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Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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Wow, everyone has such beautiful pieces! I’d love some guidance on what you would deem a good entry to VCA pieces. It can be anything: earrings, bracelets, or pendants. I am interested something classic and iconic. Any suggestions? Thank you!
Decide the budget first! The Alhambra line is pretty classic and has been worn by all sorts of glamorous women through the decades, like Princess Grace and Elizabeth Taylor. Maybe a Vintage Alhambra pendant?
 

ItsMsPlease

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2006
Messages
53
Decide the budget first! The Alhambra line is pretty classic and has been worn by all sorts of glamorous women through the decades, like Princess Grace and Elizabeth Taylor. Maybe a Vintage Alhambra pendant?
Thanks for your reply! I do like the Alhambra line! I was thinking a sweet Alhambra pendant or bracelet or maybe a mini Frivole for my first (and likely only) VCA purchase. My budget is flexible but I have other items/pieces that I'm slowly adding to a collection of classic pieces. I would increase my budget to accommodate the Vintage line if it's worth the cost/size difference. These are the items that I am actively considering.

Sweet single motif bracelet: $1700
Sweet pendant $1850
mini Frivole gold & diamond pendant: $2200
Sweet studs: $2950
Sweet 6 motif bracelet: $3750
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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55,805
Thanks for your reply! I do like the Alhambra line! I was thinking a sweet Alhambra pendant or bracelet or maybe a mini Frivole for my first (and likely only) VCA purchase. My budget is flexible but I have other items/pieces that I'm slowly adding to a collection of classic pieces. I would increase my budget to accommodate the Vintage line if it's worth the cost/size difference. These are the items that I am actively considering.

Sweet single motif bracelet: $1700
Sweet pendant $1850
mini Frivole gold & diamond pendant: $2200
Sweet studs: $2950
Sweet 6 motif bracelet: $3750
Very honestly, if you are considering one special VCA piece, I'd urge you to consider vintage size Alhambra over sweet especially with a pendant. Sweets are tiny and most people will age out of them. The exception might be the bracelets since many people stack them. But you can get a vintage bracelet for close to the price of the 6 motif sweet, so I'd go vintage instead of that one. A vintage pendant would be a nice choice.
 
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ItsMsPlease

Rough_Rock
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Very honestly, if you are considering one special VCA piece, I'd urge you to consider vintage size Alhambra over sweet especially with a pendant. Sweets are tiny and most people will age out of them. The exception might be the bracelets since many people stack them. But you can get a vintage bracelet for close to the price of the 6 motif sweet, so I'd go vintage instead of that one. A vintage pendant would be a nice choice.
I was concerned that it may be too small as well but after reading your post, I printed out the VCA online size chart and actually taped the cut outs onto my chest! It is definitely delicate. I see what you mean about the Vintage being a better size. What are your thoughts on the Frivole mini, the MOP Vintage Alhambra, or the YG Vintage Alhambra as the one VCA piece to add to my collection?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I was concerned that it may be too small as well but after reading your post, I printed out the VCA online size chart and actually taped the cut outs onto my chest! It is definitely delicate. I see what you mean about the Vintage being a better size. What are your thoughts on the Frivole mini, the MOP Vintage Alhambra, or the YG Vintage Alhambra as the one VCA piece to add to my collection?
I haven't seen the Frivole mini in person, but my tendency is to think I wouldn't do it unless it really is larger than the sweet size. I think for someone who wants one (or two) pieces of VCA, the most iconic piece would be from the vintage Alhambra collection. The solid gold vintage pendant would be an excellent choice, because you wouldn't have to worry if it happened to get wet. Plus, it would go with everything. My first piece was the solid yellow gold vintage bracelet and I think it is a great basic piece to have, as far as bracelets go. Many people love the MOP, as well, but you just have to be more careful not to let it get wet.
 

ItsMsPlease

Rough_Rock
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I haven't seen the Frivole mini in person, but my tendency is to think I wouldn't do it unless it really is larger than the sweet size. I think for someone who wants one (or two) pieces of VCA, the most iconic piece would be from the vintage Alhambra collection. The solid gold vintage pendant would be an excellent choice, because you wouldn't have to worry if it happened to get wet. Plus, it would go with everything. My first piece was the solid yellow gold vintage bracelet and I think it is a great basic piece to have, as far as bracelets go. Many people love the MOP, as well, but you just have to be more careful not to let it get wet.
Thank you for your advice. It is much appreciated! I will do some more research and likely decide between the vintage solid gold or the mini Frivole.
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 24, 2012
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Thank you for your advice. It is much appreciated! I will do some more research and likely decide between the vintage solid gold or the mini Frivole.
Solid gold pieces get so much use. Super low cost per wear. I did a special order for my mom all WG five motif and she has worn it everyday since she got it. It’s been almost a year.
 

ItsMsPlease

Rough_Rock
Joined
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Solid gold pieces get so much use. Super low cost per wear. I did a special order for my mom all WG five motif and she has worn it everyday since she got it. It’s been almost a year.
Aww, what a thoughtful gift! I have been burning my eyes scrolling through various VCA threads so I feel like I'm where you were when you started wrist decorating a few years ago. You have excellent taste!

I wish there was a vintage 1 motif bracelet option or a 5 motif sweet in YG. I have my eye on a 4-5ct diamond tennis bracelet or half diamond bangle (with .15s) too so I need to prioritize accordingly. I've noticed that quite a few Ps'ers before had a similar dilemma... tennis bracelet or VCA?

Just wondering...would it be super lame if I got the YG vintage pendant and wear it both as a necklace and as a bracelet (with the chain wrapped around my wrist 3x)? I get that it would dangle instead of laying flat.
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 24, 2012
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9,475
Aww, what a thoughtful gift! I have been burning my eyes scrolling through various VCA threads so I feel like I'm where you were when you started wrist decorating a few years ago. You have excellent taste!

I wish there was a vintage 1 motif bracelet option or a 5 motif sweet in YG. I have my eye on a 4-5ct diamond tennis bracelet or half diamond bangle (with .15s) too so I need to prioritize accordingly. I've noticed that quite a few Ps'ers before had a similar dilemma... tennis bracelet or VCA?

Just wondering...would it be super lame if I got the YG vintage pendant and wear it both as a necklace and as a bracelet (with the chain wrapped around my wrist 3x)? I get that it would dangle instead of laying flat.
I think you’d find that you enjoy the pendant as a pendant and on your wrist you will end up wanting to see more motifs than just one. The more you actually look at VCA irl the more you appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty. That’s what gets you. I ended up enjoying seeing the stones on my wrist more than solid gold. But it’s ok. Just start with one piece and you will slide down the slope. It’s slippery. ;)2
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
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55,805
Aww, what a thoughtful gift! I have been burning my eyes scrolling through various VCA threads so I feel like I'm where you were when you started wrist decorating a few years ago. You have excellent taste!

I wish there was a vintage 1 motif bracelet option or a 5 motif sweet in YG. I have my eye on a 4-5ct diamond tennis bracelet or half diamond bangle (with .15s) too so I need to prioritize accordingly. I've noticed that quite a few Ps'ers before had a similar dilemma... tennis bracelet or VCA?

Just wondering...would it be super lame if I got the YG vintage pendant and wear it both as a necklace and as a bracelet (with the chain wrapped around my wrist 3x)? I get that it would dangle instead of laying flat.
The way the chain is attached to the pendant definitely makes it not work for a bracelet. If you want to start with a pendant, the solid gold is a great choice. Then later on when you are ready, you can add a vintage 5 motif bracelet either in solid gold or any of the stones set in yellow gold.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Thank you for your advice. It is much appreciated! I will do some more research and likely decide between the vintage solid gold or the mini Frivole.
Can I throw a spanner in your works and recommend that you also check out the vintage guilloche pendant? I was contemplating between the hammered gold and the guilloche for a long time (for earrings) but ended up going with the guilloche because its just absolutely stunning IRL. Guilloche is more delicate than hammered YG, but it’s a gorgeous motif and I don’t think it’s a problem to wear as a pendant everyday since it won’t get banged up.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
55,805
I am SO excited to add a new piece of VCA, thanks to a very sweet friend who connected me with the SA and boutique that had an item I really wanted! I posted more pictures here:


Lapis/ yellow gold/ pave Alhambra bracelet (50th anniversary of Alhambra limited production piece)

VCAlapisbracelet.JC1.jpg
 

m-2-b

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
3,688
I am SO excited to add a new piece of VCA, thanks to a very sweet friend who connected me with the SA and boutique that had an item I really wanted! I posted more pictures here:


Lapis/ yellow gold/ pave Alhambra bracelet (50th anniversary of Alhambra limited production piece)

VCAlapisbracelet.JC1.jpg
That is one stunning piece, DS! :kiss2: Now you can check that one off of your VCA checklist! :))
 

teslagirl1234

Shiny_Rock
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Aug 30, 2017
Messages
407
I just purchased my first Alhambra bracelet with mother of Pearl last week. I love the look and style but I have noticed that at certain very specific angles when looking at the motifs from the side, some of them, on the middle area and not quite to the edge, look matte/dull or scratched.
It was purchased new at VCA Palm Beach. I am supposed to go to VCA tomorrow and I’m not sure if they are all like this or just this one, if it maybe was a return? But it’s seriously discouraging me from exchanging for another same one as I am now paranoid it will eventually show fine scratches or start to look dull in center where it might touch skin or objects.

Do any of you notice a dull look on motifs in middle that do not go to edge? The edges are shiny and sparkly. It’s only visible at a very specific angle when looking at angle from the side.

My Rolex has mother of Pearl and it’s beyond sparkly and iridescent on entire watch.

The dull appearance at certain angles bothers me and I’m super OCD with my jewelry.

Semi thinking to ask for a return but it’s supposedly exchange only when bought inside store. I feel like I was buying a super perfect piece and it’s not. Lighting at VCA is dark and I didn’t check it at that side angle. I don’t really want any other items to choose instead and I wear only white gold and many of their selections are yellow gold. Midst earring upgrade so don’t want to spend more either.

How do you all clean mother of Pearl? I want this to be my 24/7 bracelet as it’s comfortable. But I don’t want to baby it either while hoping the motifs stay looking almost perfect not like this bracelet I got that almost looks like mother of Pearl is scratched or not polished.

D4DD24A6-8E35-43FA-A808-51AE9ACB73CF.jpeg
D4DD24A6-8E35-43FA-A808-51AE9ACB73CF.jpeg
7B60F646-286A-4310-9313-13F3EFE93D0E.jpeg purchas 28980816-71AC-4380-A665-10EB43A5B7FD.jpeg 9161AB92-99FD-4031-9585-33E9B9966BC5.jpeg Al 7D9E4C2A-87D3-4172-A74F-ED26A7D1EFE5.jpeg 633DB3CB-2EC0-43C8-A4EE-CA2B812E87B4.jpeg 0A84B951-FFC5-43F9-87CA-6E70862DA8F2.jpeg
 

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LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 24, 2012
Messages
9,475
I just purchased my first Alhambra bracelet with mother of Pearl last week. I love the look and style but I have noticed that at certain very specific angles when looking at the motifs from the side, some of them, on the middle area and not quite to the edge, look matte/dull or scratched.
It was purchased new at VCA Palm Beach. I am supposed to go to VCA tomorrow and I’m not sure if they are all like this or just this one, if it maybe was a return? But it’s seriously discouraging me from exchanging for another same one as I am now paranoid it will eventually show fine scratches or start to look dull in center where it might touch skin or objects.

Do any of you notice a dull look on motifs in middle that do not go to edge? The edges are shiny and sparkly. It’s only visible at a very specific angle when looking at angle from the side.

My Rolex has mother of Pearl and it’s beyond sparkly and iridescent on entire watch.

The dull appearance at certain angles bothers me and I’m super OCD with my jewelry.

Semi thinking to ask for a return but it’s supposedly exchange only when bought inside store. I feel like I was buying a super perfect piece and it’s not. Lighting at VCA is dark and I didn’t check it at that side angle. I don’t really want any other items to choose instead and I wear only white gold and many of their selections are yellow gold. Midst earring upgrade so don’t want to spend more either.

How do you all clean mother of Pearl? I want this to be my 24/7 bracelet as it’s comfortable. But I don’t want to baby it either while hoping the motifs stay looking almost perfect not like this bracelet I got that almost looks like mother of Pearl is scratched or not polished.

D4DD24A6-8E35-43FA-A808-51AE9ACB73CF.jpeg
D4DD24A6-8E35-43FA-A808-51AE9ACB73CF.jpeg
7B60F646-286A-4310-9313-13F3EFE93D0E.jpeg purchas 28980816-71AC-4380-A665-10EB43A5B7FD.jpeg 9161AB92-99FD-4031-9585-33E9B9966BC5.jpeg Al 7D9E4C2A-87D3-4172-A74F-ED26A7D1EFE5.jpeg 633DB3CB-2EC0-43C8-A4EE-CA2B812E87B4.jpeg 0A84B951-FFC5-43F9-87CA-6E70862DA8F2.jpeg
MOP will constantly be in contact with your skin, and on any other surface on which your hand/arm rests. To expect to keep it perfect is a tall order, and you will likely be disappointed given how closely you examine your pieces. Of course, your Rolex MOP is under a shield of glass so that is not going to get the wear your MOP will. MOP is not as hard as onyx, carnelian, chalcedony so if you never want to take it off, it will show wear unless you are constantly protecting it by covering it. On the moh's scale, it has a hardness rating of 2.5. These other stones mentioned are about a 7. And it should not touch water or lotions or perfumes.

Honestly I cannot see from the pics where the MOP is not shiny. But my eyesight is not the best. And MOP is not one shade all the way through. It has variations that are inherent to it. I hate to say it but it's beautiful with all your other pieces. I am actually very tempted to add it to my collection. Hmmm...

I'm sorry but I am not sure this is the best stone for you. Maybe you should consider a solid gold piece. Since you seem to favor WG, you could consider a WG 5 motif. They are available for special order. My mom has one that she loves. Wears it 24/7 and never takes it off. Not just low maintenance, but NO maintenance. If you really don't like it, just get the credit and sit on it for a while. See what strikes you. But, I hear a price increase is coming. When you go, ask the SA which pieces are going up. If it's a piece that you are interested in, just get it and then you can still go back if you change your mind.
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 5, 2018
Messages
3,889
@teslagirl1234 I wonder if VCA can offer to repair; I know there are treatments possible, in theory [used on pearls - for lab work, to expose undamaged layers of nacre, peeling much less than 1/100 mm at a time]
 
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yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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@teslagirl1234 I wonder if VCA can offer to repair; I know there are treatments possible, in theory [used on pearls, but for lab work, to expose undamaged layers of nacre, peeling much less than 1/100 mm at a time]
In my experience they’ve been really good about doing alterations and surprise repairs without charge, if you buy from a boutique, but I doubt normal wear and tear on a material that’s known to be softer would meet with much sympathy. They’ll replace motifs entirely but that’s a pricey proposition!

I agree with @LLJsmom - @teslagirl1234 I don’t think MOP is the right stone for you, vagaries of this particular specimen aside. In terms of damage - look at it in daylight, orient it so that you get a flat plane of glare off each motif, see if there are scratches marring the glare. MOP sheen has an absolutely astonishing ability to look textured - I myself triple-checked what I was sure was a scratch once (it wasn’t).
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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55,805
Another confirmation that MOP is never a 24/7 piece of jewelry. Ideally in the boutique, you'd look at least at 2 of the bracelets, or more if they have them, and pick the one that has stones that please you the most. But MOP will show very fine scratches over time, as others have said. I may get the exact same bracelet, but I would not stack it to avoid extra scratching. The solid white gold or the pave white gold would be the best if you want to wear 24/7. Although I'd not do that personally due to not wanting extra wear and tear on my fine jewelry. But as yssie said, it is certainly an option after several years to have the motifs replaced. It's just not cost effective to do often.

Oh, and another reason you cannot wear the MOP bracelet 24/7 is that you should never get it wet.
 

teslagirl1234

Shiny_Rock
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Another confirmation that MOP is never a 24/7 piece of jewelry. Ideally in the boutique, you'd look at least at 2 of the bracelets, or more if they have them, and pick the one that has stones that please you the most. But MOP will show very fine scratches over time, as others have said. I may get the exact same bracelet, but I would not stack it to avoid extra scratching. The solid white gold or the pave white gold would be the best if you want to wear 24/7. Although I'd not do that personally due to not wanting extra wear and tear on my fine jewelry. But as yssie said, it is certainly an option after several years to have the motifs replaced. It's just not cost effective to do often.

Oh, and another reason you cannot wear the MOP bracelet 24/7 is that you should never get it wet.
The boutique allowed me to return the bracelet but I definitely feel like it was defective and I was really turned off by them acting like there’s nothing wrong with that and saying things like that they are the best Jeweler in the world and so on. I took a video of it and some print screens to show you guys that the mother of pearl was either not polished or scratched or there was something wrong with it which is unacceptable when you’re paying this much money for a brand new bracelet that should be iridescent and shiny and glossy on the entire mother of pearl. And it wasn’t just one clover it was multiple ones like those. Their other ones in the store did not seem like this and it wasn’t just one clover it was multiple ones like this. I was really Put off by them acting like there’s nothing wrong with the bracelet that I was returning that I didn’t exchange it and insisted on a return. I really do love the bracelet and if there was nothing wrong with that I would have kept it and maybe been more careful with it as an obviously not wearing it if I’m doing dishes or something like that. I did not want to shower with it and I did not want to get it wet I wore for maybe four hours total.
4B96417C-B31D-4D9C-8549-72E0B9CC45AE.png 3CE50280-F687-40FD-AFD8-468ED6638D02.png 06B6B6DE-0183-410A-A8CC-180ED471E92F.png FB97F2C0-F01B-47DF-B7BE-CE77F320ED55.png ADA2A934-E07A-408B-BEF9-E2C5CAB15FB7.png 51A8FF94-71A8-4C79-9BD1-9F61EB387B5A.png A5845405-AC22-41DE-A069-16514FCBF260.png A35371A4-413E-4E31-BA59-5F40BA952716.png 9707211C-CEBF-4119-B458-19434E59327A.png
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
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I am surprised by this kind of wear.

Reference: the most worn nacre in this house are a couple of knive handles, a century old & used to death - they do not look dull, but peeled, with the wear looking bright, since new nacre is exposed.
 

teslagirl1234

Shiny_Rock
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I am surprised by this kind of wear.

Reference: the most worn nacre in this house are a couple of knive handles, a century old & used to death - they do not look dull, but peeled, with the wear looking bright, since new nacre is exposed.
Worse this was a brand new bracelet bought at Van Cleef and Arpels Not a used one I purchased. I kind of really do want another one because I love how iridescent it is even if I might not be able to wear it all the time as a 24 7 bracelet but I’m not really turned off to the brand especially how that SA AND manager spoke to me and treated me like there’s nothing wrong with it and then they are the best jeweler. It seriously to me looked like a returned item that didn’t go thru quality control.

I might order another one from Neiman Marcus because then there’s 30 days return. I wonder if ordering from Van Cleef and Arpels website includes a return as well as apparently if you buy it in their store it’s exchange only. They actually literally said to me that they don’t allow returns because they don’t want someone to wear the bracelet for the week and then bring it back almost insinuating that that’s what I did. I completely understood there’s no return policy I just really didn’t realize that the motives were messed up or damaged in someway because the lighting that was very dim. I am finding that ordering things online usually includes a return policy But you don’t get if you buy in the store. This was the case with Ferragamo and montblanc for a recent purchase.
 
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teslagirl1234

Shiny_Rock
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I am super jealous. Your bracelet looks so perfect. Now I want to go and buy another one but probably from Neiman Marcus so that the sales associate Who made me feel bad like I’m doing something wrong to want a return doesn’t get a commission.
 

teslagirl1234

Shiny_Rock
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I am super jealous. Your bracelet looks so perfect. Now I want to go and buy another one but probably from Neiman Marcus so that the sales associate who made me feel bad like I’m doing something wrong to want a return doesn’t get a commission. If I was the manager of that store I would apologize for there being some defect and right away offer a return or exchange. They did however offer an exchange but I guess I just have to think about whether this is the right bracelet for me as it is quite a bit of money. They did however offer an exchange but I guess I just have to think about whether this is the right bracelet for me as it is quite a bit of money. At least I have a refund for now while I think about it maybe we order somewhere else.
 
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AV_

Ideal_Rock
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It may be possible to redeem the dull motif, but I am not sure what happened to it; someone versed in pearl treatments could probably tell.
 

LLJsmom

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I am super jealous. Your bracelet looks so perfect. Now I want to go and buy another one but probably from Neiman Marcus so that the sales associate who made me feel bad like I’m doing something wrong to want a return doesn’t get a commission. If I was the manager of that store I would apologize for there being some defect and right away offer a return or exchange. They did however offer an exchange but I guess I just have to think about whether this is the right bracelet for me as it is quite a bit of money. They did however offer an exchange but I guess I just have to think about whether this is the right bracelet for me as it is quite a bit of money. At least I have a refund for now while I think about it maybe we order somewhere else.
Sorry about your bad experience. I've always had great experiences at boutiques, but have had hit and miss at my local NM. Regardless, give it some time. Maybe you'll discover that you love it so much you will wear as a piece that requires care. Or you may discover another piece that you find more practical for your purposes. If your lifestyle dictates the jewelry you wear, then the MOP would NOT be a daily wear under any condition piece. I would give it some time, and go back later. Maybe you'll get a different SA, which can make it a completely different experience. You should definitely consider another stone if you want more carefree. Maybe a pave piece?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Worse this was a brand new bracelet bought at Van Cleef and Arpels Not a used one I purchased. I kind of really do want another one because I love how iridescent it is even if I might not be able to wear it all the time as a 24 7 bracelet but I’m not really turned off to the brand especially how that SA AND manager spoke to me and treated me like there’s nothing wrong with it and then they are the best jeweler. It seriously to me looked like a returned item that didn’t go thru quality control.

I might order another one from Neiman Marcus because then there’s 30 days return. I wonder if ordering from Van Cleef and Arpels website includes a return as well as apparently if you buy it in their store it’s exchange only. They actually literally said to me that they don’t allow returns because they don’t want someone to wear the bracelet for the week and then bring it back almost insinuating that that’s what I did. I completely understood there’s no return policy I just really didn’t realize that the motives were messed up or damaged in someway because the lighting that was very dim. I am finding that ordering things online usually includes a return policy But you don’t get if you buy in the store. This was the case with Ferragamo and montblanc for a recent purchase.
I've never seen anything like that, either. I would not have kept it. Yes, the online VCA allows returns. It is true that boutiques do not normally do returns, just exchanges.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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OT.. for everyone.. 4FABE363-2A95-4AC5-A3D3-32B63AFBE5DF.jpeg 404F2076-F57F-4124-AF0C-003DAAECA352.jpeg I found a jewelry cleaner that is "safe for pearls" so that's how I usually clean it.
Apparently that hasn't hurt your bracelet so far because it looks beautiful, but I have heard of damage to the MOP motifs from getting them wet. It has to do with absorbing water. The VCA care instructions say to use a soft cloth to clean the jewelry, but you may already know that. I just wanted to be sure. There are other stones that can have the shiny polish removed by cleaning in water or jewelry cleaner like malachite, lapis, and turquoise. None of those should get wet.

.
 

junebug17

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@teslagirl1234, I don't have much to add but I'm sorry about your experience. I have dealt with salespeople who tried to infer I was at fault/wrong and it's not a good feeling. I'm really glad you got a refund. There was definitely something wrong with that bracelet. Give it a little time and then see how you feel. It is a beautiful bracelet, that's for sure!
 
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