How to authenticate a Cartier love bracelet? The Cartier ‘Love’ bracelet bangle may be the most covetable piece of designer jewellery today. Unfortunately, the Cartier ‘Love’ bangle is also one of the most counterfeited designer jewellery models (together with the Van Cleef & Arpels ‘Alhambra’ models).
The story of the Cartier Love Bracelet
The story of the Cartier ‘Love’ bracelet, and the Love collection, starts in 1959, when a young man from Rome, Aldo Cipullo, emigrated to New York. Cipullo started working for big American jewellery firms, including Tiffany & Co. and David Webb, and became one of the most iconic jewellery designers.
Yet the designer was less successful in love as his lover left him in 1969. In response, a devastated, Cipullo retreated to his studio and was inspired to create one of his most iconic designs, a bracelet that represented the endurance of love by adding screw heads to the bracelet, making it impossible to remove without tools.
Describing his modern love handcuff, Cipullo said: “What modern people want are love symbols that look semi-permanent, or at least require a trick to remove,” Remarking on the love commitment between two people symbolized by the bracelet, Cipullo said that “After all, love symbols should suggest an everlasting quality.”
Cipullo was employed at Tiffany when he created this bracelet, and he wore a similar one on his own wrist. Despite the compliments of friends and coworkers, the company did not adopt the design. No matter, because a few months later, in 1969, the designer switched jobs to Cartier and presented it to them as his debut design for the business. The Cartier Love bracelet was born and became an iconic piece of jewellery.
The first collection of ‘Love’ bracelets was made in yellow, white, or rose gold, with the screws either in platinum or yellow gold. The original bangles did not have any engraving on them but later versions did, with various messages like ‘Love’, ‘Amore’, ‘Best Friends’, etc.
The great thing about the Cartier ‘Love’ bracelet is that it can be worn by both men and women. It has become a symbol of eternal love and friendship, and its unisex style makes it even more popular. The bracelet became a status symbol and was often seen on famous couples such as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as other celebrity couples such as Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti.
The Love bracelet remains very popular today. It is now made in a variety of metals, including gold, silver, and platinum, and with or without diamonds. The price for a Love bracelet starts at around £5600 but can go up to £44.000 or more depending on the materials used.
How to spot a fake Cartier Love Bracelet?
We advise precaution when purchasing a Cartier ‘Love’ bangle on the second-hand market. Counterfeiters can produce precise replicas, known as ‘Super fakes’ or ‘1:1’ copies. These pose real authentication challenges even for the experts. Buyers of second-hand bangles can no longer resort to Cartier for authentication. Potentially to discourage the second-hand market, Cartier no longer offers a paid authentication service for second-hand Cartier ‘Love’ bracelets.
Pictures of a ‘super fake’ which landed in our hands:
To avoid all authenticity concerns, you may purchase the Cartier ‘Love’ bangle from Cartier
We also understand that you may want to buy pre-loved. The offering both offline and online of second-hand Cartier ‘Love’ bracelets is tempting as the discounts can be hefty, especially at the higher end spectrum of the Cartier ‘Love’ bracelet modes. For example, in the United Kingdom, the Cartier ‘Love’ bracelet bangle ceramic diamond pave which retails for £37,000 may be bought second-hand for around £27,000. A healthy £10,000 saving.
How to authenticate a Cartier love bracelet? What do buyers need to know to beat the counterfeiters?
Check the hallmarks and engravings.
The hallmarks and other engravings visible on the Cartier ‘Love’ bangle are an important indicator of its authenticity. The spelling and typography of the Cartier logo need to be clean and crisp, the right size, depth and in a specific font that varies according to the year of production. On original bracelets, the ‘Cartier’ Logo is set only on one side of the bracelet, proportionately between the outer edges of the bracelet. A logo that sits too high or too low indicates a forgery. Genuine Cartier marks are clear and crisp. If the spelling is smudged, wobbly, and negligently executed, the bracelet is fake.
Cartier ‘Love’ bracelets produced from 1974 onwards are stamped with a serial number. The serial number also must be readable and crisp. The standard of the serial number has changed throughout the years. A serial number may have five digits and 1 letter (for example 12345 A); two letters and four digits (for example AB 1234); three letters and three digits (for example ABC 123). In addition, the size of the bracelet is stamped, and sizes range from 15-21. All Cartier serial numbers are unique. We suggest you perform a Google search of the serial number; forgers sometimes copy the serial numbers from original bracelets. A hit is a red flag.
Materials and weight.
The Cartier ‘Love’ bracelet bangles made from 18k yellow, rose and white gold which is are stamped with ‘750’. The platinum models are hallmarked with ‘PT950’. A ‘Love’ bangle made out of silver, steel, or gold-plated silver, or any other metal is going to be a counterfeit. Any discoloration and peeling or cracks that reveal another material is underneath, indicate a counterfeit. Cartier ‘Love’ bracelets are made out of solid gold and platinum.
The stones applied on genuine Cartier ‘Love’ bracelets are precious stones such as diamonds and gemstones. Therefore any ‘Love’ bracelet designs that are decorated with artificial diamonds, cubic zircon, or semi-precious stones are going to be fake.
Another aspect for consideration is the weight of the bracelet, which should range between 28-42 grams, depending on the model, material, and size. If the bracelet feels too light, then it may be a forgery.
Screws and closure
The new closure system on Cartier ‘Love’ bracelets attaches the screws to the bracelet. The screws are integrated with the bracelet and are evenly aligned. The screws on a forged bracelet may overlap on the sides of the closing system or stand too proud of the bracelet. The shape of the screws needs to be crisp, clean, and without any indentations. The screw axes on Cartier ‘Love’ bracelet are also clean and crisp, without any deviations or uneven ridges. The Cartier ‘Love’ bracelet is a luxury product and all the details need to be perfect.
Packaging and certificates
A Cartier ‘Love’ bangle will always come with a Cartier certificate if it is purchased from an authorized retailer. The certificate of authenticity contains all the information regarding the materials used in the bracelet, as well as the date and place of purchase. If the seller cannot provide you with a certificate of authenticity, this may raise a red flag. At the same time, a ‘Love’ bracelet that is accompanied by Cartier paperwork and packaging may still not be genuine. Cartier boxes, certificates, and invoices may be counterfeited. In some situations, this is obvious, for example when the box or certificates are made out of low-quality materials, or there are spelling mistakes on the certificate, etc. In other situations, the forgeries are of good quality and can be misleading. Some things to consider are the existence of the Cartier store mentioned on the certificate and whether the serial number of the certificate matches the serial number on the bracelet.
The reputation of the seller should weigh heavily before making the purchase. Basic aspects to consider:
- is it an individual seller or a real business
- is the business registered
- does the business provide contact details
- is the business a member of a trade organisation?
- is the bracelet offered below the market price
- does the business have a return policy in place
- what is the feedback received from other customers
At Auriks, we take great care in ensuring that we offer for sale only those Cartier ‘Love’ bracelets that pass our stringent internal authentication processes. This may mean that at some point the bracelet passed through the hands of Cartier.
Purchase with a credit card
Buyers may want to consider purchasing a second-hand Cartier ‘Love’ bracelet with a credit card, which offers some enhanced protections. In the United Kingdom, under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, if a buyer paid for a product between £100 and £30,000 with a credit card – the buyer’s purchases are protected if the supplier breaches its contract or misrepresents the goods. In case the bracelet is fake and the seller is rogue and fails foul of their return policy, the buyer may be able to fall back on Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act *. To find out post-purchase whether the bangle is authentic, a buyer may wish to take the ‘Love’ bangle to Cartier for a polishing service. If the bangle is fake, Cartier will not accept it and issue a written statement stating that it is counterfeit.
*This is not financial advice. Articles are general information and not a recommendation to act. Please seek independent investment advice before entering into any financial transaction.