It may be a short film commissioned by the French jeweller, but one particular scene in the Cartier Destinée short film has Oliver Jackson-Cohen racing from the vicinity of the Eiffel to the store at Place Vendome to select a Destinée ring for Michelle Chen, which begs the question: what makes the Cartier ring such a special item for your special someone?
The answer, naturally is in the quality and the name, but beyond that, it is also the mastery of a craft that has been passed down for generations, from Louis-Francois Cartier’s founding of the jeweller in 1847 till today. Since its founding, Cartier has been an innovator in jewellery. They were one of the first jewellers to explore using platinum in the art – commonplace today, but back in the 19th century, groundbreaking. Cartier was favoured by royalty, and became known as the “king of jewellers, and jeweller of kings”; England, Spain, Portugal, France and other rulers of great powers during the era and early 20th century all requested for Cartier jewellery. Perhaps the most famous pieces it created were for the Russian Tsars and Indian maharajahs. The understanding was simple: if they were good enough for royalty, certainly they were suitable for the elite and the successful. In modern times, celebrity has transcended the royal culture, with Cartier becoming the jeweller of stars, and a star jeweller.
The maison helped to create some unique and spectacular pieces, thanks to the stones that they were entrusted with, such as the Star of the East, owned by Evalyn Walsh McLean and set by Cartier as an egret that she wore as a headdress. There’s also a baguette diamond bracelet with carved rock crystal and round old-cut diamonds set in platinum that was a masterpiece of the maison in 1930, which inspired Paul Claudel to wax lyrical about the beauty of the gemstone. The Hope diamond, the Pasha and the famed De Beers diamond of Maharajah Sir Bhupindar Singh all have had Cartier’s Midas touch to them.
The quality of the gemstone is essential, and Cartier is a strong advocate of the Kimberley Process, supporting only non-conflict diamonds that have been warranted by diamond producers, it also ensures the finest natural clarity and colour (expect no colour tainting the gemstone, and no visible inclusions. Whether a solitaire (starting from a minimum size of 0.5 carats) or in some other preferred cut (from a size of 1 carat or more), it is one of the most creative gemsetters and jewellers in the world. And while some may insist that the larger the stone, the better, we think that the cut and quality are far more definitive standards of beauty when it comes to a gemstone. The Destinée ring is one such example, with its circlet set with diamonds and a halo of gemstones around the solitaire, it adds a fiery brilliance to the ring that more than parallels a single stone of a far more extensive size.
Find out more about Cartier as a jeweller here.