Jewelry

Ultimate Guide to Collecting Van Cleef Bracelets

By Catherine Kim
Van Cleef 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. The Van Cleef and Arpels signature style developed through the 20th century, shaped by diverse influences including nature, orientalism, couture, ballet and an imaginary world of fairytale and fantasy. Van Cleef is also known for technical ingenuity and the quest for the highest quality diamonds and gemstones.

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. In 2023, Sotheby's sold over $20 million in Van Cleef jewelry with prices ranging from over $1 million to $5,000. Van Cleef is one of the most popular luxury jewelry designer brands with nearly 1.5M google searches per month. The demand and popularity of Van Cleef bracelets can be measured in part by the number of monthly searches. There are twice as many Van Cleef bracelet related searches as the next most popular jewelry category, Van Cleef necklace.

We have created a Van Cleef bracelet collecting guide that includes Van Cleef's most iconic designs detailed below.

Browse Van Cleef & Arpels Bracelets

Van Cleef Bracelet Alhambra

Van Cleef Alhambra Bracelet

Most Van Cleef bracelet collections begin with a Van Cleef Alhambra bracelet. The Van Cleef Alhambra was created in 1968 and is the most recognizable Van Cleef motif to modern collectors. The Van Cleef Alhambra was created during a time when Van Cleef and Arpels recognized the need to create more accessible fine jewelry for a new generation of women. The Van Cleef Alhambra design was inspired by the four leaf clover and reminiscent of traditional Moorish quatrefoil. In fact, the collection is said to be named after the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, which boasts a number of sweeping archways.

Van Cleef Bracelet Ludo

Van Cleef Ludo Bracelet

The Van Cleef Ludo bracelet was created in 1934 and is named after Louis Arpels' nickname. The Van Cleef & Arpels Ludo bracelet is inspired by belts and pays homage to couture. The Ludo Van Cleef bracelet was created when belted waists were in fashion. The Ludo Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet is flexible like a belt and the gem encrusted buckle sometimes also hides a secret watch. The briquette or honeycomb design combines tiny polished rectangles that reflect the light. The very distinct Ludo Van Cleef bracelet is a statement making piece to add your Van Cleef bracelet collection.

Van Cleef Bracelet Mystery Set

Van Cleef Arepels Bracelet Mystery-Set

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. A Mystery Set Van Cleef bracelet is a must for Van Cleef bracelet collectors. Its unique design remains as timeless and elegant as when it was first introduced in 1933. The Mystery Set Van Cleef bracelet enables the diamonds and colored gemstones to take center stage.

Van Cleef Bracelet Flowers

Van Cleef Bracelet Flower & Butterfly

The next Van Cleef bracelet on every collector's wish list is one featuring flowers. Van Cleef has featured flowers and other nature motifs in its jewelry designs since 1907. The delicate depiction of flowers in a Van Cleef bracelet is highly sought after due to its consistent link with the brand.

Van Cleef Bracelet Dramatic Diamonds & Gemstones

Van Cleef & Arpels Bracelet

The ultimate Van Cleef bracelet is one featuring dramatic diamonds and gemstones. Sotheby's regularly sells Van Cleef jewelry that sells for several hundred thousand to over $1 million. These Van Cleef pieces feature impressive stones and/or total carats exceeding 50 and more. Sotheby's March 2024 auction has a Van Cleef bracelet featuring 47.63 carats of oval-shaped sapphires with 27.54 carats of diamonds. This incredible Van Cleef bracelet from 1938 is perfect for the Van Cleef bracelet collector that wants something rare and extra special.

How much is a Van Cleef Bracelet

The price of a Van Cleef bracelet ranges from around $5,000 for a basic Alhambra bracelet up to over $1 million for a High Jewelry Van Cleef bracelet. The Van Cleef Alhambra bracelet is generally the least expensive Van Cleef bracelet. Most Van Cleef bracelets range from $20,000 - $100,000 if the Van Cleef bracelet has diamonds and other gemstones. The size, quality and quantity of the diamonds and gemstones in addition to the craftsmanship of the design all factored into the price of a Van Cleef bracelet.

Sotheby's Van Cleef Bracelets

Shop a curated selection of Van Cleef bracelets at Sotheby's auction and buy now marketplace. Sotheby's jewelry 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.

Available for Immediate Purchase

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.