How to Spot a Fake: Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry
Van Cleef & Arpels is an iconic and beloved luxury jewelry brand. But its popularity means the Maison’s designs are frequently (and usually poorly) copied and peddled as the real thing. Stay sharp with our top five red flags that may mean those Van Cleef & Arpels jewels are fake.
Genuine Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry always includes a signature stamp. The stamp’s placement differs from piece to piece: rings’ stamps are pressed on the inside shank; earrings are marked on one or both of the ear clips; and for pieces from the Alhambra’s collection, the stamp appears on the gold edge of the quatrefoil (or clover station) closest to the clasp.
The stamp should read “Van Cleef & Arpels” or “VCA.” If your piece reads merely “Van Cleef,” it’s most likely a fake.
Van Cleef & Arpels uses only 18K gold. Therefore, like the signature, each piece is marked with the number “750” to indicate the metal is 75% pure.
3. Serial number
Like the signature stamp, each Van Cleef & Arpels piece has a unique serial number. The serial number should appear near the signature and hallmark stamp. If your piece has a serial number, you can call the manufacturer to cross-reference the stamped serial number and their records to ensure they match.
Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is painstakingly produced by hand by expert craftsman, using only the best and highest-quality materials. That said, if your piece looks faded or lackluster, you should immediately be suspicious that it is a fake. Also any seemingly loose stones set in the quatrefoil Alhambra motif are another big red flag.
And if you’re curious, check out our post “The History of the Alhambra Collection” to see just how much time and effort is invested into each piece to ensure its perfect production.
If you’re eyeing a Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace and the price just seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. Van Cleef & Arpels pride themselves on the incredible amount of manpower dedicated to the flawless production of every single piece and this perfection comes with a steep price tag. So if a piece is ticketed at a comparatively inexpensive figure or is an outlier when you price compare, do not be fooled: there’s a good chance that’s a fake.
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