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The Alhambra by Van Cleef & Arpels: The Timeless Bestseller

by Julie MIALET 15 Mar 2022

A symbol of luck and good luck, the four-leaf clover-shaped motifs appeared in the Van Cleef and Arpels archives in the 1920s.

Jacques Arpels, nephew of the founding couple, probably superstitious, regularly picked four-leaf clovers and offered them to his collaborators as a lucky charm.

It was not until 1968 that the House created the first Alhambra long necklace, a double reference, evoking the decor of the Alhambra fortress in Granada and the four-leaf clover.

It then consists of 20 crumpled yellow gold motifs, edged with gold beads.

Dazzling success!

Collection Alhambra Van Cleef & Arpels


Since then, the Alhambra collection has continued to renew itself. In 1971, launch of the Alhambra in malachite and lapis lazuli hard stones, then it will be the turn of coral, onyx, mother-of-pearl, tiger's eye, turquoise, chrysoprase, agate, chalcedony, snakewood, rhodonite or carnelian...

Bracelet Alhambra Van Cleef & Arpels and oeil de tigre


In 1998, Van Cleef and Arpels created the first “Alhambra” watches.

Montre Sweet Alhambra Van Cleef & Arpels and lapis lazuli


The “Pure Alhambra”, with its smooth setting, will see the light of day in 2001. From now on, the beaded outline will be called “Vintage Albambra”.

Finally in 2006, the house launches the “Lucky Alhambra” and “Magic Alhambra”, as well as the chalcedony motif, while in 2007 the “Sweet Alhambra” collection will appear where, in addition to the four-lobed clover, the butterfly and heart shapes will appear. .

Van Cleef & Arpels Sweet Alhambra Papillon earrings in turquoise


Finally, in 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Alhambra, VCA launched the blue agate pattern!

This favorite collection has been worn by many celebrities, such as Grace Kelly, Romy Schneider and Françoise Hardy, and it continues to delight many aficionados.

Romy Schneider portant la collection Alhambra

Françoise Hardy wearing the Alhambra collection



It is still today the best seller of the house of Van Cleef and Arpels.

If you are interested in jewelry from Maison Van Cleef & Arpels, do not hesitate to discover what Les Pierres de Julie has in store for you…

Julie Mialet graciously appraises all your Van Cleef and Arpels jewellery, as well as Alhambra necklaces, bracelets, earrings and long necklace, by appointment in her boutique in the Village Suisse, near the Military School and the Eiffel Tower.

Privacy and Security.

We also buy cash for all Alhambra jewelry from Van Cleef and Arpels, for this you can send an email with your photos to

Whether you're interested in buying a piece of jewellery or a stone, a free jewelry appraisal or jewelry resale, Pierres de Julie welcomes you to its Parisian boutique in the Village Suisse, a stone's throw from the Ecole Militaire and the Esplanade des Invalides.

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