One fine example of the typical Horatio Algier story began in 1837 with one thousand dollars and the partnership of John B. Young and Charles Louis Tiffany.
It was in that year that they opened a stationary and fancy goods store. Ten years later they decided to expand into jewelry, so John B. Young voyaged to Europe to buy their first few pieces of stock. While there, Europe was rocked by the revolutions of 1848. France, Hungary and many of the capitals of central Europe were wrought with middle and lower class revolts. Many wealthy Europeans were forced to sell their jewels and diamonds, most for half of their original cost. With the agreement of this partner, Tiffany, young was a willing buyer. This was the beginning of the growth of American fine jewelry.
Design was still established in France, but the innovations of
American manufacturers helped to make these styles available to more people. It was
costume, not synthetic jewelry, that was produced. The accessibility of jewelry
made it possible to be worn on all occasions, even if it was just a trip to the
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in demand by those who know and want the best.
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