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Design Challenge

Emily Kuvin’s necklace design

"A Home Away from Home"

The 2020 Winner: EMILY KUVIN

Click here to read the scenario on which Emily based her design.

Emily KuvinLong before I was a jewelry designer, I was a journalist and I still consider myself a writer. Perhaps that’s why I wanted to express Maria’s life story in the piece. Her story is very compelling, and in order to show off all the elements of it, I knew I had to design a necklace. Necklaces are the largest storytelling platform that jewelers have, and creating one seemed to make the most sense and would allow me to incorporate all of the stones in the project.

The necklace is designed in 14k yellow gold mesh. I opted for yellow gold because I thought it was the best choice to enhance the colors of the sapphires. Plus, yellow gold flatters everyone. The mesh represents a fishing net to honor Maria’s hometown and how her father made his livelihood. It also symbolizes the wide net that Maria has cast to encompass the personal and professional opportunities so far in her life.

Set slightly off-center, the pearl represents Maria’s Mexican heritage and birth family and anchors the piece, just as her strength anchors her family. The sapphires to the left of the pearl are her three children, who are behind everything she does and always have her back, while the nine sapphires joyously emanating to the right stand for the love, beauty, excitement, and knowledge Maria puts forth into family and the world.

To honor the memory of Maria’s late husband, Vincent, I added a V-shaped clasp to the back of the piece. Accented with diamond melee, the clasp holds the piece together, just as Vincent’s memory helps hold the family together and allows Maria and their children to venture out into the world fortified by an unbreakable bond.

To complete the design, I added a satin finish to slightly tone down the large piece, which seems in keeping with Maria’s humility. It’s still a statement necklace, but one that’s subtle, sophisticated, and elegant, just like the woman who will wear it.

Emily Kuvin is the owner of Emily Kuvin Jewelry in New York City.

Click here to read "A Home Away from Home," the 2020 scenario.


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