Tagging, Tiffany Style

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I laughed out loud today when I read Cintra Wilson’s review (here) of the Tiffany & Co. branch on Wall Street.  She compliments the interior design for its accommodation of the building’s original Beaux-Arts details.  She restrains herself in talking about the jewelry, describing the Elsa Peretti hearts as “gloopy,” and saying that one bracelet looks like a “cubist zucchini.”  The best, though, was her description of the ubiquitous silver heart one can find on bracelets, necklaces, earrings, key rings:

I have always been mystified by Tiffany’s heart-shaped silver dog tags, worn on a choke chain, with the engraved instructions, “Please return to Tiffany & Co.”  This, I have always assumed, is precautionary: If your lady gets lost, someone will put her on a plane back to the jewelry store.  In any case, they are hugely popular.

I’ve never liked the aesthetics of this particular line of jewelry, and I especially don’t like seeing pre-teen girls wear it (eww).  I agree with Cinta that the “please return to” charm is just darn weird.  There’s the women-as-pets motif, which is clear, and the if-I’m-lost-I’m-too-dumb-to-know-where-to-go angle.  But let’s assume that the wearer separates accidentally or involuntarily from her bauble.  What is the chance that lost or stolen jewelry will be returned to Tiffany?

-Bridget Crawford

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