February 4, 2015
By Jody Hume
HOW TO AUTHENTICATE VAN CLEEF & ARPELS JEWELRYSHOP VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
Founded in Paris in the late 19th century, Van Cleef & Arpels has become known as a favored jeweler of royals and celebrities. Celebrated for its exquisite fine jewelry creations, Van Cleef & Arpels’ artful pieces can be seen everywhere from coronations to the red carpet.
One of the Maison’s most recognizable icons, its Alhambra line, has been worn throughout the decades by stylish women from Princess Grace of Monaco to Françoise Hardy to Reese Witherspoon. Introduced in 1968, the Alhambra quatrefoil design was “a symbol of luck,” says Fine Jewelry & Watches Team Lead, Adriana Krakowski. Its popularity has endured ever since its debut. “In today’s market there is a very strong demand for all Alhambra pieces that allows for an outstanding valuation in the pre-owned luxury market,” she says. “The RealReal can sell a piece of Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra jewelry in less than an hour of being posted to the site.”
Because of this demand, Van Cleef & Arpels replica jewelry is widely prevalent in the market. To show you how to spot the signs of authentic pieces, we asked Krakowski to share her expertise. Below, find the three key features of authentic Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry.
1. Van Cleef & Arpels Designer Signatures & Hallmarks
“All Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry will have a trademark, serial number and metal hallmark,” says Krakowski. The brand stamp (trademark) has changed over the years, and will read either “Van Cleef & Arpels” or “VCA.” If a piece is simply marked “Van Cleef,” this is a red flag that the piece might not be authentic.
Each piece will have a unique serial number with a correlating certificate presented at purchase. Additionally, Van Cleef & Arpels only uses 18 karat gold, so each piece will be marked with “750.” “These tiny markings are often on the gold edge of the Alhambra motif on the quatrefoil located nearest to the clasp, or on a small gold station,” Krakowski points out. On rings they will be inside the shank, and on earrings, one ear clip may have the trademark and the other the serial number, or they may both be on one clip.
2. Van Cleef & Arpels Quality
Van Cleef & Arpels uses only top quality materials. “For instance,” says Krakowski, “a diamond with a visible inclusion or a low color grade would be an indicator that the piece may not be authentic.” The Alhambra collection’s most recognizable feature is its inlaid quatrefoil motif. The most popular material used is mother of pearl, but exotic stones such as malachite, tiger’s eye and carnelian are also used. The stones should be cut to fit perfectly. They should not be loose in their settings nor should there be any visible gap.
3. Van Cleef & Arpels Craftsmanship
Like the quality of materials used in their jewelry, Van Cleef & Arpels’ craftsmanship is unparalleled in the industry. Each piece should be flawless with finely finished joints, prongs, and chain.
With the signs of distinctive brand markings, top quality materials and excellent craftsmanship in evidence, you can rest assured you’ve found an example of authentic Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry. Shop our fully authenticated collection here.