In 1837 Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young founded Tiffany & Company in Brooklyn, Connecticut, as a "stationery and fancy goods emporium". Charles Tiffany's father who financed the store with only $1,000.
Charles Lewis Tiffany along with his friend John B. Young established the jewelry company Tiffany in 1837 as Tiffany, Young and Ellis. They settled in Manhattan selling imported high-class glassware, silverware jewelry, and porcelain. Unlike other stores at the time, Tiffany clearly marked the prices on its goods, only accepted cash payments, and did not allow purchases on credit. The first Tiffany mail order catalog, known as the "Blue Book", was published in 1845, and publishing of the catalog continues it to this day.
The company began designing its own jewelry in the 1850s, relocating to Fifth Avenue and opening branches in Paris and London. Tiffany adopted the British silver standards, establishing the term "sterling" in the US. Charles Comfort Tiffany succeeded his father as director and led the company to become one of the leading proponents of the Art Nouveau style and shortened the name to Tiffany & Company, changed emphasis on jewelry in 1853.
In 1862 Tiffany supplied the Union Army with swords (Model 1840 Cavalry Saber), flags, and surgical implements.
In 1870, the company built a new store building at 15 Union Square West, Manhattan, designed by John Kellum. It was described by The New York Times as a "palace of jewels".
In 1956, legendary designer Jean Schlumberger joined Tiffany, and Andy Warhol collaborated with the company to create Tiffany holiday cards (circa 1956–1962).