Van Cleef & Arpels How to Spot REAL and FAKE

Founded in 1896, Van Cleef & Arpels has become one of the world’s most  renowned fine jewellery maisons.

The Alhambra collection, born in 1968, has established itself as a lucky  charm and emblem of Van Cleef & Arpels. This collection has been worn by fashion icons, celebrities and royalty such as Grace Kelly and Diana, Princess of Wales. You can easily spot this collection at royal events and on Hollywood red carpets.

Showing Kate Middleton, Grace Kelly and Françoise Hardy wearing Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra

But because of the outstanding success and the premium prices, the  maison’s designs, especially the Alhambra collection, are frequently copied and  there are countless fake Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra copies in the  market.  

If you are looking to build up your own Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection, we are here to share our tips for spotting fake Alhambra jewellery, so that  you can shop with confidence.

The Van Cleef and Arpels logo

This is Van Cleef Arpels’s official brand logo, please pay attention to the circled details. Remember the style and character of the logo font. 


  • The font of VCA in the diamond box is a double line font
  • In the second line letters V, C, A are uneven in thickness  


1. Clasp

Van Cleef Arpels have changed their clasp, signatures, hallmarks and  trademark over time. 

New version clasp:  

  • GENUINE: VCA double line font in the logo, and the little tower in the stamp is very sharp and neat 
  • FAKE: some of the fake piece’s mark is single line font and the stamp is messy and not neat at all 

a comparison of the VCA logos on genuine and fake jewellery

Old version clasp:  

  • GENUINE: there is always a 750 stamp
  • FAKE: old version clasps sometimes don’t have stamp 750

comparing real and fake old-style VCA clasps

2. Brand logo font Style

  • GENUINE: the font of letters V, C, A is artistic and uneven in thickness 
  • FAKE: the font of letters V, C, A is even thickness, Au750’s font is too narrow

3. Hallmark

Van Cleef Arpels is a French jewellery maker so their collections use the French 18k gold mark: eagle head / dog head.  

the French Eagle head gold mark

French 18k gold mark: eagle head


French 18k gold mark: dog head 

  • GENUINE: 18k gold eagle head and dog head 
  • FAKE: they used VCA  logo and wrong stamp as gold mark. Also the stamps are very messy and difficult to make out under a 10x loupe.

4. Serial Number

  • GENUINE: Even spacing between characters, clear and crisp engraving 
  • FAKE: Uneven spacing between letters and numbers, narrow font

We will have more blog articles to share further details and examples of  Van Cleef Alhambra authentication features.  

Being aware of these detailed signs of authenticity, you can buy any pre-owned or limited edition/discontinued Alhambra piece with confidence.  

Shop our curated collection for authentic Van Cleef &  Arpels Alhambra pieces.

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