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The Mystery Set™ is a true feat in the world of jewelry-making and an iconic example of Van Cleef & Arpels’ unparalleled expertise. This technique, patented in 1933, makes it possible to set precious stones (rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds) with no prong or other metal component visible.
The level of expertise required to create a Mystery Set piece is such that only a privileged few master jewelers hold the secret. The technique is so complex, that it can require up to eight hours of work to achieve the perfect cut.
Matching the rubies, Pavot Mystérieux High Jewelry watch
Pomme de pin clip, 2018, White gold, rose gold, buff-topped Navette Mystery Set emeralds, Navette Mystery Set diamonds, emeralds, chrysoprase, diamonds, Quatre contes de Grimm collection
Assembling of the door, Pivoine Mystérieuse necklace and detachable clip
Check before assembling, Cascade mystérieuse necklace
The traditional Mystery Set is accompanied by two additional techniques, developed subsequently: the Navette Mystery Set and the Vitrail Mystery Set.
The Navette Mystery Set, uses polished marquise-cut stones, to bring creations to life through a stunning 3D effect evocative of a bird’s plumage or flower’s petals. In 2018, Van Cleef & Arpels adapted this technique for emeralds and diamonds, to create the Pomme de pin clip, a one-of-a-kind piece depicting a precious cluster of pine cones.
Cadix clip and design, White gold, platinum, rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set rubies, diamonds, Flowers collection
Meanwhile, the Vitrail Mystery Set conceals the mounting on both sides of a creation, playing on the stones’ translucency. Meticulously buffed, they come alive in a medley of reflections and nuances, as can be seen on the Panache Mystérieux High Jewelry clip.
Panache mystérieux clip, White gold, Vitrail Mystery Set colored sapphires, diamonds, Quatre contes de Grimm collection.
Pomme de pin clip, White gold, buff-topped Navette Mystery Set emeralds, Navette Mystery Set diamonds, emeralds, chrysoprase, diamonds, Quatre contes de Grimm collection
Licorne clip, White gold, rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, emeralds, sapphires, turquoise, diamonds, Noah's Ark as told by Van Cleef & Arpels
Entrée en scène necklace, White gold, rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set rubies, diamonds, Une journée à Paris collection