Cartier and Tiffany are two of the biggest luxury jewelry brands, and they are quite reputable thanks to their high-end products, which include some of the best engagement rings.
But which of these two companies should you buy your engagement ring from? Is an engagement ring from Cartier better than Tiffany’s?
Cartier engagement rings – Overview
Cartier is one of the oldest luxury jewelry brands on the market, but it’s also a very regal brand. This French jewelry house boasts some of the most prestigious engagement rings and other kinds of jewelry that have been worn by kings and queens, as well as the most affluent known people and aristocrats.
Cartier was founded in 1847 at a humble jewelry store in Paris, and today, it boasts a long, prestigious history with some of the best fine jewelry and watches collections. What you may not know is that Cartier is the jewelry house that pioneered the use of platinum in jewelry, which is why the company is highly regarded by most people.
While the company was founded in 1847, the founder of this multi-dollar company, Louis-François Cartier, was born in 1819 (in Paris), and as a young man, he worked as an apprentice under the then renowned master watchmaker, Adolphe Picard. Picard owned a small store on the Rue Montorgueil, and in 1847, Cartier took over and transformed the business after buying the store from Picard. Although the store was, at the time, modest by most standards even back then, Cartier was determined to be more than a watchmaker and more of a fine jewelry dealer. During the Socialist Revolution, Louis Cartier’s son, Alfred, started targeting the aristocrats. Alfred had already built his business acumen in his father’s company, having worked at the store for 20+ years. Following his decision to target aristocrats, offering the finest piece of jewelry, Cartier was almost overnight successful. And over the next 20 years (up to 1899), the business was very successful.
Cartier survived the Great Depression, and having set up shop in London and New York, Cartier’s growth was significant. Besides watches, Cartier offered some of the best engagement rings. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, as well as royalty from Europe and the Middle East are the biggest reasons behind the success and popularity of Cartier’s engagement rings.
Cartier boasts the most exclusive engagement ring designs. The diamonds used by Cartier are carefully selected, and only the colorless diamond color ratings with no inclusions are chosen. These stones are also carefully examined for brilliance and symmetry.
If you are interested in Cartier’s engagement rings, you should know that the company offered .5 carat diamond engagement rings as their minimum diamond carat size. The rings also come in various shapes, cuts, and styles.
Speaking of Cartier’s engagement ring styles, it should be noted that Cartier offers both modern and classic engagement ring styles; from the classic diamond solitaire ring made with pave-set or multiple accent stones for extra brilliance to the channel, bezel, and the prong engagement rings. The most popular ring design, however, is the exquisitely designed Cartier contemporary engagement ring, which boasts the best level of gemological artistry.
To create the best engagement ring designs, Cartier brings together modern trends and styles with traditional heritage, hence the unique ring designs. Take the Elaborate channel setting engagement ring; for example, it is a ring that’s designed in beautiful swirls and classy geometric patterns that are reminiscent of the art-deco engagement rings. And with the use of different-sized accent stones, the rings ooze a nice textural interest that gives the ring its distinctiveness.
Tiffany’s Engagement Rings – Overview
Tiffany is also a premium jewelry brand that boasts some of the most beautiful engagement rings. The company is iconic, and their engagement ring designs are pure masterpieces.
Tiffany’s engagement rings often stand out because of Tiffany’s proprietary Tiffany Setting, which is considered the most famous type of engagement rings designs in the world. The Tiffany Solitaire is characterized by this timeless solitaire silhouette that feels ubiquitous in the bridal jewelry world and also in pop culture. The relevance and the ring’s design dates back to the time President Franklin Roosevelt purchased Eleanor’s engagement ring from Tiffany & Co., and the ring has been popular ever since. Besides the president’s purchase, Tiffany’s engagement rings were also popularized by Charlotte in Sex and the City, in the unforgettable proposal, dubbed the ‘All righty’ proposal.
Note that The Tiffany Setting can be defined as the ring’s six-prongs setting with a round, brilliant-cut diamond at the center. The ring’s setting is made of platinum, but the company also offers the ring with the diamond set in yellow gold or rose gold. The platinum setting remains the most popular option for most brides to be.
Tiffany’s engagement rings feature a unique silhouette designed to lift the round-cut brilliant diamond off the metal band, onto the light, allowing the diamond to take centerstage with that beautiful sparkle.
Now, while Cartier dates back to 1847, Tiffany is a few years younger than Cartier, and the Tiffany Setting dates back to 1886 when Tiffany &Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany had the vision to create a ring that would highlight the beauty of the brilliant-cut diamonds by Tiffany’s. Thanks to his vision, and after 130+ years, Tiffany Setting engagement rings remain the company’s and also the world’s most desirable and popular engagement ring.
Pros and cons of Cartier engagement ring
- Exquisite craftsmanship
- Beautiful rings
- Free-ring cleaning services
- Free resizing within 3 months of buying the ring
- Exquisite packaging
- Handpicked diamonds
- There are limited choices of diamonds to choose from
- The ring sizes are limited and constrained, with the free resizing service available only within the first 3 months of ring purchase.
- Shopping online isn’t easy with fewer specifications provided
- The rings are expensive.
- The cut standards couldn’t be better, perhaps optimal.
- Cartier doesn’t cut or produce their diamonds; they only handpick them.
Pros and cons of Tiffany engagement ring
- Historic designs
- Unique Tiffany Setting
- You wear an iconic brand/ style.
- Excellent packaging with in-house ring certificate and two jewelry pouches
- You avoid sales tax when you buy online.
- The Tiffany Experience is breathtaking, and second-to-none
- Expensive, and you often pay for marketing.
- The rings could be cheaper.
- Not GIA-certified
- Limited selection
Why is Cartier more expensive than Tiffany?
If you are looking for luxury jewelry, specifically engagement rings, Cartier and Tiffany will easily be your biggest contenders. These two brands are the biggest luxury jewelry brands on the market today, but to make the right decision and to choose the brand that offers the best products for you, you’ll have to consider your budget and what you can afford.
Out of these two brands, Cartier is the more expensive brand of engagement rings, which begs the question, why are the engagement rings by Cartier costlier than the ones sold by Tiffany?
Cartier is one of the oldest luxury jewelry companies on the market that boasts numerous crowns and numerous accolades that make this French company one of the strongest fine jewelry companies. This is the primary reason for the company’s expensive pricing. On top of that, there is also the fact that Cartier supplies queens and kings across Europe, and this makes Cartier one of the strongest and the most valuable brand names throughout Europe.
Besides the reputation, the other reasons for the big price differences lie in the types of materials used in jewelry making by either company. Tiffany uses more of sterling silver, while Cartier is quite big on platinum, gold, and diamonds.
The other factor that comes into play is the engagement ring designs. Cartier’s ring designs are, without doubt, more elaborate and unique, and also complicated. Tiffany’s engagement rings are beautiful, but the designs are not as complicated.
The target clientele is the other factor that affects the cost of jewelry from the two brands, and Cartier takes the crown on this too, especially because the company creates and sells jewelry and watches to royalty and aristocrats, unlike Tiffany, whose target market is young ladies who are into pop culture.
And finally, there’s the matter of history. Tiffany hasn’t been around for as long as Cartier has been, which means that these two companies don’t quite match up, and Cartier charges more for being a pioneer.
Therefore, it would be safe to say that you are paying more for Cartier because they have a bigger brand image than Tiffany.
Which is better, Tiffany and Co or Cartier, for an engagement ring?
While they are both big luxury brands, it’s clear from the information above which of the two companies offers better quality engagement rings.
Cartier is the crown jewel of eccentric high-end jewelry, including watches and the best of engagement rings, and though imperfectly expensive, Cartier wins in terms of the quality of the products they offer.
But if you are on a slightly smaller budget, then Tiffany would be a good fit.
Cartier and Tiffany are luxury engagement ring brands, and they both provide the best engagement rings to their clients.
The decision to choose one company over the other will, however, depend on several factors, including your budget and the uniqueness of the ring.
The information above answers all the questions you may have about the two luxury brands, and it should help you make the right decision on the company that works best for you.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.