A Brief History of Cartier’s ‘Love’ Fine Jewelry Collection

Cartier’s “Love” motif is one of the French jeweler’s most recognizable and popular styles. But at 55, the design is relatively new in for this house born in 1847.

It first appeared in 1969 when Italian-born jewelry designer Aldo Cipullo presented a gold bangle bracelet that could only be put on or removed with the help of another person to Michael Thomas, the chief executive officer of the then-independent Cartier New York branch of the jeweler. Its name? The Cartier Love Bracelet.

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Cipullo, an Italian-born jewelry designer, was driven to conceptualize the Cartier Love Bracelet based on his own experience with heartbreak. The bracelet was meant to signify a committed relationship, as the style needs to be fastened with the help of another individual. Cipullo, who also designed another recognizable style called Juste Un Clou, was influenced on his own experience with heartbreak as its mechanism was meant to signify a committed relationship.

The Italian jewelry designer also took inspiration from American hardware stores for the bracelet, designing the style with visible screws. At the time, the style was viewed as unconventional and brought in a new era of modernity in fine jewelry, shifting the perception around the accessories and making it more acceptable to wear them every day rather than just on special occasions.

Cipullo originally presented his Love Bracelet design to Tiffany & Co., however the fine jeweler rejected the style.

At Cartier, the Love Bracelet quickly grew in popularity, popping up on the biggest celebrity couples of the 1970s, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and Ali McGraw and Steve McQueen.

The popularity led to new versions and styles under Cartier’s “Love” motif family. In 1978, Cipullo introduced the Love ring, and the following year debuted the Cartier Love Bracelet with diamonds.

After Cipullo’s untimely death in 1984, Cartier continued expanding the “Love” collection. The fine jeweler introduced white gold versions in 1993 and rose gold versions in 2002. In 2016, Cartier debuted a mini version of the Love Bracelet, and in 2019 rereleased a cuff version that had been introduced in 2008.

In 2009, Cartier celebrated its 100-year anniversary operating in the U.S. with a collection of limited-edition Love Bracelets adorned with colorful stones.

Today, Cartier’s “Love” collection is one of the fine jeweler’s bestselling and most recognizable. The collection has expanded well beyond the initial Love Bracelet and now offers many styles across rings, earrings, necklaces and more. The styles come in solid gold as well as with diamonds.

Cipullo’s initial Cartier Love Bracelet retailed for $250. The style is now priced at $7,350 for a solid gold bracelet, and goes up to $62,000 for a diamond pavé version.

A mix of Cartier Love Bracelet styles.

Given the “Love” motif’s popularity, Cartier filed several trademarks over the years. In 1974, Cartier successfully filed a trademark for “Love Bracelet,” specific to the fine jeweler’s spelling with a line drawn through the “O” and “E.” But not all its attempts to secure its design were successful. In 2019, an attempt to file a trademark for “love” was unsuccessful after a court in Singapore dismissed the filing.

After 55 years, Cartier’s “Love” motif still reigns in popularity, and the fine jeweler regularly celebrates the collection. In 2021, Cartier released a campaign celebrating the Love collection alongside some of its other classic styles.

The timeless and classic nature of Cartier’s “Love” motif has made the style resonate with shoppers from generation to generation, and is sure to continue its longevity for more decades to come.

Launch Gallery: Photos of the Cartier 'Love' Motif

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