The Exchange

Christmas at Tiffany's: How to Do It on the 'Cheap'

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A sales assistant reaches for diamond rings inside a display case at a Tiffany store in Shanghai.

When it comes to luxury goods, there aren't many names that come to mind more than Tiffany (TIF). And that's certainly understandable, considering the New York jewelry seller is one of the few companies capable of offering single items that cost more than $1 million.

Now that is luxe. However, even at Tiffany, known for its diamonds and platinum bands, seven-figure price tags are exceedingly rare.

On Tuesday Tiffany reported earnings for the latest quarter that were strong, giving the company room to raise its profit forecast for the full year. Word that its deep-pocketed clientele is doing all right sent shares soaring more than 8% to an all-time high above $87. (The stock is up 53% year-to-date.)

As an exercise, we wanted to see what it would cost you to purchase the single most expensive item from each of the eight main sections Tiffany breaks out for jewelry. Total damage? $11,467,325. Again, that's for only eight items a bracelet, a brooch, a charm, a set of earrings, a necklace, a ring, one wedding band and the priciest piece of men's jewelry. The single most expensive of them all is the Diamond Fringe Necklace, which will set you back $7 million on its own. Not a misprint.

The chart here shows the price level in dollars of the five costliest jewelry items on Tiffany's website:

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But wait. It doesn't have to be this way. The good news for the bargain shopper, bargain being relative, is that you actually can get a pretty serious haul at Tiffany for much, much less. If you were to buy the lowest-priced item from each of those same eight groups, your outlay would be $1,710. In fact, assuming you aren't getting married, you've got it a lot better. The cheapest wedding band alone is $525, nearly one-third of the total.

Take that out, and your "down-market" basket comes to $1,185. Not exactly pocket change, but that makes a Tiffany excursion far more within reach.

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Here's a closer look at the very expensive, and more within reach, items at Tiffany.

Bracelets

High: Cobblestone Yellow Diamond Bracelet, $1.3 million. Features 59 yellow diamonds. Combined with its white diamonds, it totals over 100 carats. The bracelet also contains platinum and 18k gold.

Low: A few options, including the sterling silver Heart Tag Bracelet for $125.

Brooches

High: Schlumberger Star Clip, $135,000. Platinum and 18k gold with diamonds. Carat weight 10.21.

Low: Elsa Peretti Starfish Brooch in sterling silver for $450.

Charms

High: Schlumberger Bird Charm or Egg Charm, each $8,250. You'll find diamonds and gemstones that vary depending on the charm. Both also include platinum and 18k gold.

Low: "Return to Tiffany" sterling silver Heart Tag Charms or a Letter Disc Charms for $75.

Earrings

High: Round Brilliant Diamond Earrings, $1.2 million. These large round brilliant-cut diamonds have carat weights of 5.94 and 5.84. Accompanying small round brilliant-cut diamonds have a carat total weight of 0.61. The earrings also contain platinum.

Low: You've got a few items from which to choose, including sterling silver "Tiffany & Co." Earrings priced at $125.

Necklaces

High: Here's the biggest of them all the Diamond Fringe Necklace for $7 million. It features a 20.01-carat internally flawless center diamond, set in platinum and framed by more diamonds. Total diamond carat weight here is 59.88.

Low: The Elsa Peretti Bean Pendant, priced at $110, in sterling silver and on a 16" chain.

Rings

High: Cushion-cut Diamond Ring, $1.8 million. An internally flawless diamond, it's set in a platinum ring and surrounded by smaller round diamonds. The main diamond's carat weight is 11.22. The smaller diamonds total 1.10 carats.

Low: Another case of a few options. One would be the sterling silver Tiffany Notes Band Ring for $125.

Wedding Bands

High: Etoile Five-row Band Ring, $16,275. A five-row band ring with diamonds, set in platinum.

Low: You've got two options, including the Frank Gehry Torque Micro Ring for $525. 18k rose gold.

Men's Jewelry

High: Square Link Necklace, $7,800. An 18k gold necklace, 20" in length.

Low: Paloma's Zellige Ring, $175. Stainless steel.

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