In My Jewellery Box: Yasmin Hemmerle

Yasmin Hemmerle
Yasmin Hemmerle

Egyptian-born Yasmin Hemmerle says she has “jewellery in her blood”. Her mother and grandmothers were keen jewellery aficionados - her maternal grandmother wore pieces designed by her creative husband, while her father’s mother collected classic and antique jewels - and Yasmin spent some time working at a diamond dealer in Paris. She met her match in her husband, Christian Hemmerle, a fourth-generation member of the Hemmerle family, which founded the Munich-based jewellery house in 1893.

Today Yasmin and Christian work alongside his parents, Stefan and Sylveli, at the helm of the brand, which is known for its innovative, one-off designs and use of unusual materials such as iron, titanium, wood and pebbles alongside precious stones. Handmade in the Munich atelier, Hemmerle jewels have been exhibited in museums around the world and are much sought-after by art and jewellery connoisseurs at shows such as TEFAF Maastricht, Masterpiece London and PAD.

As she travels the world sourcing exceptional gemstones and unusual materials that complement the bold Hemmerle aesthetic, Yasmin has honed her creative eye and taste for unusual jewels. She shares the most precious pieces from her own collection.

Boucheron watch

Boucheron Reflet watch in white and yellow gold with leather strap Credit: Hemmerle

This watch was a 16th birthday present from my parents and I still wear it today. I’m not really a watch person, unlike my my brother who adores watches so he would always ask for a watch, but I just fell in love with this one. My mother had the same one in gold with a gold strap which I always used to play with so I guess that’s how I knew about it.

I love that you can change the strap so easily: you don’t have to go to a watch shop, you just decide what colour you want and switch it. It’s easy, it’s light, it’s feminine and delicate, not too loud: you wear it, the watch doesn’t wear you. I originally had a pink lizard strap but now I wear it with a grey strap. I enjoying wearing it now as much as I did when I was 16.

Hemmerle olive wood and brown diamond bangle

Hemmerle bangle, brown diamonds, wood, copper and white gold  Credit: Hemmerle

When I first married my husband this was one of the pieces that caught my eye straightaway. I have quite small wrists and I remember him saying that they could never make it in my size because the proportions would be wrong. Shortly after he had one specially made for me and I was over the moon. Since then I practically haven’t taken it off; it’s become my second skin.

I love the simplicity and the mechanics of it and its smell: it still smells of olive oil because it’s made of olive tree, even though I’ve been wearing it for eight years. I wear it with jeans during the day and with a ballgown at night and it looks completely different every time. It’s super comfortable, I can do everything in it: go to the playground, to the office, to dinners, it’s always on me. I feel bare without it.

Turquoise brooch

Antique brooch, turquoise, lapis lazuli, diamonds, gold Credit: Hemmerle

My grandfather designed this brooch for my grandmother. He was a very creative man, one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. He painted a lot, always the most unusual things: he’d find a tyre on the street and make it into a painting, that sort of thing.

He also designed and created a lot of jewellery: not classical jewellery but things that caught his artistic eye. I always say that jewellery runs in my veins. He made my grandmother a beautiful scarab ring, for example. He had this brooch made somewhere in Egypt. It’s very Egyptian with the turquoise - which protects against the evil eye - lapis and diamonds.

I lost both my grandparents last year and this reminds me of both of them. It was passed on to me years ago and I’ll wear it once in a while on a dress - not always classically at the shoulder, maybe further down, it depends on my mood. It’s nice to own something of hers.

Vintage diamond cross

Antique cross pendant, diamonds, white gold Credit: Hemmerle

This was given to me by my father’s mother for my wedding. I had seen it in her collection and it caught my eye. She asked me what I was wearing for the wedding and I told her I had a pair of earrings and she offered me this cross to wear as well. My wedding dress was sleeveless and on the day I wore a little bolero covering my shoulders with this cross right in the middle on my collarbone.

It’s an old Victorian piece, it’s not signed so I’m not sure who it’s by but it is beautiful, with rose-cut diamonds. I think she bought it in Paris as an antique. She was a big jewellery lover and connoisseur: she collected across the board: Boivin, Boucheron, Van Cleef, all the classical brands, as well as modern and antique pieces, everything that caught her eye. But it’s not important to me who made this, what was important was that it came from my grandmother.

Natural pearl earrings

Earrings, natural antique pearls white gold Credit: Hemmerle

My birthstone is pearl and I love them. My mother-in-law always says when one is feeling tired the best thing is to wear pearls: they pick you up because of the lustre. I’d never heard it before but it’s true! When you’re feeling a bit grey and down, you put your pearls on and they perk you up.

My husband had always asked me what I wanted, jewellery-wise, and I always said that I wanted antique pearls. He found these at an antique fair and bought them for me about a year ago - I never imagined they’d be this big but I love them. I wear them a lot with my olive bracelet and my watch, I like to mix and match styles. I like that I can wear them quite casually, just with a jumper and trousers.

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