Doyle & Doyle The Tales that Jewelry TellBy Rigche Ma
The story of Doyle & Doyle is unique and rather romantic – two of three sisters of Chinese and Irish descent, as beautiful as the jewelry they design and curate, so inspired by their Chinese grandmother’s jewelry collection and its value to bond generations, they founded Doyle & Doyle, an antique, estate and vintage jewelry venture, to share their passion and leave glittering ornaments on life’s journeys.
According to Elizabeth, the youngest of the Doyles, the function of jewelry had been consistent for centuries and throughout various cultures as a sign of power, status, gesture of love, and seal of contracts, and this all still resonates in the modern day. The Doyles’ fascination lies in the realization that jewelry that change hands or are marked with memories become tangible pieces of history, transcending time to inform, connect and continue – ‘knowing you are part of something, who you are and how you came to be, and then to carry on this tradition, explain and communicate your own or your group’s identity,’ said Irene Pamela, the other half of Doyle & Doyle.
Growing up in a small town in Massachusetts where they were the only ones of bi-racial heritage, the sisters naturally became curious about their family history and were intrigued by the relics of their grandmother’s life in China – namely, the small and portable jewelry she had been able to take with her to the US, and the stories that came with the pieces. One family tale tells of how jewelry shopping was a different experience in China in the past; the jewelry merchant would visit the patron’s home to interest them with wares, and it took years for the Doyle’s matriarch to find the perfect jade ring, with the perfect tone and size – since jade rings are carved from a single stone and cannot be resized. Jewelry works as conversation points, and are little treasure capsules that transport messages through the ages.
The richness that jewelry adds beyond its market price is so alluring that Elizabeth stopped her pre-med studies, and arrived at a compromise with her parents to study gemology at the prestigious Gemological Institute of America. There was only one candidate on her list when she approached Pamela, who worked at one of Manhattan’s premier buyers of colored diamonds, to be the other lead in the story of Doyle & Doyle. Their shared history, common understanding and mutual trust shone on their love for jewelry, and it simply made sense for them to leave their legacy in jewelry.
Today, in the Meatpacking District, Doyle & Doyle’s stylish glass storefront is framed by sturdy red bricks and opens into a spacious interior that is both sophisticated and slightly whimsical. The solemn gray walls are mounted with quaint display boxes of various sizes showcasing pieces of jewelry, each with a story to tell or waiting for one to be written. Aside from hand-picked vintage pieces, the signature Heirloom collection features original designs by Doyle & Doyle, and the West 13th collection highlights elements of navigation through time and space, such as guiding stars – like the Doyle & Doyle logo, and armillary spheres.
Doyle & Doyle is located at 412 W 13th Street. Visit their website at www.doyledoyle.com.