By Ashley Davis
The “Kayila” necklace by Aya in 18-karat yellow gold with tanzanite

Las Vegas--You might have heard of Chelsea Davy in regards to a certain royal romance, but be prepared to start associating the young lawyer-turned-jewelry-designer with emeralds, rubies and tanzanite.

Launched this year, Davy’s jewelry line, Aya, made its U.S. debut at this year’s Couture show with Muse showroom.

“It started with a fascination with the actual gemstones,” explained Davy of her career change, “and I wanted to do something that would take me home.”

20160603 chelsy-davy-launch-2The “Matusadona” ring in 18-karat yellow gold and ruby

Davy hails from Zimbabwe and the spirit of her brand is firmly rooted in Africa, with Zambian emeralds and Mozambican rubies sourced through Gemfields, and tanzanite from the Tanzanite Foundation. The jewelry is made in Cape Town, South Africa, with Davy splitting her time between there and London.

“I wanted to create something that was authentically African,” Davy said. “It was very important that everything was ethically sourced.”

Davy designed the brand’s first collection while staying on the Zambezi River. The resulting “Zambezi” assemblage heavily features a tusk motif to reflect the area’s elephant population.
20160603 chelsy-davy-launch-3The “Nyami Nyami” bracelet in 18-karat yellow gold and emerald

With a simple, less-is-more approach to design, “Zambezi” also features lots of round-cut gemstones set in yellow gold.

“I thought the stones were beautiful enough to stand on their own,” said the Gemological Institute of America-trained designer. “They don’t need diamonds.”

Ultimately, Davy wants to create pieces that customers never take off. “It’s low maintenance, in a way,” she laughed.

Aya also is designed to give back to the communities where it sources stones; the company is currently building a block of classrooms for the Kapila Community School in the Kabufu emerald area in Zambia.

Aya’s “Zambezi” collection ranges from $829 to $6,992 retail. It is currently available at Plukka, Baar and Bass and at

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.