Cartier love bracelets started a trend when they were first launched and that trend has remained unsurpassed till today. People love these bracelets for their elegant looks, sleek finish and most of all, for its symbolism. It’s the perfect gift to give a special someone for just about any occasion.
The biggest challenge you are likely to encounter when shopping for this iconic piece of jewelry is the huge market for fake Cartier Love Bracelets. The original item is expensive so people who cannot afford the genuine item prefer to sport a replica at a fraction of the price, rather than do without.
Over the years, the replica manufacturers have wizened up to the fact that the closer the fake Cartier resembles the original, the higher the price it will command. With that in mind, they worked on making improvements and today it has become almost impossible to tell a fake Love Bracelet from the original with just a casual glance. You will need to look closer in order to determine whether the item you are holding or looking at is a fake Cartier Love Bracelet or the real deal.
Image credit: Raymond Lee Jewelers
Look for the logo and serial number
Cartier started stamping their logo and serial number on each love bracelet they manufactured in an attempt to clamp down on the spurious market. Vintage bracelets did not have these features and spurious manufacturers simply produced these in mass quantities. With no distinct serial number or brand logo, it was exceedingly difficult to differentiate between a genuine item and a fake Cartier.
So what should you look for? All genuine bracelets will have the Cartier logo and copyright, a hallmark and the18kt gold 750 stamp. The original item will have all of these clearly and distinctly stamped on the inside of the bracelet. In a fake Love Bracelet however, the stamping will never be as clear and as well-aligned. The stampings tend to be sloppier. They could be blurry, illegible and not properly aligned.
Take a closer look at the color
Cartier uses only the highest quality metal to make their jewelry. Their love bracelets are usually made of yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum with real diamonds embedded into the surface.
Replica manufacturers who are catering to customers with a lower budget cannot afford to use such expensive materials. Fake Cartier Love Bracelets are typically made using fake gold or gold plate as a substitute for yellow gold and sterling silver as a substitute for white gold and platinum. If the piece you are looking at appears to be discolored or even slightly tarnished, you know it is an imitation. Real gold and real platinum never get discolored or tarnished even after several years. Their hue and sheen remain as good as ever, no matter what.
Check the look and placement of the screw stamps
As expected, Cartier goes to great lengths to ensure that every single feature on their items is faultless, including the look and placement of the screws. In an authentic bracelet, all screws are evenly spaced from each other as well as from the edges of the bracelet. The indentation in each screw is clean and sharp.
The likelihood of finding that level of care and precision in a fake Cartier Love Bracelet is very small. Imitation pieces will have some flaw or the other and this is attributed to the fact that fake producers cannot afford to invest in the precision machinery required to attain that level of perfection.
In some fake Love Bracelets you may find that all screws are not placed at the same distance from the rim of the bracelet. In others the spacing between the screws may be uneven. If the placement seems okay, you may find that the indentation of the screws may be crooked or rough.
Another aspect that replica manufacturers have not been able to reproduce is the smooth, crisp edges of the screws. In most replicas the outer edge of the screws may look smooth and bulging and the metal surrounding it looks slightly distended.
Compare the edges of the bracelets
In an authentic bracelet, the edges are clean, sharp and straight.
In most fake Cartier Love Bracelets, the edges of the bracelet are usually smoother and appear more rounded.
Try opening the screw clamps
Does the screw turn easily or do you have to struggle when trying to open or close the bracelet? In the authentic piece the screw always, without exception, opens and closes without any problems at all whereas you will find yourself struggling with an imitation piece.
When you are shopping for a genuine Cartier Love Bracelet, the best way to ensure that you are not getting ripped off is to take time to inspect every feature closely. In an authentic piece, every single detail will be absolutely perfect with not even the smallest flaw. Imitation pieces on the other hand just cannot compare with the original – they will almost always have some fault.
Another way to guarantee that you are not getting scammed is to always buy Cartier jewelry from a reputed store.
How do you know whether or not you can trust the store? Check the store’s reviews. What do their customers say about them? Are they happy with the way the store handled their questions and their purchase or do they have anything derogatory to say about the store?
After the reading the reviews, call the customer care and get a firsthand feel for the store’s customer service. Are they polite and courteous? Do they take the time to answer all your questions?
Read the store’s return policy. Will they return your money should you doubt the authenticity of the bracelet they’ve sent you? Make sure this policy is mentioned in writing on the store’s website. Don’t accept any verbal assurances.
Only go ahead with your transaction if you are sure that the store is genuine and trustworthy. This will lower the chances that you will end up with a fake Cartier Love Bracelet.