Van Cleef Alhambra

Timeless Collectability and Design of Van Cleef

By Catherine Kim
Shop Van Cleef from a Curated Assortment, Available for Immediate Shipping

Brief History of Van Cleef

Since 1906, Van Cleef has created jewelry that is known for its quality and craftsmanship. The company has never moved from the first Van Cleef and Arpels boutique at 22 Place Vendome in Paris. Van Cleef is known for its Art Deco designs that took inspiration from Egyptian culture, along with Japanese, Chinese and Indian designs. The first boutique in New York opened in 1939 at 744 Fifth Avenue. Van Cleef Alhambra was created in 1968 inspired by four-leaf clovers. The Alhambra motif has been embellished over the years in ornamental stones, onyx, mother-of-pearl and diamonds. Van Cleef has always celebrated luck, joy and optimism with its unique designs centered around clovers, flowers and animals.

Van Cleef Necklace Diamond "Boreal"

Why is Van Cleef so Popular

Van Cleef has been popular with celebrities and royalty since it's early days. The popularity comes from its attention to detail and iconic designs that remain as timeless today as when the designs were first created. The expertise in creating Van Cleef jewelry combines the expertise of jewelers, stone setters and polishers. Notable clients include Barbara Hutton, Wallace Simpson, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Princess of Wales. Just a few of the modern hollywood celebrities photographed wearing Van Cleef include Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Most expensive Van Cleef necklace sold in 2022

Van Cleef Prices

In 2023, Sotheby's sold more than $20 million worth of Van Cleef and over 800 pieces. Van Cleef is consistently one of the most popular jewelry brands at Sotheby's along with Cartier, Harry Winston and Tiffany. The most expensive Van Cleef item sold in 2023 by Sotheby's was a Van Cleef diamond ring with 21.03 carats marquise center stone flanked by two triangular stones in platinum. The Van Cleef ring sold for just over $2 million or 15,575,000 HKD. The most expensive Van Cleef necklace sold recently in 2022 for nearly $2.2 million or 16,710,000 HKD. The Van Cleef necklace is made from two detachable pendent brooches. It featured carved emeralds, ruby beads, single-cut diamonds in both brilliant and rose-cut to a similarly set necklace with onyx beads. The necklace can be worn with both brooches together or with only one to create multiple looks from one dramatic Van Cleef necklace.

Most Expensive Van Cleef Ring in 2023

Sotheby's has a curated selection of Van Cleef in nearly every jewelry auction and available for immediate purchase on our Buy Now marketplace. The selection at auction and Buy Now varies but expect to find both show stopping one of kind pieces along with iconic and collectible Van Cleef Alhambra. If you are looking to sell a Van Cleef piece, you can contact a jewelry specialist.


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