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Bejeweled History

For a Century, Van Cleef & Arpels Has Been Creating Distinctive Jewelry for the Rich and Famous
Ettagale Blauer
From the Print Edition:
John Travolta, Jan/Feb 99

(continued from page 5)

He relishes the opportunity to serve his well-heeled clients. "We have a lot of regular customers. We are their jewelers; just the way they have a lawyer, a doctor, they have a jeweler. We end up knowing a great deal about people. We have to be close to people: mutual trust; sometimes even friendship. At this level of business, you have these relationships. This kind of purchase is always linked to a special event in people's lives. Clients ask for things. We do special orders. We do anything they want. That's the fun part of the business, the exciting part of the business--to see a sketch on a piece of paper and see it come to life."

Recently, a customer asked him to create a special piece of jewelry for his wife, who was expecting twins. "The kids were born on May 8. Just at that time, we came upon a 58.58-carat emerald. I said, he cannot turn it down. We designed a very important piece of jewelry, and we went to see him. The weight is what clinched it, and he bought it."

Ettagale Blauer is a frequent contributor to Cigar Aficionado and author of books on jewelry and wristwatches.

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