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Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels

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The History of Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels has long been renowned for its masterfully crafted and dreamy jewels, from delicate flowers to playful animals and flowing ballerinas.

Van Cleef & Arpels was born to the love of two lovers: Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a jeweller, and Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stonecutter.

In 1895, they married and, driven by their pioneering spirit and passion for precious stones, launched the Van Cleef jewelry brand.

The Maison was founded in 1906 by Alfred and Estelle's younger brother Charles (later joined by Estelle's other siblings).

The two opened a boutique in Paris on Place Vendôme, directly opposite the Ritz Hotel.

This place attracted many European aristocrats who fell in love with Van Cleef & Arpels' creations, and became the catalyst for spreading the Maison's new works around the world.

Van Cleef & Arpels continues to use a variety of gemstones in its jewelry, including diamonds, sapphires, and carnelian.

Van Cleef & Arpels has a proven track record of creating exquisite jewelry for royalty, celebrities and the extravagant wealthy.

The Maison's jewelry has adorned Queen Sofia of Spain, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as today's celebrities such as Mariah Carey and Reese Witherspoon.

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Collection

Van Cleef & Arpels' signature collection is the Alhambra, which combines a four-leaf clover, symbolizing good luck, love and health, with a scalloped outline.

This clover is adorned with a variety of precious stones, including mother-of-pearl.

The collection was created in 1968 and was inspired by the quatrefoil motif found on the Moorish tiles of the Alhambra Palace in Granada.

This exquisite collection spans rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and watches.

Van Cleef & Sachs Mystery Set

Van Cleef & Arpels is best known for its Mystery Set technique, a method of setting gemstones into jewelry without the use of an awl.

This technique was established by the Maison in 1933 and is still practised today.

Other luxury jewelry brands have experimented with this gem-setting technique, but none come close to the craftsmanship of Van Cleef & Arpels.

This technique can only be accomplished by a skilled jeweler, as it requires gemstones of perfectly matched color and carefully cut so that they fit together without any gaps.

According to Van Cleef, a single clip can take more than 300 hours, so it's no wonder that only a few mystery sets are produced each year.

Transformable Jewelry

Van Cleef & Arpels has established itself as masters of ever-changing jewellery, with boundless creativity and technical achievements.

One of the Maison's first transformable creations is the "Passes Part Out" necklace, made from a flexible gold snake chain and two flower clips.

Can be used as a necklace, choker, bracelet or brooch.

The Zip Necklace is another Van Cleef & Arpels coveted transformation piece, featuring a functional jewelled zipper that becomes either a necklace or a bracelet when fully zipped.

Van Cleef & Arpels' most popular collections

  • Alhambra Ring Hall
  • Cadenas
  • Cosmos
  • Fleurette
  • Frivole
  • Lucky Animal
  • Pele

Van Cleef & Arpels has a wonderful collection of works that captivate women all over the world.