In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly rolls up to the famed jeweler in a little black dress, croissant in hand, to gaze at necklaces and earrings and dream of a better life. To most people, that life does not include a $1,000 tin can.
And yet decades later, here we are.
Tiffany & Co is selling a "tin can" for $1,000.
The sterling silver can, streaked with blue enamel, is part of the store's Everyday Objects line. That line also includes items like a $900 ball of yarn, a $350 crazy straw in silver and rose-colored gilding, and a silver pillbox made to look like a Chinese-food takeout container.
As Tiffany’s website states, the reason the can costs about as much as an iPhone X is that “beautiful things shouldn’t just live in a drawer. Handcrafted in sterling silver, enamel and wood, this new collection elevates traditional office supplies and accessories into works of art meant to become favorite pieces you use every day.”
The aestheticization of the "everyday" and the price tags attached to them drew some venom on social media.
There is also the fact that the tin can does not appear to contain actual tin. Rather, the can, which can be hand-engraved for an additional $45 or mechanically engraved at a lower cost, is made of sterling silver.
The can itself may quite literally be worth it, or at least close to the value of the silver used to make it. In the current market cost for sterling silver, actual tin costs something like 55 cents per ounce, while silver is closer to almost $17 per ounce. According to Gizmodo, the tin cans we know and love are usually made from steel and merely lined with tin. Older processes alloyed tin with other metals like lead (the two were combined by soldering)—so at least the Tiffany's can has the absence of anything physically toxic in it.
While the expense is definitely something, wanting fancy things is understandable in certain contexts. One could imagine a desire for a really, really nice pair of ping-pong paddles (yes, Tiffany’s is selling those too) if money were no object, and if one had a ping-pong table at which to use said paddles. To say the same for a cylinder whose advertised use—other than “[elevating] traditional office supplies and accessories into works of art meant to become favorite pieces you use every day” and looking very expensive—appears to be holding several pencils would be more than a bit of a stretch.
Tiffany’s did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication.