Cartier vs Tiffany

vintage Cartier ring

In the jewellery world, only a handful of names immediately command attention and respect in terms of prestige. Cartier and Tiffany are two such names. Instantly recognisable, both of these brand names have historic significance in the jewellery world. Synonymous with quality, beauty, and luxury, these houses have shaped the jewellery world as we know it today. But, which is better?

Cartier

Founded in 1847, Cartier is renowned for exceptionally jewellery in addition to silver and gold luxury items. Louis-François Cartier opened a shop in Paris on the Rue de la Paix, an area known today for its many jewellers, and gained immediate success. Amassing patronage from royalty across Europe and members of the aristocratic class, Cartier didn’t exactly have humble beginnings.

Beyond their jewellery, the company was celebrated for their homewares and decorative items. Silver and gold items created for Cartier often included small pieces for personal use, like smoking accessories, note holders, and compact mirrors.

Cartier vs Tiffany

Cartier focussed on bringing experienced and highly-skilled craftsmen to design and create extravagant jewellery and homeware pieces. The phrase ‘Cartier: It’s a Must Have’ became an advertising slogan for the company, mustering a level of prestige with which few other companies could compete.

Serving for a period as the jeweller to the British royal family, Cartier has 175 years of experience as a premier luxury jeweller. Any of the millions who watched the wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate more than a decade ago may have noticed a certain tiara supporting the bride’s veil. The very same scrolling diamond tiara had been purchased for the Queen Mother 75 years earlier. Handed through the generations since, it’s pieces like this that make Cartier a go-to for those wanting luxury and prestige.

Cartier diamond ring

Tiffany & Co

A mere 10 years before the doors of Cartier opened, Charles Louis Tiffany and John B. Young opened their own business, Tiffany & Young. Although the initially sold stationery and other luxury homeware items, they began selling silver goods in 1845. Before long, Tiffany bough out Young and changed the name of the company to Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany’s initial success came from imported goods from India, Europe, and Asia. The American market was desperate for imported homeware and silverware, and so this boosted Tiffany as a reputable company. By 1847, the Tiffany company relocated to a bigger premises, increasing their production of silverware and expanding their small jewellery line.

tiffany and co silver peppers

In 1848, Tiffany cemented its reputation as the American excellence standard for diamonds. Tiffany himself purchased gemstones from members of the European aristocratic class and brought them to the U.S, allowing the social elite to buy luxury jewellery domestically for the first time. The company really made a splash when Charles Tiffany bought a 287.42ct fancy yellow diamond in 1878. After it was cut to 128.54cts and polished, it was renamed the Tiffany Diamond. You might have seen it being worn by Hollywood legend, Audrey Hepburn at the premiere of Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961, and again by Lady Gaga at the 2019 Academy Awards.

Since opening its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York in 1940, Tiffany & Co has only grown as a cultural icon. Featuring in films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Sleepless in Seattle, the familiar robin’s egg blue colour is synonymous with American glamour at its finest. The colour became an official registered shade with Pantone in 2001, officially being called 1837 blue, with a trademark shortly following announcing it as Tiffany Blue. Today, Tiffany’s is the brand associated with glitz and glamour at every stage in life. You can find stunning pieces from baby gifts, to housewarming presents, to jewellery for every birthday inside that bright blue box.

tiffany sapphire earrings

Which is Better Between Cartier and Tiffany?

As you might have expected, it’s impossible to say that one is definitively better than the other. The companies have comparable histories, being only a decade apart from one another in terms of the number of years they’ve been up and running. Those who seek prestige and a sense of rich, regal beauty from their jewellery and silverware might prefer Cartier. Although it is the younger of the two, it has a long history with royal families across Europe. Cartier has also managed to stay current through its incredibly romantic line of jewellery like the love bracelet.

First created in 1969, the love bracelet is a highly romantic statement jewellery piece, requiring a screwdriver to take off. As far as declarations of love go, this bracelet style is tough to beat. The love collection has since been expanded to feature diamond-encrusted options as well as multiple metal choices, wedding bands, and earrings. The Panthère jewellery collection at Cartier is also celebrated around the world for its chicness and innovation.

Equally, Tiffany & Co has done its fair share of revolutionising the industry. Creating the Tiffany setting for engagement rings in 1886, the company has epitomised romantic jewellery in America for more than a century. Those who want widespread appeal and brand recognition may prefer to shop with Tiffany. Both brands are known around the world, but Tiffany’s arguably has the wider-reaching net of the two.

The selection of engagement rings available at Tiffany’s has fans around the globe, and tourists flock to their flagship store to experience the pageantry and luxury it exudes. Since opening The Blue Box Café in the store in 2017, fans of the brand have leapt at the chance to enjoy their very own breakfast at Tiffany’s in droves.

Both of these prestigious brands make and define trends in the jewellery world and have done for more than 100 years. Choosing between them is not an easy task, as you’re destined to find quality, beauty, and luxury in equal measure no matter where you look.

tiffany and co mug
tiffany compact
Cartier hair clips in gold
Vintage cartier ring

The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of AC Silver.

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