Rock Star

From 18-karat-gold yo-yos to chestnut-size diamonds, Cartier has outfitted everyone from Indian maharajas to Hollywood royalty

In 1847 Parisian jeweler Louis-Francois Cartier took over a work-shop on the Rue Montorgueil and sold antique bronzes, jewelry and watches. He hit the jackpot--and attracted the attention of the century's new tycoons. His three grandsons later joined the business, opening more shops in Paris, London and New York City. (One brother famously traded a string of rare pearls and $100 for a mansion on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.) No order was too extravagant: Cartier created 27 tiaras for people attending the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. King Farouk of Egypt had solid-gold toothpicks specially made, the family of King...

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