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Why Cartier’s Love bracelet is the ultimate piece of investment jewellery

Everything to know about the bangle, from its history to its A-list fans

cartier love bracelet
Jeremy MoellerGetty Images

There are certain very special pieces of designer jewellery that will truly stand the test of time. From Chanel’s classic pearls and De Beers' diamonds to Van Cleef & Arpels' Alhambra talisman, when it comes to building a jewellery box that will serve you well for a lifetime, you can rely on these styles for never going out of style.

Another piece of iconic designer jewellery that has remained popular for decades, often passed down through generations, and unlikely ever not to be a fashion favourite, is the Cartier Love bracelet.

One of the most searched-for pieces of jewellery on Google, the Love bangle’s popularity continues to grow thanks to its easy-to-wear nature and special romantic underlying message.

The history

Created in 1969 by Italian jewellery designer Aldo Cipullo for Cartier, the bracelet was born as a unisex ‘modern handcuff’. Cartier made the radical decision to leave the functional or decorative screws visible, similar to the Santos de Cartier watch, which has featured them on its face since 1904.

Its oval shape means it sits tight around the wearer’s wrist, that’s physically screwed on to signify the permanence of true love, since two people are needed to secure the screws. Ever since then, the Love bracelet has become a symbol of love and commitment due to this design.

cartier love bracelet
Courtesy of Cartier

Why are they so iconic?

Over 50 years later since its debut, the bracelet is just as popular (if not more so) today. It is believed that New York hospitals keep mini Love screwdrivers on the wards, in case they need to remove the bracelet in an emergency.

What is the secret to its longevity success? Well, it’s all down to the design, according to Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s director of image, style and heritage. “For me, the Love bracelet is a success worldwide since it was created because of a combination of many different dimensions – first design, and second, symbolism. The design is linked to its meaning, because the screw, is the meaning of the object and the symbolic value is immediately visible through the very simple idea,” he explains. “The Love bracelet has become a permanent staple in modern style.”

Who wears them?

When the Love bracelet first came out, it’s thought that Cartier gifted pairs to some of the world’s most famous couples during the 20th century, from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen to Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti.

Nowadays, the Cartier Love bracelet is seen on the wrists of many famous celebrities, the most stylish of the fashion crowd and even royalty, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sporting matching Love bracelets on the cover of TIME magazine in 2020, while Meghan has been spotted wearing hers on numerous occasions over the years.

the duchess of sussex
Max Mumby/IndigoGetty Images

Where to buy

You can invest in a Love bracelet directly from Cartier (choose between white, yellow or rose gold), or through most major designer retailers across the globe including Harrods and Selfridges. You can also pick up secondhand options from the likes of Vestiaire Collective, Farfetch and 1st Dibs.

The Cartier Love style also comes in ring and earring form to complete your collection.

And don't forget, whenever you invest in a forever piece, whether it’s clothing or jewellery, it’s important to know how to correctly store and look after it to ensure it stands the test of time. Make sure to read our complete guide for how to look after your Cartier Love bracelet for the best tips and tricks for keeping your beloved accessory in perfect condition, according to Cartier jewellery experts.

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