Every year, Valentine's Day shows up well before we've all recovered from the December holiday season. And then your significant other asks you what's on your V-day wish list, and you draw a blank. Jewelry, chocolate, and flowers are the usual suspects, but how many pairs of diamond studs do you really need? And the chocolate and flowers both have a short lifespan -- personally, I consume all the chocolate faster than those roses will wilt.
If you're in that space of not knowing what you want, midrange jewelry might be the romantic, but less cliché gift to add to your wish list. There are loads of innovative jewelry brands designing gorgeous pieces that are priced from $50 to $200. While these aren't the jewels you'll pass down to your kids, they can be chic and interesting additions to your wardrobe.
Here's a look at six midrange jewelry brands that are delivering gorgeous, feminine accessories at reasonable prices.
1. Grand Avenue Jewelry
I first wrote about Grand Avenue Jewelry when the company launched a Kickstarter campaign under a different name. I immediately fell in love with their design aesthetic -- clean lines plus contrasting shapes and textures. The end result is a classy, expensive-looking piece that doesn't break the bank.
Two pieces I'm eyeing right now are the Rectangle Necklace for $86 and the bar earrings for $80. Both are simple designs, but oh-so-elegant. I love the scale of the rectangle necklace; that dainty chain paired with the 2.3-inch rectangle is the perfect partner for a v-neck top. And the bar earrings offer length in the most subtle way.
Grand Avenue Jewelry pieces are made of brass that's gold-plated. Before the term "gold-plated" scares you off, know that Grand Avenue plates its pieces with two layers of 14k gold for long-lasting durability. There's a thicker-than-usual electroplated layer plus an ion-plated layer. The company also only sells direct via its website, which helps keep prices affordable.
Mejuri has a sustainability focus, working mostly with partners that are certified by the Responsible Jewelry Council for supply chain sustainability, labor rights, and responsible business practices. The company's partners that aren't certified are family-run operations that follow Mejuri's lead on social and environmental practices. Mejuri has production partners in Toronto, Korea, Italy, Thailand, and India.
The collection includes all the pieces you'd expect, from earrings to rings, plus men's jewelry and leather goods. Price points range from $60 for gold-plated earrings up to $2,200 for a 14k gold, diamond engagement ring. Plated pieces are made of sterling silver and then plated with a thick layer of 18k gold, using a technique called vermeil. For a piece to be considered vermeil, the gold layer needs to be at least 2.5 microns thick.
One of my top picks here is the braided ring for $165. This piece is solid 14k gold. As one reviewer describes it, the design is "elegant and classy." I'd love to wear this stacked with other rings or on an index finger so it stands out.
Shashi was founded in 2009 by Danna Kobo to mirror New York style trends with affordable, but luxurious designs. Many of the pieces are made of sterling silver with 18k gold vermeil. The design aesthetic has a worldliness to it, so some pieces are bolder and more colorful than the norm. Also, because the brand has been around for 10-plus years, you can find Shashi pieces all over the place. Buy them direct on the website or from retailers like Saks Off 5th. You can even find used Shashi pieces on Poshmark.
If you're looking for something different, the Etoile Ear Cuff for $52 is a interesting choice. I saw this and immediately thought about using it to wear in that third ear piercing I got as a teenager. I rarely wear two sets of earrings and haven't put anything in the third hole in ages -- but this ear cuff seems like a great option to sit behind my regular earrings on one side.
4. Jack and G
Jack and G is a Brooklyn-based design studio that produces solid gold and sterling silver pieces. As they describe it, their designs feature "clean lines and delicate forms." By now, you've probably realized that's right up my alley. The price points are higher than other midrange brands, but the pieces are solid rather than plated. Plus, on many of the designs, you can choose your metal -- silver, yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold.
Jack and G's Diamond Ear Nut is an intriguing piece. It is a diamond stud -- perfect for Valentine's Day in that regard -- but it features a hoop that sits behind your lobe. This is another earring that might give your older second or third ear piercings a new life. The Diamond Ear Nut is $132 and sold as a single.
5. 8 Other Reasons
8 Other Reasons describes its customer as a "baller Bohemian," but I'd say that term is too limiting. I'm a late-40s lady who probably doesn't qualify as baller or Bohemian -- and I still love this collection. Some of the designs are a little heavy for my taste, but on the whole, 8 Other Reasons delivers a lot of statement at an affordable price.
Frankly, the reason I'm including them here is because they sell anklets. The anklet as an accessory isn't universally accepted by the fashion world. Some say they're trashy or dated or childish. But I stand by the anklet. Especially this one. It's 18k gold-plated with colored glass stones. At $50, it's a fun piece to have on hand for summer when you break out your sandals.
If your tastes lean towards minimalism and vintage at the same time, Cinco probably has everything you need to fill up that jewelry box. You'll find delicate chains in silver and gold, pretty pendants, earrings, rings, bracelets -- and anklets! Crosses, hoops, and chains appear throughout the collection, as well as colored stones mixed with polished yellow or white metals. Many of the pieces are silver, plated with white rhodium or 24k yellow gold.
This quirky necklace has an avocado-shaped pendant that's sure to start some conversations. It's priced at $71.50.
Comments / 0