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Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Collection An Iconic Symbol of Good Luck

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Collection An Iconic Symbol of Good Luck

Van Cleef Alhambra necklace bracelet glamour gains

Last Updated on October 8, 2023 by Eve Dawes

Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra Collection is iconic. Here’s everything you need to know before you invest

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection is probably the most iconic and instantly recognizable jewelry of all of the Van Cleef and Arpels collections. Not to mention the most popular. The quatrefoil shape is a timeless symbol of luck. It’s one of those classic collections that will always be in style and includes the Van Cleef Alhambra necklace or various lengths, earrings, bracelets, rings and watches. From black onyx to mother of pearl to precious stones set in gold, rose gold or 18-karat white gold. Why is Van Cleef Alhambra so popular and is it worth it? Keep reading or shop the collection.

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Van Cleef and Arpels necklace Alhambra white gold diamonds
Magic Alhambra Van Cleef and Arpels necklace | Shop on Fashionphile

To be lucky, you have to believe in luck

Jaques Arpels

How did the Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra collection get it’s name?

Van Cleef & Arpels was founded in 1906 in Place Vendôme, Paris and in the 1920’s the four-leaf clover motifs first appeared in the Maison’s archives as a symbol of good fortune. However, it wasn’t until the early 1950’s that Van Cleef & Arpels decided to create more accessible fine jewelry pieces in addition to their high jewelry they were already renowned for.

La Boutique was designed to be worn during the day versus their other jewelry which was more suited to formal evenings.

van cleef arpels vintage alhambra necklace diamond onyx fashion blogger eve dawes
Vintage Alhambra long necklace, 20 motifs in diamond and onyx

What does the Alhambra symbol represent

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection came later in 1968 which to this day is Van Cleef & Arpels most instantly recognizable emblem. The first piece created for the Alhambra® collection was their long Alhambra necklace and the collection grew from there to include rings, bracelets, watches and earrings.

As it gained popularity with royals and celebrities including Grace Kelly, the Princess of Monaco.

The collection is said to be named after the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, which boasts a number of sweeping archways.

Van Cleef Arpels Magic Alhambra long necklace white gold diamonds Eve Dawes
Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra necklace similar gold and diamonds

How much does Van Cleef jewelry cost

From the most affordable pieces in the Alhambra collection to the most expensive, these are the current prices:

Whats the most affordable piece in the Van Cleef Alhambra collection?

I’m not sure if any of Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry can be called affordable. It’s a high end, luxury brand but the most affordable option is their Sweet Alhambra pendant or Van Cleef Alhambra bracelets which start at around $1380. Although you can never go wrong with their iconic Alhambra earrings available at Selfridges if you’re not close to a boutique.

Van Cleef & Arpels diamond Alhambra necklace luxury blogger eve dawes
Van Cleef & Arpels diamond Alhambra necklace

Whats the most expensive jewelry piece in the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection?

The most expensive jewelry piece in the Alhambra collection is this Magic Alhambra long necklace with 16 diamond motifs set in 18K white gold which costs $179,000 before taxes.

Van Cleef Arpels magic Alhambra necklace diamonds white gold Eve Dawes Vegas store
Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace and diamond bracelet

Whats the most popular Van Cleef necklace?

The most popular Van Cleef necklace is the Alhambra necklace and their white mother of pearl pieces in the Alhambra collection.

Van Cleef Arpels watch Alhambra black onyx leather strap
Van Cleef Alhambra Timepieces

Is Van Cleef and Arpels a good investment and worth the price?

Van Cleef and Arpels is probably one of the most well known luxury jewelry brands in the World and also one of the most expensive. The price tag reflects the maisons quality of gemstones and craftsmanship. Celebrities and royals have elevated the brands prestige and the price tag.

If you ever decide to part with your piece(s) Van Cleef & Arpels holds it’s value pretty well. Whereas many other jewelry brands lose their value over time. So if you’re considering Van Cleef & Arpels as an investment piece, it’s a brand that holds it’s value well. As long as you take care of the original box(es), certificate of authenticity and any other paperwork it came with.

It’s also a beautiful heirloom to pass on and just to be enjoyed yourself.

Van Cleef watch alhambra yellow gold black glamour gains Eve Dawes

Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra collection is so popular because of its quality and it’s the most well known. Celebrities and royals have raised its awareness and made it a symbol of wealth and luxury. Also because it’s such a classic style and absolutely beautifully made.

Created by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1968, the four-leaf clover-inspired Alhambra® jewelry collection established itself as a timeless symbol of luck.

Van Cleef & Arpels
van cleef arpels Vintage Alhambra long necklace diamond onyx celebrity eve dawes
Van Cleef & Arpels vintage Alhambra long diamond and onyx necklace

How to style Van Cleef Alhambra necklaces and jewelry

The Alhambra necklaces and bracelets look beautiful when layered and stacked. It’s one of those collections that you can build on over the years and that will never go out of style. Wear them during the day to dress up a top and jeans or with a simple dress or wear the diamond iterations to more formal occasions.

If you’re looking for a talking point and statement piece, this 18k white gold Van Cleef Magic Alhambra necklace with 488 round diamonds (16.92 karats) is definitely that. You can wear it simply draped around your neck, wrapped once, or even twice for a layered necklace effect.

I like to style it wrapped once once as a choker with a large motif centered on the neck and leave the rest at a longer length.

Van Cleef Arpels Alhambra necklace bracelet set

What are the different Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra collections

The collection keeps getting expanded on but currently these are the different collections that all fall under the Alhambra name. The lucky 7:

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  1. Pure Alhambra which has a smooth finish.
  2. Sweet Alhambra featuring smaller size charms.
  3. Vintage Alhambra the classic collection for purists.
  4. Lucky Alhambra which uses other symbols of good fortune besides the four leaf clover.
  5. Magic Alhambra. This is the necklace that I’m wearing that mixes smaller and larger quatrefoils.
  6. Byzantine Alhambra which leaves negative space where a stone would be creating a gold outline.
  7. Alhambra Timepieces.
Van Cleef Magic Alhambra long necklace 16 motifs diamond 18K white gold
Van Cleef Magic Alhambra long necklace, 16 diamond motifs in 18K white gold

Where’s the best place to buy Van Cleef and Arpels in the US

The best place to shop for Van Cleef and Arpels is in their boutiques or directly from their website. If you visit, let them know Eve Dawes sent you so that they can take good care of you.

If you can’t get to a retailer, you can shop online at Selfridges or check out Fashionphile or Farfetch for pre loved Van Cleef Alhambra necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings in their iconic mother of pearl, black onyx and diamonds.

A lot of them are still brand new in boxes, in giftable condition. As well as their stunning watches which are such a great everyday piece that would get so much wear and also double up as a bracelet as they’re so pretty.

Shop used Van Cleef Alhambra jewelry collection

Where’s the best place to buy Van Cleef Alhambra collection in the UK

If you’re in the UK you’re lucky as you can buy Van Cleef online and in stores. Van Cleef and Arpels is available in the UK at their boutique at 9 New Bond street, London. As well as in Selfridges with free shipping or click and collect options but unfortunately doesn’t ship to the US.

It’s also at Harrods, not online but by appointment only. So I’m waiting until my trip this Summer to do some shopping as I adore this white gold and diamond Sweet Alhambra bracelet.

The brand is no longer available in Harrods and The New Bond St boutique in London is currently closed. 

Shop Van Cleef and Arpels in the UK

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra review | Everything you need to know

A close up look at the Alhambra collection including their stunning necklaces, earrings and watches and some facts to know before splurging on these sparkling stunners.


Photos copyright of Eve Dawes | Glamour & Gains with special thanks to Van Cleef & Arpels, Wynn, Las Vegas.

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