Jewelry

A Closer Look at Four of the Most Expense Van Cleef Bracelets

By Catherine Kim
Shop Van Cleef Bracelets , Available for Immediate Purchase
Van Cleef Diamond Bracelet

Brief History of Van Cleef and Arpels

Van Cleef and Arpels is a French luxury jewelry company founded in 1895 and opened its first boutique in 1906. In 1999, Richemont acquired 60% of Van Cleef and increased its ownership to 80% in 2001. Richemont also owns 19 luxury brands including Cartier and Buccellati. Van Cleef is one of the most popular luxury jewelry designer brands with nearly 1.5M google searches per month. In 2023, Sotheby's sold over $20 million in Van Cleef jewelry with prices ranging from over $1 million to $5,000.

Below we take a closer look at four of the most expensive Van Cleef bracelets sold in 2023 at Sotheby's.

Most Expensive Van Cleef Bracelet

1. Van Cleef Diamond Bracelet $825,500

The most expensive Van Cleef Diamond Bracelet sold for $825,500 in 2023. The 13 emerald-, square emerald- and cut-cornered square step-cut diamonds weighing a total of 42.69 carats, bordered and spaced by baguette and square-cut diamonds from 1940 was from the de Léséleuc Family Collection. The Van Cleef diamond bracelet is a beautiful example of mid-twentieth century French design and craftsmanship.

Paul de Léséleuc's initial relationship with Van Cleef was as insurance agent to Van Cleef and Arpels. The family turned to de Léséleuc since they were concerned about their status as a Jewish-owned business. de Léséleuc agreed to take a 54% interest in Van Cleef in 1940 since the company was at risk of being forcibly taken over by the Nazi occupiers or by the collaborationist Vichy government. Once the company was officially owned by a Catholic ti was no longer subject to confiscation. de Léséleuc continued to preside over the Board of Directors until October 1944 after the Liberation when the Arpels family returned from the United States and resumed control of the company. The plan succeeded in keeping the firm largely intact throughout the war and returning it to its rightful owners.

Van Cleef Bracelet

2. Van Cleef Bracelet Gem Set and Diamond $515,00

The second most expensive sold at Sotheby's is a gem set and diamond Van Cleef bracelet that sold for $515,000 in 2023. The Van Cleef bracelet has carved emeralds and sapphires, enhanced with cabochon and circular-cut rubies, highlighted with millegrain-set brilliant-cut diamonds and is from 1930. The term Tutti Frutti often comes to mind for these very colourful pieces from the inter-war period, however, the name was in fact invented only in the 1970s and later registered by Cartier. The Roaring Twenties experienced a real craze for these jewels adorned with flowers and fruits, often decorated with carved rubies, sapphires and emeralds sourced from India. Parisian jewellery Maisons referred to these naturalistic and almost gourmand jewels as “fruit salad”.

Van Cleef Mystery Set Bracelet

3. Van Cleef Bracelet Mystery-Set $406,400

The third most expensive Van Cleef bracelet sold for $406,400 as part of the Wolf Family Collection. The Van Cleef Mystery-Set flexible strap bracelet is composed of five-rows of calibré-cut rubies, within borders of round diamonds, the clasp set with baguette diamonds from 1988. The Van Cleef ruby and diamond bracelet has rubies that are medium slightly purplish red with strong saturation and diamonds, estimated to weigh a total of approximately 7.15 carats, are approximately F-G color, VVS clarity. The Mystery Set was patented in 1933 and introduced a new way of setting precious stones that was designed to preserve their beauty. The stones are meticulously cut and individually inserted into gold rails. Van Cleef uses this setting for diamonds, rubies and also sapphires and emeralds.

Van Cleef and Arpels Diamond Bracelet

4. Van Cleef Diamond Bracelet À Cheval $287,700

The fourth most expensive Van Cleef bracelet sold in 2023 was a diamond À Cheval for $287,700. The Van Cleef À Cheval collection elegantly layers the stones in a flexible design. The Van Cleef bracelet is 18 carat gold and platinum and has about 87.00 - 93.00 total diamond weight.

More Van Cleef Bracelets

While all of these incredible bracelets are no longer available Sotheby's has Van Cleef bracelets are available at auction and buy now marketplace. Sotheby's Specialists are always sourcing and consigning new Van Cleef bracelets so make sure to check back for additional styles. You can also contact a Jewelry Specialist if you would like to sell a Van Cleef bracelet.

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

More from Sotheby's