David Yurman Jewelry: History & Facts - Jack Weir & Sons Jewelry

by User on Jul 01, 2024

David Yurman Jewelry: History & Facts - Jack Weir & Sons Jewelry

David Yurman is a name synonymous with luxury, craftsmanship, and timeless elegance in the world of jewelry. With a history that spans over four decades, the brand has become an icon in the jewelry industry, known for its innovative designs and high-quality materials. This comprehensive guide will explore the history of David Yurman, delve into fascinating facts about the brand, and highlight some of its most iconic pieces.

History of David Yurman Jewelry
The Founding of the Brand

The brand David Yurman was founded by David and Sybil Yurman in 1980. David, a sculptor by training, and Sybil, a poet, ceramicist and painter, combined their artistic talents and passion for jewelry to create a brand that reflects their unique vision of wearable art, which they call “one long art project.” The couple's collaboration began even before the official launch of their brand, with David designing sculptural pieces utitlizing a  direct-welding technique he learned from sculptor Ernesto Gonzalez and Sybil marketing them.

In the early years, the Yurmans focused on creating jewelry that stood out for its artistic quality and craftsmanship. Their big breakthrough came with the introduction of the now-iconic Cable Bracelet in 1982. This bracelet, with its twisted helix design and gemstone-capped ends, became an instant classic and set the tone for the brand's future designs. The Cable Bracelet was inspired by David’s background in sculpture and his fascination with the helix form, which he saw as a symbol of strength and continuity. The first cable bracelet was shaped by hand with pink tourmaline and emerald end caps. 

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, David Yurman expanded its product line to include a wide range of jewelry pieces, from rings and necklaces to earrings and watches. The brand's commitment to innovation and quality helped it grow rapidly, gaining a loyal customer base and recognition in the fashion world. The Yurmans continued to push the boundaries of jewelry design, incorporating unconventional materials like meteorite and forged carbon into their creations.

In 2006 David Yurman introduced it’s first wedding collection, which used the iconic DY design motifs in engagement rings and wedding bands. Today the wedding collection has expanded to include a number of designs for all tastes and styles. 

Establishing a Global Presence

By the early 2000s, David Yurman had established itself as a global luxury brand, with boutiques in major cities around the world. The company's growth was fueled by its ability to blend traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design, appealing to a wide range of customers. The brand's advertising campaigns, often featuring black-and-white photographs of supermodels like Kate Moss and Amber Valletta, helped cement its status as a symbol of modern elegance.

Photos:; Photographer: Peter Lindbergh

Iconic David Yurman Pieces
Cable Bracelet

The Cable Bracelet is undoubtedly the most iconic piece in the David Yurman collection. Introduced in 1982, and called the Renaissance because of the inspiration it took from classical colors and motifs, this bracelet features a twisted helix design with gemstone-capped ends. Available in a variety of metals and gemstones, the Cable Bracelet is a versatile and timeless piece that can be worn alone or stacked with other bracelets. The renaissance collection has evolved exponentially over the past forty years. 

Renaissance Bracelet; Photo:

Albion Ring

The Albion Ring is another standout piece from David Yurman. This ring is known for its distinctive cushion-cut gemstone, framed by a halo of pave diamonds. The Albion Ring is available in a range of gemstones, including blue topaz, amethyst, and citrine, making it a popular choice for those looking to add a pop of color to their jewelry collection.

Petite Albion Ring; Photo:

Chatelaine Pendant

The Chatelaine Pendant is a delicate and elegant piece that showcases David Yurman’s expertise in gemstone setting. This pendant features a faceted gemstone, such as morganite or blue topaz, set in a simple yet sophisticated bezel setting. The Chatelaine Pendant is perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any outfit.

Chataline Pendant;


Sculpted Cable Watch

David Yurman’s foray into watchmaking has produced some truly stunning timepieces, and the Sculpted Cable Watch is no exception. This watch features the signature Cable motif on the bracelet and bezel, combined with a sleek and modern watch face. The Sculpted Cable Watch is a perfect blend of form and function, making it a popular choice among watch enthusiasts.

Starburst Collection

The Starburst Collection are inspired by the natural beauty of the stars, born from David and Sybil’s experience watching fireworks in Paris. Sybil was so moved by the bursts of light that David created a collection around them. These earrings feature a radiant design with pave diamonds set in a starburst pattern. The Starburst Earrings are a perfect example of David Yurman’s ability to combine artistic inspiration with fine craftsmanship.

Starburst Earrings; Photo:

The Evolution of David Yurman Designs
Early Designs

David Yurman’s early designs were heavily influenced by his background in sculpture and his passion for fine art. These pieces often featured bold, sculptural forms and unconventional materials. The introduction of the Cable Bracelet marked a turning point in the brand’s design language, bringing a more refined and cohesive aesthetic to the collection.

Contemporary Innovations

In recent years, David Yurman has continued to innovate while staying true to its artistic roots. The brand has introduced new materials, such as forged carbon and ceramic, and has experimented with more intricate and detailed designs. The Renaissance Bracelet and Sculpted Cable Watch are examples of how the brand has evolved its classic designs to meet the demands of modern customers. In 1997, David Yurman launched the Silver Ice collection which revolutionized the world of fine jewelry by setting diamonds in sterling silver. 

Collaborations and Limited Editions

David Yurman has also collaborated with other artists and designers to create limited-edition pieces that push the boundaries of traditional jewelry design. These collaborations often result in unique and innovative pieces that showcase the brand’s commitment to creativity and craftsmanship.

David Yurman X Jill Magid; Photo:

David Yurman X  Jihan Zencirli ; Photo:


Craftsmanship and Techniques
Lost-Wax Casting

One of the key techniques used in the creation of David Yurman jewelry is lost-wax casting. This ancient method involves creating a wax model of the piece, which is then encased in a plaster mold. The wax is melted away, leaving a cavity that is filled with molten metal. Once the metal cools and hardens, the plaster mold is broken away, revealing the finished piece. This technique allows for intricate and detailed designs that are both durable and beautiful.


The gemstones and diamonds in David Yurman jewelry are often hand-set by skilled artisans. This meticulous process involves placing each stone into a pre-cut setting and securing it with tiny prongs or bezels. Hand-setting ensures that each stone is securely held in place while maximizing its brilliance and fire.

Polishing and Finishing

Once a piece of jewelry is assembled, it undergoes a series of polishing and finishing steps to achieve a smooth and shiny surface. This process involves using a variety of tools and techniques, such as buffing wheels and polishing compounds, to remove any imperfections and bring out the natural luster of the metal.

Innovative Materials

David Yurman is known for its use of innovative materials. In addition to traditional metals like gold and silver, the brand incorporates unconventional materials such as titanium, ceramic, and meteorite. These materials add a unique element to the designs, making each piece a conversation starter.

The Cable Motif

The Cable motif is the cornerstone of David Yurman’s design language. Inspired by the helix form, the Cable motif is characterized by its twisted wire design, which is often embellished with gemstones or diamonds. This motif is not only visually striking but also symbolically rich, representing strength, resilience, and continuity.

David Yurman Today
A Family Legacy

David Yurman remains a family-owned and operated business, with David and Sybil Yurman still at the helm. Their son, Evan Yurman, has also joined the company, bringing a fresh perspective and new ideas to the brand. Under the leadership of the Yurman family, the brand continues to thrive and innovate, staying true to its artistic roots while embracing modern design trends.

Commitment to Sustainability

In recent years, David Yurman has made a commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing. The brand strives to use responsibly sourced materials, such as conflict-free diamonds and recycled metals, in its jewelry. David Yurman is also involved in initiatives that promote environmental conservation and social responsibility.


David and Sybil Yurman are committed to giving back to the community. The couple established the David and Sybil Yurman Humanitarian and Arts Foundation, now called the Yurman Family Foundation, which supports a range of causes, including arts education, health care, and disaster relief. The Yurmans also count The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and The Trevor Project among the beneficiaries of the Yurman Family Foundation.

Chevron Tag in Rainbow Pave; Photo:


Global Reach

David Yurman has a strong global presence, with boutiques in major cities around the world, including New York, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. The brand’s international expansion has helped it reach a wider audience and establish itself as a leader in the luxury jewelry market.

Future Innovations

Looking to the future, David Yurman continues to push the boundaries of jewelry design and craftsmanship. The brand is constantly exploring new materials, techniques, and design concepts to create pieces that are both innovative and timeless. With its rich heritage and commitment to excellence, David Yurman is poised to remain a leader in the world of fine jewelry and design. 


At Jack Weir & Sons, we’ve spent the last 40 years traveling to Europe and all over the world, curating extraordinary estate jewels. JWS is where the old world meets the new world. Celebrate life, preserve history, and discover your own priceless heirloom jewel. We are extremely grateful for our clients and the ability to help people celebrate their special moments through one-of-a-kind jewelry. To share that gratitude and our strong family values, we chose to partner with Baby2Baby. So far, we've donated $125,000. A portion of every sale goes towards children living in poverty to provide them with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. 
We offer in-person and Virtual Appointments and are happy to answer any questions about your favorite jewel. 
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