Van Cleef & Arpels’ is celebrating the expansion of its Peninsula Hotel boutique by bringing in a third of its entire Heritage Collection last December. What’s special about this series is that many of the pieces come from a distinct period in history or have a great provenance. Better yet, they are all available for sale.
Highlights include a gorgeous pair of Mystery-set bracelets, one in emeralds and the other one in Burmese sapphires, that were created in 1936, for Jessie Woolworth Donnahue, a known jewellery collector and the aunt of Barbara Hutton, the heiress who inherited the Woolworth fortune.
Other interesting finds include a bowknot brooch from 1945 set with diamonds and rubies, a series of whimsical animal brooches, from an emerald-eyed owl to a golden tiger. There are coral and turquoise necklaces and bracelets from the ’70s, as well as a maharajah-inspired set with rubies and diamonds.
Nicholas Luchsinger, a certified gemologist at Van Cleef & Arpels who heads up the team in charge of procuring the pieces for the collection, shares five important tips for would-be collectors:
1. Buy with your heart
If you are a beginner in collecting jewellery, you are bound to make mistakes, but always remember that each piece is valuable and an important part of history
2. Always buy signed pieces from reputable boutiques
Be careful and always get a certificate of authenticity. There are so many copies out there and the stones may have been replaced with ones of lesser quality.
3. Build a collection out of specific time periods
When you are starting off, it is easier for you to familiarise with one period before moving to the next.
4. Find signature pieces from the brand
Try to find signature pieces from the brand you are collecting pieces of, for example for Van Cleef & Arpels, it would be zip necklaces, mystery-set pieces, ballerinas, animal brooches.
5. Protect the past
Remember that by investing in the past, you protect the value of the piece today and in the future.