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Stations Jewelry

The story of the stations

Emerald 18k White Gold 16 Necklace model

TOMO’s beautiful station necklaces, with their clean, geometric design highlighting the quality of the stones—are flattering worn alone against a simple backdrop, or stacked with chains of varying lengths and textures. The station necklace may look simple, but it is an exceptional class of jewelry that brings together Roaring Twenties Paris, Tiffany’s mid-century “attainable” jewelry, rosary beads, and a 1990s movie about golf.

The story begins in Paris, where renowned jeweler Duke Fulco di Verdura was designing pieces for such celebrities as Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo. As war broke out in Europe, he relocated to New York City and opened his first shop, with the help of American friends Cole Porter and John Astor.

Fulco made unique necklaces with spaces between the gems or beads, modeled after those worn by starlets on the silver screen. He also created the “Say it in Gold” collection featuring stylized art deco lettering, set in stations on gold chains, that spelled a semi-secret message such as “I love you,” or “Dearest.”

After it fell out of vogue for a time, the station necklace reappeared in 1974, thanks to a young Halston model named Elsa Perreti, who was challenged by Tiffany & Co. to design “a simplified version of diamonds for women on a budget.” Perhaps inspired by Verdura, or influenced by the evenly spaced prayer beads of the rosary, Perreti created a 36” chain necklace with twelve small diamonds in gold bezel settings at uneven lengths. 

Dubbed “Diamonds by the Yard” by her friend Halston, her station necklaces were an instant hit. She went on to design some of Tiffany’s most recognizable pieces, like the Bone Cuff bracelet, and the Open Heart pendant which are still in vogue today.

18k Yellow Gold Station Necklace with Light Yellow Diamonds 1

“Peretti made diamonds wearable, versatile and understandable in times of great social change, and modern versions are still being produced today,” says a Forbes article from 2019. Diamonds by the Yard however, lost some of its glamour in the 1980s, when a more excessive and flamboyant lifestyle became popular.  

Then in the 1990s, a designer named Wendy Brigode was asked to create jewelry for Rene Russo, for her role in the film “Tin Cup” with Kevin Costner. Brigode wanted a piece that resonated with Russo’s classic, sporty elegance in the movie, and chose an iconic pearl necklace. But instead of stringing the pearls together, she placed them in separate stations along a skin-tone silk cord so that they had an appearance of floating. (Like a well-hit golf ball? We’d have to ask Ms. Brigode.)

”They are strung with my signature spacing,” says Brigode in a 1996 Entertainment Weekly interview. “That takes away the ‘Barbara Bushness’ of a regular strand.” 

Station necklaces made a comeback in the 90s, but it was short-lived. Then in 2008, a trend toward layered or “stacked” necklaces brought the station necklace back in style, and it looks like they’re here to stay.

18k Yellow Gold Station Necklace with Light Yellow Diamonds 2

TOMO’s station necklace designs are available with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and deep green tourmalines. The gemstones are set in white gold bezel on 18kt white gold chains, which may be Princess length (14-16”), and Opera length (26-36”). They are absolutely fabulous on their own, or can be doubled, or stacked with another of your favorite TOMO necklaces.  

We hope you enjoy being part of the station necklace story!