Spotlight On: Raymond Yard
Raymond Yard was only 13 years old when a life-long career in the jewelry industry would begin for him. He was destined to found a brand that would be handed down through generations.
The year was 1898 and the place was Marcus & Co., a premier jewelry house in New York. He began working opening doors. Twenty years later, he was the company’s most popular salesman. Through the years, he would learn all aspects of the jewelry industry from sales to production.
It was John D. Rockefeller, one of Raymond’s patrons, who convinced Raymond to venture out on his own. In 1922, he opened his first shop on Fifth Avenue. His first commission was a Rockefeller wedding ring. Because of his connection to Rockefeller, his popularity grew quickly among New York’s elite.
It was the period of Art Deco jewelry, and Raymond Yard designed some exquisite pieces. He used high-quality gemstones in platinum settings to design his own special style of Art Deco jewelry. His style of mixing cuts and sizes became popular with New York’s wealthiest families such as the DuPonts, Woolworths and Vanderbilts.
Raymond Yard was also known for his talent of redesigning new jewelry from old pieces. Joan Crawford commissioned him to create a bracelet from another Yard bracelet and earrings set and her engagement ring from Douglas Fairbanks.
In 1958, Yard’s protégé, Robert Gibson was appointed to carry on the Yard jewelry legacy. Gibson worked as a 17 year-old golf caddy that Yard met in 1937. He rose through the ranks of the business in much the same way as the young Raymond had. He became president of the company after Yard retired. Following Gibson’s retirement, his own son Bob took over the company.
The Raymond Yard brand continues to be associated with the finest quality in jewelry today.