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Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry

French

One of the world’s foremost jewelry houses, Van Cleef & Arpels is particularly noted for a focus on technical virtuosity, craftsmanship and artistry, evident since its beginning. Rather than create earrings, bracelets, necklaces and other adornments primarily for the aim of displaying of wealth and opulence, Van Cleef & Arpels sought to produce jewelry that projected the wearer’s taste and style.

The company was formed a year after the 1895 marriage of Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a gem cutter, to Estelle Arpels, daughter of precious-stones dealer Salomon Arpel. Ten years later, Van Cleef & Arpels opened its first boutique on the Place Vendôme in Paris, setting the march on a square now crowded with dealers in bijouterie. (The company still occupies the New York flagship store opened in 1939 at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.)

Born from a union of expertise in both jewelry making and gem selection, Van Cleef & Arpels distinguished itself with both the consistency of the color and clarity of its stones and the creativity of its designs. In doing so, the house would win a roster of dedicated, fashion-conscious clients that included the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Hutton, Jacqueline Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor. In 1933, Van Cleef & Arpels patented its trademark Mystery Setting — a technique by which gems are fitted into an intricate matrix of slots and “drawers” that keep the setting hidden. Another signal innovation was the Zip necklace, introduced in 1951, which can be worn either around the neck or, with the zipper closed, as a bracelet.

But as much as to the firm’s craftsmanship, clients have been drawn by the insouciance and playfulness of Van Cleef & Arpels designers, as well as their attunement to the cultural climate. After the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, the company produced several lavish pieces featuring hieroglyphics and other Egyptian motifs to go along with the geometric Art Deco jewelry of that decade and the next. Following World War II, as symbols of freedom and rebirth, the firm focused on naturalistic forms such as birds, flowers, fruit and flying insects. High society’s 1960s fascination with the Near East and India prompted such pieces as the best-selling Alhambra necklace, popularized by Princess Grace.

Lately, attention among collectors and connoisseurs has centered on Van Cleef & Arpels’s quality of workmanship as much as its glamour. The firm was the subject of a 2012 show at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, as well as exhibitions at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, in 2013 and at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2014.

Find an exquisite collection of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Van Cleef & Arpels
Dealer: Camilla Dietz Bergeron, Ltd.
VAN CLEEF LENFANT Twisted Gold Diamond Bracelet
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
An 18 karat yellow gold, platinum and diamond bracelet, Georges Lenfant, Van Cleef & Arpels, France. Designed as gold bangle in a twisted motif, enhanced with 30 platinum set round ...
Category

1960s French Vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry

Materials

Diamond, 18k Gold

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS “Classique” Gold Diamond Watch
By Van Cleef & Arpels
Located in New York, NY
An 18 karat yellow gold and diamond watch, Van Cleef & Arpels. The "Classique" watch with quartz movement, a round matte gold dial with diamond hour markers, the bezel set with appr...
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21st Century and Contemporary French Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry

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VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Gold Diamond Large Snowflake Drop Earrings
By Van Cleef & Arpels
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A pair of 18 karat yellow gold and diamond earclips, Van Cleef & Arpels. Each large model “Snowflake” earclip fashioned as a diamond snowflake motif surmounted by a crescent of diam...
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2010s American Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry

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Diamond, Gold, 18k Gold

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Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry & watches for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a range of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry & watches available on 1stDibs. Each of these unique items was designed with extraordinary care, often using gold. While looking for the most stylish antique or vintage Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry to pair with your ensemble, you’ll find that Van Cleef & Arpels diamond jewelry & watches, from our inventory of 1,066, can add a particularly distinctive touch to your look. We have 1,513 pieces in this collection as well as a number of other designs by this jeweler. While this collection reflects work that originated over various time periods, most of these items were designed during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider jewelry & watches by Boucheron, Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., and Andre Vassort. Prices for Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry & watches can differ depending upon gemstone, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $650 and tops out at $3,600,000, while pieces like these, on average, can sell for $17,579.
Questions About Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 27, 2024
    Yes, many people feel that VCA jewelry is worth it. One of the world's foremost jewelry houses, Van Cleef & Arpels is particularly noted for its focus on technical virtuosity, craftsmanship and artistry. Van Cleef & Arpels produces jewelry that projects the wearer's taste and style and is carefully made to stand the test of time. The firm was the subject of a 2012 show at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, as well as exhibitions at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, in 2013 and at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2014. Explore a variety of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2024
    Many notable people wear Van Cleef & Arpels. During the 1970s, celebrities like Françoise Hardy, Princess Grace of Monaco and Elizabeth Taylor helped make the luxury jewelry maker famous worldwide by sporting pieces from the Alhambra collection. Today, Margot Robbie, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Adele, Sienna Miller, Mariah Carey, Kate Middleton and many other celebrities step out wearing pieces made by the luxury jewelry house. Explore a selection of vintage Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertJune 15, 2023
    What the flower is on Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry varies. Artisans at the luxury jewelry house have drawn inspiration from several types of flowers over time, including roses, chrysanthemums, peonies and daisies. Floral designs are frequently set with gemstones at their center and feature glittering pavé petals. After the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, the company produced several lavish pieces featuring hieroglyphics and other Egyptian motifs to go along with the geometric Art Deco jewelry of that decade and the next. Following World War II, as symbols of freedom and rebirth, the firm focused on naturalistic forms such as birds, flowers, fruit and flying insects. On 1stDibs, shop an assortment of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    Van Cleef & Arpels is so expensive because it is a well-known company that has a fantastic reputation. Van Cleef & Arpels are universally renowned for high quality jewelry with a focus on detail. High-profile fans of the French jewelry house over the years have included the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and many more. Find an extraordinary range of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 1, 2023
    Van Cleef & Arpels is popular because it has been focused on technical virtuosity, craftsmanship and artistry since the brand's early days. Rather than create earrings, bracelets, necklaces and other adornments primarily for the aim of displaying of wealth and opulence, Van Cleef & Arpels sought to produce jewelry that projected the wearer's taste and style. One of the world's foremost jewelry houses, Van Cleef has also gained very prominent fans over the years, which definitely contributes to its popularity. The house's clients have included the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich and Jacqueline Onassis. British royals, whom have long been influencers when it comes to jewelry and fashion, are among the world's countless devotees of Van Cleef's Alhambra collection. In the aughts, Reese Witherspoon was routinely photographed in her onyx Alhambra necklace. Sharon Stone and Mariah Carey were also seen sporting pieces from the collection. Find Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertJanuary 23, 2024
    No, Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier are not the same. Although both are French and specialize in fine jewelry, they are different makers. Alfred Van Cleef and Salomon Arpels founded Van Cleef & Arpels, while Louis-François Cartier established Cartier. Explore a diverse assortment of Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertJanuary 23, 2024
    A few things are special about Van Cleef & Arpels. The French luxury jewelry maker is noted for its longstanding focus on technical virtuosity, artisanship and artistry. The maker is also known for its innovative designs. In 1933, Van Cleef & Arpels patented its trademark Mystery Setting, a technique by which gems are fitted into an intricate matrix of slots and "drawers" that keep the setting hidden. Another innovation was the Zip necklace, introduced in 1951, which can be worn either around the neck or, with the zipper closed, as a bracelet. Clients have also been drawn by the elegance and playfulness of Van Cleef & Arpels designers, as well as their attunement to the cultural climate. Over the years, its pieces have drawn inspiration from current events, such as the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the end of World War II and the 1960s interest in the Middle East and India. Shop a wide variety of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 13, 2024
    Van Cleef & Arpels is from France. In 1905, the luxury jewelry house opened its first boutique on the Place Vendôme, across from the Hôtel Ritz in Paris. Today, the company maintains its headquarters in the city. Shop a large selection of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry from some of the world's top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 8, 2023
    Van Cleef & Arpels uses a variety of stones in its pieces. Some of the luxury jewelry maker's most common materials include malachite, mother-of-pearl, carnelian, onyx, turquoise, lapis lazuli, chalcedony and tiger's eye. In addition, there are Van Cleef & Arpels necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings with gemstones like diamonds, rubies and sapphires. There are even pieces featuring wood and S�vres porcelain. Shop a large selection of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1sDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertJanuary 23, 2024
    The most iconic Van Cleef & Arpels necklace is arguably the Alhambra. It features 20 clover-shaped motifs. When it debuted in 1968, each clover was formed from gold and had gold beads around its edges. In 1971, the house began making the motif from colorful opaque hard stones, including malachite, lapis lazuli, onyx, coral, tiger’s-eye and turquoise. Many celebrities, like Grace Kelly, Sharon Stone, Mariah Carey and Kate Middleton, have sported the necklace over the years. On 1stDibs, explore a variety of Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklaces.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2023
    The Van Cleef & Arpels clover represents luck, fortune, health and love, according to the brand. This motif is famously seen in the iconic Alhambra collection, but the luxury jewelry house has used four-leaf clover motifs in designs since the 1920s. Find a range of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 22, 2024
    No, the Van Cleef & Arpels iconic shape is not a cross. Called the Alhambra, the shape is actually a four-leaf clover. As a young man, Jacques Arpels, the nephew of one of the jewelry maker's founders, was fascinated with the relationship that four-leaf clovers have long shared with good fortune. His Alhambra motif pays tribute to the lucky charm but also references the quatrefoils so prevalent in the Moorish architecture of Spain's stately Alhambra palace, which is where the series gets its name. Explore a large selection of Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2023
    Yes, Van Cleef and Arpels has rose gold pieces. Some of the luxury jewelry maker's designs in 18-karat rose gold include the Alhambra necklace, the Félicité wedding band and the Perlée Signature bangle bracelet. On 1stDibs, shop a variety of Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2023
    To authenticate Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra jewelry, check for stamps. Authentic pieces will display either VCA or Van Cleef & Arpels plus a serial number, a metal hallmark and a trademark. Shop a collection of Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    In Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry, the red stone is usually Brazilian carnelian, a type of semiprecious gemstone that typically comes from Greece and Asia. The luxury jewelry brand uses the stone in it’s Bouton d’or and Alhambra collections. On 1stDibs, find a variety of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 16, 2024
    Van Cleef & Arpels became popular early in the 20th century. Many trend-setting women of the time sported Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry. The jewelry house’s fashion-conscious clients have included the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Hutton, Jacqueline Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor. Its popularity has continued to the present day. Lately, attention among collectors and connoisseurs has centered on Van Cleef & Arpels's quality of workmanship as much as its glamour. The firm was the subject of a 2012 show at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, as well as exhibitions at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, in 2013 and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2014. Find a wide range of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 16, 2024
    No single Van Cleef & Arpels stone is the most durable. A few stones commonly used by the jewelry maker compete for the title. Among them are carnelian, tiger's eye, onyx and agate. All four of these stones have a hardness rating of 7.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Keep in mind that how well you care for and store your jewelry, not just its materials, will impact its longevity. Following the care instructions provided by Van Cleef & Arpels can help your piece stand the test of time. Explore a variety of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 8, 2023
    Yes, celebrities have been known to wear Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry. Over the years, many trendsetters have been photographed wearing the jewelry maker's pieces. They include Mariah Carey, Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner and Kate Middleton. Pieces from the Alhambra collection are especially popular with celebrities. Find a variety of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 27, 2023
    Although opinions may vary, the most famous Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is arguably the Alhambra collection, which debuted in 1970. Jacques Arpels – the nephew of Estelle Arpels, who founded Van Cleef & Arpels with her husband, Alfred, in 1906 – liked to say, "To be lucky, you must believe in luck." This mantra is embodied in the four-leaf clover motif of the Alhambra collection, and it can be found in sketches in the house’s archives dating back to the 1910s. The quatrefoil shape also has architectural resonance, as it is found in Gothic and Renaissance structures and in such Moorish buildings as the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain, which inspired the name of this famed Van Cleef & Arpels line. Explore a variety of Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 17, 2023
    Yes, Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry is usually made of gold. Specifically, the French luxury jewelry house typically makes necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings and other pieces out of 18-karat yellow, white or rose gold. Find a selection of Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 17, 2023
    The green stone on Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry varies by the piece. Often, the green gemstones are emeralds, but the luxury French jewelry house also creates pendants and other accessories that feature green malachite and tourmaline. On 1stDibs, shop a variety of Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry.

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