I recently purchased the stunning Alhambra five-motif bracelet from the French luxury jewelry maison Van Cleef & Arpels. This gorgeous and feminine bracelet has been on my wishlist for quite some time. It’s a timeless classic fine jewelry piece that I’m excited to add to my fine jewelry collection.
Read on for my honest review of the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra 5-motif bracelet.
History of Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels was born from the love story of Estelle Arpel, a daughter of a precious stone dealer, and Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stone cutter. Following their marriage in 1896, they opened their first boutique in 1906 at 22 Place Vendôme in Paris. It was a strategic move as the Place Vendôme is Paris’s epicenter of luxury goods. Over the years, their boutique attracted affluent European aristocrats who loved Van Cleef & Arpels’s exquisite jewelry, earning their highly-esteemed reputation that still holds today.
What makes Van Cleef & Arpels special is the unique craftsmanship that makes each creation. And while each creation is sold at a high price, the good news is that the value holds well on the second-hand market.
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.