Cartier is one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world. The French company has designed, created, distributed and sold luxury jewelery and watches since 1847. That is the year the company was founded in Paris, France by Louis-Francois Cartier. Cartier soon established himself among the jewelers of royalty and celebrities. Today there are 200 Cartier stores in 125 countries. The main headquarters are in Paris with branches in London and New York. Pierre Cartier ran the company in the early 1900s when he established the New York City branch in the mansion once owned by the son of American railroad magnate Henry Plant, Morton Freeman Plant, located at 653 Fifth Avenue. After his death in 1964, Cartier remained in the family until 1972 when Pierre’s sons and daughter and brothers Jean-Jacque and Louis sold Cartier to Robert Hocq and his investors. Cartier’s motto became “Les Must de Cartier” (Cartier, It’s a Must). Today Cartier is owned by the Richemont group, a South African company run by the Rupert family, and Pierre Cartier’s granddaughter, Elle Pagels. Throughout its history, Cartier has created some of the most impressive and expensive jewelry in the world.
1. Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Cartier Necklace – $ 27.4 million
This beautiful historic Cartier necklace was sold several years ago at Sotheby’s “Spring Sale of Magnificent Jewelery and Jadeite” for $ 27.4 million. The extravagant necklace features 27 large Qing jadeite beads. Each valuable stone has translucent shades of vivid green with a very fine texture. Large beads range in size from 19.2mm to 15.4mm. The Jade necklace has a clasp made with diamonds, ruby, gold and platinum. The necklace is full of mystery. It is believed to have been created during the 18th century for members of the Japanese Royal Imperial Court. What is known is that Cartier acquired the necklace and gave it to the American heir to the Woolworth fortune Barbara Hutton on her wedding day in 1933 by her father Franklin Laws Hutton on her wedding day. Hutton married Russian refugee prince Alexis Mdivani. The couple would sadly divorce, but Hutton was close to Alexeis’s niece, Princess Nina Mdivani, and would pass her the jadeite Cartier necklace.
2. La Peregrina Cartier Necklace – $ 11.8 million
The Peregrina is considered the most symmetrical pear-shaped pearl in the world. Called the “Wandering Pearl,” La Peregrina had a long history before ending up in Cartier’s hands to create a necklace for her then owner, Elizabeth Taylor. The 55-carat pearl is believed to have been discovered off the coast of Panama in the 16th century and ended up in the hands of Spanish royalty. King Felipe II of Spain gave the pearl to Queen María I of England. Upon her death, Queen Elizabeth I returned the pearl to the Spanish court. The magnificent pearl would end up in the hands of Joseph Napoleon and he would return it to England as a gift to Duchess Louisa Hamilton. In 1969 La Peregrina was bought by the English actor Richard Burton who gave it to his girlfriend, Elizabeth Taylor, as a Valentine’s gift. Elizabeth is responsible for commissioning Cartier to create a necklace with La Peregrina. The necklace features the 55 karat pearl as a pendant style necklace filled with beautiful diamonds.
3. The Patiala Cartier Necklace – $ 3.16 million +
The 73-carat yellow De Beers diamond featured on the Patiala necklace is worth $ 3.16 million. Cartier commissioned this diamond to be made into a necklace for Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of India in 1928. The diamond was surrounded by multiple chains with large diamonds. There were a total of 2,930 diamonds on the chains, including the De Beers yellow diamond and six other large diamonds ranging in size from 18 to 73 carats. The Maharaja was known for his expensive taste in luxurious jewelry that he gifted to his many wives. La Patiala dressed himself. It appears in many photographs of the Maharaja. When India became an independent nation in 1948, The Patiala and many of the royal jewels disappeared. In 1988, a Cartier employee discovered the De Beers yellow diamond in a second-hand jewelry store in London. Cartier was able to recreate The Patiala using De Beers’ famous large yellow diamond.
4. The Patiño Cartier necklace – $ 10.2 million
The Patiño necklace features high quality emeralds and diamonds. Simõn Iturrio Patiño was a Colombian mine owner who lived between 1860 and 1947. He produced more than 60% of the world’s tin production. He also liked rare gemstones. He unearthed some of the most beautiful emeralds, including the one that would become the “Andean Cross” that would adorn the …