Cultivating beauty for over thirty-five years

Founded in 1986 by Orna and Isaac Levy, Yvel continues a century-old family tradition of creating exquisite jewelry designs featuring pearls, gems and gold set with natural multi-colored diamonds.

 Blue Waters collection (photo credit: COURTESY OF YVEL)
Blue Waters collection
(photo credit: COURTESY OF YVEL)

Jerusalem, in the mid-1980s. A young unemployed couple sat talking at a kitchen table. Though very much in love, they had not figured out what they wanted to do with their lives. “Listen, I know how to string pearls”, the girl said. The boy looked at her; a moment passed before he answered, “Teach me”. Unbeknown to him, those two words would change his life forever. And so, using the last of his savings they went out and bought some pearls, gold beads and clasps. She then taught him to string pearls into necklaces. 

Born into the fourth generation of the famous family of jewelers - Moussaieff, Orna had learned from her mother how to string pearls. Orna’s mother owned a jewelry boutique in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, so she was no stranger to the jewelry world. Isaac had come to Israel from Argentina as a child together with his family. Coming from an underprivileged background Isaac knew nothing about jewelry; in fact, he had never even held a pearl before. But sitting there at that kitchen table with the newly purchased pearls in front of him, something moved him. “It was a window that was opened to me, to a totally new world that I never knew existed”, explained Isaac, many years later. “I could express myself, my feelings, my emotions, through the jewelry”.

Megemeria students (Credit: COURTESY OF YVEL)Megemeria students (Credit: COURTESY OF YVEL)

Not knowing where this little venture would take them, Orna and Isaac continued stringing pearl necklaces, experimenting with the addition of semi-precious stones and creating original designs. Long days turned into nights, and in the mornings, it was not unusual to find Isaac still sitting at the kitchen table stringing pearls without having slept at all. 

That was really the beginning of what was to become an award-winning luxury jewelry brand. It was the beginning of Yvel. From then onwards the company began to grow. Never forgetting his own immigrant background, Isaac would always stand firm to his principle of offering employment to Jewish immigrants. Over the years the company has grown considerably with more than a hundred employees, most of who are Jewish immigrants from around twenty different countries. 

Yvel has been recognized worldwide for its exhilarating design and innovative technique, in numerous prominent jewelry design awards equivalent to the ‘Oscars’ in the jewelry world. The brand won Town & Country Couture Design Award three times over the past years for exquisitely handcrafted pieces of jewelry. In 2020 for the first time, Yvel participated in The Middle East Jewellery & Watches Award competition in Dubai and won the Best Independent Designer Award for its COVID-19 mask design while competing with various leading international jewelry brands.

Megemeria jewelry (Credit: COURTESY OF YVEL)Megemeria jewelry (Credit: COURTESY OF YVEL)

Rare organic pearls are Yvel’s signature design motif with select natural diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and other gems featuring prominently. Yvel is legendary for its free-form designs in which 18k white, yellow, or rose satin-finished gold is fashioned around the gemstone, caressing it and enhancing its unique beauty.

Always at the forefront of design and innovation, Yvel has created a variety of striking one-of-a-kind treasures that are themselves, true works of art. Yvel’s ‘Art to Wear’ enables collectors and admirers to carry a precious work of art on their bodies literally.

Yvel Design Center in JerusalemYvel Design Center in Jerusalem

In 2023 the brand will continue to surprise and create work-of-art pieces. Yvel’s recent campaign showcases The Blue Waters collection: it is a new stunning line of jewelry inspired by the vibrant colors of the Dead Sea. The collection features beautiful Paraiba tourmalines, which are known for their bright blue-green hue, as well as sparkling aquamarines in shades of light blue and green. As always, Isaac and Orna’s mission is to keep and protect the wonders and beauty of nature and add an artistic twist that is a signature feature of each Yvel creation.

“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 or gemstone and then we fashion the jewelry around it”

Isaac Levy

In 2010, Isaac and Orna inaugurated Yvel’s new sparkling state-of-the-art Design Center located in the hills on the outskirts of Jerusalem, in the village of Motza, surrounded by lush flower gardens, sweet-smelling fruit trees and cascading waterfalls. The Design Center is welcoming visitors from all over the world, where they can have the 360-degree Yvel experience: from witnessing the magical process of handcrafting the jewelry, to finding the fullest Yvel collections in the boutique.

Having for the first time, enough space, Orna and Isaac decided to open a school to teach Ethiopian immigrants the art of jewelry making. In 2011 the doors of the Megemeria School of Jewelry & Art were opened and twenty-two Ethiopian students joined the new program. 

Impressed with the highly original jewelry that the students made during the course, Orna and Isaac established the Megemeria Social Enterprise as a platform for the students to market their jewelry, thus securing continuous employment. This endeavor is proving to be successful; it is the intention that both the school and the social enterprise will soon become fully sustainable and will continue to change the lives of many more Ethiopian immigrants.

Yvel is always looking to expand its horizons and introduce its creations to a bigger audience. In 2020 Yvel opened its flagship boutique in Palm Beach, Florida where one can find the most exquisite and unique pieces designed for jewelry connoisseurs. Very often Isaac himself can be found at the boutique helping a customer choose the perfect piece that will complement the existing collection. With more than 30 years of experience and passion for jewelry-making, he knows exactly which piece of jewelry is meant for you. 

This article was written in cooperation with Yvel