Categories
Van Cleef & Arpels

A Selection Of Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry Is Recommended

Van Cleef

How Much Do Van Cleef Necklaces Cost?

Van Cleef sells necklaces, pendants, and chains for necklaces. Between the three, the collection starts at $870 for a simple chain to $855K for a diamond snowflake transformable Van Cleef & Arpels necklace. Half of the collection is below $14.7K– making it a notably expansive collection. Whether the price is worth it depends on your financial situation and what matters most to you.

How To Save Money

They’re undeniably beautiful and iconic, but also in the high price bracket. I personally recommend buying their most iconic designs and skipping the plain chain necklaces. Though the plain chains are the most affordable, and the only options under $1K, they aren’t recognizable enough. 

You can buy a quality 18K gold chain from companies like Brilliant Earth. Blue Nile, Jared, or Ritani. Then, you can potentially use the money you saved towards purchasing a pendant. Van Cleef doesn’t typically have sales, so that’s your best bet to save money. 

Van Cleef Necklaces

Now that I’ve told you what you need to know before purchasing a Van Cleef necklace, here are my favorite ideas. To make my selections, I consider how unique the style of the necklace is if the style is likely to hold up over time, and the quality of the design itself. Rather than sorting my collection, I’ve made my choices from least to most expensive. With a brand as expensive as Van Cleef, it’s important to understand pricing before falling in love with a design. At the same time, I also wanted to point out a diversity of styles, so you can see the breadth of what Van Cleef has to offer. 

Vintage Alhambra 10 Motif Station Necklace

Vintage Alhambra 10 Motif Station Necklace

If you love the classic motif but want to make a bigger statement, consider this beautiful necklace from Van Cleef. 10 iconic motifs, with the beaded vintage details, make for a beautiful statement. Priced at $8,000 to $9050, you can select from onyx, yellow gold, mother of pearl, rose gold, carnelian, tiger’s eye, and agate

 

Categories
Van Cleef & Arpels

The Most Cost-Effective Van Cleef & Arpels Available

Van Cleef Necklaces

In July, Van Cleef collaborated with the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris for a special exhibition showcasing the “journey of precious stones.” This collection was designed to show the intersection of art and science– and place an emphasis on gemology. 

Far from just showing off beautiful styles, the Van Cleef pendants and accessories showed off the beauty of crafting gemstones into works of art. The idea of the exhibit was not merely to show Van Cleef’s artisan work, but also to show how integral the connection between science and art is. 

This stunning showcase wowed with gold and gemstone pieces– but most importantly, in its scope. In many ways, Van Cleef is proving it’s not only still relevant in 2022 but it renewed interest in how high jewelry is made. 

Of course, you don’t have to be in Paris to enjoy Van Cleef’s workmanship. In this guide, I’ll tell you what you need to know about Van Cleef necklaces and provide some of my favorite picks for 2022. 

Why Is Van Cleef So Popular?

Van Cleef is elegant and timeless. Their designs are crafted with classic nature motifs that never go out of style. They add to their collections year after year to keep things interesting and make a splash, but they stick to understated elegance instead of going directly after trends. Another reason is that many celebrities, royalty, and well-known figures in power have worn Van Cleef. This includes Princess Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor. 

What Does The Van Cleef Clover Represent?

Van Cleef & Arpels

Perhaps nothing is more iconic from Van Cleef than the Van Cleef clover. In fact, the clover is a good part of why they remain popular– and an example of how the luxury brand has captured an elegant and timeless look. 

The clover, which is now one of the most popular motifs from Van Cleef, was introduced in 1968. It symbolizes exactly what you might imagine: fortune and good luck. The classic four-leaf clover design is also associated with success in love and good health. 

Why Is Van Cleef So Expensive?

When you’re buying a luxury brand that’s as popular as Van Cleef, expect to pay more than your average jewelry brand. You’re paying for the iconic name, how desirable it is, and the fact that it’s been worn, in part, by public figures. But that isn’t the only reason.

As understated and elegant as Van Cleef pieces are, they also tend to include intricate details. These details set them apart from competitors and add classic touches. 

Is It Worth Buying Van Cleef Necklaces?

Jewelry

I never recommend buying any necklaces you can’t afford. But even if Van Cleef is in your budget, are their necklaces worth buying? Already, the timeless designs, intricate details, and sheer elegance are great reasons to buy. But I also wanted to take a look at the materials used, style variations, and how well Van Cleef jewelry holds its value. 

3 Flower Frivole Mini Pendant

3 Flower Frivole Mini Pendant

This pendant makes for a stunning, modern, and elegant statement necklace. Three flowers are crafted in yellow gold, with 3 accent round diamonds (0.16 carats). The polished gold and diamonds in a three motif pattern exude shine in the sunlight and can be worn for both casual and formal outfits. Priced at around $4,800; View Here

Perlee Diamonds Pendant

Perlee Diamonds Pendant

Longing for jewels? This $6,950 Van Cleef pendant is one of the more affordable diamond-forward options. 19 accent round diamonds (0.35 carats) accent the pendant. Contemporary ribbon designs are meant to highlight the brilliance of the diamond, along with beads accenting the perimeter. View Here.  (Also available in white gold). 

Categories
Van Cleef & Arpels

Best Van Cleef Necklace Ideas And Picks Under $10K

Van Cleef Necklace

In 2022, jewel tones and bold hues are gaining popularity, as are statement necklaces with iconic gemstones. And Van Cleef is showcasing their best with their newest collection of classic high jewelry. 

In July, Van Cleef collaborated with the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris for a special exhibition showcasing the “journey of precious stones.” This collection was designed to show the intersection of art and science– and place an emphasis on gemology. 

Far from just showing off beautiful styles, the Van Cleef pendants and accessories showed off the beauty of crafting gemstones into works of art. The idea of the exhibit was not merely to show Van Cleef’s artisan work, but also to show how integral the connection between science and art is. 

This stunning showcase wowed with gold and gemstone pieces– but most importantly, in its scope. In many ways, Van Cleef is proving it’s not only still relevant in 2022 but it renewed interest in how high jewelry is made. 

Of course, you don’t have to be in Paris to enjoy Van Cleef’s workmanship. In this guide, I’ll tell you what you need to know about Van Cleef necklaces and provide some of my favorite picks for 2022. 

What is Van Cleef?

Van Cleef

Van Cleef & Arpels, most commonly known simply as Van Cleef, is a French luxury brand. Though they’re known for their jewelry, they also sell perfume and watches. Founded in 1896 by Alfred Van Cleef and father-in-law Salomon Arpels, the company was passed down generations and became prominent by opening stores within popular holiday destinations within France.

 But the crowning achievement that really put Van Cleef in high esteem wasn’t until 1925, where a ruby and diamond bracelet was awarded top honors at the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts. 

Van Cleef Necklaces: My Picks under $10,000

Now that I’ve told you what you need to know before purchasing a Van Cleef necklace, here are my favorite ideas. To make my selections, I consider how unique the style of the necklace is if the style is likely to hold up over time, and the quality of the design itself. Rather than sorting my collection, I’ve made my choices from least to most expensive. With a brand as expensive as Van Cleef, it’s important to understand pricing before falling in love with a design. At the same time, I also wanted to point out a diversity of styles, so you can see the breadth of what Van Cleef has to offer. 

Here are my ideas for Van Cleef necklaces/ pendants in 2022, sorted from least to most expensive. All of my picks are under $10,000- which can still buy you some iconic options. Of course, there are higher diamond and gemstone carats the more expensive you go. 

Sweet Alhambra Pendant

Sweet Alhambra Pendant

$1,450 will get you the most affordable pendant from Van Cleef. This light and sweet design are unlikely to ever go out of style, featuring a mother-of-pearl center stone with a yellow gold clasp. The petite design still makes a statement, but can easily be paired with pearl bracelets and earrings without making the style overwhelming. Available in the clover design or a butterfly motif. While not the most stunning pendant they sell, it may be the best value for the average customer. View the links listed. 

Frivole Pendant, Mini ModelFrivole Pendant, Mini Model

Yes, you can buy a large or regular-sized pendant of the same kind, but this Van Cleef pendant costs just $1,810, leaving you some money to spend on a chain for a beautiful pendant necklace. Meant to show the movement of flowers gently blowing in the breeze, mirror-polished gold exudes warmth, with beautifully crafted heart-shaped petals. The design includes a 0.05 carat, round cut accent diamond, set on yellow gold.

Vintage Alhambra Pendant

Vintage Alhambra Pendant

A bit more glamorous than the sweet version of this pendant, but still iconic, this pendant retails for $2,620. Available with an onyx or mother-of-pearl center stone, the classic clover motif is accented by yellow gold beads for luxurious, vintage-inspired detail. It’s another excellent buy for its versatility, brand name recognition, and sense of timelessness. For a higher price point (averaging $2,900) I also recommend the same style with tiger’s eyecarnelian, or malachite

Categories
Van Cleef & Arpels

The Story of Alhambra and How to Spot Fake Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Jewelry

Alhambra

The enigmatic beauty of lucky charms glorified by the magnificence of fine jewelry gives rise to a creation that has gone down in history as one of the most iconic jewelry designs ever made. Emblematic of the brand and its values, Alhambra is a beautiful tale of stones, metals, and fortune.

Luck as a theme has been central to the house of Van Cleef & Arpels since as far back as 1906. During the 1920s, the four-leaf clover motif, now a famous symbol, was first seen in the Maison’s archive. Jacques Arpels, the nephew of Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels, was a firm believer in luck. As a token of good fortune, he used to hand over four-leaf clovers, picked from the backyard of his residence in Germigny-l’Évêque, to his employees. 

Subsequently, the idea of luck and lucky charms fostered several avant-garde creations from the Maison. However, the most distinctive and groundbreaking was the Alhambra necklace. This iconic Van Cleef necklace made its debut in 1968. The original design was a long station necklace sculpted from gold featuring 20 clover motifs with beaded contours. 

Van Cleef necklace

Long Vintage Alhambra necklace in18k yellow gold featuring 20 clover motifs inlaid with malachite.

The Alhambra was an instant success. It became a revelation in an era when women began to be more interested in everyday staple pieces than high jewelry that was earmarked for grand, formal events. The design caught the attention of many famous women counting Romy Schneider, Françoise Hardy, Elizabeth Taylor, and Princess Grace of Monaco. She owned not one but several Alhambra necklaces, which she wore in heavy rotation.

The Evolution of Alhambra

The resounding success of the Alhambra necklace gave way to myriad beautiful renditions of the archetypal clover symbol. The Maison eventually introduced rings, bracelets, and earrings under the Van Cleef Alhambra collection featuring the clover motif inlaid with various colorful stones such as agate, turquoise, mother of pearl, carnelian, onyx, and more. 

Van Cleef Alhambra

Furthermore, Van Cleef & Arpels also launched a number of sub-collections in addition to the original Vintage Alhambra—Magic Alhambra, Sweet Alhambra, Pure Alhambra, and Lucky Alhambra. Each of these collections is unique in its own right while being in tune with the signature aesthetics and the philosophy of luck.  

How to Spot Fake Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Jewelry

The collection that has been reigning the jewelry realm for more than 50 years, transcending any season or trend that came by, is something everyone wants their hands on. Hence, if you’re meaning to give yourself up to the pleasure of buying an Alhambra creation, we caution you not to fall victim to a fake piece. Learn with us how to spot fake Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra jewelry.

Metals

The purity of metal is a patent sign of authenticity in Alhambra jewelry. Van Cleef & Arpels strictly use only pure 18k gold and platinum to model all their jewelry, including Alhambra. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings are made available in a choice of gold—rose, white, and yellow; each polished delicately to exude a sparkling glow.

Gemstones

Gemstones

Alhambra is a beautiful celebration of ornamental stones and their unmissable charm. Consequently, the Maison is highly selective about the stones used in Alhambra jewelry. Diamonds used are of the highest color grade, i.e., D, E, and F, and the clarity range FL (Flawless) to VVS2 (Very Very Slightly included). Other gemstones such as onyx, carnelian, and malachite are also picked only of superior quality. The house sources white mother of pearl predominantly from Australia, whereas the grey mother of pearl is specifically brought from French Polynesia. 

Any Alhambra jewelry that does not adhere to the gemstone quality as mentioned above is probably a fake one.

Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship

Every detail of an Alhambra creation speaks of excellence and unparalleled craftsmanship. Consistency in quality and precision in construction is gracefully evident in every piece. Hence, a minute inspection of the signature design elements and signs of construction can help distinguish the real one from a fake. Unpolished metals with a poor finish, loose clasps, joints, and prongs in a new piece, the irregular shape of the clover motif, unclean stampings and hallmarks, and the improper setting of stones are all signs that the Alhambra jewelry you own is fake.

 

Categories
Van Cleef & Arpels

Every Stone Tells a Story in Van Cleef & Arpels’s Newest High Jewelry Collection, ‘Legend of Diamonds’

Satin Mysterieux ring and earrings

A model wears the Satin Mysterieux ring and earrings composed of white and rose gold, diamonds and rubies. Photo: Marc de Groot. Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Haute jewelry is so compelling because it encapsulates narratives. There are so many stories within: How were the stones discovered? For whom are the pieces made? Whose dreams are being realized? There’s enough backstory to fill several volumes on the latest collection of one-of-a-kind jewels from Van Cleef & Arpels, “Legend of Diamonds.”

Per tradition, the 126-year-old luxury maison unveiled their high jewelry line during the couture shows in Paris this week. “Legend of Diamonds” represents a years-long journey from rough stone to glittering collection.

Mysterieux necklace

The complex Mystery setting technique is revealed on the inner part of the Chevron Mystérieux necklace, if one can take their eyes off of the three detachable grenade-size diamond pendants. White gold, rose gold, three pear-shaped diamonds, traditional Mystery Set, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds. Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.

The tale begins with the Lesotho Legend, the fifth-largest rough diamond ever mined (it was named after the South African country where it was discovered). The uncut gem weighed in at a stupendous 910 carats. It took almost a year of 3D mapping to develop how exactly Van Cleef & Arpels would unlock the wonder within. The diamond cutters then sliced, faceted, and polished the almost half-pound carbon mound into a family of 67 stones, all flawless to internally flawless. “Each one reveals the distinctive nature of the original rough stone, like clear, scintillating water,” states the release.

“This is the first time in decades that we have been involved in a project from its starting point—the extraction of the stone—to the creation of a high jewelry collection,” the brand’s president and CEO, Nicolas Bos, said in a statement. “The appearance of this extraordinary rough stone gave us this unique opportunity to tell a story around the diamond.” Almost four years after the discovery of the Lesotho, it is now distributed among “Legend of Diamonds.”

catalogue

A vintage 1923 catalogue. Courtesy of Archives Van Cleef & Arpels.

The 107-piece collection is divided into two groups, the more colorful “25 Mystery Set Jewels” and the understatedly chic “White Diamond Variations.” But the Lesotho wasn’t the only inspiration; Van Cleef & Arpels plumbed its own storied archives for fitting homages to honor the historic gem. Echoes of some of the jeweler’s “greatest hits” appear in the collection, as in a nod to the stunning diamond necklace created for the marriage of Princess Fawzieh of Egypt in 1939, as well as in riffs on Chrysler Building-inspired Art Deco earrings, for which the artisans in the Place Vendôme workshop wielded the house’s signature “Mystery Set.” Patented in 1933, the complex technique allows gems to be fixed with no visible metal prongs.

 

Bos summed it up thusly: “An exceptional diamond can be the starting point for an extraordinary collection that will be a milestone in the history of the maison.”

Couture Mystérieuse ring

Couture Mystérieuse ring. White gold, rose gold, one oval-cut 18.32-carat diamond, traditional Mystery Set, rubies, and diamonds. Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Categories
Van Cleef & Arpels

Sparkling Jewels Found: Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels

The history of the famous Parisian jewellery house began in 1896 with the marriage of Estelle Arpels to Alfred Van Cleef. The company was founded in 1906 by Alfred and his brother-in law, Charles Arpels at 22, Place Vendôme. Julien Arpels joined the family business in 1908, and Louis Arpels in 1913. The oldest son of Julien Arpels, Claude, joined in 1932, followed by his brothers Jacques and Pierre in 1936 and 1944. An American boutique was opened by Claude in Rockefeller Center in New York in 1939, soon relocating to its definitive address at 744 Fifth Avenue. The 1930s saw some of the company’s most iconic designs: the house’s arguable trademark, the Mystery Setting – where the mounting of the gemstones is cleverly hidden behind the continuous calibré-cut ruby and sapphire surface of the jewel – was invented in 1933; and the concept of the Minaudière, made in honour of Florence Jay Gould, was invented in 1930 by Charles Arpels. In the following decades, the firm upheld its reputation for innovation with the zip necklace of the 1950s and the Alhambra theme of the 1970s. Today, Van Cleef & Arpels is part of the Richemont Group with more than 45 boutiques around the world.

TESS DONLEVIE

There is of course Queen ­Nazli’s necklace. The 220-carat all-white-diamond bib was commissioned by the queen from Van Cleef & Arpels to celebrate the wedding of her daughter Princess Fawzia of Egypt to the shah of Iran. There is also the Medicis necklace, exhibited in 1937, a ribbon of mystery-set white diamonds overlaying rows of baguette-cut white diamonds dotted with round white diamonds. There are those geometric bandeau white diamond bracelets women loved to wear stacked on their newly bare arms in the 1920s. There is that white diamond piece Eva Perón is wearing in the picture of her with the Argentinean ambassador to France in 1947. There are those white diamond Haricot clips that Jackie Kennedy liked to wear with her pearls.

Van Cleef Haricot clips

Diamonds and Van Cleef, they go way back. “White diamonds have adorned Van Cleef & Arpels creations ever since the company’s founding, following the love story of Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef,” says president and CEO Nicolas Bos. But if you have followed the house’s more recent history (or if you read this magazine), you will note that the new Legend of Diamonds high jewelry collection seems like a bit of a departure. There is not the intricate narrative we have come to expect from Van Cleef High Jewelry—no French fairytale inspiration such as the 2014 Peau d’Ane collection had, or the eclectic references of last year’s Sous les Etoiles pieces, which included classical author Lucian of Samosata imagining a voyage in space and Camille Flammarion’s illustrated Astronomie Populaire from 1880, plus Cyrano de Bergerac’s tales of failed trips to the moon, 1970s comic books, and Barbarella. Nor is there the rare colored stone saturation or specificity of 2019’s Treasure of Rubies or 2016’s ode to emeralds. Don’t look for a turquoise skirt on the ballerina brooches.

legendary Van Cleef piece

Inspired by another legendary Van Cleef piece, the brooch they call the New Haricot (string bean) was née the Flame clip in 1934. Look closely and you notice the intricate work here: the gradation of two golds, the three stones at the center set with two-tone bezels, the last stone in the closed setting. Or you can ignore all this and just marvel at the beauty.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

But also, don’t be fooled by the simplicity on display. “Even though it could seem a more minimalist design at first, this collection has challenged our teams in both creativity and know-how,” Bos says. “From the initial drawings through to stone-setting and the final polish, every detail has been designed to instill the creations with brilliance and life. Each diamond in the collection has been carefully selected by Van Cleef & Arpels’s expert gemologists with the strictest criteria, and they possess a diversity of cuts, from the classic ones to the most fancy,” he continues. “The combination of white and rose gold results from an extremely complicated technique achieved by our craftsmen in our Paris workshops. The pieces’ designs are inspired by different art periods, from the 1920s to the 1980s—architecture, painting, but also interlacing movement echoing couture symbols. One of our main challenges was to maintain the ability of some creations to transform, offering up to eight different possibilities for how to wear them.”

Eva

This one is named the Eva, and yes, Evita had one just like it. The upper band of diamonds here is what gives the necklace structure. The lower bands are more supple, both for comfort and perfect positioning.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising revenues by advertising and linking to Amazon.com