“When I was about three years old, my grandmother gave me a gold bracelet with a dragon engraved on it,” Diane Neuville said during a video call from Versailles, France, where she lives and works. “My mother is Vietnamese, and in Vietnam, gold jewelry with gemstones is given to children and passed from mother to daughter. It has symbolic meaning, like a message of love from family.”
When the 34-year-old jeweler had a daughter four years ago, she wanted to give her the gift of precious jewelry designed just for the child. “I looked around” and didn’t see much, “so I decided to do it myself,” she said. The result is Les Pierres d’Anna, a brand named after her 4-year-old daughter, which was first launched last year.
Ms. Neuville used 18-karat rose and yellow gold, paired with emeralds from Brazil, blue Ceylon sapphires from Sri Lanka, and pink, purple and yellow sapphires from Madagascar. “I have always been amazed by the vivid colors of gemstones,” she said, “and I wanted to provide colorful gemstones for children.”
The brand consists of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets; additional lengths of chain can be purchased so that the jewelry can continue to be worn as your child grows. Each piece can be customized with your choice of gold and gemstones, and the signature clasp is shaped like Vietnam’s national flower, the lotus, and can be engraved with a name or monogram.
Les Pierres d’Anna offers different designs, with more to come. “I wanted themes that spoke to kids; I wanted something fun,” Ms. Neuville said. Two examples are her floral and butterfly designs, “always presented in a colorful way.” The body of the butterfly is a marquise-cut sapphire, with the center located between golden wings; the petals of the flower are made of the gemstone. The constellation design features gemstones sparkling like stars on a gold chain.
There is also the Cinderella series. The design features the golden outline of Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage. “I designed it to appeal to parents and kids,” she said. “Your mothers, your grandmothers, generations have known this fairy tale. It represents the identity of my brand, which is to create jewelry that lasts a lifetime” and can be passed down.
The Melody collection, also Ms. Neuville’s personal creation, includes earrings and necklaces with gold treble clefs, and a bracelet with five gold chains, like the staves in a piece of music, with gemstones replacing the notes. “I love music and studied at the Conservatory of Versailles for 10 years when I was young.”
Before becoming a jeweler, Ms. Neuville studied business. She holds a master’s degree in marketing and finance from the École Des Hautes Études Commerciales du Nord (EDHEC) in Lille, France. After graduation, she worked in the business departments of luxury brands such as Parfums Christian Dior, Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari.
She says the experience was invaluable: “I worked in marketing, planning and sales and learned about the jewelry making process and consumer relations. It gave me valuable insights into the jewelry industry and helped me develop strategies.”
Ms. Neuville subsequently studied at the Ecole Haute Joaillerie in Paris. “I wanted to learn the basics of jewelry making and fully understand the process, so I took a course on the importance of craftsmanship,” she said. “I also want to learn gouache techniques because I want my craftsmen to know what I want to create.”
She also made connections, and when the pieces she designed for Les Pierres d’Anna were ready for production, she met the craftsmen she wanted to create them. “I really wanted someone familiar with the knowledge of Parisian jewelry traditions to have this quality,” she said. “The studio is located in the heart of the jewelry industry, close to Place Vendôme.”
“I enjoy applying my jewelry-making expertise to these small pieces,” artisan Didier (who declined to give his last name for this article) said in an email. He added that he “pays special attention to polishing to achieve Gentle angle for children to wear comfortably.”
“I have worked for well-known jewelry houses, but this was the first time I was asked to create a concept for children in 18-karat gold and gemstones, which for me is unique in Paris.”
Les Pierres d’Anna is sold online, but Ms. Neuville hopes to start working with international stores. The most expensive is the Melody bracelet, which costs 1,800 euros, or about $2,000. The cheapest is a gold butterfly or flower pattern strung on colorful cotton string that appeals to all genders, starting at 260 euros. Les Pierres d’Anna also includes mother-daughter bracelets in women’s and children’s sizes. Ms. Neuville said she was considering creating a series for boys. She didn’t have to look far to find the name of the line: Augustine, her 7-year-old son.