Cartier was founded in 1847 Paris by a jeweler and watchmaker named Louis-François Cartier. In the years since, the brand grew and evolved into the luxury goods powerhouse it is today with a special affinity for fine statement jewelry.
122 years post-founding, in 1969, the house's most influential cult-favorite was introduced to the public as Cartier's timeless Love Collection.
Dialing it back to a few years, this collection's story truly begins in 1936, with the birth of Aldo Cipullo - the Italian son of a costume jewelry manufacturer. After working alongside his father for many years, Cipullo moved to the US in 1959, taking his talents to new heights working with well-established companies like Tiffany & Co. and David Webb.
Not long after his move, Cipullo made the transition to Cartier where he conceptualized the semi-permanent Love bracelet, fashioned after medieval chastity belts. Cipullo explained his design stating "what modern people want are love symbols that look semi-permanent or, at least, require a trick to remove." He concluded by saying, "love symbols should suggest an everlasting quality” of which Cartier's Love collection is infamously known for to this day.
For the bracelet in particular, the snug-fitting oval silhouette requires a screw and screwdriver to wear as intended. The inability to simply slip the bracelet on, or unhook a clasp changed the way many people looked at jewelry and what it can be used to represent.
Originally manufactured in sterling silver with gold plating, the design was soon after elevated by using solid 18K gold. In 1979, the dazzling diamond embellished version was added to the collection's roster.
Designed with both men and women in mind as a unisex accessory, the bracelet was gifted to celebrity couples and married royals to actively demonstrate the meaning behind the Love bracelet. This was thought to be similar to that of a wedding band, but done in a much more exclusive fashion. Though not proven, it is rumored that during this time the bracelets were sold only to couples, and not available for individual sale.
Today, Cartier's Love collection is still extremely popular and very coveted by men and women alike, with two different sizes available of the classic Love Bracelet. Available in an array of materials like 18K yellow, rose, or white gold, there is also the option to add some extra sparkle with a selection of pave diamonds, sapphires, or garnets. Adding to the collection, today, there are other pieces available, including matching cuffs, engagement rings, wedding bands, and casual everyday pieces like rings, earrings, and necklaces.