Van Cleef & Arpels: How To Tell Fake Jewelry (2024)

Written by
Ch David
Van Cleef & Arpels
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Last Updated on January 9, 2024 by Ch David

In this guide, our expert authenticators take you through:

This guide works for all Van Cleef products.

Though, in all examples, we’ll use the VC&A Alhambra items for reference.

How to tell real Van Cleef & Arpels

Experts suggest that the #1 way to tell real vs fake Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is to check the serial number’s engraving.

Counterfeit VC&A jewelry always have the wrong thickness for such inscriptions.

1. Serial number

Van Cleef & Arpels 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.

Van Cleef & Arpels VCA Au750
  • 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.

Van Cleef & Arpels 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

Van Cleef & Arpels Motif
  • 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

Most products feature an inscription on the side of the motif as well.

Van Cleef & Arpels Side Motif
  • Authentic: Thinner, easy-to-read characters.
  • Fake: Very thick inscriptions. Hardly legible.

6. Shininess

Over here, we’re inspecting the materials to see how they deal with light landing on top of the motifs.

Van Cleef & Arpels Material
  • Authentic: Proper shine, reflecting all light on top of it.
  • Fake: Unclear shine, looking like fake gold.

7. Chain

Van Cleef & Arpels Chain
  • 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

Van Cleef & Arpels Box Exterior
  • Authentic: Same consistent thickness for all characters.
  • Fake: Thicker Thicker “V” in “Van”, but thinner “s” in “Arpels”.

8.2. Interior

Van Cleef & Arpels Inside The Box
  • 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

Van Cleef & Arpels
  • 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

Above is highlighted what all of the authentic packaging must look like.

This is what an authentic Van Cleef product’s packaging is like when it has all of the attachments.

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.

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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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