Cartier is a French fine jewelry and a luxury watch company. The company was founded by Louis –Francois Cartier in Paris in 1847 and remained under the control of Cartier family until 1964. Currently, the company continues to maintain its headquarters in Paris but is wholly owned by one of its subsidiary companies Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA.

Cartier is arguably one of the most thought after jewelry and watch designers in the world. In fact, Louis Cartier was the first to design a usable wrist watch for his friend and famous aviator Alberto Santos- Dumont. To this day Cartier carries a Santos line of watches that are reminiscent of the original.

The company has a long history of selling fine jewelry and watches as well as one of a kind creations to royalty and celebrities. Cartier created jewelry for Wallis Simpson the Duchess of Windsor, Bhupinder Singth the Maharaja of Patiala, King Edward VII, The Russian Imperial Court, and many other ruling European monarchs and royalty.

Cartier’s continuing influence on the design and craftsmanship of fine jewelry have made the company one of the most influential jewelry designers of the 20th century.

Buying Cartier Jewelry

No fine jewelry collection is complete without Cartier. Regardless of whether you choose to purchase a piece from the modern Cartier collection or if you are looking for a particular vintage creation, there are a few things that every savvy collector or a first time buyer should know.

Find a reputable retailer / jeweler you can trust.

Regardless of the frequency with which you purchase fine jewelry and luxury watches having a jeweler you can trust can take a lot of stress out of shopping. If you are currently looking for a jeweler or if you found a piece of jewelry at a place that is different from the one you are used to, here are a few things to consider before doing business with a new jeweler.

  • Are they insured, bonded, and licensed?
  • Do they have a return / exchange policy?
  • Do they offer a warranty?
  • Are they patient, professional, and knowledgeable?

Remember, a reputable retailer will never sell replica or reproduction watches or jewelry of any kind. Sale and distribution of replica luxury watches and fine jewelry is actually a crime. Fine jewelry designers and luxury watch manufacturers such as Cartier, Rolex, Tiffany, Patek Philippe, and David Yurman spend millions of dollars on combating counterfeit jewelry and watch trade. Not only are the retailers liable for every fake that they sell, but also the buyer. So, if you know that a retailer is selling fakes, your best bet is to walk away and find a different place to shop.

Pre-owned Cartier

Purchasing pre-owned Cartier can be tricky but it also comes with its own set of benefits. For example, you can get pre-owned Cartier jewelry and watches at significantly lower prices than if you are buying brand new, there is no initial depreciation and the value retention is just as good. If you are budget conscious or if you are looking for a vintage piece, pre-owned market is just about one of your last options.

However, buying pre-owned comes with a set of challenges. Poor condition, fakes, astronomical pricing, and greater expenditure of time on research and appraisal are all drawbacks of the process. Here at Ermitage Jewelers we want to make your shopping experience as pleasant as possible which is why we have created this simple guide for purchasing pre-owned Cartier. The information below should help you avoid some of the most obvious pitfalls when it comes to buying previously loved fine jewelry.

Real vs. Fake

As long as luxury existed, there were those who aspired to imitate it. Although one might think that purchasing a fake Cartier will satisfy the desire for the real thing, it won’t. Consider this: a fake will not last, most of the time fakes are obvious to those that know what they are looking at, and purchasing and/ or distributing counterfeit jewelry and watches is actually a crime. Unfortunately, many of the folks out there still don’t understand that and are looking for instant gratification more so than the actual status symbol. That means that for those of us who have actually worked and saved enough for the real deal, we still have to pick through the sea of potential fakes before making a purchase.

Signs of an obvious Fake

  • Most Cartier pieces are signed with the name Cartier spelled out perfect italics / cursive. We say “most” because some of the vintage pieces may bear a different insignia. However, if you are buying something that was made from 1930’s to present day, look for the signature.
  • Carefully inspect the signature on your piece. If any of the letters are missing, backwards, or there are obvious misspellings, it’s a fake.
  • Cartier jewelry is made out of high quality precious metals. These metals have substantial weight to them. Pick up a piece of jewelry and weight it in your hand. If the piece feels flimsy, weak, and light – you are looking at a fake.
  • Pay attention to presence of tarnish, flaking, and jagged edges. Real Cartier is always made out of the highest quality materials. The pieces produced by Cartier are always FLAWLESS otherwise they don’t leave the factory. If you see anything that can’t be attributed to the usual wear and tear, it’s a fake.
  • A modern Cartier piece will always have a copyright mark imprinted on the band along with a serial number. If the number or the mark is missing, it’s not a real Cartier. If you are buying from an online retailer, always ask for serial numbers. If they refuse to provide one – walk away.
  • Cartier never goes on sale, doesn’t have warehouse that sell at wholesale prices, they don’t give their employees discounts, and have a generous return policy. Don’t believe those that tell you that they lost the papers or receipts a month after they purchased their Cartier and can’t return it. It’s simply not true.
  • This one is obvious, if you are shopping for a vintage Cartier and it looks new, it should raise a red flag.
  • Be extra careful when buying for online auctions, ebay, or online jewelry stores. You can’t rely on pictures as they could be taken from another source. Always look at reviews of the sellers and beware of those that sell too many identical items.

Cartier at Ermitage

Ermitage Jewelers carries only authentic fine jewelry and luxury watches. We buy, sell, and trade pre-owned pieces at unbeatable prices. Our expert staff carefully inspects, cleans, and restores each piece that we buy to its best possible condition before we pass it on to our customers.

Our expert gemologist and watchmakers pay special attention to every detail in our state of the art restoration and repair facility. When you purchase from Ermitage you can rest assured that you are investing in the best pre-owned jewelry and watches money can buy.

Stop by our convenient Atlanta location or browse our online catalogue of pre-owned Cartier jewelry and watches.