I recently treated myself to the breathtaking Alhambra five-motif bracelet from the prestigious French luxury jewelry maison, Van Cleef & Arpels. This stunning and feminine piece had been on my wishlist for quite a while, and I’m overjoyed to finally add it to my fine jewelry collection.
As a timeless classic, the Alhambra 5-motif bracelet is a beautiful addition to any ensemble. In this post, I’ll be sharing my honest thoughts and experiences with this exquisite piece.
History of Van Cleef & Arpels
Born from the love story between Estelle Arpel, a precious stone dealer’s daughter, and Alfred Van Cleef, a stone cutter’s son, Van Cleef & Arpels is steeped in romance. After their marriage in 1896, they opened their first boutique in 1906 at 22 Place Vendôme in Paris, a strategic location at the heart of the city’s luxury goods epicenter. Over the years, their boutique captivated wealthy European aristocrats with their exquisite jewelry, solidifying the esteemed reputation they maintain to this day.
What truly sets Van Cleef & Arpels apart is the unique craftsmanship present in each creation. While their pieces come at a premium, the upside is that their value remains strong on the second-hand market. As a fine jewelry aficionado, I appreciate both the artistry and the lasting worth of their work.
Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Jewelry
Van Cleef & Arpel’s most famous collection, the Alhambra, was first launched in 1968. The Alhambra collection symbolizes luck and includes four-leaf clovers with golden scalloped edges with a gem or textured gold in the center. For this reason, each Alhambra pendant represents luck, love, and health.
When the Alhambra collection was first released, it revolutionized the standard for fine jewelry and how it should be worn. During that time, gemstone jewelry was only reserved for evening wear. However, the Alhambra collection was designed to be worn at any time of the day, making it an approachable jewelry collection for fine jewelry enthusiasts of any age to wear.
Over the years, the Alhambra collection has adopted a variety of different-sized motifs and colors, such as white and grey mother-of-pearl, carnelian, diamonds, and gold, to name a few.
My Honest Review
My vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra bracelet includes five lustrous and iridescent mother-pearl motifs embroidered around the perimeter with yellow gold. The bracelet’s wrist size measures 7.48 inches and has a hallmarked clasp. The bracelet is stunning in person—classic and feminine— it’s easy to style with any outfit dressed up or down. I purchased my Alhambra bracelet via the Van Cleef & Arpels e-boutique. The process was seamless, and I could choose complimentary one-day shipping.
How to care for your Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Bracelet
Regarding care for the bracelet, use a soft dry cloth to clean the mother-of-pearl motifs. Ensure no water comes into contact with the bracelet, as it could damage it. You may also see minor scratches on the surface as the mother-of-pearl stone consists of a naturally soft substance.
How much does it cost?
The bracelet is currently priced at $4,200 USD without tax. However, the bracelet’s price was $4,000 USD without tax, only a year ago. The price seems to rise each year which is why it’s well worth the investment. The Alhambra bracelet is a timeless jewelry piece that anyone should add to their fine jewelry collection.
What is your favorite Van Cleef & Arpels creation? Let me know in the comments below.
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