History of Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry; Mystery Setting Innovation, La Boutique & More

A beautiful love story is behind one of the world’s most famous jewelry houses, Van Cleef & Arpels. Brigitte Kruse & GWS Auctions, Inc shares the rich history that surrounds this world renowned jewelry powerhouse.

Beginning of a Beautiful Couple & Beautiful Jewelry

When Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a dealer in precious stones, met Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stonecutter, it was the beginning of a love story that would have an enduring legacy more than a century later. The young couple married in 1895, bound together by their pioneering spirit and shared passion for precious stones. The following year, Estelle’s father, Salomon Arpels, helped Alfred start a jewelry business. Their knowledge and passion for creating fine jewelry has been the foundation for one of the biggest names in the jewelry world.

Innovative Mystery Set Designed in 1933

When Van Cleef & Arpels produced the innovative “Mystery Set” in 1933, this was the first time the world had seen jewelry crafted without the use of visible prongs. This very time consuming style is still used today and the production of this type of clip is estimated to take around 300 hours to create. There are very few jewelers who that have mastered this skill even today, making any pieces of the “Mystery Set” very rare and highly sought after.

Production of “La Boutique” in 1954

In 1954, the company launched the “La Boutique” line. The jewelry proved enormously popular, even among celebrities such as Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who collected the playful, whimsical cartoon-style animal pieces.

Several Royal Appearances for Van Cleef & Arpels

On more than one occasion Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry has adorned royalty. In 1956, Van Cleef & Arpels was named the Official Supplier to the Principality of Monaco. Princess Grace wore a tiara made by Van Cleef & Arpels to the wedding of her daughter, Princess Caroline, in 1978. The platinum diadem, set with round, marquise and pear-shaped diamonds and weighing an astonishing 77.34 carats, was originally a necklace that was transformed for this occasion. I

Van Cleef & Arpels, One of the Finest Jewelry Houses in the World

Now, 110 years after the first boutique opened its doors, Van Cleef & Arpels has secured for itself a lasting legacy as one of the finest jewelry houses in the world. In addition to exquisite jewelry pieces, the company also offers watches and perfume.

Buying & Selling Fine Jewelry & Much More at Auction in Beverly Hills, Agoura Hills, Palm Springs, Indio & Southern California

If you would like to own jewelry from this extraordinary company, the experts at GWS Auctions, Inc can help. Whether you are looking to buy or sell, our auction house can help you maximize your profits. Call us today for information on upcoming auctions in your area.