Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art & Science of Gems

Apr 2016
Aug 2016

A one-off exhibition in Singapore explores the art and science behind some of the world’s most exquisite Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery.

Featuring more than 400 pieces of Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery, the Art & Science of Gems exhibition in Singapore takes visitors on a dramatic journey, beginning with the formation of minerals and gemstones deep within the earth before going on to explore the extraordinary craftsmanship required to transform these raw materials into exquisite jewels.

Sitting alongside the jewellery from the Van Cleef & Arpels' archives and private collectors are artefacts from the Minerals and Gems collection of the French National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

With a history that spans 110 years, Van Cleef & Arpels opened its first boutique at Place Vendôme in Paris in 1906. Renowned for its creativity and inventiveness, designs such as the Zip necklace and the Maison’s signature Mystery Set technique have become icons in the jewellery world.

The jewellery part of the exhibition encompasses pieces inspired by nature, the Art Deco era and the Far East, as well as ballerinas and fairies, while the Minerals and Gems section aims to show how the stones in these creations started to form 4,450 million years ago. The gems on display include the largest quartz crystal ever found in the Alps, weighing an astonishing 800 kilograms.

For visitors with children in tow, there are lots of activities for young museum-goers, including a workshop on how to make your own jewellery out of cardboard. 

Not to be missed

A transformable jewel in the shape of a flying bird, created by Van Cleef & Arpels for opera singer Ganna Walska in 1972, set with a 96.62ct briolette-cut yellow diamond. 


  • Singapore
  • address: Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore

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