As Hollywood works to widen its breadth of racial and cultural diversity in its film and TV projects, there’s never been a better time to flaunt one’s ethnic and religious pride on the red carpet. And that includes jewelry. From dainty Jewish star studs to glimmering evil eye necklaces, top players in the entertainment industry are bedecking themselves in bijoux representing religions, cultures and traditions.
Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Brooke Rayn, whose eponymous line was launched in 2020 and favored by celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Selma Blair, Jenna Dewan and Mayim Bialik, has included everything from diamond hamsa necklaces to diamond cross rings in her latest collection. What’s notable about these delicate — and affordably priced — designs is that whether worn to a glitzy awards season soiree or a casual supermarket run, they are always, per Rayn, “normal, enjoyable, wearable pieces.”
Among Rayn’s go-to pieces is the diamond Star of David necklace, which comes in white, yellow or rose gold. Worn by “Superman & Lois” star Emmanuelle Chriqui and “In Treatment” co-executive producer and book author Noa Tishby, the “traditional, minimal” best-selling necklace is one of Rayn’s most requested items.
“It’s a little bit updated, but a little bit old timey,” says Rayn of the necklace’s ever-rising popularity. “With its six points and the way it points out to different directions — people feel it’s a reminder of the presence of God in your life and that feeling of protection.”
The Star of David necklace, which Rayn recommends wearing solo or paired with her line’s diamond choker necklace because it “just works with everything,” has become such a hit, Rayn added Star of David earrings, a ring and a necklace with a paperclip chain. Rayn’s line also features a modernized take on the evil eye amulet, long a symbol of warding off maleficence.
The hamsa, a palm-shaped amulet popular across West Asia and North Africa, is also a sign of protection against malicious forces, notes Rayn. But it’s the sapphire, she points out, that gives this necklace its true “strength.”
“The sapphire is actually the second strongest stone in nature, right after diamonds. It gives people strength and determination to achieve whatever it is they want in life.” For those looking to express their Christian faith, Rayn’s “fresh, modern take on the traditional cross” comes in the form of the diamond sideway cross ring, which also comes in a petite size.
“It’s the same cross you’ve seen on, say, your mom or grandmother but it’s a new generation and people are doing things a little differently, so we changed up the style a bit,” says Rayn of the ring, worn by client January Jones.
“She worked it on her pointer finger, making it a centerpiece. If I were wearing it, I would keep the focus all on the ring.”
Rayn’s Love collection features necklaces, rings and bracelets all with the word carved out of gold and diamonds or designs featuring Australian opals. “With its green and blues, opals have long been a stone that emanates love, that reminds us of planet Earth,” she says.
“For me, these pieces are created with intention,” says Rayn. “I feel like women express themselves in their jewelry. It’s the most meaningful article on them. Everyone’s jewelry has a story behind it. People also want to express their faith, they want to express what they believe in. And my jewelry gives them a feeling of doing just that.”