Handcrafted in Queens, NY, this Japanese Rice Pearl Choker Necklace is from Black-owned, women-operated brand Yam. Yam’s founder and designer, Morgan Thomas, is dedicated to creating new, yet nostalgic jewelry, combining upcycled materials, vintage silhouettes and cheeky nature motifs. This necklace is made with upcycled irregular-shaped rice pearls that Thomas sourced from vintage necklaces and deadstock sources that date back to the 1960s and ‘70s. Because the pearls all slightly differ in shape, this Yam necklace is a one-of-a-kind design. Also, some necklaces will have pearls that are smaller or larger than what appears in the photos. The Yam Japanese Rice Pearl Choker Necklace measures 16”l.
MaterialPearls and 14k gold filled findings
Year of Design2021
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“Before Covid, I preferred seeing and feeling materials in person, but many of those NY stores have closed, so now I source online,” explains Thomas of the deadstock she upcycles. “After I run through stock of a material, I’m left with three decisions: source from another seller, modify the design or discontinue the style.”
“Yam is based in Long Island City, Queens and the majority of our production happens in-house or on the East Coast,” explains Thomas. “Castings are made in Manhattan and gold plating takes place in Rhode Island. All soldering, finishing and assembling is completed by me or my production assistant.”
“The vintage silhouettes are all mined from my childhood, like a spiral design that references a necklace my mom wore,” says Thomas. “I want my designs to spark a memory, like a scent that immediately snaps you back to a specific person or moment.”
Based in Queens, NY, Yam is a handmade jewelry brand founded by designer Morgan Thomas. This Black-owned, women-operated brand produces designs that combine deadstock materials with vintage silhouettes. “Yam is an ode to my late mother and I like to think that my designs remind people of what they know and what they once knew,” explains Thomas.Shop All YAM
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