How To Stack with The Cartier Love Bracelet

This article first appeared in  on January 12, 2016—Bejeweled is republishing it to coincide with the reopening of the Cartier Mansion.  The love bracelet was one of the iconic pieces of jewelry that was designed and launched  at the Fifth Avenue Mansion.

The First Love Bracelet Ad which ran in the New York TImes 1970, photo courtesy Cartier Archives, New York © Cartier

When Aldo Cipullo, a designer for Cartier created the Love Bracelet in 1969, I doubt he had a clue that 47 years later, women would not only still be wearing and coveting them but also stacking them with updates of the original bracelet, modern designer pieces, vintage and antique cuffs, bangles and flexible styles. He also didn’t have to consider beepers going off at airport security lines or trying to explain to a guard who doesn’t know what the Love bracelet is, “Sorry but I really can’t take it off” only to receive a full body search.

A stylish and symbolic jewel, Cartier Love bracelets mean enduring commitment and eternal love but also everlasting chic. From its creation in the “Make Love Not War” era of the late 1960s, women are still head over heels with the original style as well as the myriad variations that have evolved.

Cipullo  was inspired by ancient cultures and influenced by the medieval chastity belt for his first design for Cartier New York.  The Love bracelet is fitted onto the wrist in two parts, secured with a small screwdriver, and is to be worn “till death do us part”. The screwdriver can also be worn as a unisex necklace – a smart move in the era of feminism and now in the era of multiple pendants and charms.

At the original launch at its New York City Boutique, Cartier presented twin bracelets to 25 of the world’s legendary couples of the time, including Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponte, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Other couples that owned the bracelets were Nancy and Frank Sinatra and Dyan Cannon and Cary Grant. Modern-day celebrities who been spotted wearing them include Cameron Diaz, Pippa Middleton, Sofia Coppola, Lindsay Lohan and Angelina Jolie.

So how does one stack and layer with the bracelet that is supposed to be locked onto the wrists for a lifetime?

With abandon!

Since many women wear a watch on one wrist and bracelets on the other, the Love bracelet’s sleek modernity and status as a sentimental yet timeless fashion staple allows it to be the perfect layering piece. This is a relief since it is designed to never come off.

It is available in 18K yellow, rose, and white gold, with and without diamonds,

And just FYI, in case of emergency or a relationship that has waned, in Manhattan, it has been reported that hospitals keep the small screwdriver on hand so you will never have to stay locked in love.

So get creative and be bold. It’s extremely cool to be armed up to the elbow but you also want the bracelet that represents sentimentality to shine.

Some tips that might get you going in piling some of your favorites around the Love Bracelet include:

➤ Mixing your metals with a nonchalant attitude without over thinking or over styling it

➤ Finding the right Victorian bracelet in width and style: (half a pair of wedding cuffs with floral chasing and enameling) a rose gold with black jet or enamel bangle as well as many other from this time period will work well.

➤ Adding a little color and shape to the mix in the silhouettes such as Victorian/Edwardian wrap around swords and daggers in turquoise and/or serpents with ruby or emerald eyes in styles that also slither around the wrist and or those that are flexible and whose heads snake down the hand.

➤ Updating a tucked away diamond tennis bracelet by throwing it into the mix –and you will see how contemporary it can become.

➤ Adding in pieces from your favorite designers such as diamond bangles from Samantha Knight Jewelry or Sethi Couture.

➤ You can also mix it up with other Cartier styles such as the Screw bracelet or Trinity bracelets or Hermes colorful enamel bangles as well as a host of horse-bit link styles. I stack mine with a mix of antique and modern bracelets. See how some of our favorite antique dealers, designers, retailers stacked theirs below.

First Photo of love bracelet and screw courtesy of  © Cartier