With a dazzling array of colors, shapes, and applications, it’s no wonder humankind has been captivated by jewels and gemstones since the beginning of time. We are consistently seeking the most impressive ways to display them. Passed down as heirlooms, kept as talismans and signifying momentous occasions – jewelry has a distinctive place in our history.
One company which consistently delivers work at an expert level of craftsmanship and technical ability is the Parisian jeweler, Van Cleef & Arpels. Founded in France in 1933, it is a testament to their craft that over 100 years later they operate boutiques in the USA, Middle East, South East Asia and Australia.
For the remainder of this week, Van Cleef & Arpels has their latest High Jewelry collection L’Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels, on display in New York – presented as an installation collaboration with lauded set designer Robert Wilson.
In celebration of the first unveiling of the collection in the USA, we’re dedicating a post to the esteemed jewelry brand and a few of the unique Van Cleef pieces available through our dealers here at RubyLUX.
Just as jewels and gemstones have captivated human minds, so have the lives and traits of our animal companions and the symbolism that goes along with them. It makes sense then, that they’ve featured with such frequency as inspiration for jewelry design throughout the ages.
From its early years, Van Cleef and Arpels have been known for their detailed work featuring flora and fauna. Their latest collection is no exception. Inspired by Noah’s Ark, it includes beautiful renditions of koalas, elephants, owls and even a few creatures of mythical origin.
The Mystery Set
Unique to Van Cleef & Arpels, is their patented technique for setting gems, known as Serti Mysterieux or “Mystery Setting”.
Dating back to the 1930s this process has the advantage of making the mounting appear invisible. This has allowed the gems to sit perfectly side by side and creating an impeccable finish. The precision and attention to detail required for this process, meaning that it can take 300 hours of work to complete each piece. Due to its time-consuming nature, this technique is employed a few times a year – making the resulting work even more unique.
Fit for an Empress
Among the esteemed clientele who have sought Van Cleef & Arpels work are Farah Pahlavi, the Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor. A particularly notable commissioned piece was the crown for Empress Farah Pahlavi’s 1967 coronation. After 11 months of work, the finished product was adorned with 1541 stones in total. This is including 1469 diamonds, 36 emeralds, and 34 rubies, with a 150-karat emerald set at the center.
Empress Farah Pahlavi’s Coronation Crown
L’Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels
View the installation from
November 3th – 19th, 2017
547 West 26th Street
(26th Street between 10th & 11th Avenues)