Buro Jewellery Guide: A look at how Cartier elevates the natural beauty of rare ornamental stones
Rock My World
There's much more to Cartier than Love bracelets and Juste Un Clou rings, panthers and Tank or Santos watches. Putting the 'art' in Cartier, the maison has a unique approach to jewellery-making, one that recognises the hidden beauty of stones.
Most evidently seen in its 2019 Magnitude high jewellery collection, materials – precious or ornamental – collide throughout Cartier's history. Some gemstones are favoured for rarity or value, others for their character.
In some of its most memorable works of jewellery art made since the early 20th century, the maison highlights the beauty of baroque shapes, surprising colours, shimmering nuances, or landscape materials among numerous others.
Cartier's refusal to limit itself to precious stones stems from a natural desire to delight its clientele. It was the first to use platinum in jewellery making, as Louis Cartier saw its unique brilliance before anybody else did.
His passion for colour and acumen for style led Cartier to design bold pieces featuring agate, pink quartz, moonstone, fluorite, and aventurine. The clash of coloured stones resembled abstract paintings as blue sapphire met green jade, rubies danced with emeralds, black onyx and lacquer making frequent appearances.
Louis Cartier also famously brought rock crystal back into vogue, famously using it for the signature mystery clocks. Together with Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier's creative director from 1933 to the early 1970s, he invented a new era of jewellery that focuses far more on the skill and creativity of the jeweller than merely the natural qualities of the stone.
Click through the gallery above to see how Cartier expresses its unique skills and creativity using ornamental stones.