Jewelry Blog

Complete Guide to Aldo Cipullo Jewelry

Aldo Cupullo Jewelry Necklace and Portrait

Aldo Cipullo jewelry is well-known in the world of prestigious jewelry designers and brands. The Italian jewelry designer made a name for himself in the 1970s, having worked for David Webb, Tiffany & Co., and Cartier. Commissioned by the American Gem Society, he even designed a collection for the Smithsonian Museum. America quickly fell in love with his designs, along with the rest of the world.

Here’s everything you need to know about Aldo Cipullo jewelry.

History of Aldo Cipullo

Born in 1935 in Naples, and raised in Rome, Aldo Cipullo’s interest in jewelry design began at an early age. Given the fact that his father had a business specializing in manufacturing costume jewelry, Cipullo was taught how to design and make jewelry when he was still a child. He even pursued an apprenticeship in jewelry design after his school days had come to an end. 

A very important turning point in his life was when he moved to the United States in 1959. The Manhattan School of Visual Arts became his sole focus for the next couple of years. His days as an apprentice and student allowed him to hone his talent, giving him a chance to learn all the tricks and tradecraft of jewelry and fashion design. 

At the very beginning of his career, Aldo Cipullo started working for David Webb, a famous American jeweler. He moved onto Tiffany & Co. a couple of years later, where he had already made a name for himself. Still, the most noteworthy moment of his career was when he started working for Cartier in 1969. 

Throughout the following decade, Aldo Cipullo designed some of his most iconic pieces that have left a mark on jewelry design, and which are still widely popular to this day. His most famous design was Cartier’s Love Bracelet, belonging to the most successful collection in Cartier’s history. Another notable piece was the Juste Un Clou, otherwise known as his Nail Collection, which he designed in 1971. 

After a few years of working for Cartier, Aldo Cipullo began his solo career, focusing on men’s jewelry and costumes. In 1978, Cipullo was commissioned by the American Gem Society to design a collection for the Smithsonian Museum. This collection consisted of various pieces made from gems that were mined in the States. 

Aldo Cipullo Death

Aldo Cupullo Jewelry Necklace and Portrait

Unfortunately, Aldo Cipullo died in 1984 from a double heart attack. He died at the age of 42, at the peak of his career. News of this jewelry designer’s death shocked everyone in the industry, especially those who adored his designs. 

Aldo Cipullo’s work had left a footprint so large on jewelry fashion that his designs are celebrated and worn even today. His iconic Love Bracelet continues to be a symbol of prestigious fashion and luxury. Even after so much time has passed since his death, his iconic pieces still bring millions of dollars in revenue every year. It’s important to note that Aldo Cipullo was and continues to be the only Cartier designer whose signature can be found on his Cartier designs. 

Many people believe that Aldo Cipullo was able to make such a long-lasting impression because his jewelry designs were ahead of their time. Just take a look at the Love Bracelet, for instance. What other bracelets have a locking mechanism and can only be opened with a special screwdriver? Not just the Love Bracelet, many of his designs were considered timeless pieces of jewelry. 

Aldo Cipullo jewelry regained its popularity with the release of the book Cipullo: Making Jewelry Modern. The monograph was written by the designer’s younger brother, Renato Cipullo and Jewelry Historian Vivienne Becker. It covers Cipullo’s entire body of work, including pictures of some of his most iconic pieces. It also captures who Aldo Cipullo was, outlining his visions in great detail. 

Cartier Love Bracelet

Cartier Aldo Cipullo White Gold Love Bracelet

In any discussion about Aldo Cipullo jewelry, the first piece that usually comes to mind is the Love Bracelet he designed for Cartier. When Cipullo designed it in 1969, he had no idea it was going to become one of the most popular pieces of jewelry in the world. It was actually the first piece he ever designed for Cartier. Not only that, but the Love Bracelet was the most googled piece of jewelry in 2016 worldwide. 

As opposed to many pieces of that time, which were filled with gems, trinkets, and details, the Love Bracelet is a simple unisex wristband. What makes it unique is the locking mechanism, to be opened with a screwdriver that comes with the bracelet. It’s meant to be worn by both men and women, and since it’s actually designed for couples, it symbolizes love and commitment. 

When it first came out, the Love Bracelet was silver plated in gold, with a cost of only $250. Today, it’s usually solid gold or platinum. Ten years after it came out, the Love Bracelet was also available with diamond studs. Ever since then, the line has been expanded to rings, cufflinks, watches, necklaces, and earrings. This collection is actually considered Cartier’s most popular and successful. 

In the 20th century, some of the most prominent couples were seen wearing these bracelets, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti. 

The price for the Love Bracelet may vary. For those who want to wear the classic love bracelet in yellow or rose gold, the price is at least $6,300. It’s also possible to find a white gold variety, though they’re slightly more expensive at $6,750 to start. 

If you’re interested in buying the Cartier Love Bracelet, it’s available at Estate Diamond Jewelry. All you need to do is contact us

Cartier Vintage Nail Cuff 

Vintage Aldo Cipullo Nail Bracelet 18k Gold Signed

The second most popular jewelry design by Aldo Cipullo is the famous Juste Un Clou, French for “Just a Nail.” He designed the iconic Nail collection in 1971, containing bolder and more avant-garde pieces than the Love Bracelet collection. The initial idea was a bracelet in the shape of a giant nail wrapped around the wrist. 

The Nail Cuff was intended to reflect the bold spirit of America in the 1970s. American culture of the time and freedom of expression were inspirations for many of Cipollo’s designs. Likewise, Cipullo had a way of taking everyday things and turning them into beautiful pieces of jewelry. The nail is just one example of his work. Bolts, screws, and wrenches were also common motifs. 

Some of the pieces from this collection were thicker and more extravagant, often paired with jewels and diamonds. Others were more subtle but still stunning enough to be worn with no other accessories. In that sense, Aldo Cipullo jewelry is elegant and avant-garde at the same time. 

Even though the bracelet first came out in the 1970s, its design is constantly reinvented, as it continues to be popular even to this day. Today’s Juste Un Clou collection consists of necklaces, rings, earrings of the same style. The least expensive items in this collection are the rings, which cost at least $1,000. Some of the more pricy items, like bracelets and necklaces, can fetch around $30,000. However, if you choose an item from the Juste Un Clou collection with diamonds, those can go up to $50,000. 

The Love Bracelet and Just a Nail collections are Aldo Cipullo’s two most successful lines, both of which were considered ahead of their time.

Aldo Cipullo Hamsa Jewelry 

Hamsa Cipullo Pendant Necklace
Hamsa Cipullo Pendant Necklace from our collection. Contact us for more information.

Another notable piece designed by Aldo Cipullo was the “Hamsa Hand” or the “Hand of the Heart” pendant. He came up with the Hamsa jewelry line in 1972 that’s representative of the bohemian spirit of the 1970s. The term “Hamsa” is similar to the number five in Hebrew. This piece of jewelry takes the shape of a hand meant to be worn as a pendant around one’s neck. It was famously worn by Ellen Burstyn’s character in the horror film The Exorcist in 1973. 

The Hamsa Hand is actually a Middle Eastern talisman, also called the Hand of Fatima. It’s a symbol of protection meant to ward off the evil eye. Although the Hamsa Hand is a religious symbol, it is often worn as jewelry. 

Aside from everyday things, Aldo Cipullo was known to search for inspiration in American pop culture, the zodiac, and even religion. When the Hamsa hand is facing upwards, it’s seen as a protective symbol. However, Cipollo’s Hamsa Hand is turned upside down. In this sense, it’s meant to represent good luck and abundance. 

There are many variations of the Hamsa Hand, some of which were set in diamonds while others were simpler. The original Hand of the Heart was crafted in solid 18k white gold. Aldo Cipullo also loved to work with hard stones and minerals. One famous version of the Hamsa Hand, worn by Elton John, was made from carnelians. Other stones, like lapis lazuli and onyx, were also common elements in his pieces. 

Most versions of the Hand of the Heart feature an oval cutout in the middle of the palm. The articulated design allows you to move the fingers and bend them. Since the Hamsa Hand was usually a large pendant, it was worn as a statement piece, rather than an elegant necklace. 

Friendship Bracelet

Aldo Cipullo Love Bracelet by Cartier

In 1972, Aldo Cipullo had left Cartier to start a solo career where he could focus on male jewelry, costumes, and even interior design. During this time, he started his own company called Aldo Cipullo Limited. He loved to experiment with different motifs, materials, and styles. Now that he worked for himself, he had the freedom to design whatever he wanted. It was around this time that he designed the Friendship Bracelet. 

Similarly designed as the Love Bracelet, Aldo Cipullo came up with the Friendship Bracelet in 1976. Except that the Friendship Bracelet isn’t a Cartier piece – it was distributed by Charles Revson, an American businessman. These two bracelets are actually quite similar, with the exception of the Love Bracelet having more intricate details. It’s just that the overwhelming popularity of the Love Bracelet often overshadowed Cipullo’s Friendship Bracelet. 

As said, the Love Bracelet was initially designed for couples, with a unisex design suitable for both genders. The Friendship bracelet, as the name suggests, is also meant to be bought as a pair for any couple of friends. When it comes to the design, the Friendship Bracelet is also a uniform round wristband. It features a removable part that’s easy to detach, as opposed to the Love Bracelet that can only be opened with a special screwdriver. 

The Friendship Bracelet was first made of silver and plated in gold, priced lower than the Love Bracelet. Today, you can find the Friendship Bracelet in yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and platinum. Every genuine variant of the Friendship Bracelet has the Aldo Cipullo signature on the inside of the bracelet. Even though this piece of jewelry isn’t sold by Cartier, it’s still quite popular and valuable. 

The Smithsonian Museum Exhibit 

Yellow gold hair comb has freshwater pearls and peridot by Aldo Cipullo Smithsonian Institution

One of the most important moments of Aldo Cipullo’s career was when the American Gem Society commissioned him to design a collection of various pieces for the Smithsonian Museum in 1978. He was asked to use different gemstones that all came from US mines. After he designed the entire collection of 31 pieces, it was toured all over the United States before settling into its permanent home – the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. Many Aldo Cipullo fans go there just to view his gemstone collection even today. 

As we mentioned earlier, Aldo Cipullo loved to experiment with different gemstones, which led him to create some of the most beautiful gemstone pieces in the Smithsonian. The gemstones most used for this collection included sapphires from Montana, turquoise from Arizona, diamonds from Arkansas, quartz from North Carolina, peridots from Indiana, among others. 

The official name of the collection is the American Gemstone Jewelry Collection, with the main goal of raising the appreciation for American gemstones. Moreover, each piece from this stunning collection is unique. 

One of the standouts from this collection is the Pearl and Peridot Hair comb. The gemstones for this piece came from Indiana. The comb itself is made from yellow gold, adorned with pearls and minerals at the top. Other exquisite pieces are made from clear quartz mined in North Carolina. The quartz was made into various pendants with round cut rubellite tourmalines. 

Another stunner is the Topaz Pendant. The round-cut blue 5.28-carat topaz gem came from California, attached to a beautiful 18k white gold pendant accentuated with 15 diamonds. Cipullo also designed the Elbaite and Nephrite Bracelet, with nephrite jade and pink tourmaline from California. The pink tourmaline has 100 carats sitting on a flat oval slab of green nephrite. 

How to Find Aldo Cipullo Jewelry? 

13633 Cipullo Bracelet

With the publication of Cipullo: Making Jewelry Modern, Aldo Cipullo jewelry became popular once again. Many people want to find and purchase original Cartier Love Bracelets, Nail Cuffs, or any other item that he designed. A good number of his designs presented a well-recognized symbol of affluence and prestigious style, which hasn’t changed to this day. 

Due to the simplicity of some of his designs, the Love Bracelet, for example, it’s incredibly easy to knock off. Many online jewelry stores sell fake Aldo Cipullo jewelry, complete with a fake signature. That’s why it’s important to always shop with a reputable jewelry company. Some even have private collections that can only be viewed in person. 

The safest place to search for Aldo Cipullo jewelry is at Cartier, as long as you’re ready for the sticker shock. Cartier released a new Juste Un Clou collection in 2012, which contains modernized versions of Cipullo’s designs. Many other jewelry companies sell Aldo Cipullo jewelry. 

Here at Estate Diamond Jewelry, we have the famous Love Bracelet available. 

Aldo Cipullo – The Man Who Modernized Jewelry 

Aldo Cipullo was a visionary who created intriguing designs never before seen during his time. Many jewelry designers who came after him have proclaimed that he was ahead of his time and an inspiration to many. Some of his most famous designs, like the Love Bracelet, the Nail Cuff, the Hamas Hand, and the Friendship Bracelet, are still in wide circulation even to this day. 

Cipullo’s timeless jewelry made him an icon of modern design to the extent that he was the only designer allowed to have a signature on Cartier jewelry. Since most of his pieces represented commitment and love, many couples continue the trend of shopping for the iconic Love Bracelet. If you’re interested in buying a pair of Love Bracelets for you and your significant other, you’ve come to the right place. 

Shop Our Collection of Aldo Cippulo

As you can tell, we at Estate Diamond Jewelry, are passionate collectors of Aldo Cippulo. Below are some of the rare Cippulo jewelry pieces in our collection.

13177 Cipullo Onyx and Yellow Gold Earrings

Aldo Cipullo Cornelean and Onyx Earrings

Contact Us to learn more and to submit inquiries.

13171 Cipullo Diamond and Yellow Gold Earrings

Aldo Cipullo Diamond and Gold Earrings

Contact Us to learn more and to submit inquiries.

13216 Cipullo Yellow Gold Nail Rounded Ring

Aldo Cipullo Yellow Gold Nail Ring

Contact Us to learn more and to submit inquiries.

Cipullo Onyx Earrings with Yellow Gold Square Motif

Aldo Cipullo Onyx Earrings

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13633 Cipullo Bracelet

Aldo Cipullo Love Knot Bracelet

Contact Us to learn more and to submit inquiries.

Hamsa Cipullo Pendant Necklace

Aldo Cipullo Hamsa Pendant Bracelet

Contact Us to learn more and to submit inquiries.

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Jewelry from the Estate Diamond Jewelry Collection at the Showroom with Afshin

Estate Diamond Jewelry is one of the foremost collectors of Aldo Cipullo jewelry. If you are looking for a particular piece, please feel free to reach out to us.


About Afshin Shaddaie

Afshin moved to New York City in the 1980s, and a few years later, he began his career in the fine and rare jewelry scene. He teamed up with Michael Khordipour, and they've been curating vintage jewelry ever since. He also regularly contributes to Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, The Knot, and Insider. Afshin constantly travels to international shows and private viewing events in the hope of finding rare vintage rings that will be important enough to make an impression. He is available for appointments at our New York showroom when he's not traveling. In 2019, Afshin authored his book called The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on vintage jewelry and antique diamonds. His favorite jewelry era is Art Nouveau, and he loves rare Italian jewelry from the 1950s - 1970s. The Natural Saltwater Pearl is his favorite precious jewel.