Lockdown was a prolific period for creatives Sybil and David Yurman. Partners in life and business, the jewelry designing couple, who have been married for 52 years, hunkered down in their Tribeca loft with neighboring his and hers design studios, and in between cooking, painting, and listening to Miles Davis, they created Elements, a deeply personal collection which they unveiled today.
At first glance the new jewelry design is a simple disc, but for the Yurmans it represents unity, wholeness, and hope. That’s a lot wrapped up in a pendant, but people have imbued jewelry with symbolism since ancient times, viewing jewels as talismans, and emblems of hope, connection, and protection. And that’s something the Yurmans thought everyone needed right now.
“This design is elemental to everything we are as human beings,” David tells T&C. “There is no beginning and no end; it’s the circle of life.”
The discs are made in vibrant and earthy semiprecious stones, each cut from large slabs, some of which are as big as a coffee table. Before the slabs were sent to be cut in an upstate New York workshop, David had them delivered to his studio where he spent days drawing the circle templates on the stones in order to maximize the best parts of the rock to cut into the discs.
Naturally rich in color and pattern, the semiprecious stones, including turquoise, malachite, lapis lazuli, agate, and jasper, deliver an organic feeling. The bold circular pendants also convey a retro ’70s vibe, which is having a moment now, but they aren’t trendy; they are the kind of layering pieces that are timeless.
Yurman is particularly drawn to jasper, a stone which has colors and patterns that remind him of the New Mexican sunset and landscape. “You can get lost in jasper, and no two are alike,” he says. He also loves the rich green patterns in malachite, which he said reflect spring and renewal. Another of his favorite styles has bright turquoise on one side and pure white mother-of-pearl on the reverse.
A big believer in the healing power of stones, David says people will gravitate towards to the stones that make them feel good. “People need pleasure right now, and jewelry is pleasure,” he says. “It’s about meaning, a sense of heritage—something I’m going to acquire now and possibly pass down to my children.”
The reversible unisex pendants come in multiple sizes and are framed in Yurman’s signature cable motif in silver or gold. They have removable clasps so they can be layered on chains of varying lengths and bracelets and mixed with other sentimental charms.
Now that people are slowly starting to go out again, David says the Elements pendants are an easy way to freshen up any look, and that they look especially good in multiples.
Since receiving their vaccines in February, Sybil and David themselves are going out again and have even started slowly going back to their nearby corporate headquarters. “Since we got the vaccines, we feel like kids in a candy store,” says David. “We visited friends in the Dominican Republic and are seeing a few friends for dinner outside.”
Still, he’s found that working from home is even more productive than being at the office in some ways. He and Sybil and their son Evan, who is the company’s chief creative officer, have managed their multimillion-dollar business from home with the support of their executive team, and business has remained fairly steady.
“We still offer something that has value and that people want,” says David. “We have a loyal customer, and they kept buying even during the pandemic.”
The couple still loves designing and working with their hands and collaborating together. After they met as artists in 1969 (Sybil was a painter and David a sculptor), they agreed to start their business and work until they had enough money to sustain themselves as artists. That was 41 years ago, and they are still at it.
Shop a selection from the new collection here:
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