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BEST PLACE TO BUY A MAKE-UP GIFT Phoenix 2005 - Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co.

7014 E. Camelback Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480-946-9100

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If there'd been any way to buy one of those light-blue Tiffany boxes on the black market, we could've saved a mint by snagging the box and heading over to the discount jewelry mart for a cheapo trinket. Alas, you've gotta pay to collect a Tiffany box.

Sometimes, there's no substitute. Yep, we did something so wrong, we were forced to go all the way up the ladder to the Jeweler of Jewelers for a make-up gift. Okay, okay, we admit it, damn it all; what you think we did doesn't even compare to the offense in question. We had no damn choice. Anything short of Tiffany's, and we'd have been up the canal without a bobble.

So, tail between legs, we headed to the Scottsdale branch of the jeweler to the rich and famous. Once inside, we had one question: "How much do I have to spend to get one of them blue boxes?" A nice lady behind the counter looked sympathetic, as her haughty colleagues glared at us with that "Well, if you have to ask . . ." look. The Queen of Compassion pointed to her own earrings, which resembled Tahitian pearls but were really stainless-steel jobbies for a mere $65. "Of course, we have items like money clips for less, but that won't do, will it?" she said, clicking her tongue three times. No, it wouldn't!

To put those tight-assed colleagues of hers in their place, we blurted: "What's the most expensive item in the store?" It was a $250,000 diamond engagement ring. We settled for something on the low end of in-between -- a $486 crystal heart on a platinum chain -- and got the hell out of there!

Fortunately, the locks on the doors hadn't been changed by the time we got home with our little blue box.

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