Newest Review: ... lights shining on the jewellery for effect. On the door were two security guards who seemed to remain somewhat straight faced, but clear... more
No Breakfast At Tiffany's
Tiffany & Co
Member Name: Teena2003
Tiffany & Co
Advantages: beautiful jewellery, beautiful surroundings
Disadvantages: inflated prices, you pay for the Tiffany name, lots of tourists just looking
What would a visit in New York be without a visit at the Tiffany & Co flagship store on Fifth Avenue. Situated next to Trump Tower at the corner of 5th Ave and 57th Street. The outside of the building will not give much away of what you are about to experience when inside. There are two entrances to the store, the main entrance in 5th Avenue with doorman to help you open the door or push the carousel door for you and a smaller door in 57th Street, more a side entrance where you can slip in and out unseen.
Enter through the main doors to get the total wow effect. You are in a totally different world. In front of you lies a very large hall for a jewellery store with enormously high ceilings and hanging lights.
You instantly get the feeling that this store will not have anything you can afford without taking out a second mortgage on your house, worse, none of the items actually have a price tag. And you know what they say, if you have to ask for the price you can’t afford it anyway. I sometimes wonder if there are people who walk in, point at a piece of jewellery and simple pay for it without batting an eyelid or enquiring about the price. I’m sure there are people like that, I’m not one of them. While you stare at the jewellery on display – gold and precious stones – you can’t help to be impressed.
The only things you might be able to afford are on the 5th floor and you can take the lift there, assisted by a Tiffany employee pushing the elevator button for you and a someone inside to do the same again.
Compared to the ground/first floor you have just come from, the silver department is tiny. You would be able to fit it into the other one 20 times over. It was full to the brim, you could hardly get a foot on the ground, let alone look at the display cases to see if there was something that took your fancy.
It was my turn eventually. Although I knew what I wanted, and I’m sure the assistant could feel I was serious, I was still shown the bracelet first, then a brand new one was unpacked from under the counter and displayed on a nice velvet brown mat and only then, after giving my final nod, it was taken to the counter inside the display area and wrapped up – but not before it was cleaned again to make sure it was absolutely sparkling.
Something everyone who has ever been to Tiffany’s knows, it doesn’t matter how much or how little the item cost, the same care is taken when wrapping it, ready to take home with you. If you are used to getting a cheap plastic box, shuffled into a cheap plastic bag, then you are in for a surprise. Every item is packed individually in a turquoise string bag or pouch, which is then placed in a sturdy turquoise box, on fluffy white bedding, wrapped and sealed with a white ribbon and bow, before it is placed into a turquoise bag with white twisted handles.
I had purchased three items at Tiffany’s altogether – I went back on the Monday morning before the rush to return an item I had bought two days earlier. There was no problem with the return as the item was unworn. I bought something different in its place. I spent more in this one shop than on the rest of the shops together but it was certainly worth it.
As none of the items in the store have the price label showing, cunningly stuffed under the display tray, you are more than welcome to ask for it. And more than once did I hear a sharp intake of breath when the price was said. What did these people expect? You are buying a name, not just an item of jewellery. If you want just any piece of jewellery you can go to Argos or H Samuel. In Tiffany’s you buy a timeless piece of classic jewellery that in many cases hasn’t changed for decades.
Like me, many visitors to New York and Tiffany’s only see the silver department – an of course the ground floor when they walk through – but if you are really interested, you can also buy linen and other household items on the other floors. They even have a baby department as well as a wedding register.
The above was written after my trip to New York City two years ago and I stand by my review. However, the story continues in the Tiffany Store at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
My partner and I were in Las Vegas twice this year already, in January and over Easter. And because I love silver and quite simply adore Tiffany jewellery and have a few choice items, it was decided to visit the Las Vegas branch so I could pick out one more piece for my collection.
The Las Vegas branch of Tiffany’s is inside the posh shopping arcade that forms the Bellagio resort, on the way from The Strip into the casino, next to famous names like Dior and the like.
Considering the size of Las Vegas, the amount of tourists and how popular Tiffany jewellery has always been, the store is minute. There’s just one room filled with cabinets and you never know if the item you are looking at is actually platinum, white gold or silver (unless you ask) because they all seem to be mixed together.
The day we visited the store is was fairly busy. You had to pull the heavy door open yourself, nobody employed to do it for you.
You can normally identify where the cheap items are by the amount of people gathering around those particular display cabinets. But again, platinum and white gold was mixed in with the silver items so you actually had to ask (unless you enquired about the price and then it becomes obvious).
I had my heart set on a pair of Paloma Picasso earrings. They were in stock and because my partner was in a good mood (winning at poker seems to do that to you) we also bought the matching necklace. What I only found out later was that my partner had also bought replacements for the two items that got stolen during the burglary two years ago.
While the service was excellent as you would expect at a Tiffany Store, I was a little put off by how snooty a couple of the shop assistants were. I was served for a few minutes by a young girl who then abandoned me and another assistant continued. I found her very rude but didn’t say anything.
Unlike in New York where you never had the impression you were judged because you bought ‘only’ silver jewellery, the Las Vegas store emanated an air of ‘better than thou’ which I disliked intensely – in particular the assistant I had first was a prime example. Girl, all you do is sell overpriced jewellery, don’t get above you station.
If only she had known that we were not there to simply look but also buy and I am sure that the total bill in Tiffany’s came close to $1000 – that includes the items I did not know about at the time of visit.
The only thing I was a little disappointed with was the necklace – not the necklace itself, more the way it was packaged. It was simply dropped into a turquoise bag and then boxed up and when I removed it from the bag it was all tangled up. I wish they had stabilised it a more or presented it better. After all, the chain is very delicate and I really don’t want to break it when I take it from the bag.
As the Las Vegas store is very small compared to the New York flagship store, you will only find a selection of jewellery here. I assume they stock the most popular items from around the stores and cater mainly for us gullible tourists.
For a great shopping experience where you are made to feel like a million dollars go to the flagship store in New York City where none of the staff will ever give you the impression you are not worth the effort. If you are not too bothered about good customer service, the Las Vegas branch will happily sell you the same jewellery in much smaller surroundings – but the staff’s ego is about a million times more inflated than the prices. But what do you expect? You’re in Vegas and everything is bigger, even the egos of store staff.
Summary: Beautiful jewellery in beautiful surroundings