Gilded Thorns: The Cactus De Cartier Collection

Watches & Jewellery

November 14, 2017 | BY Melissa Twigg

Jewellery made to prickly perfection

To describe someone as having a prickly charm is a back-handed compliment at best. But when it comes to the Cactus de Cartier collection, it is not only an apt choice of adjective, it is the very essence of its aesthetic. 

In a daring and utterly memorable counterpoint to the traditional floral inspirations most jewellery designers draw on, this collection is dramatic, mesmerising and totally unforgettable—much like the desert itself.

And in the same way that the cactus grows alone in its other-worldly surroundings, these golden orbs stand apart on the jewellery counter. Because with a design aesthetic made to turn heads, Cartier has created something very unusual at a time when we all crave the unique. 

See also: The Cartier Tank Turns 100

Thorns are the common denominator. A dense thicket fills out the pieces in a ball-shaped crown and a profusion of glittering needles sprouting diamonds make up the flower settings. And the style is similar for all the pieces, whether you choose to decorate your ears, neck or fingers or opt for emeralds, diamonds or spinel as adornment.

The Cactus de Cartier pendant, for example, is made up of pink gold, diamonds and spinel and the extra-long necklace falls to a prickly ball of pink gold that is impossible to stop playing with.


The Cactus de Cartier hoop earrings, meanwhile, are made up of pink gold and diamonds, and are reminiscent of an exquisite cactus garden in the way that four spiky balls cluster over and around one other. 

It is a similar story for the ring, in which stylised spinel petals cover the top surface of the thorny balls, mimicking the surprising softness created by a cactus bursting into bloom.


If simpler jewellery is more your style, then the pink gold and diamond versions are equally dazzling. The pink gold and diamond ring, in particular, is reminiscent of the chunky attention-grabbing pieces favoured by women in the 1950s and ’60s. Choose between a single dazzling diamond sitting atop the ring or a cluster of diamonds in bloom around the entire surface.

See also: Diamonds For The Wedding Of Your Dreams

Or you might want your cactuses ‘watered’, in which case try the emerald, carnelian, diamond and yellow gold options. In a festive, deep green shade, these 18-carat yellow gold and emerald pieces are festooned with diamonds and are so unique, you could wear one with jeans and a simple shirt and still be the best-dressed woman in the room.

While for a black-tie gala, few pieces of jewellery could denote old-world glamour as easily as the emerald-encrusted bracelet or necklace, both of which are made with 204 brilliant-cut diamonds.

And if it is a particularly important occasion, add a crocodile-skin Cactus de Cartier bag to your look. Finished with a dramatic brooch clasp of diamonds, emeralds and carnelians, it will make you as memorable as the miracle desert plant itself.

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