The history of Cartier
The House of Cartier was founded in 1847 when the 28-year-old Louis-François Cartier took over a shop at 29 rue Montorgueil in Paris. His son Alfred took control of the company in 1874, by which time it already had an excellent reputation. However, it was Alfred’s three sons — Louis, Pierre and Jacques — who would go on to establish Cartier as a world-famous jewellery brand.
While Louis retained the responsibility for Paris, in 1902 Jacques went to London and only two years later received the Royal Warrant, thereby supplying jewellery to King Edward VII and his court. Pierre travelled to New York where, in 1917, he famously acquired 653 Fifth Avenue for two strands of the very finest pearls. This piece of prime real estate remains a flagship store to this day.
Since then the Maison has expanded globally, becoming what many consider to be the finest jewellery house in the world. Its clientele has encompassed royalty, film stars and business tycoons. King Farouk of Egypt, The Duchess of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Clark Gable all made their way to Cartier to buy or have their jewellery made.
Cartier, whose name is synonymous with open-mindedness and curiosity, sees beauty in everything. Creativity, freedom, sharing and excellence are all central to its values. This vision enables a creative territory that is shaped around a unique style. From jewelry and fine jewelry to watchmaking and perfumes: Cartier’s creations symbolize the fusion of exceptional savoir-faire and timelessness.
THE FOUNDING SPIRIT
The story of Cartier is founded on audacity. Since its creation in Paris by Louis-François Cartier in 1847, Cartier has evolved through welcoming visionaries and free spirits into the Maison. Today this pioneering spirit is more alive than ever.
Pushing the boundaries, changing the use or meaning to reveal beauty, setting off on an adventure to distant horizons and embracing the rich diversity of other cultures – this creative energy is fundamental to everything, every day.
Cartier is not afraid to break the mould. From its Love Bracelet to Juste un Clou, and Tank or Santos watches: the Maison creates powerful aesthetics and icons that feel loyal to their origins yet have timeless appeal. The everyday is special, the ordinary becomes precious.
There is excellence in everything, and the search for perfection goes beyond what meets the eye. At Cartier, everything starts with a stone. Jewelers and designers work to bring out the sublime aura of each stone, to enhance its beauty, through the design, the most precious materials and the Cartier vision.
Resources of Excellence
At Cartier, we have subjected all our diamond purchases to the System of Warranties since the scheme was introduced in January 2003. We require a Statement of Warranty for every diamond-related invoice we receive.
As outlined in our Corporate Responsibility policy, our commitments extend beyond the scope of diamonds. They apply to all our product lines and cover three areas – ethical, social and environmental.
To learn more about the diamond industry, we encourage you to visit www.diamondfacts.org. This site was created at the initiative of the World
Diamond Council, an international organization committed to eradicating the trade of diamonds that come from conflict zones or otherwise compromise human rights.
Cartier engages in long-term relationships with suppliers who share our values. We work with our suppliers on a daily basis to help them respect and uphold the commitments of our Maison.
Cartier is a world-renowned jeweler, yet accounts for only a minor share of the world’s diamond consumption. In fact, the vast majority of jewelry products carry no brand name. We have nonetheless chosen to take a leading role in advancing exemplary ethical conduct. It is a natural choice, considering Cartier’s reputation as well as our commitment to excellence.
Consequently, the fight against conflict diamonds is a major priority of our Corporate Responsibility policy.
The United Nations defines conflict diamonds as “diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention with the decisions of the Security Council.”
The term originated in the 1990s during the conflicts that ravaged a number of African nations including Sierra Leone, Liberia and Angola, among others. These conflicts have brought about a powerful mobilization under the aegis of the UN. Diamond-producing states, countries that import and export diamonds, diamond industry representatives and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) have combined their efforts to help restore peace in the conflict zones.
The common objective is to guarantee economic stability and development for these nations, particularly those in Southern Africa, for which legitimate rough diamond trade is vitally important.