For over a century, exceptional stones have been at the heart of Van Cleef & Arpels' creations. Born out of the marriage of Estelle Arpels - the daughter of a precious stone merchant - and Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a lapidary, the Maison selects its materials according to the very highest standards. From white diamonds to colored gems, from mother-of-pearl to hard stones, it seeks excellence, but also character - that spiritual quality which marks a gem out from its peers. “Every stone has a soul of its own,” as Claude Arpels used to say. Estelle Arpels' nephew, he travelled the world in search of these wonders, admiring their “living flame”.
Transcending strictly objective criteria such as purity, color, cut or weight, they represent an encounter, a secret alchemy that awakens the senses. Following an initial selection process based on these criteria, only one or two percent of the stones examined are approved for their power to enthrall. Pierres de Caractère™ (stones with character) - carefully selected by the Maison's gemologists - make the heart beat faster and instill a unique emotion.