The Eiffel Tower is undeniably the world’s most famous and beloved landmark, immediately recognized the world over. More than 250,000,000 fortunate visitors have seized the opportunity to experience the Grande Dame of Paris up close and personal, though the vast majority have availed themselves of the convenience afforded by elevators to ascend the tower’s heights.

Less well known is the fact that when the Eiffel Tower was first completed in March of 1889, there was only one way to reach the top---by ascending a dauntingly massive spiral staircase, akin to the world’s largest corkscrew, that wound its way up the tower.

During the 1889 Exposition, nearly two million people visited the tower, a number that would stand as an annual attendance record until the 1960s. What makes that number much more interesting is the fact that during its earliest days, the only way to the top was via the incredible spiral staircase. 

Eiffel, himself, made the trek, climbing more than 1,700 steps to the third level of the tower, as did royalty, dignitaries, celebrities, and luminaries of the time, along with intrepid explorers from every walk of life. 

In 1983, the spiral staircase was removed from the Eiffel Tower to address safety and structural concerns. The spiral staircase was sub-divided into twenty-four segments, one of which remains at the first level of the Eiffel Tower today, still sporting its original coat of vermilion red paint! 

Three other segments were donated to French museums, and the remaining twenty segments were sold via an international auction that was broadcast across the world on television. The staircase segments scattered across the globe into private collections. In recent years, some specimens have commanded prices approaching a million dollars.

How can one put a price on such a precious piece of history, especially one that is inextricably linked with the mystique and romance of Paris? A recent study by Italy’s Monza and Brianza Chamber of Commerce did exactly that, ranking the Eiffel Tower as Europe’s most valuable monument, worth 435 billion euros or more than half a trillion dollars. One should probably expect Eiffel Tower staircase segment prices to continue to appreciate! 

One of the segments found its way to the Southeastern United States, as reported in the National Geographic Channel® series, Pricing the Priceless (2011), which featured iconic monuments. In an episode spotlighting the Eiffel Tower, the film crew captured footage of an original Eiffel Tower spiral staircase element being cut apart. 

The owner sold one segment (lower portion) in June of 2011 through renowned auction house Christie’s (with provenance cited as the Ader-Picard-Tajan auction, Vente de L’escalier de la Tour Eiffel, 1 December 1983, Paris). 

Korbella™ acquired their companion (upper portion) segment from the same seller in late 2011.

Korbella™ has diligently maintained control and oversight of the staircase throughout the process of creating the beautiful Eiffel Tower Forever jewelry collection. Each limited production piece of the Eiffel Tower Forever jewelry collection acquired through Korbella™ will include a certificate of authenticity.

There is no other monument in the world that can equal the Eiffel Tower in terms of renown and its singular, overwhelmingly positive and romantic mystique. Korbella™ is delighted to share this incredible limited production collection with dreamers and romantics (and those who love them). We invite you to experience our ground-breaking collection and connect with Paris in a way never before possible---with your own personal piece of the Eiffel Tower (Paris, France / 1889).

May you always hold Paris in your heart and in your dreams...

Team Korbella