Half a century ago, inspired by the decorative patterns Jacques Arpels observed on his travels, Van Cleef & Arpels launched Alhambra – a clover-shaped gold medallion resembling a Moorish quatrefoil. “As an architectural element, it appears in almost every culture,” says Van Cleef & Arpels’s current president and CEO, Nicolas Bos. “In jewelry, it’s just as adaptable.” Today the French luxury brand remains captivated by the motif, having reimagined it in myriad styles and stones. This past May, to mark the Alhambra collection’s 50th anniversary, Van Cleef celebrated nine new pieces with a party at the 16th-century El Badi Palace in Marrakech. Among the introductions were a yellow-gold bracelet with rock-crystal quatrefoils and a diamond-encrusted necklace of rose gold and gray mother-of-pearl, the collective shimmer of which was matched only by the 10,001 candles lit for the occasion. vancleefarpels.com
A new Alhambra necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels.