Simple and dainty as it may be, the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra is one of those collections jewellery lovers can never get enough of. Luckily the French maison never runs out of ideas to design the pieces either—that’s how versatile and timeless the iconic four-leafed clover can be. So utterly desirable, it’s a collection that practically sells itself.
This year the Magic Alhambra collection sees four new long necklaces joining the family, so you could wear the gainfully upsized motif in a myriad ways. A double-tour around the neck? How about a twist at the top? Or go for the backwards necklace aka the backlace… You could even wrap it around the wrist as a bracelet.
In addition to the extended chain, the pieces also debuted new hardstones and gold finishes that spotlight Van Cleef & Arpels’ unparalleled jewellery making mastery and its focus on handcrafted artisanship.
Almost never seen in the jewellery world, the Swiss art of guilloché adorns the Magic Alhambra motif in yellow gold. Covering the otherwise perfectly polished surface with fine ridges emanating from the centre in a sunburst pattern, this is a centuries-old technique borrowed from haute horlogerie.
Like the fine row of gold beads known as millegrain lining the perimeter of the motif, the guilloché pattern is crafted by hand and it radiates light from every angle.
But what is the Alhambra without beautiful ornamental hardstones carefully cut and polished, then held in place by golden claws? True to form, Van Cleef & Arpels doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the maison even had a little surprise in store.
Joining guilloché yellow gold we find a colourful trio featuring chalcedony on white gold, grey mother-of-pearl on rose gold, and most charmingly, blue agate on yellow gold. This would be the first time since 1989 that Van Cleef & Arpels has used this mesmerising stone in the Alhambra collection.
As experts in lapidary, Van Cleef & Arpels carefully selects deep, even shades for the agate, and soft grey-blue tones for the chalcedony. With mother-of-pearl, the maison has eyes only for the most iridescent natural lustre.
The Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra single-motif long necklaces will be available in stores in October 2020.