Van Cleef & Arpels was founded in Paris in 1898 by Charles Van Cleef and his two brothers-in-law, Charles Arpels and Julien Arpels. By 1906 the firm had achieved enough success to move their boutique to the fashionable Place Vendôme.  Their first attempt at opening a New York boutique was untimely as the opening day coincided with the historic stock market crashed of October 1929. After their participation in the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Van Cleef and Arpels opened a salon in Rockefeller Center before moving to 744 Fifth Avenue in 1942.  VCA is credited with devising the technique for invisible setting of stones called 'mystery setting,' as well as popularizing the minaudière. They are also recognized as one of the first luxury jewelry companies to design pieces targeted at a younger clientele and at a lower price. Today, the firm is owned and directed by Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, a Swiss company which deals in high end luxury goods.