Van Cleef & Arpels, Is it Worth It?

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Hey everybody.  Welcome back to another edition of #AskBRP.  We are on to episode number 25.  Buying jewelry is a luxury, not a necessity.  If you are in the market to buy jewelry, hopefully it’s coming from your discretionary income, not the money you need to pay rent.  But with that said you want to make sure what you’re buying is worth it.  I hear all the time that companies like Cartier, Tiffany, and Van Cleef & Arpels are rip offs.  They charge X amount of dollars for a necklace where as if it didn’t have a name on it it would cost a quarter of what they charge.  So what gives?  Is buying a piece of Van Cleef worth it?  Let’s find out.

VCA Vintage Alhambra Necklace

First, let’s take a look at this Vintage Alhambra necklace.  This is one of the most popular styles of Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry.  The clovers are a trademark of VCA and are very recognizable.  Now let’s take a close look at the piece.  The necklace itself is crafted in 18k yellow gold.  It is not plated, it is solid gold.  Next let’s look at the motifs.  Each one is double sided with mother of pearl.  Again this is real mother of pearl, not a knockoff.  If you were to look at this necklace under a loupe, you would see there is an incredible amount of small detail around the motifs.  Something you may not find on a piece that looks like Van Cleef, but isn’t.  Note, there are no diamonds, no large stones.  The necklace is simply gold with mother of pearl.  

VCA Vintage Alhambra Necklace

Now, if I threw this necklace on the scale to get a value of the gold weight we’d be looking at around $500.  Add a few hundred dollars for the mother of pearl, and this necklace has a value of around $1,000 or less.  Now, go to VCA’s website and you will see they charge $7,450.00 for this necklace.  Sounds outrageous right?  Well not so fast.

VCA Vintage Alhambra Necklace

So let’s say this exact piece was made by someone else that isn’t a well known designer.  And they are asking half the price of VCA, let’s say $3,700.  You brought both the VCA and unnamed piece to someone like me to sell.  I may offer you $750 for the unnamed piece, but $3,000 for the VCA piece.  At the end of the day, the name of the designer makes a huge difference.  Consumers are willing to pay a high premium for the reputation that a luxury designer brand has.  Both pieces may be identical, but consumers feel more comfortable buying the name.  If I were to resell the VCA necklace I will most likely be able to sell it close to the retail price, while the no name necklace would sell for $2,000 or less.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Alhambra Mother of Pearl 10 Motif Necklace

So in the end, is buying Van Cleef & Arpels worth it?  In my opinion yes.  If you can afford it, VCA and other high end designer brands will hold their value over time.  So if you ever needed or wanted to sell it in the future you get more value for the designer piece compared to the non designer piece.  

So that’s it for another episode of #AskBRP.  Like the page!  Follow on Insta.  Check us out on Snap.  See you next week.