The Exquisite Zipper Necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels zipper necklace

Zipper necklace inspired by Wallis Simpson

Have you ever wished for a ring or maybe a necklace made to your own design? In the 1930s, Wallis Simpson, the colorful Duchess of Windsor did just that and asked the French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels to make her dream come true.

The Duchess’ unique design wasn’t actually produced until 1951, when Van Cleef & Arpels stunned the world with its iconic zipper necklace. Adorned with diamonds and jewels, its working golden zipper transforms the necklace into a stunning bracelet when zipped.

The remarkable zipper necklace is at once fine jewelry — Van Cleef exhibited four new versions at the 2011 Paris Haute Couture shows — and fine art. The new versions were featured in Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, which ran through June 2011.

The jewelry you’ve dreamed about may not make it to Paris or the Cooper-Hewitt, but it can come true, more affordably than you think!

Like Van Cleef & Arpels, Delmonte-Smelson Jewelers has designers on staff who can translate your design, produce artistic renderings (interpretive drawings) for your approval, and craft fit-for-royalty custom jewelry just for you. And it won’t cost you a Duchess’s Dowry!

To get started on a custom ring, necklace or other jewelry for yourself or a truly unique and personal gift for a loved one, visit our Custom Designs page to learn more, then Schedule an Appointment. Or just give us a call: (516) 357-8888.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like to watch Van Cleef & Arpels video on YouTube: The iconic Zip necklace revisited for the Haute Couture Week.