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David Yurman jewelry has reached fashion icon status. His mixed-metal, diamond-in-silver and innovative gemstone designs have revolutionized the jewelry industry and continue to transcend fashions and fads. They are designs “for all seasons,” from the 1970s right up to current times.
Brief History of David Yurman Jewelry
David Yurman grew up on Long Island, New York. While a teen, he learned to sculpt using welding techniques. Later, as a young man, he followed the Beatnik path of Greenwich Village to Big Sur and back, immersing himself in the artistic movements of that time. In the early 1960s, he worked for various sculptors on large-scale public works in New York City, including at the Lincoln Center and the James L. Watson Court of International Trade. When David worked for renowned sculptor, Hans Van de Bovenkamp, he met Sybil Kleinrock, a painter, who would become his wife and business partner.
In the early 1970s, David and Sybil moved to Carmel in upstate New York and opened Putnam Art Works, specializing in sculptural jewelry. In 1977, David was chosen to exhibit at the Retail Jewelers of America Show in New York City, the first time that the long-time divide between traditional artisans and established merchandisers was bridged. David and Sybil married in 1979 and opened David Yurman Enterprises with Sybil as co-creator and collaborator. Their son, Evan, was born in 1982. In 1983, David introduced his signature piece, the cable bracelet: a twisted helix adorned with gemstones on its end caps. A retail buyer placed a huge order and sold out in no time. And it has never stopped selling.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the David Yurman company was at the forefront of the emerging category of American designer jewelry. He has been recognized for his mixed-metal designs and for being a pioneer in setting diamonds in sterling silver, “Silver Ice,” that made diamond jewelry more affordable and, therefore, more casual for everyday wear.
In 2003, Evan joined the company and became Design Director of the Men's and Timepiece Collections. In 2009, he launched an exclusive collection of high-end jewelry of his own designs.
Today, Evan’s three children (Jasper, three; Lulu, seven; and Cody, nine) have demonstrated the likelihood that the David Yurman legacy will live on. Cody has a bench next to Sybil and worked on a children’s line that was carried in their stores.
There are currently 33 David Yurman boutiques in the US and 11 around the world.
David Yurman Jewelry Designers
David, Sybil and Evan are the only designers. The Yurman family has its own vision, cherishes it and protects it. David and Sybil were, respectively, sculptor and painter and, therefore, view jewelry as wearable art first rather than accessories or fashion statements. Their jewelry retains the evidence of his sense of form and her sense of color.
Evan designed the Revolution Timepiece collection and collaborated with famed automotive designer, Carroll Shelby, to produce a limited-edition Shelby watch. He also consulted with Shelby on the design of the Shelby 1000 Mustang.
David Yurman Jewelry Marks
- "D.Y. 925"
- “925, STER, or STERLING”
- 14K gold pieces are stamped "14K" or "585"
- 18K gold pieces are stamped "18K" or "750"
- Mixed metal pieces (e.g., sterling silver and 14K gold) feature two numeric metal stamps, “925, 585”
- Aluminum Renaissance bracelets, laser-etched "ALUMINUM"
- In some instances, the copyright © symbol
- “D YURMAN,” “D.YURMAN,” or “YURMAN” (1980’s and 1990’s)
- “D.Y.” or “DY” (late 1990’s and 2000’s)
- J Y 🤍 (indicates craftsman or factory)
David Yurman Jewelry Materials
- Sterling silver, gold, platinum
- Bronze, copper, black rhodium
- Stainless steel, aluminum
- Mixed metals
- Carbon fiber, meteorite
- Pavé diamonds
- Diamonds set in silver, “Silver Ice”
- Amethyst, blue topaz, citrine, peridot
- Black, green or grey orchid gemstones
- Opal, coral, lapis lazuli
- Dyed Sea Bamboo
Most Collectible Vintage David Yurman Jewelry
If you are looking to add to, or start a fine jewelry collection, David Yurman is an excellent choice. Some of the most collectible David Yurman pieces include:
- Cable bracelets and necklaces - His classic signature sterling silver cable bracelets are considered a staple for women. - Browse Etsy - Browse eBay
- Renaissance Collection - Browse Etsy - Browse eBay
- Labyrinth Collection - Browse Etsy - Browse eBay
- Albion Collection - Browse Etsy - Browse eBay
Following are some examples of collectible David Yurman jewelry:
The Renaissance Collection is the first that David and Sybil designed together. It is a marriage of color and form. This vintage ring features an oval peridot flanked by amethysts on each side set in sterling silver and 14k yellow gold.
From the Labyrinth Collection, the small sterling silver disc features round brilliant-cut diamonds (1.05 TCW).
One of David Yurman’s iconic cable bracelets.
From the Albion collection, this signature ring is set in sterling silver with a purple amethyst stone framed with pave diamonds sterling.
Metro Cable heart pendant with .11 TCW round brilliant-cut diamonds set in 18K yellow gold and sterling silver.
Tips for Buying Vintage David Yurman Jewelry
- Look at the price. Pieces range from $1,300 to $3,000. A necklace for less than, say, $600 is most likely a fake.
- Look at the gems. David Yurman gems have a dazzling brilliance. Beware hazy, muted stones.
- Look at the craftsmanship. Check seams and edges. Authentic pieces will not have sharp or jagged edges. Soldered areas are neat and clean. Stone settings are precise and well-formed.
- Ask for the Certificate of Authenticity, but even those certificates can be forged. Call David Yurman customer relations at 888-888-4757 and ask if they can verify the certificate.
If buying online:
- Photos should be clear. There is no excuse for fuzzy photos or to not have a photo.
- Make sure the vendor has good reviews. No reviews is a bad sign.
- Poor customer service is a bad sign or if there is no contact information.
- Make sure there is a money-back guarantee.
Is David Yurman Jewelry Worth Collecting?
Yes! David is one of the most famous of contemporary designers and his pieces among the most coveted. Signature pieces include the Renaissance Collection, which originated with the cable bracelet, but both early items and more recent ones bring top prices. A David Yurman collectible is an excellent investment.
The David Yurman website has pages of collectibles: www.davidyurman.com.