Cartier’s Love bracelet is one of the most iconic pieces of jewellery ever designed—and also one of the most popular: last year, it was the most Googled piece of jewellery in the world. While the bracelet has had a renaissance of late, thanks to fans like Kylie Jenner and Kanye West, the jewel has also had a long and surprising history.
Here are 10 fascinating facts about the iconic piece:
1. The Love bracelet wasn’t designed at Cartier’s headquarters in Paris, but at the brand’s New York workshops in 1969.
2. The bracelet was designed in the shape of an oval in order to fit as closely as possible to a loved one’s wrist, and it was intended to be worn by both men and women. They were referred to as ‘modern love handcuffs’ for the way in which they are secured using a screwdriver.
3. It was the first piece that the designer Aldo Cipullo created for Cartier. He went on to design the brand’s iconic Juste un Clou “nail” bracelets.
4. Cipullo’s design is often credited with revolutionising the manner of wearing jewellery. During the era in which the Love bracelet was created, jewellery was often chosen specifically to match an outfit, but the Love bracelet wasn’t meant to coordinate with an outfit or to suit an occasion—it was worn day or night.
5. It is rumored that Cartier once had a policy prohibiting customers from buying Love bracelets for themselves—they could only be purchased by a couple.
6. The bracelets were originally made of silver and plated in gold, but the company soon started producing solid gold versions. The diamond-studded Love bracelet was first introduced in 1979.
7. The distinctive round screws that decorate the Love bracelet were inspired by the screws that are featured on the bezel of Cartier’s Santos watch.
8. When the bracelet was first launched, Cartier gave pairs of them to some of the most famous couples of the 20th century including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen, and Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti.
9. Love bracelets didn’t originally have serial numbers, but due to the large number of counterfeits that were created, the company began engraving each bracelet with a unique number that is kept on file.
10. Legend has it that some hospitals in New York City keep Love bracelet screwdrivers on hand in case they need to remove the pieces from patients in an emergency.
Image courtesy: Cartier
From: ELLE USA