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September 19th, 2023

From Nails To Masterpieces: Iconic History Of Cartier’s Juste Un Clou

History Of Cartier’s Juste Un Clou

Since 1847, renowned French luxury jewellery brand Cartier has crafted iconic pieces popular amongst Royals, celebrities and influencers. The brand never really focused on creating ornate pieces but recognisable jewellery that became status symbols. One of which is the famous ‘Juste Un Clou’.

In this blog, we’ll take you through the fascinating history of Cartier’s favourite Juste Un Clou design.

‘BIRTH’ of the Juste Un Clou

When discussing the origin of an iconic jewellery design, one can never expect the design inspiration to have roots in construction. Yet, for over 50 years, the Juste Un Clou design has reigned supreme. Juste Un Clou, which in French literally means “Just A Nail” took the jewellery industry by storm when it first debuted in 1971.

An Italian jewellery designer, Aldo Cipullo was the genius head behind the intriguing Cartier nail jewellery design. It was bold, sleek, minimalist, modern and striking, everything that appealed to modern women and the younger audience of the era. Cipullo, an avid observer of the world, was inspired by life’s small details, and the Juste Un Clou professed his love for all things nuts, nails, bolts and screws.

‘MASTERPIECE DESIGN’ of the Juste Un Clou

Aldo literally envisioned a nail transforming into an elegant jewellery piece and turned it into reality with the Juste Un Clou collection. The jewellery pieces had a distinctive curved nail-shaped design crafted from precious metals like gold and platinum, and some iterations were adorned with diamonds on the head of the nail. Each piece was meticulously crafted to capture the very spirit of the humble nail while ensuring comfort and wearability.

Juste Un Clou Ring

‘SYMBOLISM’ Of The Juste Un Clou

The Juste Un Clou was an avant-garde creation that challenged the conventional norms of jewellery making and embraced the idea of finding beauty in everyday objects. It was clean, contemporary and infused with a touch of rebellion. A few things the design symbolises are:

  • Minimalism: The Juste Un Clou's design reinforces that less can indeed be more. The minimalist design symbolises the beauty of simplicity and proves that jewellery does not have to be over-the-top.
  • Rebellion: The bold design of the collection endorses a spirit of rebellion against the traditional and conventional jewellery design. It is perfect for someone who dares to break the rules and follow their heart.
  • Versatile: The daring design doesn’t hold back from experimenting with its materials. The Juste Un Clou collection is available in varieties of gold and diamonds, representing its versatility.
  • Luxury: Despite its simplicity, the jewellery embodies luxury, highlighting how even the simplest of objects can be elevated to a status of luxury and status through exceptional materials and craftsmanship.
  • Timelessness: The enduring appeal of the jewellery designs symbolises timelessness, demonstrating that good design transcends time and remains relevant across generations.
  • Daring: Juste Un Clou is emblematic of Cartier’s innovation ability while staying true to its heritage and reputation. It dares you to take risks and push boundaries.

Also Read: 5 Interesting Stories behind Cartier's Most Iconic Creations

‘EVOLUTION’ Over The Decades

Juste Un Clou has continued to evolve over the years while staying true to its original design principles. In 2012, to commemorate Cartier’s 165th anniversary, the brand re-launched the symbolic Juste Un Clou bracelet with thicker designs. It also released an entire jewellery collection, including rings and bangles, to add to the glamour of the occasion. These pieces were made in various materials like gold to platinum and some with diamonds, making them suitable for a range of occasions and tastes.

Juste Un Clou Ring

After witnessing a sprawling success, Cartier expanded the Juste Un Clou collection, including earrings, necklaces, tie pins and cufflinks, in 2017. All the jewellery pieces resembled the iconic bent nail design and are crafted in yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and platinum and some outfitted with diamonds.


Beyond their outstanding aesthetic appeal, Juste Un Clou pieces are considered sound investments. Like any other Cartier jewellery creations, these items don’t just tend to hold value but even appreciate over time. The combination of Cartier’s reputation for creating high-quality jewellery pieces with quality craftsmanship makes the Juste Un Clou jewellery an attractive asset for investors. Moreover, their limited availability adds to their popularity. People don’t buy but invest in Cartier’s Juste Un Clou, knowing they can sell Cartier at a handsome value.


Juste Un Clou has gained a significant following among celebrities and influencers for its sleek design and sophistication, further enhancing its collectability. When high-profile figures like Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber are spotted wearing these pieces, it increases their desirability and reinforces their status as luxury collectables. The association with celebrities adds a layer of prestige to the collection, making it even more attractive to fashion-conscious collectors.

Juste Un Clou Ring


From humble origins to its status as a cult masterpiece, the Juste Un Clou has come a long way. It has redefined the boundaries of luxury jewellery, proving that inspiration and beauty can be found even in the most unexpected places. And that, combined with Cipullo’s creativity, is enough to make history!

If you’re looking for a piece of jewellery that goes beyond the fashion whims, the timeless Juste Un Clou is the perfect choice. With its classic design and unique inspiration, the jewellery will surely become a cherished addition to your collection for years. Not to mention the added advantage of securing a high resale value if you ever sell your Cartier Juste Un Clou.

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