Van Cleef & Arpels’ Diamond Legend new collection of jewelry

Legends of Diamonds

Van Cleef & Arpels released its new high jewellery collection Legends of Diamonds at Couture Week 2022 and it was an ode to the venerable Parisian jeweller’s long heritage

This Paris Couture Week, Van Cleef & Arpels debuted its latest high jewellery collection, Legends of Diamonds, dedicated to the Maison’s long-standing love for the precious gemstone.

Back in 2018, Van Cleef & Arpels was presented with the Lesotho Legend, an extraordinary 910 carat rough diamond, by its long-time diamond partner Taché. Diamcad, a leading diamond cutter based in Antwerp, then helped to plan and cut the rough into a combination of large cut diamonds using 3-D technology, maximising their brilliance and beauty at the same time.

In all, 67 diamonds were produced with a total of 441.75 carats, all graded as ‘Flawless’ to ‘Internally Flawless’. These exceptional diamonds provided the started point for the entire Legends of Diamonds collection. “The first six months of designing the collection were particularly intense,” says Thomas Pozsgai, director of the Van Cleef & Arpels Design Studio. “We had to envision creations that embodied the Maison’s style, that highlighted its expertise, such as the Mystery Set technique, while also enhancing these diamonds…The challenge was to design harmonious piece that brought all of these elements together without one overshadowing the others.”

Van Cleef & Arpels new High Jewellery Collection

The first chapter of Van Cleef & Arpels’ new High Jewellery Collection is dedicated to its trademarked Mystery Setting

The resulting collection is a tale told in two halves. The first chapter consists of 25 shimmering pieces dedicated to Van Cleef & Arpels’ expertise with the ‘Mystery Setting’ – a trademark technique developed by the house in the 1930s, where gemstones appear in fluid lines, with no visible metal clasps. This first chapter took over 30,000 hours to create and showcases the very best of the Maison’s technical and artistic prowess.

One 79.35-carat oval-cut stone, the biggest diamond cut from the Lesotho Legend, has been set amidst dramatic swirls of Mystery Set rubies and diamonds for a magnificent necklace that plays on Van Cleef & Arpels’ love of couture and fabrics – its swagged shape was inspired by two historic pieces created by the house in the late 1930s for Queen Nazli of Egypt. The central diamond itself is detachable, and can be worn as a pendant on a chain.

Mystérieux transformable

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Atours Mystérieux transformable necklace is set with a 79.35 carat oval-cut diamond

Elsewhere, the Draperie Mystérieuse Clip was inspired by the draped gowns designed by the legendary French couturier Madame Grès in the 1950s. Rows of Mystery Set emeralds and sapphires meet snow set diamonds in a fluid, scarf-like form, ending in three tassel-like pear-cut drops. Other highlights include the Collorette Mystérieuse, a couture-inspired collar with alternating rows of diamonds and Traditional Mystery Set rubies, edged with pink sapphires and square-cut diamonds designed to replicate the look of delicate lace. Its largest diamond, a 51carat stone, can be separated and worn instead on a ring, or replaced with another Mystery Set ruby pendant.

The Draperie

The Draperie Mystérieuse clip was created in white and rose gold, with Mystery Set emeralds and sapphires and three pear-cut diamond drops, weighing over one carat each.

The second chapter of Legends of Diamonds is simply that – a collection of 82 white diamond jewels that demonstrate the house’s historic dedication to extraordinary diamonds. For these pieces, Van Cleef & Arpels once again drew inspiration from its own archives, harking back to its floral garland forms of the Belle Époque, the abstract shapes of the Art Deco period, and even the impactful, disco-like jewels of the 1970s and 80s.

One cuff, the Floraison de Diamants bracelet, has been crafted from white gold, in a nod to the sparkling effects of platinum and diamond jewellery from the 1920s. Its mesmeric ’embossed’ effect was achieved by overlapping ribbons of diamond-paved gold, along with the use of a variety of different diamond cuts and settings.

new Chrysler earrings

Van Cleef & Arpels new Chrysler earrings were inspired by the graphic architecture of the 1920s

More of the Roaring Twenties has been evoked in the form of a long, flapper-style diamond necklace that can be worn in eight different ways, as well as a set of earrings named Chrysler, after Manhattan’s legendary building. Much like architecture, these sleek earrings have openwork frames, set with alternating rows of round and pear-shaped diamonds on four tiers, allowing light to enter and creating an intense dazzle which is reflected on their wearer’s skin.

Optimistic, dynamic and intensely ambitious, this is a high jewellery collection that is destined to be discussed by jewellery lovers for decades to come. Nicolas Bos, Van Cleef & Arpels’ President and CEO, agrees: “I think we have successfully shown that an exceptional diamond can be the starting point for an extraordinary collection that will be a milestone in the history of the Maison.”


Van Cleef & Arpels Comes Full Circle With Its Perlée Collection

Van Cleef & Arpels

A piece of fine jewelry or classic investment timepiece is never just an accessory—there’s always a rich story behind it. In W’s new series Rock Stars, we delve into what makes past, present, and future heirlooms so unique.

In early June, shortly after the Cannes Film Festival ended, the seaside city continued to brim with energy. As red carpets were rolled up for next year and A-list actors decamped to their summer homes, jewelry experts and editors from across the globe descended upon the South of France to celebrate the unveiling of the new Perlée jewelry collection from Van Cleef & Arpels.

We only include products that have been independently selected by W’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Perlée couleurs ring18K yellow gold, Diamond, Malachite

Perlée couleurs ring

Like its name, which translates to beaded in English, Perlée is distinguished by its spherical, golden beads. The motif has long been integral to Van Cleef, having existed on the house’s creations in various forms since the 1920s. First used to emphasize designs or outline the borders of a stone, the circular shapes were then featured in a number of significant Van Cleef collections. From Couscous and Bagatelle in 1948, which consisted of beads in various sizes, to Twist in the 1960s, a playful braided collection that combined gold with coral, turquoise, and cultured pearls. In 1968, the delicate golden spheres became an essential part of the still-iconic Alhambra collection.

Perlée watch, 23 mm18K yellow gold

Perlée watch

But it wasn’t until 2008 that the Maison launched Perlée. Its orderly lines of beads are produced from precious metals—rose, white, and yellow gold—using a lost wax-casting technique. They are then reworked individually by hand and mixed with precious stones, mother of pearl, and coral. The collection, having received several updates and new iterations over the years, has become a playful favorite of the house.

Its most recent unveiling was held at the Palais Bulles—the world famous bubble-like residence of the late designer Pierre Cardin. With its curving, circular modules, rounded pools, and bespoke, contemporary furniture, it was a fitting location that echoed the spherical collection.

Perlée couleurs bracelet, small model18K yellow gold, Diamond, Malachite

Perlée couleurs bracelet

The jewelry that was on view, and is now available for purchase, is joyful and lively in spirit. Five new rings, inspired by an archival design from 1968, are adorned with golden beads and feature vibrant, ornamental stones. A duet of open cuff bracelets in yellow gold and diamonds, with coral or lapis lazuli cabochons, achieve a balance of lighthearted elegance. And for the first time since its creation in 2008, the collection also features colored precious stones on a set of 3 sparkling rings.

Perlée couleurs ring, 5 rows18K rose gold, Ruby

Perle couleurs ring

Another first for Perlée is the addition of watches featuring delicate round faces, surrounded by rows of golden beads that sit daintily on a charming grosgrain strap.

To shop and learn more about Van Cleef & Arpels Perlée collection visit



Check Out Van Cleef & Arpels’ New High Jewelry Collection

Sous Les Étoiles

Last week, the famed French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels unveiled its new high jewelry collection, Sous Les Étoiles, during Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week. It’s a magnificent exploration of the wonders of the stars, sky, and galaxies near and far with 150 breathtaking works across styles, from dramatic necklaces to timepieces.

Celestial phenomena have always fascinated Van Cleef & Arpels designers, going all the way back to the beginning. In 1907, the sale of a star-shape brooch in pearls and diamonds was mentioned in one of the maison’s first accounting ledgers.

It’s been a decade or so since VCA last turned to celestial inspiration points, with 2010’s Les Voyages Extraordinaires, which drew on themes from four of Jules Verne’s novels including De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon). Sous Les Étoiles is intended to be a continuation of the maison’s odyssey through space and time, as it reaches for ever more challenging—and infinitely intriguing—source material to inform its designs.

“The maison has always been interested in the instant where observing nature encounters poetry and the imagination,” explains Nicolas Bos, president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels. “For this new collection, we wanted to prolong the adventure that began with Jules Verne, by exploring the literary and scientific tradition of which his work forms a part. It led us to the classical author Lucian of Samosata imagining a voyage in space, to Johannes Kepler and his inspirational text The Dream, or Lunar Astronomy—written in the early 17th century—and to Camille Flammarion, who published his wonderfully illustrated Astronomie populaire in 1880.”

A variety of astronomical entities and phenomena—and key pieces from the maison’s archives—lend their unique forms to the jewels. The necklace below is an homage to Halley’s Comet, visible from Earth every 75 years. Representing the head of the comet, typically formed by ice, gas, and dust, is an antique fancy vivid yellow diamond trailing rays of white and yellow diamonds in a glorious blaze. In keeping with the maison’s tradition of transformable pieces, the central yellow diamond can be removed and secured in a ring with a similar design.

Halley necklace in 18k white gold

Halley necklace in 18k white gold with 11.29 ct. fancy vivid yellow diamond and 3.36 cts. t.w. white diamonds, price on request. Ring with interchangeable motifs also available, price on request.

A buttercup yellow, oval-cut sapphire from Sri Lanka weighing more than 50 cts. stands in for the sun in the Helios necklace below.

Helios transformable long necklace

Helios transformable long necklace in 18k white gold with 50.38 ct. yellow sapphire, diamonds, and cultured pearls. The necklace can be worn in three possible lengths—with or without the tassel—or as a diadem. At hip: Saturne clip in 18k white and yellow gold with diamonds. Prices on request. (Photo: Anuschka Blommers & Niels Schumm)

The spiral-shape Antennae galaxies that collide with each other and comingle their stars and nebulae a mere 45 million light years away from Earth are captured in remarkable reversible necklace.

Inspired by pieces created by Van Cleef & Arpels between the 1930s and 1950s, one side conceals a loop of diamonds and blue sapphires beneath a glittering knot clasp at front.

Antennae reversible necklace

Antennae reversible necklace in 18k white gold with 417.33 cts. t.w. cushion-cut and oval-cut sapphires, rubies, and diamonds, price on request

When the flip side of. the necklace is worn, the knot is fastened in the back. It took Van Cleef & Arpels’ gemologists over two years to assemble the remarkable sapphires featured in the design, which range from pale pink to intense violet.

Antennae reversible necklace in 18k white gold

Antennae reversible necklace in 18k white gold with 417.33 cts. t.w. cushion-cut and oval-cut sapphires, rubies, and diamonds, price on request

Here are just a few more highlights from this spectacular rhapsody on the cosmos, including an homage to the Milky Way and a timepiece featuring a Christiaan van der Klaauw planetarium module (a planetarium is a complication that shows the relative position of the solar system around the sun, taking into account the different speeds at which its planets orbit).

Ciel de Minuit necklace

Ciel de Minuit necklace in 18k gold with lapis lazuli, diamonds, and sapphires, price on request

Planetarium high jewelry watch

Planetarium high jewelry watch in 18k white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold with colored sapphires, spessartite garnets, black spinels, aventurine, pink mother-of-pearl, turquoise, enamel, and diamonds, and self-winding mechanical movement with a Christiaan van der Klaauw planetarium module, price on request

Galilée between-the-finger ring

Galilée between-the-finger ring in 18k white and rose gold with sapphires, turquoise, and diamonds, price upon request

Top: Céphéide earrings in 18k white gold with detachable pendants of 11.89 cts. t.w. baguette-cut tanzanites, tsavorite garnets, mauve sapphires, and diamonds 


Need to know Van Cleef & Arpels


Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels, the French luxury jewellery maison, began life at Place Vendôme in Paris in 1906. The house was born from the marriage of  Alfred Van Cleef to Estelle Arpels, who had wed in 1885.

Estelle Arpels, fortuitously, was the daughter of a dealer in precious stones and Alfred Van Cleef was the son of a craftsman and diamond broker. Clearly, it was meant to be. It would be Estelles’ brothers who would partner with Alfred Van Cleef in the beginning to open a boutique at 22 Place Vendome. As a result, this address, now iconic in the world of jewellery, is where Van Cleef & Arpels headquarters has remained since.

Arche solaire bracelet

Arche solaire bracelet. White gold, 41 oval-cut pink sapphires for 57.98 carats (Madagascar), mauve sapphires, coral, diamonds.

Over the subsequent hundred plus years since conception,Van Cleef & Arpels has earned a lengthy list of high jewellery, watch and even fragrance accolades.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the house adopted the lines and designs of the burgeoning Art Deco movement.  Egyptian, Japanese, Chinese and Indian inspirations were explored following the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun and a subsequent popularity for orientalism in Europe.

Nébuleuse clip

Nébuleuse clip. White gold, rose gold, one troidia-cut spessartite garnet of 8.18 carats, mauve sapphires, onyx, diamonds.

heir first secret watch was created  in 1923, which was platinum and diamond. Two years later this watch was awarded the Grand Prize at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris for its Roses bracelet, which was set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds.

A couple of years later Renée Puissant, who was the daughter of the founding couple, became the Maison’s Artistic Director in collaboration with designer René-Sim Lacaze in 1926. Why were they so successful? Because their aesthetic was bold, distinctive and full of imagination.  This style became instantly recognisable as uniquely Van Cleef & Arpels. Added do that, it was on their watches that numerous designs, now iconic, came to be. Examples include the fabled Cadenas watch, as well as the Minaudière, the Passe-Partout and the Mystery Set™.

As an example, the Minaudière was launched in 1933, a beauty compact that was designed practically to perfection and inspired by Florence Jay Gould. The Mystery Set, which is trademarked, was created the same year and involved setting precious stones in a way that caused the metal to become invisible. Lastly, in 1935 the Cadenas watch made its debut. It was a wristwatch with a dual snake chain bracelet, a clasp akin to a padlock. Notably, its angled dial offered a discreet way to read the time.

Subsequently special orders were placed by Edward VIII who was a huge fan. For Wallis Simpson’s 40th birthday in 1936 he ordered a Cravate necklace as well as a ruby and diamond bracelet. Additionally t Edward VIII bought a Houx clip made of Mystery Set rubies.

The remainder of the 1930s saw the creation of two new designs. Firstly the Peony double clip and secondly the Passe-Partout, these were the first transformable pieces created by the Maison. The house also created the jewellery for the wedding of Princess Fawzia of Egypt.

Into the 1940s came the first ballerina and fairy clips, which became something of a Van Cleef & Arpels tradition. Expansion outside of Europe followed  with the opening of a New York boutique, opened at 744 Fifth Avenue. The end of the decade welcomed a man’s watch designed by Pierre Arpels, initially for his own use.

Special orders by the Maharani of Baroda came in 1950. That same year the Zip necklace made its debut. This was an original design that had been in existence since 1938, but it was now finally perfected. While a series of animal clips formed part of a new and affordable range that lent itself more to a ready to wear collection.

Further highlights came in 1956. Prince Rainier III of Monaco offered his bride, Grace Kelly, a pearl and diamond jewellery ensemble from the house. Furthermore the Maison became the official supplier to the Principality of Monaco. Throughout the 1960s, the house created unique pieces that were specially ordered by leading names such as Barbara Hutton, Princess Grace of Monaco and Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran.

Céphéide necklace

Céphéide necklace with detachable clip. White gold, 11 cabochon-cut chalcedony for 159.72 carats, 21 baguette-cut tanzanites for 30.16 carats, mauve sapphires, tsavorite garnets, diamonds.

A meeting with George Balanchine, co founder of the New York City Ballet led to Jewels, a ballet dedicated to precious stones which debuted in April 1967. The ballet’s three acts were titled Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, and set to music by Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, respectively.

The first Alhambra long necklace, inspired by the four leaf clover, and instantly recognisable as a house design today, came to life in 1968. It would evolve over the years in various guises but had been inspired initially by the hippie movement.

The 1980s saw a further foray into its Snowflake collections, which had originally begun life in the 1920s. Various exhibitions and retrospectives followed, as did two new patented techniques. One using hexagonally cut stones, the other designed for diamonds. In 1992 The Musée de la Mode et du Costume held an exhibition dedicated to Van Cleef & Arpels. In honour of the occasion, the house created a Mystery Set ensemble entitled Galliera, which featured a total of 1,717 rubies, cut one by one!

Another celebratory moment came in 2000 and the millennium clip, a dual design set with rubies and diamonds. And to mark its 100th anniversary, the Maison manufactured 11 unseen pieces based on sketches made between the 1920s and the 1960s.

Halley necklaceHalley necklace and ring with interchangeable motifs. White gold, yellow gold, one pear-shaped Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond of 11.29 carats, one pear-shaped DFL diamond of 3.26 carats, yellow and white diamonds.

Ballet was to be a recurring theme as, in 2007, the house drew on its collaboration with choreographer George Balanchine to create a collection in four chapters: ballet, emerald, ruby and diamond.

A string of exhibitions would follow during the next decade: “The Spirit of Beauty” exhibition at Tokyo’s Mori Arts Center. “Set in Style” an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. “Timeless Beauty” was an exhibition at the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), China. “Van Cleef & Arpels, L’Art de la Haute Joaillerie” at the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs. “The Art and Science of Gems” exhibition took place at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore. “Van Cleef & Arpels, When Elegance Meets Art” exhibition at the Today Art Museum in Beijing. Lastly, the “Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love” exhibition at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, Italy.

And there would be new launches, the Palais de la chance® High Jewelry collection, Le Secret High Jewelry collection, the Quatre contes de Grimm High Jewelry collection, the Treasure of rubies High Jewelry collection and the Romeo & Juliet High Jewelry collection.



Parisian high jewellery maison Van Cleef & Arpels’ new Diamond Breeze collection takes inspiration from the sacred lotus

  • The latest Diamond Breeze collection draws on the lotus, symbolic in Chinese culture, sacred to Hinduism and Buddhism, and the national flower of India and Vietnam
  • VCA has worked with artists Fideli Sundqvist and Erik Madigan Heck, and architects and designers Kim Haddou, Florent Dufourcq, Céline Thibault and Géraud Pellottiero

Diamond Breeze

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Diamond Breeze collection celebrates fresh creativity every winter, with 2021 returning to a common source of inspiration for the brand: the lotus flower. Photos: VCA

The beautiful, serene lotus flower has a uniquely powerful cultural resonance across Asia. Cultivated in the region for thousands of years, it is a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture, a sacred bloom in Hinduism and Buddhism, and the national flower of both India and Vietnam.

Storied Parisian high jewellery maison Van Cleef & Arpels has long been fascinated by the lotus, using it as a source of inspiration for its pieces since an Egyptian-themed line created in the 1920s. Each winter, the house unveils its Diamond Breeze collection of pieces inspired by the beauty of nature and veiled by a blanket of snow, and this year the lotus takes centre stage, as Van Cleef & Arpels showcases a set of three spectacular new lotus pieces – a between-the-finger ring, a pendant and a pair of earrings – that reinterpret that vintage inspiration for the 21st century.

the finger ring with four flowers

The maison made its first lotus-inspired between-the-finger ring in 2001, and it redesigned the piece in 2017 with a clever system that allows it to be worn in a number of different ways, making it feel like several rings in one.

The latest iteration of this delightful piece features four lotus flowers picked out in white gold and diamonds, sloping upwards as if a gentle breeze is playing across them.

lotus flower pendant

Dazzling: the Diamond Breeze collection’s lotus flower pendant in white gold and diamonds.

Along similar lines, the pendant from the new collection features three flowers, all of different sizes, that shimmer on the neck thanks to the twinkling diamonds and their openworked setting. The earrings, meanwhile, also feature three asymmetrical flowers each, one of which is suspended artfully away from the skin, with bead and prong setting techniques elevating their glittering impact.

Lotus earrings

The lotus is not the only flower to have provided Van Cleef & Arpels with inspiration over the years. In fact, the house has drawn on a dazzling array of different blooms in the decades since a daisy first appeared on a clip dating back to 1907, including buttercups, camellias, chrysanthemums, fuchsias, anemones, lilies of the valley, violets and bellflowers.

Van Cleef & Arpels has also long recognised the ways in which its pieces complement, and are enhanced by, creative works from a variety of other fields. With this in mind, it has regularly joined forces for the Diamond Breeze collection with a select group of artists, designers and interior architects, giving them the opportunity to reinterpret the maison’s pieces as they see fit, in the process adding whole new dimensions. Those partners have included the likes of paper artist Fideli Sundqvist, photographer and painter Erik Madigan Heck, interior architect duo Kim Haddou and Florent Dufourcq, and textiles/interiors duo Céline Thibault and Géraud Pellottiero.

nature themed

For the current iteration of the collection, the house has teamed up with Helen Amy Murray, a British artist renowned for her sculptures using soft materials such as leather and textiles, who is designing decorative tableaus for the company’s boutique windows. Murray has worked extensively with Van Cleef & Arpels before, designing large colourful panels for its outlets in Paris, London and New York, and her inviting, tactile work makes a fitting companion to a graceful, enticing new jewellery collection.




Van Cleef & Arpels’ dazzling new high jewellery collection pays tribute to its most famous clients

The spectacular trio of designs have been made using some of the rarest jewels sourced from around the world

Anuschka Blommers


Each year, Van Cleef & Arpels unveils two extraordinary high jewellery collections, one revolving around a fairytale narrative, the other placing its focus on the house’s exquisite gemstones.

For 2020, the French jeweller’s gem-orientated collection, titled Homage to High Jewellery on Place Vendôme, spotlights archival designs worn by its most glamorous clients, with the big three gemstones – diamonds, emeralds and rubies – taking centre stage.



First, the Merveille d’émeraudes necklace, inspired by a 1929 collaret belonging to Princess Fawzia of Egypt. The original design, which features 10 pear-shape emerald pendants from a geometric mount set entirely with diamonds, was added to the Van Cleef & Arpels collection in 2014. In an ode to this prized necklace, this new piece is cut with five Columbian emerald droplets that total 70.40 carats and come adorned with diamond-encrusted ribbons.



Van Cleef’s new Rubis en scène bracelet, meanwhile, boasts a head-turning display of richly-hued rubies and diamonds in homage to the Jarretière bracelet famously worn by Hollywood legend Marlene Dietrich to the Oscars in 1951 and, in Alfred Hitchcock’s murder mystery Stage Fright. Beautifully sculpted into two half-moons, the Rubis en scène bracelet is set with 72 cushion-cut Burmese rubies that add up to 84.74 carats. While, a base layer of diamonds add an extra touch of decadence to this historic design.

HIGH JEWELLERYAnuschka Blommers


Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, fashion’s First Lady and one of Van Cleef & Arpels’ most devoted clients, was the inspiration behind the final piece, the Tendresse étincelante earrings, which echo a pair given to her in 1968 as a wedding gift by Aristotle Onassis. These original diamond-set floral earrings are reborn in white gold with detachable droplet-shape diamond pendants, each Type IIA, D colour and flawless and weigh just over 10 carats.



A dazzling trio of designs, Homage to High Jewellery on Place Vendôme is an exceptional ode to the Maison’s rich history that captivates with the age-old appeal of some of Van Cleef & Arpels’ most iconic creations.




Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry at Paris Fashion Week: Everything to Know About the New Collection

white diamonds

In Paris this week Van Cleef & Arpels paid a special tribute to the beauty of their unique jewelry. Showcasing a set of exquisite white diamonds, celebrating their color, brilliance as well as their journey of unrivalled excellence. Every piece in the collection tells a story – the legend of diamonds. Originally, in 2018 when the maison encountered a rough diamond, named the Lesotho Legend – inspired by the original discovery, the second chapter was born. White diamond variations were showcased in Paris this week to demonstrate the permanent place diamonds hold in the maison’s jewelry. Every iconic piece stands on its own as an emblematic statement to the world of luxury.


Envol de Diamants necklace

Photo: Courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels

The distinctive pieces in this collection are the necklaces, paying homage to the Fifties, a glamorous decade that continues to inspire years of reference in the maison’s collections. Each diamond in the Envol de Diamants necklace speaks to the opulence of what couture means to the maison. Nature, birds, chokers and bold baguettes fill this assortment of jewels, formulating the perfect ode to diamonds.

Legend of the Diamond is rich in heritage and demonstrates the maison’s attachment to couture, showing every piece has its own identity.  The maison has focused on retracing pastimes with one-of-a-kind pieces that stand synonymously with history. The reinterpretation of the maison’s style reflects different eras and artistic trends that connect seamlessly to the past.

Legend of the Diamond


The History of the Iconic Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Collection

Iconic Van Cleef & Arpels

In the first half of the 1950s, infamous French fine jewellery house, Van Cleef & Arpels recognised the need to create more accessible fine jewellery pieces for a new generation of women. It launched ‘La Boutique’ in Paris in 1954, and soon found a voracious appetite for semi-precious jewellery pieces that could be worn as daytime adornments, rather than alongside formal evening attire. Of all the jewellery motifs created by Van Cleef & Arpels in this era, perhaps the most widely acknowledged and emblematic of the house is the Alhambra, which was first unveiled in 1968.



The Alhambra is a talismanic design inspired by the four leaf clover and reminiscent of traditional Moorish quatrefoil (a framework pattern consisting of four overlapping circles). In fact, the collection is said to be named after the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, which boasts a number of sweeping archways.



The first Alhambra design was an opera-length necklace punctuated with 20 clover-shaped motifs crafted with the design’s signature beaded edges. As the 1960s made way for the 1970s, the design became hugely popular among celebrity clients, who layered many Alhambra necklaces of different sizes and with different gemstone combinations for the quintessential daytime look. The American actress Grace Kelly, who later went on to become Princess Grace of Monaco, was a long-time devotee of Van Cleef & Arpels and a collector of Alhambra necklaces in coral, malachite, rock crystal, tortoise shell. She regularly wore two or three at any one time, with the addition of an Alhambra pendant to make the look her own.



During its 50-year history, the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra has been almost continually refreshed and revised, making it one of the house’s most collectable fine jewellery motifs. Each decade saw the introduction of new semi-precious and precious gemstones, such as carnelian, agate, onyx, tiger’s eye and turquoise, as well as feminine mother-of-pearl, diamonds and sky blue chalcedony, in special capsule collections each with their own spin on the Alhambra motif, such as Magic Alhambra, Sweet Alhambra, Pure Alhambra, Lucky Alhambra and Byzantine Alhambra, to name a few.



There’s also the Vintage Alhambra collection in bois d’amourette, also known as letterwood, which has a flecked reddish-brown appearance. To produce this facet of the Alhambra collection, Van Cleef & Arpels relied on the skills of a traditional cabinet maker and inlayer.



Thanks to the continued popularity and varied iterations of the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection (covering necklaces, rings, bracelets and even watches), the motif has become an instantly recognisable symbol of the brand and the message of good luck and good fortune at its heart.

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