Founded in the 1895 marriage of Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef, this French jewelry house has developed a reputation for exquisite pieces that are perhaps rooted more in a true love of fine stones rather than sheer size and clarity, which so prized by some equally reputable houses. It’s for this reason that Van Cleef and Arpels has been a favorite of tastemakers of every generation since its founding and was the known favorite of Princess Grace of Monaco. It’s said that George Balanchine’s 1967 ballet Jewelswas inspired by a trip to Van Cleef and Arpel’s Fifth Avenue boutique. Best known for both its Mystery Setting technique, which leaves virtually no visible trace of a stone’s setting, and the iconic Alhambra motif, which has become the house’s signature, any Van Cleef and Arpels piece is representative of generations of good taste.
Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef and Arpels