Discover Van Cleef & Arpels Iconic Vintage Alhambra Long Necklace
The story of Van Cleef & Arpels is one that is founded in love. In 1895, Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a precious stones dealer, married Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stone cutter. Their combined spirit and passion for precious stones inspired them to found Van Cleef & Arpels in 1906 in Paris, along with Estelle's brother Charles. Today, the brand creates magnificent jewelry, watches, fragrances and high jewelry pieces for customers around the world.
Love isn't the only quality that lives on in Van Cleef & Arpels today. Estelle's nephew Jacques once said, "To be lucky, you have to believe in luck," a sentiment that is still of great significance in each of the Maison's beautifully crafted pieces.
The lucky four-leaf clover first made its appearance in Van Cleef & Arpels pieces in the 1920s, and inspired the creation of the first Alhambra 20-motif long necklace in 1968, a style that has influenced jewelry for the past 50 years. Since its inception, the Alhambra Collection has been added to earrings, bracelets, rings and watches.
15: that's how many steps it takes to create each Alhambra piece, with the skills of jewelers, stone setters, lapidaries and polishers.
Fifty years after creating the first Alhambra long necklace, the Maison is celebrating this iconic piece with new models. This version is made with pink gold, gray mother-of-pearl and diamonds. Each material tells a special story. Gray mother-of-pearl is produced inside sea shells and reflects light with a unique iridescence. The pink gold used by Van Cleef & Arpels mixes gold, copper and silver to create a warm and feminine glow.
Through the years, the Alhambra Collection has found fans in chic French women, including singer Françoise Hardy and actress Romy Schneider. One of its most famous wearers was Princess Grace of Monaco, who wore the Alhambra long necklace throughout the 1970s.
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