Cartier’s love bracelet is not only the most stunning and popular piece of jewelry from the Iconic Cartier collections but also the most counterfeited kind of jewelry.
The high price tag on the love bracelet is easily one of the main reasons for the counterfeiting, not to mention the uniqueness of the bracelet and how just about anyone would love to own one.
However, this is not a reason why you should think of buying the cheaper fakes. If you want to feel the full Cartier love bracelet experience, you would want to make sure that you are buying a real Cartier love bracelet, and this means knowing the differences between the real and the fake Cartier love bracelets.
In this article, we’ll take you through the basics of Cartier love bracelets and the differences between real and fake bracelets.
Differences between a real and fake Cartier love bracelet
The love bracelet made its debut in the fashion scene in the 1970s after its creation by Cipullo, who was ironically inspired to make the bracelet after his bad luck streaks in finding and falling in love.
Despite the broken heart, Cipullo believed in love and that loving someone was an eternal thing that was not meant to be broken. The Love bracelet’s design depicted his thoughts and beliefs.
The bracelet is made as a flat bangle bracelet that is studded with screws that lock the bracelet on your wrist. To open and close the bracelet, you need to use a screwdriver. The design of the bracelet, therefore, served to represent and also to sanctify the inseparable love between lovers.
Thanks to the iconic design of the love bracelet and its global reach, there is a lot of unauthorized duplication of the bracelet, and some of these duplicates are also sold expensively.
And then there is the fact that not all the love bracelets are made the same as the design, and the style of the Love bracelet has changed over the years.
So, what do you look for in the Love bracelets to determine if the one you have is a fake or an authentic one?
Cartier Love Bracelet – Real or Fake
Here are some of the things you should look out for to determine if the love bracelet is real or fake.
1.Hallmark and Logos
All Cartier love bracelets come stamped with a specific ‘hallmark’ sign that points to the metal quality of the piece in question. For the Love bracelets that are made of 18K gold, they will have an 18K or 750 stamped on them, and in other cases, both hallmarks will be incorporated in the Love bracelet.
The platinum Love bracelets also come with a hallmark that is easy to identify, often the numeral 950. So, if you are buying a love bracelet and it doesn’t have the hallmark impression on it, it is probably a sign that it is a fake Cartier bracelet.
But there is more that you need to know about the Love bracelet – when it was initially designed by Aldo Cipullo in the 1970s, the love bracelets did not have the hallmarks or even the serial numbers that are common in the bracelets today.
As a result, it was very easy for counterfeiters to create and flood the market with fake love bracelets, and it was very hard to tell the counterfeits apart from the real Love bracelets. It is unfortunate, therefore, that about 50% of Cartier Love bracelets bought in the 70s were fakes.
You can tell these replicas, though. All you need to do is to keenly check the Cartier Stamps/ Logo on the pieces and their resemblance. Even though the initial Love bracelets didn’t have any hallmarks pointing to the metals used to make the bracelets, they had Cartier’s logo imprinted on them.
The Cartier logo stamped on the genuine bracelets is very precise, and no detail is left out, unlike the fake Cartier logo on the fake bracelet, which is hardly concise and is obviously done very carelessly and mostly not legible.
The real Cartier love bracelets are easy to identify because the logo is not only readable and even but also smooth and very elegant.
The other thing you may want to take note of is the stamp on the Cartier Love bangle bracelets with diamonds encrusted on them. In most cases, the diamond Love bracelets will have a different kind of S.A. stamp incorporated.
The spelling and the font used for the Cartier stamp and logo/ name, as well as all other hallmarks, will guide you on the authenticity of the Cartier pieces of jewelry.
If you notice anything off like a misspelling or if the font is not the Cursive font, then you are probably looking at a fake love bracelet. As you check out these details, you also need to take note of the evenness or the unevenness of the text.
In addition to the use of the wrong font and spelling errors, the fakes tend to have unevenness in the texts and numerals – this is seen in the size and the spacing of characters and numbers.
The fakes will always look like the person who engraved them didn’t really put any mind in them, and this lack of consistency is something that you always notice with fake Cartier love bracelets and other designer pieces of jewelry.
In addition to the high level of precision for the Cartier bracelet’s logo, you should also check the serial number incorporated and the format. The size of this oval love bracelet will guide you too.
The diameter of the oval Cartier love bracelets is also stamped on the inside of the bracelet, and the only available sizes are in inches – the sizes include 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20.
2.Weight and Quality of the bracelet
This is the other way to differentiate the fake Cartier Love bracelets from the real ones. The reason why this is a great way for you to tell the fakes and real pieces apart is that Cartier’s jewelry is made of only the very best/ highest quality gold and platinum.
This is also why the material used to make the bracelet will always lead you in the right direction when it comes to determining if the bracelet is fake or real.
All you need for this is a weighing scale. The Love bracelet’s weight is estimated to be between 30-38gram or an equivalent to 5 or 6 US quarters.
Even though there will be some subtle differences depending on the model you select, this is the overall average range in the weight you should expect from the bracelets. Note that the fake Love bracelets made of plated gold, for example, weigh much less than 30g.
But that is not all; you can also tell the fake gold Cartier love bracelets apart from the real ones by keenly examining the bracelet and how it looks.
You should be aware of the metal’s color, looking out for red flags such as parts of the metal chipping or metallic discolorations.
Fakes look chipped, and the metal is often discolored, while the real Love bracelet has no chipped parts; also, the gold is evenly golden and just looks good overall.
The screws of the love bracelet are design elements that make the bracelet really stand out and also what identifies the bracelet from other designs and fakes.
Now, when it comes to the screws, the first thing you need to know is that there are upgrades that have been made to the recent design of the Love bracelet, and these differ from the features of the older love bracelets.
The new love bracelet design is such that the screws are made to attach to the bracelet (they fit in the other end of the bracelet, unlike in the past where the screw was attached to just one end of the bracelet.
Often, the real Cartier love bracelets have the screws perfectly and precisely stamped in the metal, but with most replicas, the screws are not aligned properly, they are uneven, and also the surface of and around the screws on the fakes is rough and not smooth like that of the real bracelets.
The other thing you will notice about the screws on the fake Love bracelet is the screws overlap ever so slightly into the other side of the bracelet, and this small sign of imperfection will always point to a fake.
Cartier is all about perfection, and all their authentic pieces of jewelry are perfect, and they show an immaculate level of craftsmanship with a great deal of attention paid to all the small details. The screws on the real Cartier bracelets are perfectly flawless.
The other thing you should look at is the bracelet’s edges. The authentic Cartier love bracelets have crisp, precise, and smooth edges, and the screws always turn effortlessly with the screwdriver.
This is hardly the case with the fakes because they often have this kind of curvature which makes the screws more rounded and difficult to open.
Note that screws on the older versions of the love bracelets were completely removable, and this meant that most people lost the screws. So, the new bracelet/ screw designs feature the screws incorporated as part of the bracelet’s design elements, and the slots are all uniform and sharp.
In addition to the elegant and smooth design of the bracelet, the other thing you will notice about the design and the construction of the bracelet is that the love bracelets with diamonds are equally designed in the perfect way.
The diamonds incorporated in the bracelet are visible on the bracelet’s inner surface, while the place that the two halves of the bracelets meet are perfectly flush.
In the newest bracelet design launched in 2011, Cartier opted for the new locking mechanism that allowed for the screw to remain attached to the bracelet when opened.
Along with this modification was an alternation in how the screw’s head would touch the seam of the bracelet on the inside, creating a U-shaped closure that holds the screw in place.
With this design, the bracelet would still get unlocked with the screwdriver, and it opens easily. If you are struggling to unscrew it, then it is probably a fake.
Genuine Cartier love bracelets have the perfect finishes, and this doesn’t come as a surprise because this brand is the epitome of luxury.
So, if you are buying any jewelry from the atelier, you shouldn’t see any kind of imperfection, untidiness in the design, or misalignment. If you notice any of these, you are probably looking at a fake.
The other big difference between the fake and authentic Cartier love bracelets is their pricing. The fake bracelets are much cheaper than the real ones, so if you come across a deal that looks and feels too good to be true, it probably is, and you should walk away from it.
For context, the cheapest Cartier love bracelet costs about $4500, and this is often the cheapest one as most of the Cartier gold love bracelets retail at about $6300.
These pieces are made of real solid gold, which means that they hold their value in the long run, so even if you are buying a secondhand piece, it will not be dirt cheap.
The only time you can expect to pay less for a genuine love bracelet is if you are buying the Charles Revson Love bracelet, also from the 1970s.
The Charles Revson Love bracelet is a special edition design by Cartier, in partnership with the founder of Revlon Cosmetics. These love bracelets are inexpensive, and you can identify them by looking for the Charles Revson inscription incorporated in the bracelet.
But the real reason for the affordability of this piece is the fact that the bracelet was electroplated in gold and only screwed on one side. Very few of these vintage pieces are still on the market today, but they also need to be priced correctly.
Legitimate Cartier products come with legitimate documentation that confirms not only the bracelet style but also the store you purchased it from, date of purchase, serial number, size of the bracelet, and the material it is made of.
If you are looking at Cartier love bracelets and you need to know if it is fake or genuine, consider the details above.
Also, look at the price – if the love bracelet is priced below $4,000, it’s likely not an original piece.
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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.