The Cartier Love Bracelet has been a style statement ever since its launch in 1969. Fabulous jewelry designer Aldo Cipullo came up with the design for Cartier SA. The clever calligraphy with a horizontal line across the “O” hides the locking mechanism of the bracelet. Cartier has introduced several versions of the ever-popular bracelet in the last five decades. Apart from the typical gold bracelet design, people have acquired rings, cufflinks, necklaces, watches and earrings influenced by the original piece. As of 2006, the luxury jewelry brand announced the Love Bracelet to be the most successful line in the history of Cartier.
Over the years, the original design has evolved and adapted to the leading fashion trends in jewelry. As a result, we have 18K gold, 18K rose gold and 18K platinum Cartier Love Bracelets. Some editions come with gemstone settings. There have been special charity editions as well that differ from the original design. With hundreds of variants from Cartier in the market, it was only a matter of time before fake “Love Bracelets” started seeping into the market. With the excellent crafting technologies available to these counterfeiters, it is indeed difficult to tell the original ones apart from the counterfeit ones. The retail price of the original versions can go up to $35,000 depending on the metal and gemstones in the design.
Do you own an original Cartier Love Bracelet?
Several fake versions with similar price tags are flooding the market. How do the novice luxury jewelry shoppers tell the difference between a real Love Bracelet and a fake one? It has been a concern among collectors and jewelers since 1990’s when Cartier filed a lawsuit against several well-known jewelry sellers in Manhattan and Puerto Rico for selling counterfeit Love Bracelets. For years buyers have been asking one question – How to tell if your Cartier Love Bracelet is fake?
Signs that your Love Bracelet is genuine –
The stamp and hallmark details
Thankfully, a number of fine jewelry experts have taken the onus to discern every difference between the fake ones and the real Love Bracelets. Here are a few signs that your Cartier bracelet is authentic –
- It has the Cartier serial number
- It has the original logo of the brand
- It has the copyright mark next to the logo
- It should have the Cartier’s 18k gold “750” stamp
- It bears a hallmark
The fake ones do not usually have all the stamps.
Most importantly, most fakes have an “18k” stamp instead of the Cartier trademark “750” on the inside of the bracelet. If you notice a fake bracelet carefully, you will see that all the marks are smudgy. None of them are sharp and crisp like a quality Cartier stamp. The easiest way to spot one in a store is by checking the quality of these marks closely. Unless you are buying from the brand store, refrain from buying “discounted” Cartier Love Bracelets online.
The quality of the base metal
Another way to tell a fake one from the real ones is by checking the quality of the metal. Cartier may have used a wide range of precious metals, but the brand does not have sterling silver or gold-plated silver or platinum-plated silver models. You will find real ones in pink (rose) gold, yellow gold, white gold, and platinum tones. Check if the bracelet has tarnishes around the gemstones and stamps. If so, then you are likely looking at a fake one. A genuine Cartier bracelet will NEVER have chrome and brassy finishes.
The quality of the finish
Check the indentations and orientation of the lines on the bracelet. In an authentic Love Bracelet, the edges on the “O”s should all align horizontally. In case the indentations are crooked or sloped, you are looking at a counterfeit product. The metal is usually smooth around the edges of the screws and indentations on a real one. The overall design has a crisp and clean quality to it. Even the various stamps and screws show no compromise in the flushness of the metal surrounding them. Each line and mark on the real Love Bracelets are clean, and they create no puffiness in the surrounding material. On the other hand, the edges on the fake Cartier bracelet are rounder than the genuine one.
Ease of opening and closing
The genuine Cartier Love Bracelet is easy to open with a screwdriver. Most fake models do not give easily and opening them is quite the struggle even for an experienced jeweler. The clamps genuine ones have an excellent melded look that provides easy access to the screws. The screw caps are equally well-defined. The overall aim of the real bracelet is to offer easy opening and closing of the bracelet for all wearers. Fake ones rarely think about customer experience, and that is quite evident from the difficulty one faces while trying to open the bracelet.
The fine touch to packaging
Taking a look at the packaging, boxes and documents will give you the other clues you need to spot a fake. Check their seller’s message, scan the bar code and read the details of the crafting. Counterfeiters rarely pay attention to the more delicate details during packaging. The mistakes in spellings and grammar are dead giveaways. Most pre-owned Cartier bracelets can sell for over $4000. Now, if you spot a “Cartier Love Bracelet” on offer for a couple of hundred dollars online, you have every right to be skeptical. It is impossible to sell a genuine Cartier for a couple of hundred bucks, especially when it is in brand new condition.
While shopping for Cartier, always go to a store you know. If you are buying online, either shop from the brand store or purchase from a renowned retailer. Check the reviews of the same bracelet by other owners. Are they expressing any concerns about authenticity? Never buy from an e-commerce site that does not offer accompanying 360-degree photos of the product that is on sale. The Cartier Love Bracelet is a unique luxury piece that deserves all your attention and effort. Do a little digging before you bring it home.