Investing in designer handbags is nothing new. We know that certain bags like the Hermès Birkin and Chanel Classic Flap are smart investments given that the price tags of these totes annually increase. But recently, we’ve spotted more and more celebrities and influencers who have started to invest in fine jewelry instead.
But the curious thing is that they're favoring this specific jewelry brand. Yup, we're talking about French luxury jewelry brand, Van Cleef & Arpels. We know you know it, too! Here’s everything you need to know about it!
What is Van Cleef & Arpels?
Van Cleef & Arpels is a French jewelry house that produces luxury jewelry, watches, and fragrances. The jewelry house is one of the most coveted luxury jewelry brands, and is also one of the most expensive together with other big names such as Cartier, Harry Winston, and Tiffany & Co. Van Cleef & Arpels’ flagship boutique in Paris’ Place Vendôme, attracted aristocrats and wealthy customers who fell in love with the jewelry house’s pieces. Van Cleef & Arpels has also become a trusted jeweler for royalty and has been named “Patented supplier of the Principality of Monaco.”
Who founded Van Cleef & Arpels?
The iconic name Van Cleef & Arpels was taken from the name of the couple who started it, Alfred Van Cleef, son of a lapidary craftsman and diamond broker, and Estelle Arpels, daughter of a precious stones dealer. They both shared the same enthusiasm, innovation, and passion for precious stones, which was how the Maison of Van Cleef & Arpels was born in 1906. Van Cleef & Arpels flagship location in Paris sat on 22 Place Vendôme, and is still situated there until today. In 1926, Renee Puissant, daughter of the founding couple, became Van Cleef & Arpels’ artistic director which aided in the design of easily recognizable styles of the jewelry house.
What is the most iconic Van Cleef & Arpels motif?
Van Cleef & Arpels best known motif is no other than the four-leaf clover design from the Alhambra collection which has been established as a symbol of luck. The iconic pendant was born in 1968, and has since become a highly coveted jewelry piece. During its release, the Alhambra collection challenged the idea that fine jewelry was only meant to be worn during the evening. The Alhambra collection was designed to be worn at any time of the day, by people of all ages. You can find the jewelry house’s iconic motif in the form of necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, and watches, which is crafted in a variety of stones and pendant formations.
What are Van Cleef & Arpels’ most popular pieces?
Without a doubt, Van Cleef & Arpels’ most popular pieces come from their Alhambra collection! The iconic four-leaf clover first appeared in the 1920s, but was officially created into the first Alhambra long necklace in 1968. Since then, the Alhambra collection has become a signature of the jewelry house and a timeless symbol of luck.
Another timeless Van Cleef & Arpels collection, this one highlights the femininity of delicate beads. The Perlee collection was created in 2008, which centers of one of Van Cleef & Arpels’ field of expertise: golden beads.
Midnight Pont de Amoureux Watch
Van Cleef & Arpels’ Midnight Pont de Amoureux celebrates love and beautiful romances. This meticulously crafted timepiece features two lovers who plan to rendezvous by midnight on a Paris Bridge. As the time passes, the lovers move towards each other for a kiss.
Midnight Pont de Amoureux Watch, $122000 (P5904556.00), VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
In 1935, Van Cleef & Arpels designed a timepiece which featured a dual snakechain bracelet and an angled dial which allowed the wearer to read the time discreetly. The Cadenas watch is a bold and timeless piece that remains contemporary despite being designed in the 1930s.
Cadenas Watch, $26600 (P1287386.80),, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
Pierre Arpels Watch
Initially designed in 1949 for Pierre Arpels’ personal use, this watch boasts of masculine elegance. The Pierre Arpels watch is recognized for its round casing which is discreetly held together by two central attachments, a unique take on a simple silhouette.
Pierre Arpels Watch, $14300 (P692,091.40), VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
How are Van Cleef & Arpels’ pieces made?
All of Van Cleef & Arpels’ pieces are handmade by only the most skillful craftsmen. On top of the already meticulous handcrafting of their pieces, Van Cleef & Arpels is also known for their unparalleled expertise, the Mystery Set. The technique was patented in 1933, and is a unique method which allows precious stones to be set without the use of any visible metal component. Due to the vigorous process and required level of expertise, only a few master jewelers hold the jewelry house’s secret. One piece crafted using the Mystery Set technique can take over 300 hours to craft, which means only a small number of pieces are made each year.
What is the most expensive Van Cleef & Arpels’ piece?
The most expensive Van Cleef & Arpels’ piece that is accessible online is their À Cheval bracelet which costs a whopping $1,100,000 or approximately P53,729,550.00! This high jewelry bracelet comes from their À Cheval collection which centers on revealing the purity of the diamonds in each piece. The À Cheval bracelet consists of 440 diamonds worth 112.05 carats.
Why are Van Cleef & Arpels’ pieces so expensive?
Van Cleef & Arpels only crafts pieces using the highest quality materials and techniques by world-class artisans. The jewelry houses prioritizes quality and detail over everything else, making each piece practically flawless. Van Cleef & Arpels’ pieces also hold their value extremely well, which makes them worth their high price tag.
Are Van Cleef & Arpels’ jewelry pieces worth it?
Yes, Van Cleef & Arpels’ jewelry pieces are definitely worth its hefty price. Not only are you paying for a piece of jewelry, but you are also paying for the prestige, history, quality, and craftsmanship that are put into each piece. You can definitely consider a Van Cleef & Arpels piece as an investment!
How do celebrities wear Ven Cleef & Arpels pieces?
Remember when KC wore this gorgoeus diamond-encrusted watch? All eyes were on the actress and the sparkler on her wrist that apparently costs P16.7 million. The Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Nuit des Papillons watch features a butterfly-adorned face and strap that is set with 1723 diamond stones and 503 sapphire stones. Wow.
Marian has been turning heads with her growing collection of Van Cleef & Arpels. The actress has been gushing over the jewelry house's Alhambra collection, what with its timeless and dainty pieces that are right up Marian's alley.
Anna Cay was recently spotted with a cute butterfly bracelet from the Alhambra collection that completed her sweet 'fit featuring a little white dress.
It's no surprise that Heart appears in this list since the actress and Vogue 100 lister is known for her love of accessories and luxury baubles.
Vlogger Rei Germar is already investing in a collection of timeless trinkets. And her starter piece? This adorable pendant necklace from the Alhambra collection!
YouTuber Ashley Yap may be a known figure in finding the best affordable deals on Shopee and Lazada, but count on her to know when to splurge when it counts! Zoom in and you'll see Ashley's layer of necklaces featuring Van Cleef & Arpels' famous four-leaf clover motif.
Kim Chiu's collection of designer pieces also include a gorgeous Alhambra necklace that match the actress' dainty style.
Yup, Jinkee takes her jewelry while working out. Best to get your Van Cleef & Arpels pieces' worth, any chance you get, right?