A New York City Experience with Cartier
More than just a destination for exquisite jewellery, watches, and accessories, the Cartier Mansion on Fifth Avenue is also an experience to behold. When we were in New York a couple of months ago, I got the chance to visit the Cartier Mansion one afternoon to uncover the heritage behind the brand. Step inside and you’ll be welcomed by the neo-Renaissance architecture that is every bit stately and majestic.
The Cartier Mansion
Acquired in 1917 from American financier Morton Plant in exchange for a Cartier pearl necklace (valued at around USD $1 million), the American flagship store sits on a prime piece of breathtaking property, true to the vision of Pierre Cartier.
Walking through the Mansion, the attention to detail at every corner is astounding: the green marble surfaces, herringbone oak floor, taffeta silk curtains, plush velvet sofa, ceruse oak panelling, bevelled mirrors… the list is endless. I could go on, but I’ll let the pictures do the talking!
With different floors devoted to various Cartier luxury goods and sections paying homage to notable milestones in the Cartier journey, the Mansion serves as a miniature Musée des Diamants (Museum of Diamonds). Those seeking discretion or more time to peruse in private may check out the exclusive rooms set aside for that purpose too.
On the highest floor of the Cartier Mansion lies the Jeanne Toussaint mezzanine, a private section of the Mansion dedicated to bespoke jewellery. With master craftsmen, resident gemologists and engravers working together, you can commission an exceptionally flawless creation that marries your vision with Cartier expertise.
I had the privilege of trying out some Cartier stones and was brought through an educational process of setting a diamond ring. (Is this a hint to Imran, I don’t know!) There are three main steps: choosing the size of your diamond, the shape of the diamond, and the setting type.
Before choosing a diamond, a Cartier representative will first measure the size of your finger. Subsequently, the size of the diamond you choose is entirely up to your preference, but I wanted to go for something subtle and understated, so a diamond between 0.70 – 0.75 carats would be ideal for my petite frame.
In terms of picking a diamond shape – having been to the Cartier boutiques one too many times to look for that “perfect engagement ring”, I picked a simple but sophisticated round brilliant cut diamond. There are many permutations and setting designs to choose from when completing your personalized stone-setting experience, and Cartier representatives are always by your side equipped with helpful expert opinions.
A word of advice that stuck with me was to not rush into making impulse decisions when designing or selecting diamond rings. They’re pieces that will stick with you, and possibly become heirlooms in time to come. (Think the Duchess of Cambridge wearing the late Princess Diana’s sapphire!)
So swing by the Cartier Mansion should you be in New York City someday: go through an architectural journey and an extraordinary personalized shopping experience like no other.