A Guide to Vintage Cartier Jewelry

In the jewelry and watch world, few names carry the prestige and status of Cartier. Since its founding in 1847 by Louis-Francois Cartier, Cartier has produced some of the most influential bracelet designs in the business. However, this influence can be a double-edged sword, as it can be difficult for the average jewelry buyer to differentiate between a genuine Cartier piece and one of the brand’s many imitators.

Luckily, we are here to help. Keep reading to learn more about a Cartier’s distinguishing features, how we can help you find the right piece, and what you should know before selling your own Cartier jewelry through an auction house.

Distinguishing Features of Cartier Jewelry

Nowadays, one can never be too careful about counterfeit or knockoff products. But don’t fret: an authentic Cartier piece of jewelry or watch will have several distinguishing characteristics. Look for the following if you’re trying to determine whether the piece you have your eye on is the real thing:

  • If vintage, look for “Cartier” spelled out in block lettering (newer pieces will have it spelled out in cursive script)
  • A unique serial number
  • The year it was handcrafted
  • Mark of gold or platinum purity, depending on the material
  • If a bracelet, its size
  • Interlocking “Cs,” “CA,” or “JC”
  • An imprint of a cartouche, crescent, frame, heart, or rectangle

Distinguishing Features of Cartier Watches

Cartier watches are some of the most desired in the world, and as such, they have their distinguishing characteristics. When examining a Cartier watch, check the screws used to attach the case. You should see flat-head screws that are flush with the case. If you don’t see any screws or notice a Phillips or other round-head screw used, the piece is most likely a forgery.

Two other distinguishing features of a genuine Cartier watch are the scratch-proof glass and the trademark stone. Instead of trying to scratch the glass, drop some water onto it. If the drops roll right off, it’s genuine Cartier. If the drops begin to smear, the watch is probably a fake. Also, check the winder. A Cartier watch will have a blue sapphire stone, called a cabochon, fastened. If the stone appears glued on, it’s probably not a Cartier.

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True …

Whether you’re looking at a Cartier watch or a piece of Cartier jewelry, check the price tag before you make any decisions. “You get what you pay for” applies as much to Cartier as it does

to anything else. Genuine Cartier pieces cost thousands, not hundreds, of dollars. So if someone offers you a “Cartier” bracelet or watch for less than that, it’s probably counterfeit.

Let Us Help You

If you’re unsure whether a supposed Cartier watch, bracelet, or other pieces of jewelry is authentic, solicit the assistance of an expert on the subject. Joshua Kodner Galleries is a fourth-generation appraisal and auction house in Florida, and we serve international markets. Our staff would be happy to appraise a purported Cartier for you and let you know what you have on your hands. Since our founding in the 1940s, we have developed a worldwide reputation for excellence in fine jewelry appraisals and auctions.

Sell Cartier Jewelry at Auction

We are also an auction house. Therefore, if you have some pieces you have no further use for, we’d be glad to help you when it comes to selling Cartier at auction. Our multiple online auction platforms and list of more than 700,000 digital subscribers mean that your items will be seen and bid on by the largest pool of qualified buyers. You won’t find an online auction house with a wider reach anywhere else! Furthermore, if you’re looking to buy vintage Cartier jewelry at auction, you can be sure you’re getting the real thing when you go through Joshua Kodner Galleries. We feature nothing but genuine items at our auctions.

Contact Our Gallery

Please visit our gallery if you’d like a better idea of what sort of items are available through Joshua Kodner Galleries. Sign up for our email list to be among the first to know about exclusive offers!

While vintage Cartier jewelry is very much in demand, it’s best to be fully educated about your pieces, whether you choose to sell them at auction or keep them. And, of course, buyers of vintage Cartier at a jewelry auction will want the most value for their money. Joshua Kodner Galleries can help you. Contact us to get a quote or buy or sell at auction today!