Vintage Alhambra Pendant, the Timeless Lucky Charm


If you’re looking for a timeless lucky charm, look no further than the vintage Alhambra Pendant.

History, craftsmanship, sophistication, and elegance. This is what you’ll find with the timeless Van Cleef & Arpels creating.

The Vintage Alhambra Pendant

The world of fine jewelry is enormous. The more time you spend learning about it, the more you realize how vast the landscape is for amazing jewelry pieces.

One of the most interesting aspects of fine jewelry is the pre-owned and vintage pieces, which have historical significance.

A great example of incredible craftsmanship combined with a storied brand that has lasted the test of time would be the vintage Alhambra pendant.

After nearly 50 years since its creation, some might argue that the Alhambra pendant has never been more popular than it is right now.

The Epic History of Van Cleef & Arpels

For over fifty years, Van Cleef & Arpels have been making one of the most charming jewelry collections in the world. The vintage Alhambra pendant has been a symbol of luck and timeless elegance since 1968, when the first pieces were introduced.

Initially, the design was inspired by the quatrefoil motifs found on the Alhambra Palace’s Moorish tiles in Granada, Spain.

With the Alhambra pendants, Van Cleef & Arpels built on their tradition of creating lucky charms, something which the brand started in 1924 with the Touch Wood rings’ introduction.

The Beginning of Van Cleef & Arpels

The remarkable brand begins with the daughter of a precious stone dealer, Estelle Arpels, meeting the son of a stonecutter, Alfred Van Cleef.

The marriage of these two combined a passion for precious stones and marked the beginning of Van Cleef & Arpels.

The couple eventually was able to open a boutique in Paris and attracted affluent customers looking for a wide variety of gemstones with unique and original designs.

Soon, the jeweler attracted customer royalty, such as Prince Rainier of Monaco. Many other royal customers followed, and the brand began to build a reputation for flawless gemstones and innovative creations.

French photographer Sonia Sieff discusses the meaning behind her Alhambra pendant and the classic brand Van Cleef & Arpels.

Alhambra Pendant Idea

In the early 1950s, Van Cleef & Arpels began to realize a growing demand for a type of fine jewelry, which could be worn not only as formal attire but as much more casual daytime pieces.

Later in the 1960s, the first Alhambra pendant was released as a necklace with twenty clover-shaped motifs featuring signature beaded edges.

It was almost an instant success and became enormously popular with celebrities who would often layer multiple necklaces of different gemstone combinations and sizes.

The Vintage Alhambra

The vintage Alhambra pendant redefined fine jewelry because it could be worn at all times, not just for events.

Gemstones such as diamonds, agate, onyx, tiger’s eye, malachite, and letterwood can be found in necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets.

Vintage and pre-owned pendants can be found selling for anywhere between $2,500 to over $40,000.

Vintage Alhambra Pendant Popularity

Elizabeth Taylor, the Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly, and Karen Graham were soon wearing the Alhambra pendants.

New styles and renditions were released over the decades, adding different stone settings and chain lengths. The Alhambra pendant celebrity appeal fits perfectly with the Van Cleef history.

The company has been associated with famous clients since its inception.

Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, the Princess Faiza of Egypt, and even a sister of King Farouk all had Van Cleef pieces created for them.

One of the most famous customers, the Duchess of Windsor, commissioned a sapphire-colored diamond Argentine flag brooch sold at auction for $995,000.

The Alhambra Heritage

Needless to say, Van Cleef & Arpels has done an amazing job solidifying its brand presence throughout the years.

Their pieces retain their value exceptionally well over time because the brand is universally recognized for quality, craftsmanship, and heritage.

In the video below, influential French photographer Sonia Sieff discusses her Alhambra pendant and the special meaning behind the iconic brand.

Making of the Alhambra collection by Van Cleef & Arpels

The Sweet Alhambra Vs. the Vintage Alhambra Collection

You can’t beat the vintage Alhambra collection. These pieces are purely classic and original aesthetic straight from the epic VanCleef history.

Created in 2007 by Van Cleef & Arpels, the Sweet Alhambra simply shrinks the classic Alhambra design down to a mini version. It’s a more discreet way to wear your icons of luck around with you, wherever you may go.

The Sweet Alhambra necklace and pendants come in white mother-of-pearl, sourced from French Polynesia, and yellow gold.

Vintage Alhambra Pendant Values

The authentic VanCleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra 18K White Gold Mother of Pearl Necklace – $2,810

The authentic Van Cleef Mother of Pearl long necklace in White Gold is currently selling on eBay for roughly $2,800.

With a 16″ chain length and the classic Alhambra clover leaf, this is one of my favorite vintage necklaces on the market. The border of golden beads gives it an especially vintage look.

The authentic VanCleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra 18K White Gold Mother of Pearl Necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels 18K Limited Edition Alhambra Diamond Grey Mother of Pearl Necklace – $7,350

Here’s another fantastic Van Cleef design. The grey mother of pearl necklace features a diamond in the center.

Currently listed for $7,350, the 18K rose gold necklace includes a 16″ chain necklace length and one round brilliant cut diamond with VVS1 clarity weighing .05 ct.

Van Cleef & Arpels 18K Limited Edition Alhambra Diamond Grey Mother of Pearl Necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage 18K Rose Gold 10 Motif Alhambra Necklace – $8,000

This rose solid rose gold pendant style Alhambra necklace was recently sold on eBay for $8,000. The ten motif icons of luck feature the original design vintage Alhambra necklace.

Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage 18K Rose Gold 10 Motif Alhambra Necklace

The Making of the Vintage Alhambra Pendant in French – Everything just sounds better in French.

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