Spotting Van Cleef Dupe Jewellery

Why is Van Cleef & Arpels’s jewellery so well respected – and so often copied? If you’re looking at a gold Van Cleef necklace or a Van Cleef Clover bracelet, how do you know you’re not looking at a dupe? And how can you spot a Van Cleef & Arpels fake from the real thing?

An Introduction to Van Cleef & Arpels’s reputation and legacy

Van Cleef & Arpels has created stunning jewellery for superstars and icons for decades. While Kate Middleton brings a legion of new fans to the brand, Hollywood legends, such as Marlene Dietrich and Elizabeth Taylor, embodied the glamour of the golden era of the silver screen with their Van Cleef jewellery. Edward VIII marked Wallis Simpson’s 40th year with a necklace, a Van Cleef and Arpels bracelet studded with rubies and diamonds and a Mystery Set clip, while the company became an official supplier to the Royal Family of Monaco, following Prince Rainier’s marriage to Grace Kelly.

Van Cleef and Arpels have designed some of the most ingenious pieces of jewellery ever made, from their transformable, multifunctional jewellery that can be worn as a necklace, choker, bracelet or brooch to the mesmerising Mystery Set that appears to defy gravity and design.  

History of Van Cleef & Arpels
Founded in 1895, Van Cleef and Arpels were created when Estelle Arpels, daughter of a precious stones dealer, married Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a diamond broker and Alfred began a partnership with Estelle’s brother, Charles.

The luxury jewellery brand is perhaps best known for the Alhambra jewellery, which takes the shape of a four-leafed clover and was inspired by the Moorish palace in Grenada. Alhambra Van Cleef bracelets are frequently copied, with fakes copying the clover-shaped motifs that can be both solid metal or inset with vibrant colour. With many different versions of the clover, it may explain why it can be hard to spot a real vs fake Van Cleef necklace.

Example of fake Van Cleef Earrings

Identifying Authentic Van Cleef & Arpels Jewellery

When identifying a Van Cleef dupe, there are some critical points to look for that will help you to spot a Van Cleef fake.

Precious stones

When looking at the stones in Van Cleef & Arpels earrings, the gemstones will be outstanding, evenly matched for colour and for size. Unsurprising from the brand behind the Mystery Setting, all stones will be flush against their setting with no visible gaps.


As with authenticating other luxury jewellery brands, when assessing Van Cleef real vs fake, study the finer detail. A real Van Cleef bracelet will be flawless, whereas a fake Van Cleef will look and feel wrong. Made from 18k white, yellow, rose gold or platinum, a real Van Cleef bracelet on the hand will feel heavy and substantiallike other luxury brands. With Van Cleef dupes, earrings will lack robust backs and a Van Cleef bracelet dupe will not have clasps that open with ease.  


When identifying a Van Cleef bracelet fake, stamping will not be clear. Authentic Van Cleef stamps will always be evenly spaced and legible, with stamps reading as ‘Van Cleef & Arpels’ or ‘VCA’. A simple ‘Van Cleef’ stamp is an indication of a Van Cleef & Arpels replica. Genuine VCA jewellery will have either an AU 750 for 18k gold or PT 950 for platinum.


Real vs fake Van Cleef can be identified by the use of its signature colour, sage green. While a sage green Van Cleef box is an indication of authenticity, check out all of the Van Cleef packaging. Most often, the inner box, the pouch, shopping bag and folder for paperwork will be made in this shade of green, while the outer box may be white or silver with the Van Cleef and Arpels logo.

Van Cleef jewellery as an investment

When questioning whether or not a Van Cleef Sweet Alhambra bracelet would make a good investment, its highly copied status demonstrates just how well-loved and popular the jewellery brand is. Alongside the brightly coloured Alhambra pieces, Van Cleef single clover bracelets and the Van Cleef butterfly ring are also in great demand, celebrated for their simplicity. Van Cleef and Arpels remains as popular a choice for luxury jewellery buyers as when it sparkled on the wrist of Princess Grace and Elizabeth Taylor. Reinforcing its timeless and regal credentials, Kate Middleton is also showcasing the brand to a new generation.  

If you have Van Cleef and Arpels jewellery and you would like to release its value, please visit us in-store or online for a quotation to sell Van Cleef jewellery. We offer both short-term loans and purchase valuations. To expand your existing Van Cleef and Arpels collection, browse our latest collection of authenticated pre-owned Van Cleef jewellery.

Also read about authenticating fake vs real Cartier Love Jewellery and Tiffany Jewellery.

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