It’s been around for nearly half a century, but Cartier’s Love bracelets, originally worn by fashion icons such as Sophia Loren and Ali MacGraw, still inspire passion across generations of consumers. Here, a few key facts about the iconic accessory.
The Love bracelet was created in 1969 in New York by Aldo Cipullo. Originally rendered in plated gold, it was Cipullo’s first design after joining Cartier from Tiffany and Co. and David Webb. In 2018, Cartier offers the bracelet in solid yellow, white, and pink gold.
Because the bangle could only be fastened around the wrist with the miniature screwdriver that comes with every purchase, it was intended to be fastened by another person—specifically your “true love.” According to Cartier, it’s to “sanctify inseparable love.”
Cartier launched the collection with a savvy marketing campaign that is proving timeless, as it’s a strategy still widely practiced today. In 1970, the jeweler sent paired bracelets to 25 of the most influential couples in America, among them Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and Nancy and Frank Sinatra. Instagram—and social media in general—was unheard of at the time, but evidently, word had spread anyway.
An early advertisement for the Cartier Love collection back in 1970 stated a price of $250 per bracelet. These days, that very same “basic” 18-karat gold bangle retails for around $6,300, and up to around $56,000 for an 18-karat gold bangle set with brilliant-cut diamonds.
In keeping with the times—and the trend of stacking jewelry, from rings to bracelets—Cartier debuted slimmer versions of the bangle in 2016. The same collection also launched the hinged clasps sealing the bangle, making it easier to wear and remove without the help of another person. We can only surmise that was a nod to the independent woman.