Why Is Van Cleef & Arpels So Expensive? These Are The 5 Key Reasons

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Van Cleef and Arpels is one of the top fine jewelry brands with a wide range of utterly gorgeous jewelry, but why is Van Cleef so expensive? We are here to answer that question for you!

If you are on the hunt for a sparkling new necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings, the chances are you have come across Van Cleef and Arpels and their incredible designs. Founded in 1896, Van Cleef and Arpels were founded by Dutch diamond cutter, Alfred Van Cleef, and his son-in-law, Salomon Arpels.

The brand was established in Paris and the first Van Cleef & Arpels store was opened in 1906 at 22 Place Vendôme, opposite The Ritz, which meant the jewelry quickly attracted the attention of a wide range of celebrities and royalty.

The brand grew and stores opened in Monte-Carlo, Vichy, and Deauville in the early 1920s, while Alfred Van Cleef’s daughter Renee became the artistic director in 1926 and created some one the brand’s most beloved designs. Renee focused on the natural world, creating designs that featured flowers and animals in luxurious materials – designs that remain popular to this day.

If you have spotted one of Van Cleef and Arpels’ beautiful pieces, you will definitely have noticed the high price tag, and perhaps wondered why is Van Cleef & Arpels so expensive? That’s where we come in! We’re going to answer this question so you have all the most important details before you take the plunge and purchase a stunning Van Cleef & Arpels piece!

Why is Van Cleef & Arpels so expensive?

There are many different aspects of the Van Cleef and Arpels brand that have an impact on the high prices of jewelry. With necklaces ranging between $660 and $860,00 and bracelets retailing for between $1,320 and $1,120,000, there are several reasons why the brand charges this much, including materials, craftsmanship, design, and the brand’s reputation.

Let’s delve a little deeper into these aspects of the brand so you are well-informed before you pick up a Van Cleef and Arpels item.

1. Materials

Firstly, the quality of the materials is extremely high to ensure a high-quality, durable finish. Just like many other luxury brands, Van Cleef & Arpels takes great care in sourcing top-quality metals, precious stones, and diamonds to make sure each piece is made to the highest standard.

For example, Van Cleef & Arpels sources their mother of pearl from Australia, since the country is known for its incredible shimming white and gold mother of pearl materials, while the grey mother of pearl comes from French Polynesia. The rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, and platinum metals are also top quality and expertly soured to ensure a luxurious look and feel.

All of the gold is 18 karat and stamped with an eagle head to certify the purity of the metal, while the platinum engagement rings and wedding bands are stamped with a dog’s head to show the purity. The high price tag of Van Cleef and Arpels’ pieces reflects the care and attention that goes into each of the materials used.

2. Craftsmanship

Each Van Cleef and Arpels item has been expertly made by highly trained craftsmen in the jewelry house’s workshop in France, ensuring each piece meets the brand’s high standards. The top-quality craftsmanship is also reflected in the incredible techniques seen in Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry, including the world-famous Mystery Set.

The Mystery Set technique was patented in 1933 and is a method of setting stones without any visible prongs or metal components. This technique is so difficult that only a few expert jewelers know how to craft The Mystery Set, displaying the high level of skill and craftsmanship of the master jewelers that create Van Cleef & Arpels pieces.

Similarly, the guilloche engraving technique that you will see on a range of Van Cleef & Arpels gold jewelry can only be carried out by top craftsmen because of the delicate, intricate work that is involved. These two techniques show the quality of the craftsman that creates Van Cleef & Arpels pieces, which is why the price tags are so high.

3. Design

The world-famous designs seen in Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry are created by expert designers, which is another reason why the brand’s jewelry is so expensive. The unique designs and intricate details take a long time to perfect before they reach customers, including how the metal is formed and how any gemstones or diamonds are fitted into the design, which is why Van Cleef & Arpels charges so much for a singular necklace or ring.

4. Brand Reputation

Van Cleef and Arpels have a long history and an incredible reputation for providing jewelry for royalty and some of the top actresses throughout history. Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich, Jackie Kennedy, Greta Garbo, and Ava Gardener are just some of the style icons that have been seen in the high-end jewelry from Van Cleef & Arpels.

While the brand’s jewelry has also been worn by royalty, including Kate Middleton, Diana, Princess of Wales, Queen Nazli of Egypt, and Empress Farah Pahlavi, for whom the brand created a crown for her coronation. Since the brand is a favorite of royalty and incredible actresses and celebrity figures, it is crucial Van Cleef & Arpels keeps their luxurious and exclusive status through high prices.

5. Exclusivity

This exclusivity is an important reason why Van Cleef & Arpels is so expensive and the brand continues to implement price increases. The high price means that fewer people will be able to purchase a Van Cleef and Arpels necklace or bracelet for themselves, meaning the brand retains its reputation as a top luxury jewelry brand.

There is a higher social status that comes with wearing a piece from the Alhambra collection, for example, and one of the ways to keep this high social status associated with the brand is to retail Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry for a high price.

Best Selling Van Cleef & Arpels pieces

There are so many beautiful Van Cleef and Arpels pieces to choose from, so we have narrowed it down to a few of our favorites to help you pick a new item to add to your jewelry box!

You will spot lots of pieces from the Alhambra Collection since this is a best seller for the Van Cleef & Arpels brand and the Alhambra jewelry always looks effortlessly stylish, but there are plenty of other designs available that you will just adore too.

1. Necklaces
Rose gold and pink Van Cleef 18K Rose Gold Diamond Rhodonite Vintage Alhambra Pendant Necklace
Browse Van Cleef Alhambra Necklaces on Fashionphile
Van Cleef 18K Yellow Gold Diamond Large Frivole Pendant Necklace
Browse Van Cleef Frivole Necklaces on Fashionphile

The Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra Pendant is the perfect necklace – sophisticated and elegant, just ideal to add a touch of luxury to your everyday look.

We love that there are so many Alhambra necklaces available too so you can easily browse and find the right metal and precious stones to suit your style. This rose gold and rhodonite necklace is just one example, with a sparkling diamond sitting inside the rhodonite four-leaf clover design.

The Frivole Pendant Necklace is a great alternative to the famous Alhambra design. This 18-karat yellow gold pendant is this time finished with a glittering three-petal flower motif, with three sparkling round brilliant cut diamonds in the center.

We love that the length of the necklace is adjustable, between 14.75 inches and 16.5 inches to suit you perfectly! This Frivole necklace is available for $4,685 and is the perfect piece to add a glamorous touch to any day or night outfit.

2. Bracelets
Van Cleef 18K Yellow Gold Blue Agate 5 Motifs Vintage Alhambra Bracelet
Browse Van Cleef Alhambra Bracelets on Fashionphile
Rose gold, red, and black Van Cleef Lucky Spring Open Wing Ladybug Bracelet
Browse Van Cleef Ladybug Bracelets on The Real Real

If you love the iconic design of the Alhambra necklace then you will just adore this Vintage Alhambra Bracelet! The yellow gold bracelet features five of the Alhambra motifs, circling around the wrist, each with a blue agate center.

The blue and yellow gold make a stunning combination, while the 5 clover motifs ensure a striking look – this bracelet would make the ideal finishing touch to any elegant evening out look.

Van Cleef & Arpels is well known for their adorable animal designs, just like this gorgeous fluttering ladybug bracelet, part of the Lucky Spring collection.

This French-made bracelet is crafted from 18-karat rose gold, with two carnelian wings and a glossy black onyx face for an exquisite look. The simplicity of this Van Cleef and Arpels bracelet means it is ideal for daily wear or layer with other rose gold bracelets for a more dramatic look.

3. Rings
Van Cleef 18K White Gold Diamond Sweet Alhambra Ring
Browse Van Cleef Rings on Fashionphile
Bronze, white and gold Van Cleef Mother of Pearl Lucky Alhambra Between The Finger Ring
Browse Van Cleef Rings on The Real Real

If you are looking for a dainty ring that really makes an impact, then this Diamond Sweet Alhambra Ring is just perfect for you!

This ring is made from gleaming 18-karat white gold and features a polished band decorated with a beaded four-leaf clover motif set with round brilliant cut diamonds to add a sparkling finishing touch. This ring has a classic, timeless look, making it a fantastic heirloom piece to pass down the generations.

Between the finger rings, just like this Mother of Pearl Lucky Alhambra Between The Finger Ring, are so striking and just irresistible. This ring combines the famous Alhambra motif with a beautiful butterfly, all set in luxurious 18-karat yellow gold.

The four-leaf clover features a shimmering white mother of pearl center, while the butterfly has a bronze-tone tiger’s eye quartz center – just so stunning! This eye-catching ring is sure to make a statement and is available for just $6,295.

4. Earrings
Gold and black Van Cleef Vintage Alhambra Earrings
Browse Van Cleef Earrings on The Real Real
White gold Van Cleef Perlée Pearls of Gold Hoop Earrings
Browse Van Cleef Earrings on The Real Real

The Vintage Alhambra Earrings are a classic piece that every luxury jewelry box needs! There are many different precious metal and gemstone combinations available so you can easily pick something that suits your existing jewelry, while the elegant, timeless makes these earrings ideal for everyday wear.

We love the striking combination of glossy black onyx and glittering yellow gold that is guaranteed to suit a wide range of day and night outfits.

The Perlée is another incredible Van Cleef and Arpels collection that is highly underrated. The designs in the Perlée range are minimalist and sophisticated, with different metals to choose from to suit your style.

These Perlée Pearls of Gold Hoop Earrings are just so beautiful and their simple silhouettes mean they will add a touch of glamour to any evening look. The earrings are crafted from 18-karat white gold and then plated with rhodium for a polished finish.

We hope you found this article answering the question of why Van Cleef & Arpels is so expensive helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the links below.

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