David Yurman, originally a sculptor, founded his namesake jewelry business with his painter wife, Sybil, four decades ago. Their son, Evan, now 39, began collecting unique precious stones in his 20s. Already working for the family firm by then (he’d designed his first piece for the brand, a pair of cuff links, at age 11), Evan was obsessed with his rare gems — a 50-carat Kazakhstani spinel and a giant museum-quality opal from Lightning Ridge, Australia, among them. “My parents thought I was insane, paying that much for single stones,” he says. He never made them into jewelry, but a few years ago, when the family moved into high jewelry to complement its more accessible designs, Evan, now the chief creative officer, realized it was at last time to part with some of his treasures. So far, he has designed nearly 20 pieces using his private stash, including this white-gold diamond chain necklace with a 31-carat Colombian emerald pendant. He had the gem reconfigured into an antique cushion cut, which contrasts with the modern setting. “It’s vulnerable for me to let these stones go because they’re so personal,” he says. “When they’re gone, they’re gone.”
David Yurman Stax emerald and diamond high jewelry necklace, price on request, davidyurman.com.