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Is tiffany blue and aqua the same color?

Tiffany blue and aqua are two colors that are quite similar but have some distinct differences. In this article, we’ll take a close look at these two popular shades and examine if they are in fact the same color or not.

Defining Tiffany Blue

Tiffany blue is a specific robin’s egg blue shade named after Tiffany & Co., the famous jewelry retailer. This iconic blue was developed by Tiffany & Co. back in 1837 as a custom color for their catalog covers and product packaging. Over time, Tiffany blue became synonymous with the luxury brand.

The exact hex code for Tiffany blue is #0ABAB5. It is a bright, light blue with a hint of green that evokes a sense of elegance and sophistication. This distinctive blue is a registered trademark color of Tiffany & Co.

Defining Aqua

Aqua is a broader color term that encompasses a range of shades between blue and green. Unlike Tiffany blue, aqua is not associated with a specific brand or trademarked color. The word aqua comes from the Latin term for water, referring to the bluish-green shades of water in nature.

There are many variations of the aqua color, some more blue and others more green. Here are a few examples of aqua shades and their hex codes:

Aqua Shade Hex Code
Turquoise #40E0D0
Cyan #00FFFF
Teal #008080
Caribbean Green #00CC99

As you can see, aqua covers a wide spectrum, while Tiffany blue is one distinct shade.

Comparing Tiffany Blue and Aqua

Now that we understand these two colors separately, let’s directly compare Tiffany blue and aqua:

  • Hue: Both colors fall in the same blue-green family, straddling the line between blue and green.
  • Brightness: Tiffany blue and lighter aqua shades have a similar brightness, while darker teals are less bright.
  • Tone: Tiffany blue is a cooler, more blue-based tone. Aqua varies from cooler blue-based tones to warmer green-based tones.

While they occupy a similar color space, Tiffany blue is most similar to the cooler, lighter aqua shades. It looks quite different from deeper, more green aquas.

How Lighting Affects Their Appearance

The appearance of Tiffany blue and aqua can also shift under different lighting conditions:

  • Natural daylight brings out the bright, vivid tones of these colors.
  • Indoor incandescent lighting can give them a warmer, duller cast.
  • Fluorescent lights may lend a more greenish tone.

This chameleon-like quality is another reason the two colors may seem interchangeable in some settings but clearly distinct in others depending on the lighting.

Usage of Tiffany Blue vs Aqua

Context also helps differentiate Tiffany blue from aqua:

  • Tiffany blue is forever linked with Tiffany & Co. jewelry and accessories. You might describe an engagement ring box or Tiffany shopping bag as Tiffany blue.
  • Aqua is used in a broader range of settings. An aqua sweater, patio cushions, or eyeshadow are more likely to be described as aqua than Tiffany blue.

While their hues are close, the brand association of Tiffany blue sets it apart from the more generic aqua in terms of usage.

Are They Interchangeable?

Given the similarities between the colors, can Tiffany blue and aqua be used interchangeably?

  • In some contexts, yes. When speaking generally about lighter blue-green shades, the two terms may overlap.
  • However, for the specific trademarked Tiffany blue, it is not accurate or interchangeable with aqua. If referring to the Tiffany & Co. color, Tiffany blue is distinct.
  • Tiffany blue should not be used to describe anything other than the Tiffany brand color, while aqua is a broader descriptive term.

Key Differences

To summarize the key differences:

Tiffany Blue Aqua
Brand association Strongly associated with Tiffany & Co. brand Generic color term, no brand association
Shades Specific Pantone 1837 shade Range of shades
Use cases Mainly Tiffany & Co. branding Wide range of uses

While similar, Tiffany blue is a trademarked brand color linked distinctly with Tiffany & Co., while aqua is a variable color category covering a wide spectrum.

When to Use Each Term

Based on their differences, here is a breakdown of when to use the terms Tiffany blue and aqua:

  • Use Tiffany blue when specifically referring to the trademarked robin’s egg blue color of Tiffany & Co. brand.
  • Use aqua when talking about blue-green colors broadly, such as for clothing, interior design, eyeshadow, water colors, etc.
  • Only use the terms interchangeably when speaking generally about light blue-green hues and not about the Tiffany & Co. brand color.


Tiffany blue and aqua are distinct colors linked by their light blue-green family. While they occupy the same general color spectrum, Tiffany blue is a trademarked brand asset of Tiffany & Co. with a specific blue shade. Aqua is a more variable term that covers the range of blue-green tones.

In summary, Tiffany blue and aqua are not the same color. Tiffany blue is a proprietary Tiffany & Co. color. While it is an aqua shade, the terms are not interchangeable when referring specifically to the iconic robin’s egg blue of the Tiffany brand.

So next time you see that distinctive Tiffany blue, you’ll know it is one shade that can’t be described simply as aqua!