Throughout the 1960s, Van Cleef & Arpels fashioned unique pieces specially ordered by leading international figures including Barbara Hutton, Princess Grace of Monaco and Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran. In 1968, the Maison created the first Alhambra long necklace, destined to become an icon in the world of jewelry.
New York Premiere of the ballet Jewels by George Balanchine
Claude Arpels made the acquaintance of George Balanchine, co-founder of the New York City Ballet. Their meeting sparked the idea for Jewels, a ballet dedicated to precious stones which debuted in April 1967. The ballet’s three acts, Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, were set to music by Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, respectively.
Creation of the coronation crown of Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran
For the coronation of Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran, the Maison created her crown, necklace and earrings, as well as the jewelry worn by members of the royal family.
Cinq Feuilles clip owned by Maria Callas
Famous Greek soprano Maria Callas enriched her collection with the Cinq Feuilles clip, set with diamonds and six Burmese rubies weighing a total of 15.77 carats.
Creation of the first Alhambra long necklace
In 1968, the Maison gave birth to a veritable icon of luck: the Alhambra collection. Inspired by the four-leaf clover, its distinctive motif has been embellished over the years with a wide range of natural materials: ornamental stones, mother-of-pearl, diamonds, etc...