Van Cleef & Arpels

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Mystery Set ™


Mystery Set refers to the unique technique associated with Van Cleef & Arpels ever since the Maison patented this dazzling invention in 1933. It consists of setting stones in such a way that no prongs are visible. The level of expertise required makes Mystery Set the exclusive realm of a very small number of master jewelers.

The technique is so intricate that producing a single brooch takes no less than 300 hours work. Each faceted stone is delicately inserted onto thin gold rails less than two-tenths of a millimeter thick. Once complete, the gems appear to be entirely free-standing. Because of the complexity of the process, Mystery Set pieces are extremely rare: the Maison produces no more than a few of them each year.

The buffed edges of the stones create the impression of an uninterrupted surface.

Mystery Set™, a unique savoir-faire

At first, Mystery Set was reserved for flat pieces such as the Minaudière® precious case.

But as the technique developed, Van Cleef & Arpels began using it on more complex shapes and with varying degrees of thickness. 

Most recently, the Maison has begun to use marquise-cut gems in Mystery Set for a few spectacular pieces. This latest innovation takes the technique to a new level:  the buffed edges of the stones create the impression of a shimmering, uninterrupted surface. 

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