The Parisian Jewelry of Simone d’Avray

The Parisian Jewelry of Simone d’Avray
Take the hip swing of a tiny shop in the 6th arrondissement (rue de l’Echaudé) where Simone d’Avray was located for over 25 years, or the flair of her boutique shop in Paris’ oldest flea market, add the devoted clientele who pop in to find their perfect piece, and you have this American, an outsider looking in, wondering how she got here. ‘Reine Blanche B’ by d’Avray. @ Simone d’Avray For 30 years Simone has been collecting precious stones, artifacts, jewels and heirloom charms from centuries past. Combine long-practiced techniques of the trade, tempered with passion and patience, and you have the alchemy of her artisanal jewelry. A dear friend who leads walking tours of Paris introduced me to Simone’s work years ago. I’ve been following her social media posts ever since. Just recently, a piece jumped off the page as a ‘must have’. ‘Chatelaine’ by d’Avray. @ Simone d’Avray You know how it goes: instant love. A necklace of silver, vintage collectibles, and rainbow obsidian, it dropped me right into walking the stone-floored halls of a chateau with echoes underfoot. Here was nobility. So I bought it. It’s now laid away until I fly to Paris, where I will meet Simone, have lunch, and bring home my treasure. The piece had such an impact on me — but I always look for that — for what moves my soul. I found myself trying to picture how she created it; how did she get there? I could envision her sitting quietly behind the counter, fidgeting with a stone to set it just right … so I asked her, how did you gather the necklace together? “Oh,” she said, “from jewel to jewel, my style takes shape…” “Your necklace is made up of an old part and a modern part. I found some of these items from what was a men’s pocket watch in a flea market in Paris. They were in perfect condition. From the end of the 19th century, they were worn by the French bourgeoisie. “I kept these pieces for several years, wanting to integrate them into a necklace, and when I found the rainbow obsidian, everything came together that included these ancient elements. This necklace tells the story of a valuable object kept for a long time in the family. When the inheritance was shared, it was finally sold as an antique.”

Lead photo credit : Simone d’Avray self-portrait. @ Simone D’Avray

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Ani is a France tour guide, creating French itineraries for travelers, and she also works as a Roving Reporter for all things French. She divides her time between Normandy and the Pacific Northwest (USA). You can find all her services at