Left: Ethiopian Treasure One-of-a-kindwhite gold broochset with a 24 ct. Ethiopian opal and diamonds. Right: Paraiba Ocean  18K yellow gold necklace set with a unique 188 ct. Paraiba tourmaline.

Yvel Creates Wearable Art

by Benjamin Genocchio

Founded by Orna and Isaac Levy in 1986, Yvel is a luxury jewelry brand recognized worldwide for its distinctive creations featuring nature’s most treasured resources. Rare organic pearls are Yvel’s signature design motif with select natural diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and other gems featuring prominently. Incollect spoke with Isaac Levy about the rich history of the company and its future. 

Orna and Isaac Levy, Yvel founders and designers.

What makes Yvel jewelry so different and distinctive?

While most jewelry designers design a piece of jewelry and then look for a pearl or stone, at Yvel we first look for the pearl, our signature, or gemstone and then we fashion the jewelry around it. This is the way to give full respect to nature, by designing the entire piece of jewelry around the gem and not the other way around.

You describe your jewelry as ‘art to wear.’ How do your designs come about and where is the jewelry made? 

We take immense pride in the fact that all our jewelry is crafted in-house at the Yvel Design Center, a former 19th-century winery, located in the hills of Jerusalem. Our skilled team of jewelers, diamond setters, and model makers work meticulously to create exceptional and unique pieces under my creative direction. Their dedication and expertise ensure that each creation is a masterpiece of artistry and craftsmanship.


Yvel Palm Beach Boutique  Yvel's flagship store lies in the heart of Florida's iconic Palm Beach Island, nestled among prestigious avenues and historical landmarks.

Tell us about the origins of Yvel.

The history of the company goes back to the mid-1980s, in a humble Jerusalem kitchen, where as a young couple Orna and I pondered our future. Orna's revelation, 'I know how to string pearls,' met my eager reply, 'Teach me.' This exchange, full of love and shared aspirations, marked the beginning of our story and the origins of Yvel which is our surname spelled backward. Using our savings, we started stringing pearls and dreaming big from our kitchen table.

Puprle Orchid Introducing once-in-a-lifetime, unique size and color pearls from the fresh waters of the Orient.

Left: Fantasia Brooch A vibrant celebration of color, featuring multicolored freshwater pearls and a radiant red tourmaline, embraced by the gleam of 18K yellow gold. Right: Opal earrings White gold earrings set with 58.50 ct Opals, Apetites and white diamonds. 

What are some of the most interesting and unique gems you have acquired lately? 

The Purple Orchid collection features an extraordinary array of pearls, distinguished by their unique characteristics and rarity. This collection emerged from a remarkable encounter last March when we visited pearl farmers as part of an annual tradition spanning four decades. During this visit, Orna pointed out an intriguing display of unusually large, dark pink and purple pearls. The farmer explained that these pearls were indeed natural, attributing their unique coloration to the unprecedented purity of the waters during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of human activity during this period allowed the water to become exceptionally clear, resulting in pearls that exhibited a spectrum of colors from light pink to dark purple, alongside an unparalleled luster. Furthermore, the farmer revealed that these pearls had grown significantly larger than usual because they remained in the oysters for an additional four years. The pandemic's impact meant there was no one available to harvest them at the time. This extended period allowed the pearls to develop to an extraordinary size, making them some of the most exceptional pearls ever seen. I recognized the rarity and beauty of these pearls, and we acquired the entire harvest, thus becoming the exclusive jeweler to offer the unparalleled collection that was named "Purple Orchid." These pearls are celebrated for their exceptional color, luster, and size, making them a once-in-a-lifetime treasure.


Are you branching out into using new and other gems?

Yvel will be launching a new collection at the upcoming Hamptons Fine Art Fair in New York, featuring pieces crafted with yellow gold and rough multicolor Paraiba. This collection will be exceptionally fine, rare, and distinguished, unlike anything seen before.

A Symphony of Colors 18K yellow gold necklace set with multicolor tourmalines.

Left: Almond Blossome Bracelet 58 ct. natural opal caressed with multicolor tourmalines and sparkling white diamonds. 

The Kaleidoscope Necklace Iridescent opals interlace with white diamonds and appetite stones, draped in 18K white gold.

You are celebrating 40 years in business this year: are you doing anything in terms of an anniversary collection?

Yes, we are. We have, in collaboration with Yvel's team of talented artisans, designed 40 exceptional and unique one-of-a-kind pieces to commemorate Yvel's 40 years of design, artistry and craftsmanship. 


You also partner with art and design fairs to present your work. What are some of the fairs you have partnered with?

For many years, we have been showcasing our wearable art at the most prestigious art fairs around the world. Over the past year, we have proudly presented art to wear at venues such as Salon Art + Design in New York, Art Miami, Frieze Chicago, Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary, Art Palm Beach, and more. We are looking forward to the upcoming Hamptons Fine Art Fair, where we will once bring our creations. 

Left: Art to wear The Kaleidoscope Necklace in the making. Right: Art to wear Paraiba Oceanin the making.

Where do you currently have showrooms around the world? 

Our flagship store is located in Palm Beach, Florida, on Worth Avenue. Our biggest showroom is located in Jerusalem at Yvel Design Center and we have a few other stores across the country. This year we are expanding our reach with new boutiques opening soon in Aspen and Dallas, bringing us closer to our customers.


The Yvel Design Center is home to Israel's prestigious award-winning jewelry company. Visitors from around the globe are invited to explore its enchanting grounds and witness the magic of Yvel's creations firsthand.

Given your strength in design and craftsmanship do you make custom jewelry for clients? 

Generally not. There will be times when a Yvel collector requests a slight modification to a piece they wish to purchase from our collection. And if we come across an exceptional pearl or gem we believe one of our collectors will appreciate, and if they are indeed drawn to that gem, we will design something special for them.