Designers / Industry / Shows

Yael Designs’ New Tesserae Collection Is All About That Look


Named after the small blocks of stone, tile, glass, or other materials used to create a mosaic, the new Tesserae collection from San Francisco–based Yael Designs, due to debut at next month’s Luxury show in Las Vegas, combines a wide variety of colored stones in spectacular assortments to provide plenty of bang for the buck.

“We’re known for a unique, high-end look,” Yehouda Saketkhou, Yael Designs’ owner and founder, tells JCK. “We did not want to compromise that look—we wanted to give the illusion of it being expensive.”

Yael Designs Tesserae necklace
Tesserae necklace in 18k gold with 3 cts. t.w. sapphires and 1 ct. t.w. aquamarines, $10,887

With retail price points primarily between $2,000 and $15,000, Tesserae follows on the heels of Yael’s 2020 Borealis collection of semiprecious jewels. “We sold thousands of units because the price point was unbelievable,” Saketkhou says. “It was starting at just $270 wholesale, and we’re still selling it like crazy.”

Yael Designs Tesserae sapphire ring
Tesserae ring in 14k rose and white gold with 1.13 cts. t.w. sapphires and 0.1 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,790

To create the Tesserae line, which is composed of rings, earrings, and pendants in 14k gold, Yael began market-testing designs three years ago. Then came the need to source the stones—a rainbow mix, including moonstones, tourmalines, rubies, aquamarines, blue zircons, tsavorites, and, mostly, sapphires in blue, yellow, green, purple, and pink hues.

Yael Designs Tesserae ring
Tesserae ring in 18k rose and white gold with 3.17 cts. t.w. sapphires and 0.84 ct. t.w. diamonds, $14,835

“We have lined it up so well between our sourcing partners that we will be able to have reorders,” says Saketkhou. “This collection is not going to be one of a kind, although it has the look and feel of a one of a kind. All our suppliers are keeping a color sample of what they supply us.”

Yael Designs Tesserae sapphire earrings
Tesserae earrings in 14k rose and white gold with 2.79 cts. t.w. sapphires and 0.2 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,404

The top end of the Tesserae range is a $27,835 pair of gem-encrusted statement earrings set with pink and yellow sapphires and Santa Maria aquamarines, shown at top. (A pair of studs in a similar color scheme comes in at around $2,700.) The collection also includes a number of free-form fire opal pendants accented with diamonds and yellow sapphires for a retail price of around $2,500.

Yael Designs Tesserae stud earrings
Tesserae stud earrings in 18k white gold with aquamarines, pink and yellow sapphires, and diamonds, $2,694

“All the years we did business we never had a collection that had such a high-end look that was different,” Saketkhou says.

The timing of the line couldn’t be better. Saketkhou is convinced that after two years of pandemic-induced virtual affairs, this year is “going to be the biggest turnout JCK Las Vegas has ever seen.”

Yael Designs Tesserae fire opal pendant
Tesserae pendant in 14k white gold with fire opal, sapphires, and diamonds, $2,415

“Thank God for technology like Zoom,” he says. “But what’s nice about the show is they get to feel and see the jewelry with their own eyes.”

Top: Tesserae statement earrings in 18k yellow, white, and rose gold with 6.9 cts. t.w. sapphires, 2.16 cts. t.w. aquamarines, and 0.99 ct. t.w. diamonds, $27,835

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine

By: Victoria Gomelsky

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out