New York City. Aug. 28, 2020. It was the summer of 2017 when the idea for jewelry designer Delphine Leymarie’s gemstone inlay chains was born from the design of a road-sign-like pendant.
The New York City transplant from southern France had ramped up her use of color—prior to that, her contemporary gold line comprised largely diamonds and metalwork—and one of the first pieces she made was a vintage French-inspired road sign with enamel reading La Plage.
“It was a rectangular pendant with a pointed arrow tip that lent itself to charm form,” she explains in a phone interview.
La Plage charm in 18k yellow gold with teal enamel served as the inspiration for the inlay chains, $695; available online from Delphine Leymarie
Not long after its debut, she yearned to make a matching chain in the same colors of enamel. More enamel was the obvious first choice, but it proved too tricky to use in a long chain. That’s when she turned to an Italian chain maker for assistance. Between the two of them, the gemstone inlay chains featuring mother-of-pearl, turquoise, malachite, lapis, and onyx came to fruition.
“They are the only part of my line not made in New York, but they are the best quality,” she says.
For Leymarie, the stone colors call to mind her love of the beach. Yellow gold represents the sun, turquoise the Mediterranean Sea, lapis is ocean blue, malachite is palm trees, white mother-of-pearl is sand, and black onyx is the volcanic sand found in southern France. Shapes include rectangles and confetti or round, while a thinner rectangular version in a different length is also available. The stones show through on both sides, meaning less gold is used and the price is more accessible.
“The thinner rectangular version is asymmetrical, and I mix longer and shorter links together for a very modern feel,” she says. “The confetti shape echoes the gold beads used in my Boheme collection.”
Individually, the shapes and colors are clever and so cute, but now Leymarie is mixing them up (think mother-of-pearl and turquoise).
“That’s a perfect day at the beach,” she muses. “I like to mix the soft and the hard aesthetic.”
Retail prices for chains start at $1,400. Bracelets are $515. Find all offerings on Leymarie’s website.
Boheme La Mini Belle inlay bracelet in 14k yellow gold with malachite (each rectangle is 10 mm. long and 3 mm. wide), $515; available online at Delphine Leymarie
La Beauté inlay chain in 18k yellow gold with alternating turquoise and mother-of-pearl inlay in varying lengths of rectangular links (each link is 3 mm. wide and a mix of 9 mm., 20 mm., and 31 mm.), $1,369; available online at Delphine Leymarie
Boheme Confetti necklace (each circle link is 4.5 mm.) in 14k yellow gold with turquoise, $1,625; available online at Delphine Leymarie
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