Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Collection: Timeless Elegance and Charm

Van Cleef & Arpels is a name that has become synonymous with luxury and high-end jewellery. The brand has a rich history that spans over a century, and it has produced some of the most iconic pieces of jewellery the world has ever seen. Among its most popular collections is the Alhambra, a range of jewellery that has captured the hearts of many with its timeless elegance and charm. 

Product card of a Clover pendant, 1948 from Van Cleef & Arpels Archives

Product card of a Clover pendant, 1948. Van Cleef & Arpels Archives (Picture From Van Cleef Arpels Official Website)


The Alhambra collection was first introduced in 1968 by Van Cleef & Arpels. It was inspired by the Islamic art and architecture of the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. The palace was built in the 14th century and features intricate geometric designs and patterns that are still admired today.
Van Cleef & Arpels catalogue, 1973, Van Cleef & Arpels Archives Van Cleef & Arpels catalogue, 1973, Van Cleef & Arpels Archives (Picture From Van Cleef Arpels Official Website)
The collection was an instant success, and it quickly became a favourite among fashion icons and celebrities. The Alhambra’s understated design and versatile style made it an ideal choice for any occasion, from casual outings to formal events.
Catherine, Princess of Wales wears Van Cleef & Arpels Mother of Pearl Magic Alhambra Yellow Gold Necklace
The original Alhambra pieces were crafted from yellow gold and featured a clover shape made up of four small, overlapping leaf motifs. The clover shape is said to symbolise luck, love, health, and wealth, making it a meaningful and cherished design. The pieces were also adorned with different materials such as mother-of-pearl, onyx, turquoise, and diamonds, adding a touch of luxury to the collection.

Over the years, the Alhambra collection has expanded to include different shapes, sizes, and materials. Van Cleef & Arpels has introduced new clover designs, such as the Vintage Alhambra, Sweet Alhambra, and Magic Alhambra, each with its unique character and appeal.

The Vintage Alhambra, introduced in 1987, features a larger clover shape than the original and comes in various materials such as malachite, lapis lazuli, and tiger’s eye. The Sweet Alhambra, introduced in 2007, features a smaller clover shape and is perfect for everyday wear. The Magic Alhambra, introduced in 2006, features multiple clover motifs in a single piece of jewellery, creating a layered and intricate design.

Despite the expansion of the collection, the Alhambra’s timeless appeal remains. Its simple yet elegant design has made it a favourite among women of all ages, and its versatility has made it a staple in any jewellery collection.

The Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection has a rich history that spans over five decades. Its timeless design and versatility have made it a favourite among fashion icons and celebrities alike. The collection continues to evolve, but its unique charm and elegance remain. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or an everyday accessory, the Alhambra collection is sure to impress.

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