A real Tiffany & Co. box can be the perfect packaging for a special gift, but they used to be really difficult to find. Believe it or not, empty Tiffany jewelry boxes were actually prohibited from being sold on many online auction sites, but things have changed.
Today, vintage Tiffany boxes abound if you know where to look. We've got some great tips for finding one in good condition, plus how much a Tiffany box is worth if you decide to sell one.
Value of the Tiffany Blue Box
In general, a Tiffany & Co. box is worth about $50 to $75, depending on what's included and what kind of shape it's in. This might seem like a lot for an empty box, but you have to remember why it's valuable: these blue boxes symbolize luxury.
Why the Boxes Are Valuable
In 1837, Charles Lewis Tiffany opened one of the most successful luxury businesses in United States history, a store that eventually became the well-respected Tiffany & Co. Recognizing that packaging is an important part of brand identification, Tiffany immediately insisted that all of the store's merchandise be presented in beautiful blue gift boxes. He further decreed that all blue gift boxes would be the same shade, a color similar to the hue of a robin's egg. Eventually, "Tiffany Blue" became a registered trademark of Tiffany & Co.
For more than 175 years, the luxurious jewelry and merchandise offered by Tiffany & Co. has been associated with these blue boxes. Each authentic Tiffany gift item is packaged in this blue box, tied with a white satin ribbon, and topped with the Tiffany logo.
Factors Affecting Tiffany Box Values
All blue boxes are not created equal. To be worth anything, the box has to be authentic and be stamped with the Tiffany & Co logo on the top. These are some of the other factors that can make it worth more or less:
- Condition - A box with discoloration, scratches, dents, or other damage is worth way less. For example, a Tiffany box with rubbing damage on the sides sold for only about $15, even though it came with a blue fabric bag.
- Size and shape - The classic Tiffany ring box is worth way more than a scarf box or flat gift card box. One gift card box with a bag, tissue, and all the trimmings sold for only about $7.50, despite being in great shape.
- Complete package - That blue box is only part of the package holding Tiffany gifts and jewelry. Boxes that come with the shopping bag, interior fabric bag, and other items are worth the most. For example, a Tiffany earring box with an interior display, fabric bag, tissue, ribbon, and shopping bag sold for over $160.
Legality of Buying a Tiffany & Co. Box
There are tons of reasons you may want to buy an empty Tiffany box. You may have a Tiffany jewelry piece you want to present in the original packaging, or you might want to give a luxurious appearance to a piece not made by the famed jeweler. Plus, these boxes are just pretty on their own.
Buying and selling Tiffany boxes online used to present something of a legal challenge. In 2004, Tiffany & Co. brought a court case against online auction site eBay. They claimed that the trade in fake Tiffany items and empty packaging materials represented an intellectual property infringement. This case and similar suits dragged on for many years, and for a while, this resulted in an eBay policy that prohibited sales of empty Tiffany packaging.
Eventually, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Tiffany & Co. Today, the blue boxes are bought and sold online on auction sites and in resale shops, so you should have no trouble finding one.
Tips to Buy and Sell Tiffany Boxes
For many people, buying or receiving a Tiffany gift means keeping the special box as a memento. However, for others, the jewelry itself is the only thing that represents any personal value, and the box is simply something that can be sold. There are plenty of potential buyers, and supply and demand translate into a steady stream of Tiffany boxes for sale on auction sites.
Keep these tips in mind if you're planning to buy or sell a blue box:
- Don't limit yourself to online sales. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are good resources for buying and selling locally, and you can see the box in person to assess condition.
- If you're trying to figure out how much a Tiffany box is worth, look at it very carefully and be honest about how the condition can affect the value. This can help if you decide to bargain as well.
- Compare a box to recent sales if you want to get a sense of value. Don't compare it to what sellers are asking since people can ask anything they want (and that doesn't mean someone is willing to pay that amount).
Pretty Blue Boxes That Are Worth a Pretty Penny
Although those pretty blue boxes will never be worth as much as the jewelry and gifts they originally contained, they actually can be worth a lot. Do your homework before buying or selling a Tiffany & Co box so you understand its value. These boxes are iconic for a reason, and collectors and enthusiasts love having the chance to own them.