Antique & Estate Jewelry / Designers / Industry

How I Got Here: Lauren Levy Is Building Her Own Empire on a Jewelry Legacy


Lauren Levy had two examples to potentially follow when she selected her career: She could go into accounting like her father or into the jewelry industry, where her mother had deep roots. Easy choice, right?

Levy took the numbers route, pursuing a career in finance (so did her brother). She earned a bachelor’s in business administration and finance from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University in 2010, then joined RBC Capital Markets as an analyst in interest rate trading.

There at work she would sit at a desk, in front of a computer, every day from 6 a.m. on, hustling and grinding. It was all digital, with limited in-person client contact. While she loved the sales aspect of her job, there was nothing physical to touch or experience.

“I missed that interaction, that connection with the product,” Levy says. “At one point I realized I didn’t want to do that for a living. I wanted something I was passionate about.”

DeYoung pendant
This Edwardian platinum and diamond pendant ($16,000) is typical of the period pieces Lauren Levy curates for Lauren DeYoung Jewelry.

That something was jewelry. The beauty of gemstones. The warmth of gold. The storytelling of grand jewelry houses and their exquisite creations. It might help to know that Levy has a family history in jewelry that dates to 1835, so working with a physical product came naturally to her.

In 2014, Levy joined J. & S.S. DeYoung Inc., her family’s New York–based wholesale business that focuses on period jewelry, with a specialty in art deco pieces and signed jewelry from leading brands like Cartier, Tiffany, Harry Winston, and Van Cleef & Arpels.

J. & S.S. DeYoung was established by Simon DeYoung, a Holland-to-Boston transplant who became a diamond specialist. He was Levy’s grandfather’s great-great uncle, which makes her a sixth-generation jeweler. She says she is proud to work in the family business and, more recently, to start her own legacy within the industry. Levy founded Lauren DeYoung Jewelry in 2019, working mostly with friends and family on custom pieces as well as sourcing antique and vintage jewelry for them.

In December 2023, Levy debuted her e-commerce site offering vintage and contemporary jewelry. Levy says she wanted to build on her social media following and capitalize on consumers’ interest in buying antique jewelry.

DeYoung ring
Levy encourages clients to wear vintage jewels like this French 18k yellow gold and platinum diamond cocktail ring ($4,250) with everyday outfits and other contemporary jewelry.

“I feel like the guardian of these treasures. I want them to go and find their next path in life and continue on, being loved, cherished, and meaningful to whoever wears them next,” she says.

“If you’re going to invest in something, there’s no higher value than investing in something that has a meaningful past behind it,” Levy says. “Vintage and antique jewelry has a history and a story. You get to enjoy those pieces that have already had a life and incorporate them into your narrative.”

Through an extensive network of suppliers and artisans, Levy has extraordinary access to rare gemstones and old diamond cuts. She says her experience in the wholesale side of the business, coupled with her personal style and interest in contemporary jewelry, gives her a unique perspective on high-quality and well-curated pieces that clients can add to their personal collections.

Lauren DeYoung Jewelry is the most fun she’s ever had at work, Levy says—but it still is work.

“It’s a lifelong learning process. Even my mom tells me she learns something every week in this business, and you will never know it all. You have to embrace that aspect to the jewelry industry—that there’s an endless amount to learn.”

Top: Lauren Levy uses her knowledge from the family business at her own brand, Lauren DeYoung Jewelry. (Photos courtesy of Lauren DeYoung Jewelry)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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