Jewelry Articles

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra Collection

July 3, 2019 - Jewelry Articles
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Jeweller to royals, A-listers and fashionistas, Van Cleef & Arpelsis known for their elegant and vibrant creations. The Maison’s most beloved design is the Alhambra with its clover motif that has captivated luxury jewellery lovers across generations. Lovers of Alhambra rejoice as we discuss 9 things you didn’t know about Van Cleef & Arpels’Alhambra collection. From Alhambra’s origins to its lucky properties and enduring design, keep reading to learn more about this timeless collection.

9 things you didn’t know about Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra collection:

  1. Inspired by Morocco, Spain, Italy and Ireland
  2. Steeped in Luck
  3. Enduring popularity
  4. Celebrity favourite 
  5. Reformed luxury jewellery
  6. Rich materials
  7. Sub-collections
  8. 50th anniversary celebration
  9. Value on the second-hand market

 

1. Inspired by Morocco, Spain, Italy and Ireland

Alhambra was designed by Jacques Arpels in 1968 after he was inspired by the rich patterns he encountered throughout his travels. Jacques Arpels combined the traditional Moorish quatrefoil, the motifs of the Doge’s Palace, scalloped arches of the Alhambra Palace in Spain and the Irish four-leaf clover to create Alhambra’s captivating design.

9 Things You Didn't Know About Van Cleef & Arpels' Alhambra Collection

Jacques first Alhambra creation was a 20-station cover motif necklace on an opera-length yellow gold chain.

 

2. Steeped in Luck

Jacques Arpels was such a strong believer in luck that he stated, “To be lucky, you have to believe in luck.” He was known to search for four-leaf clovers that he would gift to his staff alongside a poem. Due to his affinity for lucky talismans, Jacques imbued the Alhambra collection with luck, health, fortune and love.

 

3. Enduring popularity

The Alhambra collection has become the hallmark of Van Cleef & Arpels thanks to its distinctive and elegant design. As the Maison’s most enduring style, the Alhambra collection has expanded to include rings, earrings, bracelets and watches. Due to Alhambra’s immense popularity, it is also the most counterfeited Van Cleef & Arpels design with countless fakes saturating the market.

 

4. Celebrity favourite

Following its creation, the Alhambra collection was quickly favoured by the likes of Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Francoise Hardy. Today, celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Reese Witherspoon are frequently seen draped in Alhambra jewellery.

 

5. Reformed luxury jewellery

Jacques Arpels created the Alhambra collection during a transformative time in history. Van Cleef & Arpels President and CEO Nicolas Bos stated, “Alhambra is an expression of change through continuity.” Rather than heavily ornate pieces, Van Cleef & Arpels focused on designing a refined collection that would attract the modern woman on the go as well as a younger clientele ready to purchase more affordable high-end jewellery.

9 Things You Didn't Know About Van Cleef & Arpels' Alhambra Collection

To highlight Alhambra’s ready-to-wear functionality, the Maison encouraged wearers to combine their Alhambra jewellery with casual clothing, highlighting the notion that fine jewellery could be worn any time of day, rather than just formal evening events.

 

6. Rich materials

The Alhambra collection boasts a wide array of precious and semi-precious gemstones including diamond, lapis lazuli, malachite and turquoise. All stones are selected in accordance to Van Cleef & Arpels high quality standards and meticulously colour matched. Of all precious stones, Alhambra’s mother-of-pearl creations have been the most coveted.

 

7. Sub-collections

Alhambra has multiple sub-collections with distinctive characteristics:

  • Vintage Alhambra is faithful to the collection’s original designs from the late 1960’s
  • Magic Alhambra utilises clover motifs of various sizes
  • Sweet Alhambra is adorned with miniature quatrefoils
  • Pure Alhambra embraces smooth lines, free from the classic Alhambra’s distinctive scalloping
  • Lucky Alhambra incorporates additional beloved motifs of Van Cleef & Arpels such as hearts, leaves and butterflies
  • Byzantine Alhambra streamlines the clover motif with fluid solid and open stations

 

8. 50th anniversary celebration

In 2018, Van Cleef & Arpels celebrated Alhambra’s 50th anniversary in Marrakech, Morocco. The Maison displayed Alhambra pieces from their archives as well as demonstrated the jewellery’s creation process from selecting precious stones to its final polishing with their jewellers and tools. Van Cleef & Arpels also released exclusive Alhambra creations which the lucky attendees were the first to view.

 

9. Value on the second-hand market

As Alhambra is a beloved design from one of the most coveted and respected luxury jewellery brands, it better retains its value on the second hand market in comparison to other brands and styles. While there is a discrepancy between store price and resale price, if your piece is in good condition and has the box and papers, you can expect to receive around 50% back of what you paid when selling your Alhambra jewellery.

 

How to sell Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Jewellery

To get the best value for your Alhambra jewellery, you need to sell to a reputable and competitive company such as WP Diamonds. Established in 2012, WP Diamonds provides the fastest, easiest and safest way to sell designer jewellery as well as diamonds and luxury watches. Thanks to our international presence and team of luxury jewellery experts, we always provide our clients with competitive cash offers. Our selling process is so simple and fast that you can receive payment in as little as 48 hours. You can always feel confident selling your jewellery with WP Diamonds because of our 100% trust guarantee and hundreds of fantastic online reviews.

Begin selling your Alhambra jewellery today with WP Diamonds by completing our online form. After you receive your initial price quote you can either schedule an appointment at one of our offices in the UK, New York or Hong Kong our use our request a free, secure, fully insured and trackable Special Royal Mail Delivery Pack. When your jewellery arrives at our office it will be promptly evaluated and priced by our luxury jewellery experts. We will contact you with our firm buying offer that you can accept by bank transfer. We never deduct any hidden fees or commissions from your offer, so the final amount is exactly how much you will get paid.

Click the button below to find out how much you can get paid for your Alhambra jewellery.

Author
Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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