Used Love and Panthere quality difference between now and vintage

AnnaLou

Member
Nov 14, 2022
131
422
Hi!
I was looking at Cartier rings and bracelets on the website The RealReal, and so many of them clearly had gold plating that had worn off and a base metal showing, especially on the Love line. I was shocked, as I had thought that Cartier did not have "plating" but was solid gold. But clearly, a lot of these have a brass base or something because, especially in the white gold versions, you can see the metal underneath (as in the screenshot below).

I've read that they don't do this anymore, but does anyone have any authoritative info on this?

Regarding the Panthere watches, the originals back in the 80s and 90s, had hollow gold links. The ones made now have solid gold links. This is info I got from three different sources, one from a jeweler on youtube (granted, not a strong source but as it turns out, he was correct), one from a local authorized Cartier watch dealer, and one from a Cartier Boutique SA.

While I'm glad that Cartier stepped up its game in both cases, it does make me wary of buying older pieces, and it really makes me wonder why vintage pieces have almost the same value as newer ones when there's such a huge difference in quality.

The fact that they ever chose to skimp on quality also makes me trust them less now with things like the "gold" perfume case I would like to buy. The website doesn't say what it's made of so I can only assume something cheap or wouldn't they say what it is? I'm afraid to buy it because I feel like I can't trust the quality, which makes me sad since Cartier is supposed to represent the highest quality.

Anyone have any information or thoughts on this?

Thanks

1674523681250.png 1674525218222.png
 

nicole0612

Member
Jan 31, 2015
12,718
24,118
Hi!
I was looking at Cartier rings and bracelets on the website The RealReal, and so many of them clearly had gold plating that had worn off and a base metal showing, especially on the Love line. I was shocked, as I had thought that Cartier did not have "plating" but was solid gold. But clearly, a lot of these have a brass base or something because, especially in the white gold versions, you can see the metal underneath (as in the screenshot below).

I've read that they don't do this anymore, but does anyone have any authoritative info on this?

Regarding the Panthere watches, the originals back in the 80s and 90s, had hollow gold links. The ones made now have solid gold links. This is info I got from three different sources, one from a jeweler on youtube (granted, not a strong source but as it turns out, he was correct), one from a local authorized Cartier watch dealer, and one from a Cartier Boutique SA.

While I'm glad that Cartier stepped up its game in both cases, it does make me wary of buying older pieces, and it really makes me wonder why vintage pieces have almost the same value as newer ones when there's such a huge difference in quality.

The fact that they ever chose to skimp on quality also makes me trust them less now with things like the "gold" perfume case I would like to buy. The website doesn't say what it's made of so I can only assume something cheap or wouldn't they say what it is? I'm afraid to buy it because I feel like I can't trust the quality, which makes me sad since Cartier is supposed to represent the highest quality.

Anyone have any information or thoughts on this?

Thanks

View attachment 5699303 View attachment 5699329
I believe this is rhodium plating. “White gold” is always yellow gold underneath with a white metal plating. This is why some people buy platinum rings instead of white gold, because white gold will need to be replated from time to time and wear is greater on rings compared to a necklace or earrings.
 

lill_canele

Pug mom <3
Jun 21, 2021
2,364
14,939
In recent years (and now) Cartier has this “policy”:
- all non-Diamond WG pieces are not rhodium plated
- all diamond WG pieces have rhodium plating
(There may be exceptions in specific pieces but I have not heard of a particular non-Diamond piece being rhodium plated.)

However, I cannot say this is the same for much older or vintage Cartier pieces because I am no Cartier expert.
 

scheurin

Member
Jun 25, 2020
1,782
4,324
In recent years (and now) Cartier has this “policy”:
- all non-Diamond WG pieces are not rhodium plated
- all diamond WG pieces have rhodium plating
(There may be exceptions in specific pieces but I have not heard of a particular non-Diamond piece being rhodium plated.)

However, I cannot say this is the same for much older or vintage Cartier pieces because I am no Cartier expert.
I second that from what I do know over the years. However a similar post of mine has been deleted here in this forum as being stated to be wrong information :yucky:
 

AnnaLou

Member
Nov 14, 2022
131
422
Thank you for the info about rhodium plating. I had never heard of it before. I just read a few articles/blogs about it and understand now what it is. In case anyone is interested and previously uninformed like I was, I will summarize what I learned:

White gold is not yellow gold with a plating on top. It is a mixture of yellow gold with silver, palladium, zinc, copper and/or nickel to tone down the yellow color and encourage a whiter hue (different gold makers have different formulas, so there isn't one single "recipe"). Without the plating, "plain" white gold will still have a yellowish cast that is more or less noticeable depending on the mixture. The two pictures shown above might have more copper in the base metal, which would explain the very pinkish-yellow tone, but of course that's just an assumption at this point on my part, based on what I've just read.

Much white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium because rhodium is very white/silver in color and that is considered by many to be more desirable than having any yellow tone remaining. However, the rhodium plating wears off and if the white gold underneath is not very white, then it really shows through. If the white gold is very pale however, it is less noticeable.

Not all white gold is rhodium-plated because a lot of people like the warmer tone of natural white gold and/or don't like having to get it replated every few years. From what I read it is not inexpensive and not good for the environment. White gold sold without plating is called (at least by some sources) "natural" white gold.

The thing with "natural" white gold is that it is less "white" than rhodium but it is still a solid white gold alloy, so is the same color all the way through. If it isn't plated, then it will not have wear-marks of discoloration like that shown in the photos above, because it will be the same color all the way through.

My wedding ring has white gold bands and I've worn it 24-7 for almost 15 years now and there is no discoloration or signs of anything wearing off. I wonder if it is natural, unplated white gold, or if I've just been lucky not to have any wearing off the plating. I have to assume the former because I'm embarrassed to say that I have not been gentle with this ring. You'd think the plating would have worn off by now if there were any. Also, I always thought this ring was a "warm white" so again, that would lead me to think no plating. I hope so, because I definitely do not want to bother with plating.

I am really glad to know now that I need to ask about rhodium plating before buying white gold in the future. Thank you both for letting me know about this!

If anyone is interested in reading further, I found these blog posts from jewelers to be extremely interesting and informative (although this is not all I read, but just the most interesting).


 

lill_canele

Pug mom <3
Jun 21, 2021
2,364
14,939
In recent years (and now) Cartier has this “policy”:
- all non-Diamond WG pieces are not rhodium plated
- all diamond WG pieces have rhodium plating
(There may be exceptions in specific pieces but I have not heard of a particular non-Diamond piece being rhodium plated.)

However, I cannot say this is the same for much older or vintage Cartier pieces because I am no Cartier expert.

Hoho! It looks like rhodium-plating IS OFFERED for specific non-Diamond pieces!
Looks like we need to be a bit careful when purchasing and clarify with our SAs what we want! :biggrin:

1674688121359.png
 
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papertiger

MOD
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O.G.
May 23, 2009
50,974
146,224
Thank you for the info about rhodium plating. I had never heard of it before. I just read a few articles/blogs about it and understand now what it is. In case anyone is interested and previously uninformed like I was, I will summarize what I learned:

White gold is not yellow gold with a plating on top. It is a mixture of yellow gold with silver, palladium, zinc, copper and/or nickel to tone down the yellow color and encourage a whiter hue (different gold makers have different formulas, so there isn't one single "recipe"). Without the plating, "plain" white gold will still have a yellowish cast that is more or less noticeable depending on the mixture. The two pictures shown above might have more copper in the base metal, which would explain the very pinkish-yellow tone, but of course that's just an assumption at this point on my part, based on what I've just read.

Much white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium because rhodium is very white/silver in color and that is considered by many to be more desirable than having any yellow tone remaining. However, the rhodium plating wears off and if the white gold underneath is not very white, then it really shows through. If the white gold is very pale however, it is less noticeable.

Not all white gold is rhodium-plated because a lot of people like the warmer tone of natural white gold and/or don't like having to get it replated every few years. From what I read it is not inexpensive and not good for the environment. White gold sold without plating is called (at least by some sources) "natural" white gold.

The thing with "natural" white gold is that it is less "white" than rhodium but it is still a solid white gold alloy, so is the same color all the way through. If it isn't plated, then it will not have wear-marks of discoloration like that shown in the photos above, because it will be the same color all the way through.

My wedding ring has white gold bands and I've worn it 24-7 for almost 15 years now and there is no discoloration or signs of anything wearing off. I wonder if it is natural, unplated white gold, or if I've just been lucky not to have any wearing off the plating. I have to assume the former because I'm embarrassed to say that I have not been gentle with this ring. You'd think the plating would have worn off by now if there were any. Also, I always thought this ring was a "warm white" so again, that would lead me to think no plating. I hope so, because I definitely do not want to bother with plating.

I am really glad to know now that I need to ask about rhodium plating before buying white gold in the future. Thank you both for letting me know about this!

If anyone is interested in reading further, I found these blog posts from jewelers to be extremely interesting and informative (although this is not all I read, but just the most interesting).



I have white, yellow and rose gold Cartier.

I usually buy yg. When I was buying wg ring (no diamonds), I asked my SA about whether it would need re-rhodium-plating and he said (as you mentioned) 18K has enough white metals mixed so as not to need rhodium. Whether or not Cartier has changed its practice I don't know.

I have been wearing my wg ring solidly (shower, bath, gym, sleeping, washing-up etc) since May 2021.

I have old wg inherited jewellery which is defiantly rhodium plated because the yg is peeping through with wear. A 1970s wg 'bark'-surface ring is practically beige. So I think it is or was a thing.


I was bought a chunky ring at Christmas that was knotted-silver and it too has been rhodium plated. The jeweller said it stops tarnishing - although I want the aged silver look. So it seems it's common to rhodium plate good silver too.
 
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