Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is one of the most sought after luxury jewelry brands in the market and even on the resale market, they command thousands of dollars,

After spending time looking and learning a little bit about this luxury brand, I have to be honest as to how light and simple thee look in person. The clasp is what really threw me for a loop, it’s such a simple and generic clasp and when we’re talking $14K on the resale market, I would expect something a bit stronger to hold the necklace together.

The RealReal – General Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry guide

True Facet – Short and sweet Van Cleef & Arpel authentication guide

The Purse Forum – Pages of info and photos on how to authenticate Van Cleef & Arpel jewelry

The below guide is a bit older but quite extensive and originally posted on 

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.

1. Signature
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.

2. Hallmark
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.

4. Quality
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.

5. Price
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.