The 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 clip 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

    Patented by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1933, the Mystery Set technique remains an emblematic example of the Maison's savoir-faire, allowing gems to be displayed with no visible mounting. Its secret lies in gold rails, onto which specially-cut precious stones - generally rubies, but also emeralds and sapphires - are positioned one by one. After many hours of recutting, they perfectly cover the jeweled surface, endowing it with a sumptuous velvety luster. Because of the level of expertise required, the Maison only produces a few pieces each year.

    Since the beginning of the 21st century, the Maison has introduced innovations that include the Navette Mystery Set - in which marquise-cut stones create a three-dimensional effect - and the Vitrail Mystery Set, which plays on the stones' transparency. With gems slotting perfectly into a golden setting that remains invisible on either side, jewelry-making expertise takes on a subtle air of mystery.

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