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15 Things You Didn’t Know about Cartier

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15 Things You Didn’t Know about Cartier

June 27, 2018

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Today we’re revealing some interesting and surprising facts about Cartier, the French luxury goods company with a long a long history of selling some of the finest watches and jewelry in the world.

The house of Cartier was founded in 1847 when Louis-François Cartier inherited a jewelry workshop in Paris at the age of 29. Nearly ten years later he got his first royal client when French Princess Mathilde made her first cart a purchase in 1856. In 1904 Cartier had built enough of a reputation to be named as the official purveyor to King Edward, the seventh of the United Kingdom and king Alfonso XIII of Spain.

In 1909 Louis-François Cartier’s grandson Pierre established the New York City branch of the company. After Pierre’s death in 1964, the remaining Cartier descendants who were in charge decided to sell the company. Cartier is currently owned by the granddaughter of Pierre Cartier and the Rupert family of South Africa through the luxury goods company Richemont.

Cartier Juste un Clou Bracelet in 18K White Gold with Diamonds

Although they are best known for their jewelry and watches, they also sell perfumes eyewear fashion accessories and other fine goods like money clips cufflinks and stationery.

Cartier has long been a favorite of royalty celebrities and the wealthy with their client list, including names such as Queen Elizabeth, Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie Kate and Pippa Middleton, Kylie Jenner Princess Diana, Michelle Obama Zac Efron. We could go on Cartier embodies true beauty and luxury in timeless pieces that we know many a Luxor’s would love to add to their collection, so let’s take a closer look at this incredibly successful brand that has been delivering the finest products for 170 years with the 15 things you didn’t know about Cartier.

No.1: Cartier sold the most expensive ruby in the world in 2015.

Cartier put their sunrise ruby a 25.6 carat Burmese Ruby up for auction with South appease auction house in 2015. The final bid which came from an anonymous buyer was $30,335,698 dollars, making it the most expensive Ruby, the most expensive colored gemstone, and the most expensive non-diamond gemstone in the world. The previous record for the highest price ruby was the Graff ruby ring which sold for 8.6 million dollars back in 2014.

No.2: Cartier gave the love bracelet to twenty five famous couples when it was introduced.

The iconic Cartier love bracelet was designed in 1969 and still remains one of the best-selling pieces in the history of Cartier though bracelets were designed, so they could only be taken off with a special screwdriver that comes with it.

At the time of purchase when the bracelets were first introduced, Cartier got some major publicity by giving matching bracelets to 25 of the most famous couples of the time, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor Elizabeth, Taylor and Richard Burton, Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, Ali MacGraw and Steve, McQueen and nanny, and Frank Sinatra.

Cartier Love Bracelet in 18k Yellow Gold 204 Diamond-Paved

No.3: Pierre Cartier bought his Fifth Avenue New York City with a pearl necklace in 1914.

Pierre Cartier was able to make an incredible real estate deal with millionaire Morton Plant who owned a building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street. Morton’s fiancee had her eye on a particular Cartier double strand pearl necklace and Cartier was eager to move his store to a more high-end location. Morton ended up giving Cartier what would become his flagship store location in exchange for the pearl necklace and $100.

No.4: JP Morgan bought his first Cartier mystery clock.

The mystery clock was designed in 1913 and it got its name because the hour and minute hands seemed to be mysteriously floating. The illusion was achieved by mounting the hands to transparent rock crystal. Cartier decorated these clocks with a number of diamonds and gemstones and shaped them into individual works of art. The first mystery clock was purchased by financier JP Morgan in 1929 for $3,200. It was created by the original mystery clock designer Maurice QA and it was in the shape of a temple. The clock was put up for auction in 1993 and the winning bid was over 1.5 million dollars.

No.5: The most expensive love bracelet is fifty six thousand dollars.

Originally the love bracelet sold for two hundred and fifty dollars and it was silver plated with 18 karat gold. Soon after the first bracelets were on the market, it has been one of the most popular bracelets out of solid gold, and the first diamond studded bracelet was available in 1979. Now there are a wide variety of love bracelet options available with the least expensive being the $1200 pink cord that comes with two links made of brown ceramic and 18 karat gold with four diamonds totaling 0.01 carats. The most expensive is the $56,000 18 karat white gold option which is set with 216 brilliant cut diamonds totalling 3.16 carats.

No. 6: Alfred Cartier was the first to use platinum in making jewelry.

Platinum in the 19th century was incredibly expensive and difficult to work with. In 1847, Alfred Cartier was the first take on the challenge of using this high-end metal for making jewelry. He used these strong metal to accentuate the brilliance of diamonds and he commonly incorporated it into his garland style pieces.

No. 7: The Patiala necklace was one of the most extravagant pieces of jewelry created by Cartier.

In 1928 the Patiala necklace was created by Cartier for Bhupinder Singh of Patiala who was the ruling Maharajah of the state of Potiala in India at the time. The necklace had 2930 diamonds including the world’s 7th largest diamond known as the DeBeers which was around 234 carats. Seven of other diamonds were also quite large ranging from 18 to 73 carats. The necklace also featured a number of Burmese rubies. In 1948 the necklace disappeared but the De Beers diamond resurfaced in 1982 and was sold at a South apiece auction in Geneva for 3.16 million dollars in 1998. The missing part of the necklace was found at a secondhand jewelry store in London but it was missing the Burmese rubies and the 7 large diamonds. In addition to the De Beers, Cartier purchased the incomplete necklace and restored it to its original state although not exactly since they used cubic zirconia and synthetic diamonds to replace the missing jewels.

No.8: Cartier popularized wristwatches for men.

In the early 1900s, wristwatches were typically worn by women while the pocket watch was considered the gentleman’s time piece. After his friend Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to Louis Cartier about having difficulty recording flight times with his pocket watch, Cartier went to work designing a more practical timepiece. He debuted his first men’s wristwatch called the Santos watch after his friend.

In 1904 the fame and achievements of Santos Dumont in the field of aviation helped boost the popularity of the watch, and the Santos watch is still a popular watch model sold by Cartier.

No.9: New York City hospitals keep a collection of love screwdrivers.

The love bracelet is so popular in New York City that many of the New York hospitals are sure to have a collection of love screwdrivers handy so that they can remove the bracelet from a patient’s wrist if necessary.

No. 10: Kate Middleton was given a special Cartier watch by Prince William for their third anniversary.

In 2014 Kate Middleton received a ballon bleu de Cartier watch from her husband Prince William to celebrate their third wedding anniversary, the watch was embedded with a sapphire stone that matches the one in Kate’s engagement ring which used to belong to Princess Diana. The watch costs around $7,000.

No. 11: As of may 2017 Cartier is the 61st most valuable brand in the world.

When you think of all the millions of brands there are in the world, it is very impressive for a company to be listed anywhere in the top 100 brands, especially a company that has been operating for 170 years. As of 2017 the Cartier brand is still going strong coming in 61st on Forbes most valuable brands list. In 2016 new stores opened in Australia, China, Thailand and Turkey, and the company did 5.7 billion dollars in sales.

No. 12: The 2d fruity collection originated in 1901.

The popular tutti-frutti collection by Cartier originated in 1901 with a necklace commissioned by Queen Alexandra of Great Britain to be worn with three Indian gowns that she had received as a gift. The distinctive styling of the jewellery is characterized by the brightly colored gemstones carved using Indian techniques that are set in French platinum and diamond mountings. Although it was a very popular style in the 1920s, it didn’t get the tutti-frutti name until 1970. It remains one of the most celebrated Cartier collections.

No. 13: Jacqueline Kennedy’s watches, the most expensive Cartier tank ever sold in 2017.

One of Cartier’s trademark tank watches that was owned by United States First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis became the most expensive tank ever sold with a winning bid of $379,500 dollars at an auction in New York City.

The 18 carat gold watch is a square-shaped Cartier tank ordinaire that was one of three of its kind produced in 1963.

No. 14: A Cartier Panther bracelet is the most expensive bracelet ever sold at auction.

Edward the third was King of the United Kingdom from January 1936 until December of that same year when he abdicated his throne to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson. The couple had several items commissioned from Cartier over the course of their marriage including a Panther bracelet made with 545 pave-set diamonds and caliber cut onyx stones, with two emeralds for the Panthers eyes.

In 2010 that bracelet became the most expensive bracelet ever sold at auction with a winning bid of 7 million dollars despite having several small stones missing.

No. 15: Cartier sold the Hope Diamond in 1910 recognized as the most expensive piece of jewelry in the world.

The Hope Diamond changed hands more than 20 times before it was finally given to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC where it has been on display since 1958. One of the owners was Pierre Cartier who bought it in 1910 for $150,000 dollars which is around $3.86 million dollars at today’s valuation. He sold it to Washington DC millionaires Evalyn Walsh and Edward Biel McLean in 1911 for $180,000 dollars or $4.5 million dollars at today’s valuation. The blue diamond is currently valued at 250 million dollars.

Now that you’ve learned more about Cartier. We’d like to know which luxury jewelry brand do you prefer, let us know what you think in the comments.


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