The Five Most Expensive Van Cleef Necklaces

By Catherine Kim
Shop Van Cleef Necklaces , Available for Immediate Purchase
Most Expensive Van Cleef Necklace

Brief Background 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. "Signed jewels by the legendary maisons (including Van Cleef) continued to dazzle, as connoisseurs hunted particularly for iconic, vintage jewels that represented the best the great houses had to offer." Quig Bruning, SVP Head of Jewelry, Americas & EMEA.

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

Most Expensive Van Cleef Necklace of 2023

1. Van Cleef Necklace $2,172,300

The most expensive Van Cleef Necklace sold for just over $2 million in 2023. The necklace has two detachable pendent brooches with carved emeralds, ruby heads, ruby beads topped by single-cut diamonds, highlighted with brilliant and rose-cut diamonds. The necklace also has onyx beads. set in white gold. The translucent pear-shaped carved emerald measures approximately 38.9 x 31.0 x 14.8 mm and is medium green color with strong saturation.

Van Cleef Necklace Mystery-Setting Ruby and Diamond

2. Van Cleef Necklace Mystery-Set Ruby & Diamond $673,100

The second most expensive Van Cleef necklace sold at Sotheby's for $673,100. The Van Cleef necklace features the Van Cleef Mystery-Set with Rubies and Diamonds and is from 1995. It features a series of graduated scroll motifs set with calibré-cut rubies, on a pavé-set diamond ground. Van Cleef necklace has rubies of medium red with strong saturation and slightly included with no readily apparent abrasions. The diamonds, estimated to weigh a total of approximately 60.00 to 70.00 carats, are approximately F-G color, VVS-VS clarity. The Van Cleef 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. This Van Cleef necklace was part of the Wolf Family Collection sold in 2023.

Van Cleef Necklace and Pendant Earclips

3. Van Cleef Necklace and Pendant Earclips $444,500

The third most expensive Van Cleef necklace sold for $444,500 at Sotheby's in 2023. This Van Cleef necklace is composed of emerald bead links with foliate round diamond-set caps and flowerhead links set with ruby cabochons and round diamonds alternating with ruby cabochons. The Van Cleef earclips have round tops set with ruby and emerald beads and round diamonds suspending a pair of detachable drops with emerald and ruby beads, round emeralds and rubies and round diamonds. This Van Cleef jewelry set from 1965 represents the pinnacle of Van Cleef creative high notes from the 1960s. Van Cleef seized the opportunity to introduce a collection combining an ancient aesthetic with modern wearability. The emeralds and rubies represent powerful symbolism of good fortune, wisdom (green) and the essence of life itself (red). Drawing direct inspiration from the Mughal period and its predilection for gems cut en cabochon or as drilled beads, these sophisticated jewels featured authentic motifs and subtle details in common with those famed 16th-19th century works. The impressive scale and saturated color of the emerald beads in the necklace marries beautifully with the rich ruby cabochons set in classic floral motifs. The earrings continue the floral theme with a stylized pattern of intricate beadwork suspending modern pavé work centers atop classical bead drops, a seamless marriage of the old and the new.

Van Cleef Necklace Diamond and Emerald

4. Van Cleef Necklace $430,500

The fourth most expensive Van Cleef necklace was sold for $430,500 at Sotheby's in 2023. circa 1960, designed as a series of oval and cushion-shaped emeralds, accented by brilliant-cut diamond clusters interspersed by pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds, with marquise-shaped diamond accents, to a later necklace set brilliant-cut diamonds stating that the emeralds measuring from 11.62 x 10.35 x 6.01 - 10.02 x 9.56 x 5mm are of Colombian origin with indications of minor clarity enhancement

Van Cleef Necklace Zip

5. Van Cleef Necklace Zip $400,000

The fifth most expensive Van Cleef necklace sold for $400,000 in 2023 is technically both a necklace and a bracelet. The original Van Cleef Zip necklace was created in 1950. It is a testament Van Cleef's innovation and technical ingenuity. The Van Cleef Zip necklace is exceptionally versatile since it can be worn in two ways: open as a necklace, or closed as a bracelet. The Van Cleef Zip necklace is set with brilliant-cut diamonds in gold and platinum and mounted in yellow gold. The diamonds on this Van Cleef necklace are estimated to weigh a total of approximately 11.00 - 13.00 carats, on average G-H colour, VVS-VS clarity.

How much is a Van Cleef Necklace

Sotheby's sells a range of Van Cleef necklaces. A simple single motif Van Cleef Alhambra necklace is generally the least expensive Van Cleef necklace sold at Sotheby's. The most simple Van Cleef Alhambra necklace sells for between $2,000-$5,000. The multi motif Van Cleef Alhambra necklace generally sells for between $10,000 - $30,000 depending on the material of the motifs and the number of motifs. Van Cleef Alhambra necklaces with diamonds can sell for more than $30,000 but generally don't sell for higher than $50,000.

Buying Van Cleef Necklaces

While all of these incredible Van Cleef necklaces are no longer available Sotheby's has Van Cleef necklaces available at auction and buy now marketplace. Sotheby's Specialists are always sourcing and consigning new Van Cleef necklaces 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 necklace in our next auction or buy now marketplace.

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