Handbags and Accessories

Discover a Chanel Bracelet in Iconic Brand Motifs

By Lindsey Weiss
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Chanel Bracelet

History of Chanel Jewelry

While mixing high end items with lower priced brands is common practice today, when Coco Chanel first introduced costume jewelry it was considered both radical and innovative. “Costume jewellery isn’t made to provoke desire, just astonishment at most. It must remain an ornament and an amusement,” remarked Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Flashing back to the 1920s, Gabrielle Chanel first collaborated with expert costume jewelers to bring her unconventional design ideas to life. Until Coco Chanel leaned into the untapped potential of costume jewelry, costume accessories were considered a faux pas, perceived as being only for women who couldn’t afford the real thing. Unfazed by the status quo, Coco Chanel embraced her radical design ideas, discovering a provocative delight in mixing precious materials with faux ones. A departure from the understated elegance of Chanel ready-to-wear, Coco Chanel championed unabashed opulence with her costume jewelry designs. From piling on necklaces and sautoirs made of faux pearls to layering an unprecedented number of brooches and cuff bracelets, Coco Chanel awed the fashion world with her expressive and playful design combinations. Emphasizing the ‘costume’ in costume jewelry, each piece Coco designed was the signature finishing touch, or perfect complement, to an already glamorous outfit.

Victoire de Castellane was brought on by Karl Lagerfeld as an assistant and model but soon her eccentric style inspired Karl. When Lagerfeld joined Chanel he was tasked with taking reviving the brand after Coco's death. De Castellane's bold aesthetic and playful approach to design inspired Karl to offer her the Chanel jewelry chief designer role. She spent 14 years at Chanel and further fueled the demand for Chanel jewelry. Chanel jewelry from the mid 1980s through 1998 is highly sought after by collectors. Among her more memorable creations were earrings made to resemble iconic Chanel handbags and ostentatiously large pearl string necklaces.

Chanel Bracelet

The Chanel Bracelet was an early focus for Coco Chanel since she loved to layer Chanel cuffs and bracelets. The vintage Chanel bracelets are almost always gold plated while more modern Chanel bracelets come in a variety of metal colors. The most common Chanel bracelet motifs include pearls, double CC and camilia flower. The use of crystals and reference to Chanel no 5 and 31 Rue Cambon are also common. Chanel bracelets with links often have one or multiple charms. Sotheby's Specialists picked a few of their favorite Chanel Bracelets. If you don't see these specific styles, Sotheby's lists new Chanel bracelets every week.

Chanel Bracelet

Vinage Chanel Bracelet

The Medallion CC Florentine Chanel Bracelet is from 1993 and was designed by de Castellane. All of the gold metal of this Chanel bracelet is stamped with double C along with the large double C on the black acrylic medallion.

Chanel Bracelet

Chanel Gold Bracelet

This Chanel bracelet with 16 charms from 2002 includes a charm for all of the most popular motifs including Chanel no 5 perfume and Chanel cosmetics and Chanel clothing. Chanel charm bracelets with a varying number of charms is something created season after season.

Chanel Bracelet

Chanel Cuff Bracelet

The boldest of the Chanel bracelets is the Chanel Cuff Bracelet. It is often very wide and has lots of bold details and colors. Pearls, double C, crystals and bright stones are regularly featured on a Chanel Cuff bracelet. The use of colorful resin and gripoix is a hallmark of Vintage Chanel Cuff Bracelets.

Chanel Cuff Bracelet

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