In the past, acrostic jewelry used stones like diamonds, emeralds, amethysts and ruby to spell “dear.” Ayva Jewelry is updating that concept to use words that are relevant to women today.
New York—Fine jewelry meets self-help in Ayva Jewelry’s new “Nova” range.

The collection from designer Priyanka Kedia takes an old concept—acrostic jewelry, in which the first letter of each gemstone in a design is used to spell out a message—and updates it for 2019.

But the words the gems create, like “play,” “rise,” and “grow,” aren’t just new versions of a classic jewelry style, which, in antique jewelry, most often spelled the word “dear.” They’re thoughtfully and painstakingly chosen to function as empowering totems for the modern woman.

Kedia noted of the ambitious women she counts as friends and customers: “To make something of yourself you have to believe in yourself, but along the way we forget that. Even when I started this business I was very hard on myself because things don’t always go as planned.”

The designer knew she wasn’t alone in needing a boost of positive perspective in her day-to-day life.

She decided her next jewelry collection should serve as a physical reminder to persevere through ups and downs.

“I need this,” she remembers thinking when setting out to create the collection, “and I’m sure a lot of people go through this self-doubt as well.”

The first word Kedia created was “play,” represented by pink sapphire, lavender amethyst, amethyst and yellow beryl.

It was a word she specifically wanted to embody in her life.

For her, it means, “let life play out and remember that all the dots connect in the end. That’s something that’s very important for me and something I need to tell myself on a regular basis: that when things don’t work out, they haven’t worked out for a good reason.”

She wanted to be sure the other words in the collection would resonate with other women, serving as the positive reminders they need.

To do so, she set out on a research project, interviewing over 150 women, “asking them what their pain points are, what their issues are and what they feel confident about and good about.”

From there, Kedia identified common themes, concerns and goals. She also noticed that particular words, from “calm” to “grow,” popped up again and again.

“We translated those concepts into jewelry so people can wear them at different stages of their life,” she explained.

“From my research I realized that women are over-ambitious; they’re overachievers and very hard on themselves. It made me realize that it’s OK to ‘fail’ in a way, but you just keep sticking with it.”

Years in the making, the Nova collection is made up of eight words, with each realized in rings, pendants and bracelets in 14-karat gold with mother-of-pearl and agate inlay, enamel, diamonds and a variety of gems to spell out their modern-day day acrostic messages.

To help women choose which word or concept will be the most helpful for them and their particular set of self-doubts or concerns, Kedia created a quiz that customers can take online.

Based off her research and the Meyers-Briggs personality test, the 10-minute quiz is designed to be as accurate as it is concise and fun.

The quiz alone took Kedia and her team nearly a year to create.

When customers complete the test, it not only provides them with the word that will be most empowering to them, but also an explanation of that particular concept, an inspiring quote, a checklist of essential life beliefs (such as: “your mistakes don’t define you”) and a daily reminder.

So far for Kedia, she’s using the new acrostic language she’s created to keep her own perspective in check.

“Things don’t happen to you, they happen for you,” she explained.

The Nova collection is currently sold in a few retail stores around the country. It retails between $1,900 and $3,850.

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