbor in background; seal of Society at bottom. Around, COMMEMORATING THE CONSOLIDATION OF THE MUNICIPALITIES ABOUT THE PORT OF NEW YORK

The reverse bears four vignettes divided by the four arms of a Dutch windmill. Starting on left, in counter-clockwise direction, the vignettes depict Peter Minuit purchasing Manhattan Island from the Indians, Henry Hudson's Halve Maene, the Dutch evacuating Fort Amsterdam, a Contiental Army officer reading the Declaration of Independence. Around, (tulip) MAY 4 1626 (scallop shell) SEPT. 2 1609 (crown) SEPT. 8 1664 / JULY 9 1776 (eagle)

The medal measures 64mm in diameter. Designed by Edward Hall and modeled and struck by Tiffany & Company, the reported mintage for this medal is 1 piece in gold, and unknown numbers in silver and bronze. I own a piece that—at least according to PCGS—seems to be struck in copper and is not documented in the great Miller book on the ANS medal series.

References: Marqusee 197

The Waldorf-Astoria Challenge Trophy Medal1900
by Tiffany (?)

This medal's obverse bears a carriage horse in harness facing left in center field. Around, THE WALDORF-ASTORIA CHALLENGE TROPHY (horseshoe), surrounded by outer border of leaves.

The reverse bears engraved dedication surrounded by leaf border: · FOR · THE · BEST · HORSE · / · SUITABLE · FOR · A · GIG · / · owners to drive · / · DEALERS BARRED · / · WON BY · / · LORD BRILLIANT · / · H · C · HOSKIER · / · 1900 ·

At the turn of the 19th century both horses and clubs were important to one's social standing. It is no surprise that there were a variety of clubs centering on horses that allowed the animals' wealthy owners to compete for honors in various areas. Racing was always popular but in New York City one of the most prestigious trophies to be awarded was the Waldorf-Astoria Challenge Trophy. Around 1900 the annual challenge drew hundreds of competitors who showcased their horses and competed for the $500 award and the honor of owning the best harness horse.

Lord Brilliant was a horse that totally dominated the competitive harness horse scene for the decades between 1900 and 1930 and achieved widespread international fame. He was called "Poetry in motion" and "the finest harness horse to ever step into the tanbark arena." Judges would sometimes just pin the winner's ribbon on him right away before judging the rest of the field. He retired from competition in 1935 in a touching ceremony in which a horseshoe made of hundreds of roses was placed over his neck while one of his stable mates trotted up to him and sketched a deep bow before him. All the while, thousands of spectators cheered and clapped.

This circular medal measures 105mm in diameter and was struck in bronze. It was probably manufactured by Tiffany & Co. but it is not marked such and I have no data in support of this theory beyond the opinion of the person who sold me the medal.

Bicentennial of Yale College 1901
Bronze with green patina

This medal's obverse depicts Truth guiding Apollo's chariot. At top, LVX ET / VERITAS; signed at bottom, B L PRATT

The reverse bears five lines of inscription flanked by burning torches, VNIVERSITAS YALENSIS / A D MDCCCCI / CONCELEBRAT / COLLEGIVM YALENSE / A D MDCCI CONDITVM

The edge is hallmarked TIFFANY & CO

Bela Lyon Pratt was himself a graduate of Yale and was commissioned in 1899 by Professors Weir and Niemeyer to design this medal for the upcoming 200th anniversary of Yale College. The medal was struck in silver and bronze. One of the silver medals was given to President Theodore Roosevelt and one of the bronze medals was taken into space by Astronaut Joseph B. Allen.

This is a beautiful medal with a very appropriate design for one of great universities of the world.

The circular medal measures 70mm in diameter and was produced by Tiffany & Company of New York. It was struck in bronze and silver in unknown mintages.

References: Marqusee 325

Saint Nicholas Society Medal 1903
by Tiffany & Co.

The medal's obverse bears seal of New York within ornate shield surmounted by eagle, flanked by figures of Native American and European settler. Around, ST · NICHOLAS · SOCIETY · FOUNDED · FEB · 28 · 1835; in exergue, NEW YORK CITY / 1903

The medal's reverse bears figure of Peter Stuyvesant against background of early Dutch-style brick buildings. Around, NEW · AMSTERDAM · MUNICIPAL · GOVERNMENT · PROCLAIMED · FEB · 2 · 1655; in exergue, · PETER STUYVESANT · / · DIRECTOR GENERAL ·

This medal, struck for the St. Nicholas Society in 1903, commemorates the establishment of municipal government in New Amsterdam, by proclamation of Governor Stuyvesant and the council, on February 2, 1653. Before that time, the city government had been coordiante with that of the province of New Netherland. From 1635 until the end of the Dutch rule, the city was governed by a schout, two burgomasters, and five schepens.

The circular medal measures 50mm in diameter and was struck in bronze by Tiffany & Co. of New York City. No mintages have been reported.

Hudson-Fulton Medal1909

This medal was the 23rd official issue of the American Numismatic Society.

The obverse bears Henry Hudson and sailors on the Halve Maen during the hoisting of some freight onto the ship. Around top, DISCOVERY OF HUDSON RIVER BY HENRY HUDSON A D MDCIX; at lower left, THE AMERICAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY; at lower right, HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION COMM.; in exergue, HALVE MAEN; signed in lower right corner, E FUCHS

The reverse bears three seated female figures representing Steam Navigation, History, and Commerce; above, portrait of Robert Fulton. In background, views of New York in 1807 and 1909. Below portrait, ROBERT FULTON / 1765 1815; in exergue, FIRST USE OF STEAM NAVIGATION / ON THE HUDSON RIVER / 1807; signed in lower right corner, E FUCHS

This medal, in one of its many variants, is probably one of the most common ANS medals being traded. There are 15 known variants ranging from 1¼in silver-plated to 3in gold and 4in silver. Even the large gold variant had 11 pieces produced! This is probably the most successful ANS medal ever.

The offical medal measures 76mm in diameter and was struck by Tiffany & Company of New York as well as Whitehead and Hoag of Newark. The reported mintage for the official ANS issue is 100 pieces in silver but there is a wide range of variants that are listed separately.

References: Baxter 99, Marqusee 186, 187

Mexico Independence Centenary Medal1910

The obverse bears standing Liberty, facing, holding long sword in her right and flaming torch of Freedom in her left hand; in background, clouds and rising sun. Around bottom, ALIS VOLAT PROPRIIS

The reverse bears wreath of laurels at left and oak leaves at right. In center, LA / REPUBLICA MEXICANA / EN EL / PRIMER · CENTENARIO / DE LA / PROCLAMACION · DE / SU · INDEPENDENCIA / 1810 - 1910; signed at lower left, TIFFANY & CO

The edge is marked STERLING

Mexico marks its independence from Spain with the beginning of the armed struggle against colonial rule. On September 16, 1810, the secular Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo called independence fighters and indigenous inhabitants of Dolores to take up arms against the government. The armed struggle ended 11 years later with the formal declaration of independence on September 27, 1821.

The Latin phrase on the obverse translates to:

"She flies with her own wings,"

a phrase popular with independence movements and coincidentally also the state motto of Oregon.

The circular medal measures 90.1mm in diameter and was struck in bronze and silver by Tiffany & Co. of New York. No mintage is reported.

References: Marqusee 385

Second Membership Medal1910
by Gutzon Borglum

The obverse bears backside view of nude male figure looking at portrait plaque. On right, FOUNDED / IN / NEW YORK / MDCCCLVIII; signed on left (GB monogram);

The reverse bears wreaths above and below. In center, THE / AMERICAN /NUMISMATIC SOCIETY / PARVA NE PEREANT / MEMBER'S MEDAL / 1910; member's name engraved at bottom, ELMER GREEN / 1921.

This medal was first produced for the American Numismatic Society (ANS) by Tiffany & Co. and bore Tiffany&s edge mark. When the medals from this first run were exhausted, a second striking was ordered from the Medallic Art Company of New York and those medals usually bear its edge mark. There is at least one medal that does not have any edge marks, which is highly unusual.

The medal measures 77mm in diameter and was struck by Tiffany & Co. or the Medallic Art Company of New York.

References: Baxter 248, Marqusee 54

Theodore Newton Vail1922

The obverse bears likeness of Theodore Newton Vail. Above, THEODORE NEWTON VAIL; on left and right, MDCCCXLV / MCMXX. Around, 250TH ANNIVERSARY / 1697; signed at lower right of field, (JF monogram).

The reverse bears two nude male figres flanking clothed female figure. Around, THE VAIL MEDAL FOR NOTEWORTHY PUBLIC SERVICE; in exergue, AWARDED TO / DARWIN PAUL HOLTZMAN; signed on lower right (AW monogram).

The edge is marked 1114 - 1944.

Theodore Newton Vail (July 16, 1845 - April 16, 1920) was a U.S. telephone industrialist. He served as the president of American Telephone & Telegraph between 1885 and 1889, and again from 1907 to 1919. Vail saw telephone service as a public utility and moved to consolidate telephone networks under the Bell system. In 1913 he oversaw the Kingsbury Commitment that led to a more open system for connection.

The center figure represents the Service, the right Loyalty to Service and the left Devotion to Duty. The three figures are holding telephone cables. They are speeding the winged message over the wires.

The medals measure 63mm (2.5in) in diameter and were manufactured first by Tiffany Co. of New York and later by the Medallic Art Company of New York. The most common pieces are struck in bronze, but silver and gold versions exist as well. The bronze medals were awarded to individuals in each Bell company by that company's awards committee. A Bell Systems Committee then reviewed these cases and selected those of "especially outstanding excellenceor importance" for silver or gold medal awards. Bronze medals could also be awarded to groups of employees if the noteworthy act was a concerted group action.

Berwind White Coal Mining Company 50th Anniversary 1936
by Tiffany & Company

The obverse shows a kneeling miner holding a chunk of ore and a pickaxe. Around, THE BERWIND WHITE COAL MINING CO 50TH ANNIVERSARY;

The reverse bears two square panels, the left one showing a steamship, the right one a factory with freight train in front. Banners above and below, reading EUREKA and 1886 - 1936; signed at bottom TIFFANY & CO.

The edge is marked with an Old-English "M", representing Edward C. Moore, a director and manager of a silver ware factory.

The Berwind White Coal Mining Company was started as a partnership between Edward Julius Berwind, Charles Berwind, and Congressman Allison White. At the beginning of the 20th centry the company was one of the largest producers of coal. In 1962 the family corporation diversified into other industries and seems to have done very well; by 2007 its real estate holdings alone were estimated to be worth $3 billion.

The medal measures 81.3mm in diameter and was struck by Tiffany & Company of New York.

References: Marqusee 375

American Cancer Society Award1948

The obverse bears tunic-wearing hero with shield and sword slaying snake-like dragon with thrust through winding neck. The shield bears the American Cancer Society's logo. Above, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY AWARD; signed below shield with artist's (RC monogram).

The reverse bears the ACS's sword with twin-serpent caduceus. Across, FOR / DISTINGUISHED / SERVICE / IN / CANCER / CONTROL; incuse, dedication to EDMUND R. VADEBONCOEUR.

The edge is marked TIFFANY & CO BRONZE.

I could not locate an exact date for this medal but it looks like it was first awarded in 1949, so Rene Chambellan probably designed it in 1948. Any additional information would be highly welcome.

The medal is struck in bronze by Tiffany & Company of New York.