Copper in the Arts

February 2013

Tiffany & Co. Unveils New Copper-Hued Rubedo Line

By Courtney H. Diener-Stokes

Tiffany Rubedo Interlocking circles bangle in Rubedo and silver.

Photograph courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co, known for its diamond engagement rings and sterling silver, has unveiled a new copper-hued Rubedo line to celebrate its 175th anniversary.

Metallurgists concocted the trademarked metal over a long testing period after experimenting with different alloys, creating the first new metal in the company's history. Empire Gold Buyers, a gold refinery in New York City, performed an element analysis with a fluorescent X-ray spectrometer which found that Rubedo is made of approximately 31% gold and 55% copper, in addition to silver and zinc.

The new metal made its first appearance in Tiffany & Co.'s 1837 Rubedo limited edition collection that launched last year. The debut of the new metal marks the next milestone in the company's legacy.

The name Rubedo, which means red in Latin, is derived from the medieval philosophy of alchemy. It was the title of the very highest achievement, when matter and spirit fused to create something of rare beauty. The Rubedo metal is the company's latest in a history of innovations in metallurgy, and Tiffany & Co. were the first American company to incorporate the 925/1000 British standard of silver purity which led to the U.S. government adopting the standard.

Tiffany Padlock Rubedo padlock charm on a chain.

Photograph courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

The Rubedo collection includes necklaces, bangles, earrings and charms that exude a contemporary look while maintaining the craftsmanship synonymous with the Tiffany name. Some items from the collection are made in the United States, such as the ultra wide cuff.

The date of the collection implies the founding date of Tiffany & Co. by Charles Lewis Tiffany. Each piece in the collection is finished with the year in which Tiffany & Co. was founded and many bear an inscription of Charles Lewis Tiffany's signature.

In some cases, certain designs in the collection include Rubedo paired with sterling silver, such as the interlocking circles bangle and necklace. Prices range from $175 for a circle bracelet in Rubedo and sterling silver to $8,000 for an interlocking circles necklace, also made of Rubedo metal and sterling silver.

While Tiffany & Co. initially announced the Rubedo collection would only be available in 2012, pieces of the collection are currently available at select Tiffany & Co. stores worldwide and at Tiffany.com.

Resources:

Tiffany & Co., 727 Fifth Ave., New York, NY, (212) 755-8000

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