Animal-themed jewelry has been coveted for ages, but 2018 has seen a major increase in animal-inspired baubles. Perhaps this is due in part to the rise of vegan culture, social media’s incessant adoration of cute animal videos, and the evolving awareness of animal cruelty.
Whatever the reasons, we’re happy to see animal lovers expressing their wild side through jewelry. To be honest, aside from a pooch in a Louis bag, we can't think of a better animal accessory than a jeweled adornment.
Chloe, Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs, and others served unique animal-driven statements on the runway this year, featuring a wide array of creatures in a variety of materials.
From rhinestone encrusted reptiles to brilliant gold deer pendants, jewelry incorporating animals lit up the runway from all angles.
Major brands have consistently purveyed more animal-influenced designs, whether it’s through timeless collections or brand new creations.
Cartier de Panthere, the French maison’s iconic Panther-inspired collection, continues to be a best selling gold-standard in this realm, and since we see the Panthere collection as the ultimate example of animal-inspired jewelry, you’ll be reading about a few of its most arresting pieces here.
We invite you to explore seven must-have luxury jewelry pieces inspired by the beauty and mystique of the animal kingdom!
A brief history of Cartier de Panthere
Before we delve into the pieces we’ve chosen, we’d like to tell you a little about the Cartier de Panthere collection and why we find it so meaningful and wearable.
The powerful animal has been nearly synonymous with the Cartier name since Louis Cartier, who at the time was heir to the Cartier throne, became inspired by the feline through a painting entitled “Dame a la Panthere” in 1914.
The work was commissioned by Cartier to the French painter George Barbier, and its original purpose was to serve as an invitation for a jewelry exhibition in Paris.
So enchanted was Cartier with the art, and the panther itself, that he decided to incorporate it into the brand’s advertising, and the rest, as they say, is history.
A natural evolution followed - the image of the panther had become so intertwined with the Cartier name that the obvious next step was a Panther-inspired jewelry piece.
Later in 1914, the very first Cartier de Panthere watch was released. With onyx speckled among gleaming diamonds, meant to depict the spots of a panther, the watch was an instant success.
When the collection was first introduced to the market, the panther was (as it still is) seen by many as the epitome of female grace, power, and beauty. At this time, panther skins were also highly coveted and revered as a symbol of wealth and strength.
Since the inception of that first watch, the Panthere collection has revolutionized animal-inspired jewelry and is a prime example of the role of animals in brand association.
Cartier de Panthere now features rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and of course, the beloved watches. The legendary panther motif is still very much an essential in modern luxury jewelry.
Celebrities, collectors and even the royal family are longtime fans of Cartier’s signature collection, and since each piece radiates opulence, mystery and an undefinable command, we’re not the least bit surprised.
Now, take a look at some of our favorites from the collection, then delight in a few other animal-inspired pieces we’re obsessed with right now.
The rings from the Cartier de Panthere collection are all stunning, and this one featured on Opulent Jewelers is especially captivating.
With its chunky yet sleek panther head design, featuring gleaming emerald eyes, an onyx nose and a base of white gold with exquisite pave diamonds, this is a statement that is equal parts bold and elegant.
Celebs have a distinct fondness for Cartier de Panthere rings, too - Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez and Haifa Wehbe have all been spotted wearing rings from the collection. Celebs spotted: Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez and Haifa Wehbe, to name a few.
To call this 18k white gold piece eye-catching is a massive understatement. The centrepiece, a panther resting comfortably yet ready to pounce at any moment, boasts round brilliant cut diamonds and is flanked by classy geometric shapes.
The namesake hangs gracefully, held up with a thick and durable chain. We love this piece because it can go punk just as easily as it can go princess. Endless styling options are available to you with a piece like this, as it stands out regardless of the outfit you style with it.
We can’t let the panther get all the love, and neither does Cartier. The brand shows a fondness for a variety of animals elsewhere in its collections, and we’re here for it.
Whether you’re longing for sunny, sandy beaches or lounging on them, this 18-karat yellow gold pendant charm is a salute to one of Summer’s most beloved animals - the ever-tropical and always extravagant flamingo.
Round brilliant cut diamonds ice up fiery yellow gold, the perfect crowning glory to this rare piece. Perfect for the young at heart, those who love to travel, and professional beach dwellers.
Slim strands of sculpture-like segmented 18-karat gold tumble from round brilliant cut diamonds. The bottom segment features a playful yet subtle black speckle to depict the panther.
The understated nature of the pattern offers an excellent option for those who wish to get it on the animal-inspired jewelry trend with a more subtle statement.
This fun, unexpected pattern twist adds a powerful punch to these sublime drop earrings. Equal parts bold and mysterious, wear these whimsical earrings and captivate everyone lucky enough to cross your path.
We love these handcrafted earrings, especially for Summer! Tropical birds and tassel earrings are two popular aspects of the animal-inspired jewelry trend, and Mercedes Salazar nails it with these vibrantly colored tassel earrings from The Birds Collection.
Nothing spells Summer quite like a tropical feathered friend, and these exquisite earrings will keep you in celebration mode for the entire season. Made with gold-plated bronze, black thread, and vintage crystals, pair these with a sundress for a laid-back vibe, or a strapless gown for a posh night on the town.
Radiant silver and gold mingle with earthy browns to create an epic-sized statement butterfly crafted in authentic sterling silver. The astounding handmade pendant is set on a stiff silver chain with a hook closure.
This necklace was thrust into the spotlight courtesy of Gigi Hadid on the runway, and while it makes a bold statement, the soft energy of the feminine butterfly makes it eye-catching but not distracting.
Much like the panther is symbolic for Cartier, the butterfly has become something of a signature for Bottega Veneta, and this is a statement necklace like no other.
We know that animal-inspired jewelry is here to stay, and we’re excited to see the future of animal-themed jewelry trends. We hope you’ve enjoyed this salute to the magical animal kingdom as it reigns over the jewelry world!