After more than 35 years designing jewelry, David Yurman is still enthused when he discovers a fabulous new gemstone, and that was indeed the case when he laid eyes on this gift’s 52-carat tanzanite, which he bought from a private dealer. “I fell in love with its vibrancy and bluish-violet color immediately,” he says. He is always scouring international markets for unique gems, and he makes a yearly pilgrimage with his son Evan to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in Arizona to find new stones and artifacts for his jewelry designs, particularly the one-of-a-kind pieces. This holiday season, Yurman is offering this gift’s striking tanzanite to a Robb Report reader, who will have the opportunity to collaborate with the designer on a piece of jewelry custom made to showcase it (starting at $50,000). It is a rare chance for an admirer of Yurman’s distinctive style to meet with him at his office in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood, visit over lunch, and take a tour of his private workshop and archives.
“It is really wonderful to collaborate in creating a piece that both encapsulates our design aesthetic as well as the client’s wishes and tastes,” says Yurman. “When I design like this, no two designs, like no two stones, are alike, and that’s what makes it exciting and fulfilling for me.” Yurman is especially passionate about this gemstone. “It’s incredibly special,” he says, “as it is rare to see a tanzanite of this size, color, and saturation.” Stones like this one have become even more collectible lately as sophisticated consumers—who are better educated on lesser-known gems than ever before—have looked to diversify their jewelry collections. The velvety blue tanzanite hails from near Mount Kilimanjaro, from a Tanzanian mine discovered by a Masai tribesman in 1967. The designer envisions the large stone in a pendant necklace, but he also notes that designing jewelry around it will be a process undertaken with the recipient. “The beauty of collaboration is that you never know where it’s going to take you, and often it leads you to the most unexpected yet interesting places,” says Yurman. “Jewelry is an expression of personal style—and perhaps the most intimate version of expression a woman could share with the world.” (David Yurman, Bruce Weldyn, 212.752.4255, davidyurman.com)