Van Cleef & Arpels: How To Spot FAK Jewelry (2024)

Written by
Ch David
Van Cleef & Arpels
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Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Ch David

In this guide, our expert VCA authenticators take you through:

  • The 11 ways to tell if your Van Cleef is real.
  • A shortlist of all these steps.

How to tell if your Van Cleef is real

The best way to tell if you have real Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is to check the serial number’s engraving. Fakes always have the wrong thickness.

1. Serial number

Real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels comparison for the serial number
  • Authentic: Ticker, more solid letters and numbers.
  • Fake: Thinner inscriptions.

Too difficult? Let our team of expert Van Cleef & Arpels authenticators take a look at your jewelry:

2. VCA Au750

Flip the metal tab to the other side and you’ll reveal the “VCA Au750” text.

Real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels comparison for the VCA Au750 text
  • Authentic: Thicker characters, as they’re fit deeper into the metal.
  • Fake: Thinner, slimmer letters and numbers.

3. Clasp

On top of the clasp/closing mechanism, you’ll find the “VCA” logo.

Real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels comparison for the VCA Clasp
  • Authentic: Thinner “VCA” letters + tower in the middle.
  • Fake: Overly thick inscriptions.

A quick mention:

  • The steps we’ve written so far are the BEST ways to authenticate this item
  • The next few steps are still reliable methods…
  • … but they apply to non-top-versions of replicas available for this item

If in doubt, we recommend double-checking the steps we’ve explained above this line.

4. Motifs

Real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels comparison for the motifs
  • Authentic: Very detailed edges, looking heavy just like any other metal.
  • Fake: Less detailed edges, looking like plastic instead of metal through pictures.

5. Side motif

Real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels comparison for the side engravings
  • Authentic: Thinner, easy-to-read characters.
  • Fake: Very thick inscriptions. Hardly legible.

6. Shininess

We need to see how the materials deal with light landing on top of the motifs.

Real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels comparison for the shininess
  • Authentic: Proper shine, reflecting all light on top of it.
  • Fake: Unclear shine, looking like fake gold.

7. Chain

Real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels comparison for the chains
  • Authentic: Thicker, more solid chain.
  • Fake: Thinner chain.

8. Box

We’ll first begin outside the box, and then we’ll look inside it.

8.1. Exterior

Real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels comparison for the box's exterior
  • Authentic: Same consistent thickness for all characters.
  • Fake: Thicker Thicker “V” in “Van”, but thinner “s” in “Arpels”.

8.2. Interior

Real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels comparison for the box's interior
  • Authentic: Thicker letters, with a consistent font-weight.
  • Fake: Thinner letters — using a completely different font.

See how the fake letters are also crooked.

9. Certificate

Showing the flaws on a fake Van Cleef & Arpels authenticity card
  • Authentic: Must have a serial number + date of purchase.
  • Fake: May often miss it, like the one above.

10. Packaging

Van Cleef & Arpels Authentic box and packaging
  • Above is highlighted what all of the authentic packaging must look like….
  • When all the attachments are there.

Note: Blurred is sensitive information of the picture’s owner. Over there, you’ll find a valid date of purchase and serial number.

Shortlist: Quickly authenticate Van Cleef jewelry

  1. Serial Number: Authentic pieces have thicker, more solid letters and numbers; fakes feature thinner inscriptions.
  2. VCA Au750: Authentic items show thicker characters on the metal tab; fakes have thinner, slimmer letters and numbers.
  3. Clasp: Authentic clasps have thinner “VCA” letters and a tower in the middle; fakes have overly thick inscriptions.
  4. Motifs: Authentic motifs display very detailed, heavy-looking edges; fakes have less detailed edges that appear plastic-like.
  5. Side Motif: Authentic side inscriptions are thinner and easy to read; fakes have very thick, hardly legible inscriptions.
  6. Shininess: Authentic pieces shine properly, reflecting all light; fakes have an unclear shine, resembling fake gold.
  7. Chain: Authentic chains are thicker and more solid; fakes have thinner chains.
  8. Box:
    • Exterior: Authentic boxes have consistent character thickness; fakes might have uneven thickness like a thicker “V” in “Van”.
    • Interior: Authentic boxes feature thicker letters with consistent font-weight; fakes have thinner letters and a different font, often crooked.
  9. Certificate: Authentic certificates include a serial number and date of purchase; fakes may often lack these details.
  10. Packaging: Authentic Van Cleef packaging has a specific appearance with all attachments, including a valid date of purchase and serial number; sensitive information may be blurred for privacy.

Expert Van Cleef & Arpels Authentication Service

Need our opinion on your item’s authenticity? It’s a service we provide.

Get a fully-detailed report for why you have a real or fake item. Takes less than 48 hours!

Alternatively, use our free resources: written guides and video tutorials.

Thank you for reading this,

Ch Daniel and Ch David

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About the Author

David is the co-founder and co-CEO of Legit Check By Ch. David's experience: 5+ years of creating educational content in the fashion industry. 6+ years of authenticating luxury items. Currently, David is the Head Editor of the LCBC Library, where 1,000,000+ words have been published, in free guides, for over 1,000 items.
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