Synonymous with exquisite craftsmanship, unrivaled attention to detail, utmost professionalism, and world-class quality — Hermès is arguably the most valuable luxury brand in the world. In previous articles, we discussed the early beginnings of Hermès, the origin of the famed Himalayan handbag, and whether an Hermès Birkin bag is worth the money. In today’s post, we will be shining the spotlight on Hermès jewelry.
What You Need to Know About Hermès Jewelry
Here are seven facts about Hermès jewelry that might even surprise some of the luxury brand’s biggest fans.
1. Hermès did not design and produce jewelry until the mid-1950s
Thierry Hermès, the founder of the luxury brand, began his career in 1837 making harnesses for horses, particularly for the European noble class. Hermès received immense praise and acclaim for his outstanding workmanship. During the 1855 and 1867 Expositions Universelles in Paris, France, Thierry Hermès won the first prize for his carriage bridles.
From then on, Hermès expanded its production to include saddles, saddlebags, leather bags, and golf jackets. The world-renowned brand only began designing and manufacturing jewelry in the mid-1950s, more than a hundred years after its founding.
2. “Clic Clac” is not the official name of the iconic Hermès bracelet we all know and love
A very specific image comes to mind when most people hear the words “Hermès bracelet” — a cuff or bangle featuring the signature Hermès H as its clasp, which a colored enamel on either side surrounds.
Commonly referred to as the Clic Clac bracelet, this Hermès enamel accessory is actually called the Hermès H Bracelet. The Hermès H earned its moniker the “Clic Clac” due to the sound the bracelet makes when the wearer secures it in place or removes it.
The Hermès H Clic Clac is available in two styles, three sizes, at least 100 enamel colors, and three hardware colors: silver, gold, and rose gold. Fans of the brand can also pseudo-customize their Hermès H Bracelets.
3. Hermès collaborated with Tuareg tribesmen to create silver jewelry
The Tuareg people are a semi-nomadic tribe from northern Africa and throughout Algeria, Niger, Libya, and the Saharan desert. They are particularly noted for their indigo blue-colored veils — which male members of the tribe wore to keep away evil spirits — and their traditional handmade art. Tuareg art often takes the form of silver pieces of jewelry, swords called takoba, and decorative saddles.
In the 1990s, a French art collector and tour guide appealed to Hermès, asking to help the skillful Tuareg blacksmiths receive equitable trade prices for their unique silver goods. In response, Hermès partnered with the Tuareg tribe to make silver jewelry. To honor the Tuareg people, Hermès also incorporates their traditional motifs and symbols into Hermès scarves, ties, and other goods.
4. Many people credit Alfred Hitchcock for the unrivaled popularity of the Hermès Kelly handbag and bracelet
Although the origin of the famous Hermès Kelly dates back to 1892, its popularity soared in 1954 when English film director Alfred Hitchcock permitted costu
me designer Edith Head to buy Hermès accessories to dress Academy Award winner Grace Kelly for the movie “To Catch a Thief.”
Rumors quickly spread that Grace Kelly, later Princess of Monaco, fell in love with the stunning handbag at first sight. The fashion icon is also famous for using her large Hermès bag to hide her face from the paparazzi, particularly when she was out with her husband Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
When photos of Kelly carrying the Hermès bag ran in Life magazine, the handbag became an immediate sensation. The new “it bag” was thereafter called Hermès Kelly. However, Hermès did not officially rename the piece until 1977. The brand later introduced the Kelly Bracelet, which resembles the bag’s closure.
5. Jewelry by Hermès has an elaborate stamped date code system
Hermès is one of the first fashion houses to adopt a stamped date code system.
Hermès products, including its jewelry and handbags, have a stamp with a series of letters and shapes to help determine the manufacturing date of the item. For example, bags stamped with an “E” within a circle were made in 1976. Bags with an “R” inside a square, on the other hand, were produced in 2014. Aside from the date code, additional stamps help trace the maker or workshop responsible for a specific Hermès product.
The date code is most helpful when authenticating an Hermès piece. And, though these codes are easy to find online, most counterfeiters fail to stamp the correct code. Therefore, when shopping for a pre-loved Hermès product, cross-reference the product listing and date code to make sure the stamps and description align correctly.
Top Tips for Buying Hermès Jewelry
Before investing in jewelry from this illustrious brand, remember the following:
- Artisans sew all Hermès leather goods, including Kelly bracelets, by hand. The stitching should be perfect or close to perfect with even spaces and no loose end in sight.
- Hermès bracelets have an oval shape, making them feel more comfortable on the wrist. Fake bracelets are round.
- Counterfeit Hermès bracelets are usually smaller. Before buying online or from a third-party seller, check the dimensions on the official website.
- The enamel on Hermès cuffs and bangles has soft, rounded edges. Fakes are flat.
- In most cases, the weight of fake jewelry is lighter because they are made with inexpensive materials. When in doubt, double-check the weight.
- Hermès Clic Clac bracelets are oval. The H clasp should open and close smoothly. The enamel is one solid, scratch-resistant piece.
- Hermès Collier de Chien bracelets are made of genuine calfskin, alligator, or lizard leather. The metal is gold-plated or palladium. The O ring always has a smooth continuous piece of metal with no visible seam.
- Look for the serial number and contact Hermès customer service hotline at 800-441-4488 to determine whether the serial number is authentic.
As one of the most exclusive brands in the world, Hermès attracts clients from the upper class who can’t get enough of the fashion house’s refined designs and unparalleled craftsmanship. As you patiently wait for a Birkin or Kelly handbag to become available at your nearest boutique or favorite online marketplace, we hope that this article helps you brush up on your brand knowledge. Also, if your desired bag is not in stock, the chances are high that the Hermès jewelry of your dreams is available for purchase. Shop authentic Hermès jewelry now.
Are You Looking to Sell Instead of Buy?
Biltmore Loan and Jewelry buys new and pre-owned Hermès leather goods. To sell luxury items in Phoenix, Arizona, complete our online contact form. We pay more than traditional pawn shops.