Van Cleef & Arpels is a French luxury jewelry company. It was founded in 1896 by the Dutch diamond-cutter Alfred Van Cleef and his father-in-law Salomon Arpels in Paris. Van Cleef & Arpels embodies the excellence in the high jewellery and watch making and is recognized by everyone as the House of the connoisseur for over a century. With its unique style-refinement, femininity, glamour and gracefulness, its exceptional stones and an unchallenged craftsmanship, the Maison creates the most inspirational pieces of jewellery and distinctive timepieces.
With a blend of inventiveness and poetry, Van Cleef & Arpels perpetuates a highly distinctive style that has produced numerous signatures: the Mystery Set technique, the transformable Zip necklace and the Alhambra motif. The selection of gemstones according to the most stringent criteria and the savoir-faire of its craftsmen have given birth to enchanting jewelry and watchmaking collections. Whether inspired by nature, couture, dance or imaginary worlds, the Maison opens the gate to a timeless universe of beauty and harmony.
Van Cleef & Arpels’s pieces often feature flowers, animals, and fairies, nature is one of the Maison’s prime sources of inspiration, imbuing creations with vitality and poetic grace. From all-diamond clips created in the 1920s to contemporary jewelry pieces, floral motifs lie at the core of the Van Cleef & Arpels universe. Enthralled by the constant metamorphoses that enliven the plant world, the Maison echoes the infinite forms and nuances of flora, crystallizing the lightness of a bouquet or the freshness of wildflowers.
In 1906, the Maison of Van Cleef & Arpels was born at 22 Place Vendôme. With audacity and imagination, she forged a distinctive, eminently recognizable style for Van Cleef & Arpels. Amid a dazzling, eternal spring, poppies commune with daisies, while lilies of the valley mingle with cherry blossoms, all transformed into jewels by the Mains d’Or in the Place Vendôme workshops.
Over the decades, the excellence of the High Jewellery Maison established its reputation across the world. Van Cleef & Arpels have been worn by style icons and royalty such as Grace Kelly, the Duchess of Cambridge, Ava Gardner, Farah Pahlavi, Eva Perón, Elizabeth Taylor, the Duchess of Windsor and Queen Nazli of Egypt.
Today, the Jewelry house remains faithful to this highly distinctive style. Whether inspired by nature, couture, dance or the imagination, it offers a gateway to a timeless universe of beauty and harmony. Expect to see heirloom-worthy pieces that exude refinement. Since 2000 Van Cleef & Arpels has belonged to the Swiss luxury group Richemont.
Since its founding in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has created timeless, feminine pieces that enhance the natural beauty of stones and the brilliance of metals. Van Cleef & Arpels always create the most suitable ideas for a special occasion in mind, a statement style such as a white or rose-gold bracelet makes a discerning choice. Encrusted with rhinestones or carnelian, they’ll light up your evening ensembles with their other-wordly shine. The brand’s playful spirit is reflected in charming animal clips made with onyx, mother-of-pearl accents and a dose of whimsy.
For over 100 years, Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry expertise has been renowned throughout the world. Among the striking accessories of the label’s iconic jewelry line, there are four-leaf clover charms inlaid with colourful gemstones and suspended from gleaming chains. Engraved dials adorn watches with petal-shaped fronts, while flower motif studs sparkle with pavé diamonds. These good-luck amulets are finished with a border of signature golden beads.
Van Cleef & Arpels applies its iconic savoir-faire in various fields to bring exceptional creations to life: for instance, the expert Mystery Set technique, patented by the Maison in 1933, imparts a velvety quality to the Pivoine clip (1937), originally a double clip representing two ruby flowers, one in full bloom, while the other is half-closed.
Delicate petals, set with ornamental or precious stones, enhance the exquisite materials composing them. The 1970 Rose de Noël collection and the 1981 Cosmos collection, portray corollas in mother-of-pearl, coral and onyx. The Frivole collection, introduced in 2003, gleams with precious flowers in mirror-polished gold – a traditional jewelry-making technique that results in an intense interplay of light on the metal’s surface.
Created in Place Vendôme in 2012 with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts introduces the general public to the world of jewelry. It offers a rich program of classes, lectures, exhibitions and creative workshops to a large and varied audience, from Paris to Tokyo, New York, Dubai or Hong Kong where a permanent campus is also settled.
A devotee of dance ever since its origins, the Maison has strengthened its commitment to the arts with Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels. Launched in 2020, this initiative – guided by the values of creation, transmission and education – aims to uphold the artists and institutions that showcase the choreographic repertoire, while encouraging new productions.
On 2 December 1933, Van Cleef and Arpels received French Patent No.764,966 for a proprietary gem setting style it calls Serti Mysterieux, or “Mystery Setting”, a technique employing a setting where the prongs are invisible. Each stone is faceted onto gold rails less than two-tenths of a millimeter thick. The technique can require 300 hours of work per piece or more, and only a few are produced each year.
The floral style
Very present in the different collections of the house. It is illustrated by the Pivoine clip created in 1937 and the Frivole collection .
Louis Arpels was passionate about dance and it was under his impulse that many models illustrating ballerinas and fairies were created in New York in the 1940s. This passion for dance was also taken up by Claude Arpels who met George Balanchine , choreographer and co-founder of the New York City Ballet . From this meeting was born the ballet Jewels in 1967. In 2007, Van Cleef & Arpels collaborated with the London Royal Ballet for the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the ballet Jewels by creating a High Jewelry collection: “Ballet Précieux”.
The house has always been very keen to transcribe nature, particularly through birds symbolizing freedom and movement.
Love is at the heart of the very foundation of the house thanks to the union of Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels. Thus many jewels symbolize love 49 in particular with the creation of the Inséparables (Lovebirds) clip in 1946.
The creations of the house are strongly inspired by the many trips made by the thinking heads of the House. Thus, some jewels are inspired by India following the travels of Claude and Pierre Arpels who went there to look for precious stones. The house finds its inspiration in historical highlights such as jewelry inspired by ancient Egypt and in particular the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.
The links between the house and haute couture have always been close. This is evidenced by the creation of the Minaudière, a true fashion accessory . Many pieces are also designed to enhance an outfit. Van Cleef & Arpels has therefore created, in homage to the art of fashion, so close to that of jewelry, numerous bow clips throughout its history and a collection called Couture in 2004. Van Cleef & Arpels is the one of the five jewelers authorized by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to parade during the official Haute Couture calendar.
“To be lucky, you have to believe in luck,” liked to say Jacques Arpels, nephew of Estelle Arpels. A value dear to the Maison, luck has often guided its steps and inspired some of its most emblematic creations, such as the Alhambra collection .
Sous les étoiles collection
“The spectacle of the starry sky attracts us, envelops us, speaks of infinity, communicates a dizzy sense of the abyss.” The cosmos reveals its poetic character in Van Cleef & Arpels’ new thematic collection: Sous les étoiles, heavenly dreams. Renewing one of its historic sources of inspiration, 150 High Jewelry creations offer a striking vision of the universe, tinged with dreams.
Romeo & Juliet collection
Time’s inexorable progress plays a key role in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Within the collection, a secret watch captures time in the finery of a bracelet entirely set with gems, subtly hiding a dial along with four other tableaux.
Specchio means mirror in Italian: just like a mirror, the diamond set at the heart of this ring creates an intense play of reflections. The color and clarity (DFL type 2A) of this 5.44-carat stone are emphasized by an emerald cut of perfectly balanced proportions. The geometry of stones, all recut in place, evokes the facades of Verona with their arcades.
The Romeo & Juliet collection has also brought about a dialogue with the work of another artist: Lorenzo Mattotti. At Van Cleef & Arpels’ request, the illustrator has produced a series of drawings depicting an iconographical journey to the heart of the intrigue. They illustrate tension, momentum and suspended motion like a restrained passion.
Le Secret collection
In this High Jewelry collection, every piece is a puzzle, an invitation to discover a secret. This collection celebrates the wonders of intricate puzzles, embodied by exquisite stones carefully chosen by the Maison. These exceptional stones are selected for their beauty and the emotion they bring to the pieces they adorn. A ladybug has slipped between the leaves… As we step into a universe of unexpected metamorphoses, watch as the visible and invisible meet. Whether through unseen mechanisms or surprising color combinations, Le Secret is an invitation to roam undiscovered territories.
Cupid, the famous god of love from Roman mythology, invites the spectator to share a secret with a gesture meaning “shh!”. Here he appears surrounded by his traditional symbols, perched on a purple-pink heart-shaped rubellite. His destiny is to spark love in the heart of men and women; the twisted gold thread bow holds an opulent garland of pink and mauve sapphires, while the arrows are punctuated with pear-shaped and baguette-cut diamonds. Like Cupid and his arrow, the creations enchant, every touch revealing a world of meaning. They are personal talismans, hiding memories, treasures and mysteries. Surprises to be rediscovered, time and time again. Behind every piece is a story waiting to be told. Let us take a chance to explore.
A new flower in the wondrous garden of Van Cleef & Arpels, the Pétale de Papillon clip has a surprise in store: nestled at the heart of the corolla is a butterfly whose colors blend into those of the flower. Thanks to an undetectable mechanism, one of the petals lowers to release the precious animal which may then be worn on its own, as a clip.
Quatre contes de Grimm collection
Beyond the horizon lies a world of magic and wonder… A High Jewelry collection that enchants like a fairytale. As we step into Van Cleef & Arpels’ fairytale realm, notice the glimmering bouquets of precious stones and the flutter of diamond feathers. In this High Jewelry collection, the Maison reinterprets four tales by the Brothers Grimm, imbuing each with a precious touch. Drawing on a wide cast of characters and their adventures, Van Cleef & Arpels’ intricate jewels recount these tales with gold and meticulously selected gemstones. Each stone is chosen for its quality, as well as for the emotions it carries and the story it tells.
The myriad shapes and colors of this collection move with grace, adapting to the wearer’s fancy. Detachable pendants and transformable necklaces add a sense of wonder to the collection, their form shifting to reflect the multiple facets of fairytales. Their intense blue perfectly matched represents the lake that the princesses cross each night before going dancing. The Pomme de pin clip is from the tale The Town Musicians of Bremen and evokes the pine tree that provided the animals with nocturnal refuge. Mysterious and ever changing, the Maison’s fairytale creations recount unique elements from each story. Come and delight in the collection’s hidden secrets; be it an exquisite pattern woven into the underside of a bracelet, or a clip that pivots to mimic shimmering gold leaves.
Émeraude en majesté collection
The pieces of Van Cleef & Arpels’ Emeraude en majesté collection are imbued with history. The collection pays homage to this fascinating stone, intimately linked to the stories of maharajas, princesses and empresses.Uncover the captivating nuances of emeralds with the Emeraude en majesté collection. The deep, soothing green of emeralds has long fascinated the Maison, beginning with the Arpels brothers, who travelled the world in search for these exceptional stones.
The Emeraude en majesté collection is an ode to the beauty of Emeralds, each piece created to give light to its unique. The emerald’s story begins with its color. Each stone is selected based upon the intensity of its hue, the Maison favoring a vibrant shade of green. Held to a northern light, the stone’s true color shines through, revealing its unique character. Each of Van Cleef & Arpels’ expert gemologists has a trained eye for identifying the exceptional qualities of emeralds. Their skill is precise, honed and transmitted through generations.
Treasure of rubies collection
Selected individually, the collection’s rubies display their magic in pieces specifically conceived by Van Cleef & Arpels’ designers to magnify their fires and show off their intense hues. Van Cleef & Arpels depicts the lightness of a nature in movement. Inspired by oriental floral motifs, each corolla combines the velvety softness of Mystery Set rubies with the brilliance of round diamonds. Inside the heart-shaped flowers, a pear-shaped diamond glitters like a symbol of tender feelings.
In the 1930s, Renée Puissant, daughter of the Maison’s founding couple and Artistic Director at the time, was intrigued by a suggestion said to have been made by the Duchess of Windsor in the 1930s: transform the zip fastener into a jewel. In that time, fashion designers have been searching for a simple way to fasten garments, to keep their surface smooth and their lines flowing. In an instant, buttons become outdated. It is the zipper’s turn to steal the limelight.
Inspired by the advent of the zipper in couture, in 1950, the Zip necklace was born. This beautiful piece cleverly converts into a bracelet when fully zipped. The Zip collection pays homage to the world of couture in more than one way. Aside from recreating the zipper itself, the Maison has also realized filigree lacework, glittering bows, ruby ribbons and sumptuous tassels of precious stones, all honoring the craftsmanship of couturiers.
The bright petals of the Flowers High Jewelry collection exhale blissful awe as they bloom all year long, the delicate petals that reflect the light in a thousand vivid colors. A sense of renewal blossoms in this collection, full of life and color. It is a welcome breath of vitality, captivating the onlooker with its charm. Together, these unique High Jewelrycreations capture the beauty of a serene garden, open and inviting. The Maison’s flowers capture the bright beauty of their counterparts in nature: the dazzling chrysanthemum, the vivid peony, the ardent rose, the graceful daisy.
This enchanted garden surrounds us with colors as vibrant as an artist’s palette. Inspired by the abundance of flora, Van Cleef & Arpels transcribe it into enthralling pieces. A symbiosis of beauty and life. Since its beginning, the Maison has celebrated the poetry of nature through stones of every hue. Bending down to study a single bloom, we are struck by its intricacy. Each flower is a unique combination of color, shape and movement.
Created in 1934, the Ludo bracelet is a celebration of this combination. Named after Louis Arpels’ nickname, its flexible design is as supple as a precious belt. The bracelet’s lines paytribute to the classics of couture. Much like the belt accentuates a graceful silhouette, Ludo outlines the curve of a wrist. Enlacing us in a warm embrace, the glimmering gold of the Ludo bracelet loops gracefully around the wrist. Enhanced with abstract shapes and the patterns of Art Deco, the bracelet has renewed itself, while remaining true to its original design.
The union of the world of couture and High Jewelry is a common thread throughout the Maison’s history. Star of the 1930s, the Ludo bracelet is an ode to modernity, like the Maison’s other timeless inventions, the Minaudière or the Mystery Set. It blends innovation and French elegance. The collection’s muse, Hélène Arpels, would wear the bracelet over gloves or long sleeves to highlight its lines. The mesh of the Ludo bracelet is delicately woven in “honeycomb” or “bricks” motifs by the Maison’s craftsmen to heighten the effect of a supple ribbon. The metal is then studded with precious and hard stones creating a harmonious union.
Bold and fluid, the Liane collection is an ode to elegance and femininity. The simplest element of couture made precious. The Liane collection’s smooth flow of braided gold evokes a feminine setting, where beauty shines through the natural simplicity of lines. We can almost hear the soft whisper of a silk dress, an elegant backdrop for these distinctive pieces. Eachpiece features a combination of bold stones, bringing light to the twists and turns of the Liane creations.
This motif first appeared in 1946, a period of renewed enthusiasm for femininity and elegance in fashion. Inspired by the gold of the Cordes design, its sensual curves fall across sophisticated outfits, and its brilliance is enhanced with carefully selected gems. The adjustable clasp and subtle asymmetry of the Liane necklace is just one way the collection plays with the codes of the time. We can sense how these pieces are infused with history. The intricate braids may remind us of the delicate threads used in lacework. Yet the necklaces’ timeless style still enhances the graceful silhouettes of today.
Feminine figures collection
Flitting through the light, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Feminine Figures take the stage. In 1941, ballerinas joined Van Cleef & Arpels’ repertoire. Caught in gravity-defying pirouettes, they pay homage to the Opera Garnier ballets adored by Louis Arpels. Adorned in intricate dresses of precious stones, ballerinas and fairies invite us into their enchanting universe. From an artful curtsy to an arm curved in playful invitation, each creation is poised and ready to spring to life. Their graceful silhouettes are meticulously crafted by the Maison’sartisans. The elegance of their movement is captured in a myriad of forms. They hold their graceful position as if by magic.
In the same year, the collection expanded into the magical world of fairies, symbols of grace and hope. With a coy tilt of the head, or a hint of mischief, these figures seem to spring from the pages of a storybook. Look closely: their delicate wings are almost translucent. Surrounded by nimble dancers and enchanting fairies. These clips have become enduring symbols of the Maison. They celebrate the beauty of the female form in movement. Each one is a study in light and color, uniting precious materials and flowing lines.
With a graceful flutter of their wings, butterflies reveal a kaleidoscope of colors in the sunlight. The diaphanous elegance of butterflies has always fascinated Van Cleef & Arpels. Since 1906, the Maison’s creations have drawn inspiration from these delicate creatures, imitating their shimmering flutter with wings of precious stones. They take flight in the Butterflies collection. The beauty of these enchanting beings has captured the imagination of the Maison’s craftsmen over the decades, and has sought to recreate the effervescence of butterflies.
Butterflies fill us with wonder as they herald the return of spring. These bright creatures adorn precious clips and earrings in a variety of glimmering hues from iridescent mother-of-pearl to pink and mauve sapphires. Figurative or abstract, the myriad creations in this collection capture their joyful flight. A timeless symbol of femininity and elegance, it is no surprise that butterflies have been sought after in many Special Orders. These requests present an opportunity for the Maison to explore techniques to make its pieces ever more enchanting; from the volume of their form to the finesse of their setting.