As one of the world’s most desirable luxury jewelry brands, Van Cleef & Arpels is also one of the most expensive. As anyone who has glimpsed at their wears can tell you, Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry can come at jaw-dropping prices. This leads us to ask: Is Van Cleef worth it?
For over a century, Van Cleef & Arpels has delighted lovers of fine jewelry with feminine and fanciful creations. The French jewelry house is synonymous with luxury, whimsical designs, masterful craftsmanship, and outstanding gemstones. If you have been wondering if Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is worth their price tag, keep reading as we take a deep dive into all things Van Cleef & Arpels.
Van Cleef & Arpels Price Markups
Van Cleef & Arpels’ impressive reputation allows them to place astronomical prices on their jewelry. Not only are you paying for their jewelry’s exceptional gemstones and craftsmanship, but you are also paying for the Maison’s prestige.
Diamond expert Jacob Worth investigated the incredible markups certain luxury jewelers place on their pieces, including Van Cleef & Arpels. Worth discovered that a round solitaire diamond ring from Van Cleef & Arpels had a 314% markup, compared to identical engagement rings sold at a fraction of the price from non-luxury jewelers.
While Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is sold at seriously high prices, the good news is that they hold their value well on the second-hand market. Generally, Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry in great condition with its branded box and official paperwork can be worth up to 50% of its purchase price.
Compare that percentage to other jewelry brands who you may only get you 15% to 25% back of what you originally paid.
Let’s jump into why Van Cleef & Arpels has remarkably high prices.
Van Cleef & Arpels History
Van Cleef & Arpels was formed between the marriage of two lovers Estelle Arpels, daughter of a precious stone dealer, and Alfred Van Cleef, son of a stone cutter. With this union, the Van Cleef and Arpels family untied their passion for precious stones in 1896.
With a boutique in Paris’ Place Vendome, their shop attracted affluent European aristocrats who loved Van Cleef & Arpels masterful and playful jewelry. The luxury jeweler’s reputation for exquisite jewelry crafted with a wide array of precious gemstones quickly spread across the world with the help of their affluent clients.
Van Cleef & Arpels was not just the trusted jeweler for aristocrats, but also royalty. Before the wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, the two visited a Van Cleef & Arpels boutique where they purchased an assortment of fine pearl jewelry. The French jewelry house was soon named the official supplier to the principality of Monaco, with Grace Kelly wearing their creations throughout her life.
Most Popular Van Cleef & Arpels Collection
Without a doubt, Van Cleef & Arpels most celebrated jewelry is the Alhambra, which debuted in 1968 and has remained popular to this day. The Alhambra collection was inspired by lucky talismans, four-leaf clovers, and the scalloped archways of the Alhambra Palace.
Comprised of clovers with golden scalloped edges with a precious gem or textured gold at its center, each Alhambra pendant represents luck, health, and love.
When released, the Alhambra collection revolutionized what fine jewelry was and when it could be worn. At a time where gemstone jewelry was reserved for evening wear, this collection was designed to be worn at any time of day and was an approachable piece for jewelry lovers of any age to wear.
Today’s Alhambra collection can be enjoyed across necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, and even watches. While mother-of-pearl is Alhambra’s most widely used precious stone, the collection features other captivating gemstones such as diamonds, malachite, and agate.
Van Cleef & Arpels is known for its creative approaches to crafting jewelry, such as with their transformable pieces.
In 1938, the Maison introduced the Passe Partout, which consisted of two large flower clips attached to a flexible golden snake chain. This piece was adaptable to the wearer’s style for the day and could be manipulated to be worn as a choker, bracelet, belt or to use the flower clips as brooches.
The Zip Necklace is another of Van Cleef & Arpels remarkable pieces of transformable jewelry. Introduced in 1951, this highly coveted piece was crafted with a fully functional zipper so it could be worn like a necklace or closely zipped to the wearer’s wrist as a bracelet. Due to the complexity of crafting Zip Necklaces, only a few are made a year.
Another achievement from Van Cleef & Arpels is the Mystery Setting, also known as Serti Mysterieux. With this technique, gemstones are closely placed together so that prongs cannot be seen, creating unbroken swatches of color.
While other jewelers have tried to reproduce this technique, none compare to Van Cleef & Arpels masterful artisans who can spend over 300 hours crafting one Mystery Set.
Due to their time-intensive craftsmanship, only a few Mystery Set pieces are released onto the market. In 2009, a Mystery Set diamond, ruby, and emerald Ballerina brooch sold at auction for $422,500 at Christie’s.
Throughout their history, Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry has been beloved by the likes of royalty, members of high society, and classic style icons such as Elizabeth Taylor and Greta Garbo. Today, Van Cleef & Arpels is a favorite of countless fashionistas, influencers, and modern celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, and Mariah Carey.
Van Cleef & Arpels Worth It?
The answer is a resounding, yes! While most Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry comes with major price tags, their history of innovation, prestige, remarkable creations and flawless gemstones make their jewelry well worth their price.
While not everyone has the money to drop on brand new, full-price Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry, LuxuryBazaar.com is here to help.
We carry an amazing array of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry at fantastic discounts. From the beloved Alhambra to the classic Perlee, and romantic Flora, LuxuryBazaar.com has all your Van Cleef & Arpels needs covered.
With Luxury Bazaar you can enjoy everything there is to love about Van Cleef & Arpels without the high markups!