Beth Yorn, the designer behind Elisabeth Bell Jewelry, has a lifelong love of jewelry. While shooting her as a Jeweler at her sunny Santa Monica home, we were immediately drawn to her personal jewelry style—a luxe and eclectic mix of classics, nature-inspired pieces, and found objects adapted for her successful line. Beth’s collection is like digging through a family history with standout pieces from each decade. She pairs iconic pieces from houses like Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany alongside family heirlooms and work she admires by California designers. Below, Beth reflects on how her family nurtured her love of jewelry from an early age, her industry icons, and the piece that got away.
My jewelry is dainty, feminine, and classic. I believe that less is more. A few amazing pieces can go a long way. I really love my grandfather’s watch, a black Rolex. I think of him every time I put it on. Every day, I wear my solitaire emerald cut engagement ring, my Schlumberger wedding band, a solid gold Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra bracelet, an Elisabeth Bell Bobcat Claw Necklace, an Elisabeth Bell Eye Ring, and an Elisabeth Bell Quail Ring.
Another favorite that I still have is my baby bracelet. When I was small my mother took my to Tiffany and propped me up on the jewelry case and told me I could pick out any of the small gold ID bracelets, and then she had Beth engraved on it with my birthday on the other side. I was looking at it the other day and thinking about making it longer so I can wear it.
There is one piece of my collection that is missing. My grandmother had a mezuzah necklace that my grandfather gave her. I used to sit in her lap and stare at it and I was fascinated by the scroll inside. The pendant was very unique and ornate and had the most beautiful stones in it. When it was passed down to me, I would wear it every day. One night I was out and the clasp became a little bit loose so I put it in my wallet to be safe. My wallet got stolen that night and the necklace was gone. I try to remind myself that being overly attached to material objects is unhealthy, but boy did that sting.
My mom also had a Schlumberger wedding band. She sadly passed away six years ago from breast cancer. When I was getting married, I went with my mother-in-law and my husband to pick out the band and it meant a lot that I got a band by the same designer that made my mother’s ring. I was convinced that I was going to get the sapphire and diamond all yellow gold band but my mother-in-law pointed out the two-tone and I really took a liking to it. The whole day and experience was really special. As for my engagement ring, my husband and I picked the stone out together and had it set on a plain yellow gold band. Most people go with white but I love the yellow. The band is as simple as they come.
Ted Meuhling…I would say he is my jewelry idol. When I was young, we moved from New York to Connecticut. Occasionally I would take day trips into the city with my mom and sometimes we would stop at Bergdorf Goodman. The jewelry floor was like a candy shop for the eyes. Ted Meuhling’s case was filled with the most beautiful treasures. My mom had a few pairs of his earrings. I loved them so much for their simplicity and organic form. I also recently discovered Annette Ferdinandsen. She makes really pretty pieces. Her tiger’s eye acorn is brilliant, as are her bird of paradise earrings.
I feel like I have been able to slow down a bit more on the West Coast. I have a garden, I go horseback riding, and hiking. I believe it has relaxed my style a bit and made me a little more “earthy.” I’m not trying to keep up with the trends or have the new this or that. I’m just enjoying what I have. Although, Van Cleef & Arpels Mini Alhambra earrings and the Kathy Rose Eagle bracelet are on my wishlist! -Beth Yorn of Elisabeth Bell Jewelry