Challenging Tiffany & Co. and What Could be the Most Expensive Public Sale in NFT History
Are diamonds an NFT holder’s best friend? The answer might be yes for a few hundred CryptoPunks holders, and it could soon be the same for thousands of others.
Tiffany & Co., the well-known luxury jeweler and specialty retailer, made a lavish entrance into the NFT space this month, raking in more than $12.5 million from its first NFT collection that sold out less than 30 minutes after launch. Limited to a supply of 250, the exclusive collection is the fruit of a partnership between Tiffany and Chain, a blockchain software development company.
Tiffany first announced its unique NFT collection at the start of August. Dubbed NFTiff, each 30 ETH purchase gives buyers a Tiffany pendant of a CryptoPunk in their collection and a digital version that replicates the physical design.
The luxury brand said each custom, one-of-a-kind pendant would be made out of 18k rose or yellow gold with at least 30 gemstones. Jewelers will color-match the enamel and gemstones to mimic the Punk’s virtual hues. Anyone can buy an NFTiff, but only CryptoPunk holders have the ability to embark on the customized jewelry experience.
Tiffany noted renders of the pendants would be ready by October, with the physical jewelry heading to owners by mail in 2023. The unique foray into the NFT world is made possible through CryptoPunk owners “leveraging their IP rights” and does not directly involve CryptoPunks or the Larva Labs parent company.
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Unsurprisingly, the news stirred up a lot of opinions. Some expressed excitement that a luxury jewelry brand targeted wealthy buyers with an exclusive product. Others wondered about the timing amid Ether’s continued price slide and moves by NFT creators to lower asking prices.
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On August 1st, CryptoPunk trade volume surged by 1,847% in a 24-hour period, seemingly tied to Tiffany’s announcement of its exclusive NFT collection.
Tiffany’s announcement adds the famed retailer to a growing list of fashion-based brands engaging with NFTs and Web3. Adidas teamed up with Bored Ape Yacht Club for an NFT project focused on digital garments, while Gucci has worked with the SuperRare marketplace on a few NFT collaborations so far.
Many wonder if Tiffany’s move into the NFT world represents a new frontier for jewelry collecting. A news release from the jeweler highlights how Vice President Alexander Arnault helped inspire the collaboration with Chain after posting his own customized Punk pendant earlier in 2022.
Chairman Bernard Arnault mused about Web3 in January and explained how applying the metaverse and NFTs, “…can undoubtedly have a positive impact —if it is well done — on the activity of the brands, but it is not our objective to sell virtual sneakers at €10. We are not interested in that.”
Tiffany’s move remains unique within the NFT world. It has an air of exclusivity, with the NFT’s starting price and the brand behind it that’s not really been seen before.
Thoughts are crypto whales will highly covet NFTiff as buyers will receive both an NFT and a bespoke piece of Tiffany jewelry.
Is A New Era Approaching For Jewelry Collectors?
After Tiffany & Co. quickly sold out its limited collection, other brands may now be wondering what they can take away from its great success. This has been top of mind for artist Johnathan Schultz, but his journey into the NFT space began many months ago, long before the NFTiff launch.
Schultz is an innovative, luxury artist who is already renowned for incorporating precious metals and diamonds into his work. Schultz understands how high-end collectors value physical jewelry and unique digital art, and is now laser focused on integrating physical jewelry with NFTs.
Based out of Las Vegas, the South African artist and entrepreneur has gained prominence for integrating precious metals and diamonds into his work and for trailblazing new applications of both in larger-scale projects. One way is through the GemSet NFTs. According to the project, each NFT in GemSet’s 10K Generative collection is associated with a diamond, which underlies each NFT to incorporate real life elements of Schultz’s art into the digital collection.
Prior to GemSet, Schultz spent a great deal of time giving back to the community. Schultz has been involved in a number of charitable events including with Ride2Revive, an organization which helps children with life-threatening illnesses. Schultz also donated an exclusive $150,000 multi-layered gold basketball piece to help fund Hennessy’s ‘Unfinished Business’, a non-profit that provides relief and support to small business owners.
Currently at GemSet, team members are building an Artist Launchpad to solicit funding applications for creatives looking to jumpstart their careers. Artists who are holders of the Gem NFT will also have the opportunity to study under Schultz and succeed in the commercial art world. The mint date for GemSet and the price are not yet set, but those interested in the project can visit the official website, Twitter and Instagram for more details and updates.
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