Tiffany Blue is a specific robin’s egg blue color that was trademarked by Tiffany & Co. in 1998. The iconic Tiffany Blue hue has been closely associated with luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. for over 100 years. But there has been some debate over whether Tiffany Blue should be classified as a blue or green shade. Here’s a closer look at the famous Tiffany Blue color and whether it’s more accurately described as blue or teal.
The History of Tiffany Blue
The distinctive Tiffany Blue color was established in 1845 when Charles Lewis Tiffany opened the first Tiffany & Co. store in New York City. Tiffany wanted the building’s interior decor to match the company’s premium luxury branding. He chose a custom light blue-green paint color for the walls, counters, and display cases inside the store. This original hue was then named Tiffany Blue.
Over the years, Tiffany Blue went on to become Tiffany & Co.’s signature color. It soon started appearing on the brand’s iconic jewelry boxes tied with white satin ribbon. By the early 20th century, Tiffany Blue had become synonymous with the luxury jeweler. Tiffany & Co. expanded the use of its signature color to shopping bags, catalogs, packaging, advertising, and more. In 1998, Tiffany & Co. officially trademarked the specific custom color.
The Color Specifications of Tiffany Blue
The exact specifications of Tiffany’s custom robin’s egg blue shade were trademarked by the company in 1998. According to the trademark, authentic Tiffany Blue is identified as:
- Pantone Matching System (PMS): PMS 1837
- CMYK values: C=100, M=0, Y=13, K=64
- RGB values: R=0, G=171, B=169
- Hex triplet: #00ABB9
These color codes precisely define the custom Tiffany Blue color. Pantone 1837 is a strongly registered trademark only for use by Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany Blue Characteristics
When examining the technical specifications of Tiffany Blue, several characteristics stand out:
- Very high cyan content – Tiffany Blue has a 100% cyan value according to CMYK, resulting in a vivid blue tone.
- Low magenta and yellow values – The lack of magenta and minimal yellow balances out the cyan, creating a pale blue-green.
- High brightness – With 100% red value in RGB, Tiffany Blue is a bright vibrant shade.
- Medium saturation – A saturation of 60% contributes to Tiffany Blue’s soft pastel look.
- Robin’s egg blue – The light greenish-blue is reminiscent of robin’s eggs, as noted in the original name.
These specific attributes give Tiffany Blue its distinctive appearance – a light, vivid, cool-toned blue with subtle green undertones. The robin’s egg association comes from the pale greenish tint combined with the bright, nearly electric blue tone.
Is Tiffany Blue Considered a Blue or Green?
Given its blue-green hybrid appearance, there has been some disagreement over whether to classify Tiffany Blue as blue or green.
Here are reasons why Tiffany Blue can be considered a blue:
- The primary color component is blue – Based on its color specifications, Tiffany Blue contains mostly cyan, which is a shade of blue.
- It appears blue to the eye – Despite subtle green tones, Tiffany Blue is still perceived as a light blue by most people.
- Technical classifications list it as blue – Authoritative sources like Pantone and CMYK designate it as a blue by labeling it with codes that start with “Blue.”
Reasons why Tiffany Blue could be seen as a green:
- It has some green pigment – The CMYK, RGB and hex values indicate both blue and green components.
- The name includes “green” – Words like “greenish” and “blue-green” are often used to describe it.
- It resembles other greens – The robin’s egg association connects it to light green hues.
So while there are arguments on both sides, most experts and analysis point to Tiffany Blue being classified primarily as a blue color due to its stronger blue characteristics.
Comparison to Teal
Teal is a bluish-green color that shares similarities with Tiffany Blue. Since teal sits between blue and green on the color spectrum, it’s useful to compare it to Tiffany Blue to determine whether Tiffany Blue is more blue or green.
Here is how Tiffany Blue and teal colors differ:
|Tiffany Blue||210 degrees (blue)||100% (vivid)||60% (medium)|
|Teal||180 degrees (green)||75% (vivid)||100% (high)|
As shown in the table:
- Tiffany Blue has a hue closer to pure blue, while teal leans toward green.
- Tiffany Blue is brighter and lighter than the darker, duller teal.
- Teal has much higher saturation than the softer Tiffany Blue.
Based on these comparisons, Tiffany Blue generally appears more blue, while teal appears more green. Teal is also darker and deeper than the pale, bright Tiffany Blue.
Despite having subtle greenish undertones, the iconic Tiffany Blue shade is classified primarily as a blue rather than a green color. Its technical specifications, characteristics, and visual appearance all align more closely with blue hues than green ones. When compared to an intermediate teal shade, Tiffany Blue looks lighter, brighter, and bluer. The robin’s egg blue association captures the essence of Tiffany Blue – a vivid pastel blue with just a hint of green.
So while the exact categorization may be up for debate, Tiffany Blue is generally regarded as a blue color both technically and visually. The next time you see the distinctive Tiffany Blue, you can confidently call it a blue rather than a green. This brilliant robin’s egg blue shade will likely remain an iconic trademark of Tiffany & Co. for the next 100 years and beyond.