Tiffany salespeople are constantly helping customers find the perfect engagement ring for popping the question. But what you might not know is that they often partake in the proposals themselves -- both planned and unplanned. (Credit: Martyn Thompson)
Credit: Andrew Bordwin
The store was architecturally advanced for its time
The main floor was constructed without columns -- a feat in itself when the building opened more than 75 years ago, Tiffany & Co. vice president Jeff Bennett told amNewYork. The 24-foot-high ceiling is instead secured with trusses, like many major bridges.
Here's another cool fact: The flagship building was the first mercantile building in New York City with central air-conditioning.
Credit: Tiffany & Co. archives
It's home to a dazzling diamond that's not for sale
The Tiffany flagship store is home to one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered: the Tiffany Diamond. The 287.42-carat rough diamond was mined in South Africa in 1877 and purchased the following year by Charles Lewis Tiffany, who had the diamond cut down to 128.54 carats.
The 82-facet stone has had quite a life since then. In 1955 it was featured for the first and only time in the Fifth Avenue holiday window display (pictured), which was designed by iconic window dresser Gene Moore.
In 1966, the Tiffany Diamond was set in a necklace worn by Audrey Hepburn in publicity photos for "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
The high-profile diamond even spent some time in Paris in 1995 as part of a Jean Schlumberger retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
The Tiffany Diamond has been back on display at the Fifth Avenue store since 2012. It's not for sale -- though Tiffany ran a tongue-in-cheek ad back in the 1970s that advertised the diamond for $5 million if purchased within 24 hours.
Credit: Reese Witherspoon via Instagram
A sweet on-screen proposal was inspired by real life
The famous proposal scene in 2002 romantic comedy "Sweet Home Alabama" was shot at the flagship store -- and it was inspired by the film director's own life.
Bennett said the picture-perfect proposal was a scene straight from director Andy Tennant's life -- his wife's one-time boyfriend proposed to her at Tiffany & Co. She said it was "the perfect proposal, but the wrong guy."
Actress Reese Witherspoon visited Tiffany this summer, where she and an employee reenacted the proposal -- sans "Sweet Home Alabama" co-star Patrick Dempsey.
Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt
Trump bought Tiffany's air rights
Donald Trump revealed in his best-selling book, "The Art of the Deal," that he bought Tiffany's air rights for $5 million in order to build Trump Tower.
Trump even named his 22-year-old daughter, Tiffany, after the flagship store, according to a 1993 New York Times article.
"Everything involved with Trump Tower has been successful," he said. "And Trump Tower was built with Tiffany's air rights. But I've also always loved the name."
Credit: Tiffany & Co.
This isn't Atlas' first home
The Atlas clock that lives outside of the Tiffany flagship is older than the store.
The giant statue was originally mounted above the 550 Broadway location when it opened in 1853, Bennett said.
Credit: Ricky Zehavi for Tiffany & Co.
Icons have designed its whimsical window displays
Designers old and new have lent their artistry to the iconic window displays at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.
Gene Moore, Tiffany's former vice president and display director, spent nearly 40 years designing the display windows on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. He placed simple materials like eggshells, pasta, lettuce and dirt alongside Tiffany's precious jewels to create original displays. Moore is even believed to be the first person to use all-white lights on Christmas trees, in a 1959 holiday display at the Seagram Building, according to Tiffany & Co.
In 2012, fashion designer Rachel Zoe collaborated with Tiffany to create displays that highlighted Hollywood glamour from the 1930s to the 1970s. A year later, "Great Gatsby" director Baz Luhrmann and costume designer Catherine Martin collaborated with the flagship store to create Gatsby-themed windows (pictured).
Credit: Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany is home to a special atelier
Tiffany's by-appointment salon is home to a famous designer's atelier.
Tiffany customers can find the store's rarest jewels in the Tiffany Salon, which opened in 2010. They can also find Tiffany designer Jean Schlumberger's former design studio, which now serves as the salon's atelier.
Schlumberger boasted a star-studded client roster, which included Jacqueline Kennedy, Gloria Vanderbilt, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn.
Credit: Getty Images / Peter Kramer
The store was the target of a $1.9 million jewel heist
The Tiffany & Co. flagship store was the victim of a $1.9 million jewel heist back in 1994 -- the largest robbery in the company's history.
Tiffany security supervisor Scott Jackson was among the suspects accused in the heist. He was acquitted for the crime, and instead convicted in a 1992 robbery of a Tiffany merchandising coordinator, according to a New York Times report.
Credit: Martyn Thompson
It's a popular place to pop the question
Tiffany salespeople are constantly helping customers find the perfect engagement ring for popping the question. But what you might not know is that they often partake in the proposals themselves -- both planned and unplanned.
One holiday weekend, a man took his girlfriend and Tiffany's staff by surprise when he knelt down on one knee and proposed at the Fifth Avenue location. It was a busy weekend for restaurants, so the staff worked to find the newly engaged couple reservations for a romantic dinner. When the couple arrived for the meal, there was a bottle of wine waiting from friends at Tiffany.
On another occasion, Tiffany staff worked with a man from Portugal to arrange the perfect in-store proposal. The woman came to the store with her boyfriend under the guise of picking out an engagement ring, but little did she know that her boyfriend had picked one out earlier that day. Danielle, a sales professional, escorted the couple to a private salon and brought out three rings, each attached to a ticket that revealed the ring's carat size. But the engagement ring that the man picked out had a special ticket on it that read "Will you marry me?" in Portuguese.
Naturally, she said yes.
Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Lionel Bonaventure
An architect built a Tiffany & Co. jewelry collection
A world-renowned architect designed jewelry for Tiffany & Co.
Frank Gehry built Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim Museum in Spain and 8 Spruce Street in New York City. In 2003, he collaborated with Tiffany & Co. to create an exclusive jewelry collection, which debuted in 2006.
Other notable Tiffany designers include Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso -- the youngest daughter of Pablo Picasso.