The latest barrage of cheap shopping apps has brought the dollar store straight to our doorstep – and just like you can use them to find cheap household knickknacks and appliances, they seem to have a near-endless array of accessories and jewelry in every color of the rainbow.
Needless to say, sometimes the bigger surprise is waiting for you inside the package when whichever item you bought seems to bear almost no resemblance to the pics from the original order.
No matter how heavily discounted, there is always a degree of trepidation when ordering from a completely new website. Waiting for a friend to take the plunge first may not be practical, however, especially if you need your new jewelry set before a specific date or for a grand event. And this is without adding the possible delays in shipping, poor customer service, or environmentally-unfriendly packaging.
For such cases, it’s best to take a step back and return to good, well-established online sellers. Many of these have been around long enough to prove their worth, and yet their prices are still much lower than what you would expect at a local store.
For us, a lifetime and a career of online scouting have provided us with a little black book of reliable sites, so whether you need a special graduation gift or want to revamp your wardrobe without pawning anything, we suggest you check these jewelry stores first. They are all continuously updating their catalogs and offer superb post-sale service.
Their specialty: Affordable trends
Why we love them: Their “Bestseller” section will help you stay on the loop with the latest must-haves
One year, it’s all about statement necklaces, and the next, we all need to match our earrings with the season’s colors. If you are regarded as a local trendsetter but don’t want to spend your entire yearly bonus on accessories, you will have two choices: either you leave shiny baubles out of the equation altogether, or you invest in two or three pieces every season and make sure they are well-chosen.
Fans of the latter strategy will love the pieces by Madewell. They are always quick to select the essentials for each season, and they ensure to include a variety of styles and subcultures. In addition, all their products are neatly made and look classy, even if they are not actually made from precious jewels.
Ross and Simons
Their specialty: Vintage accessories for special occasions
Why we love them: They have a history to uphold and all their pieces look unique
Ross & Simons has been around long before the internet, and they have not allowed fast shipping and quick turnarounds compromise the pride they take in their craft. This experience means they can offer high-quality items in a variety of “essential” collections, from ladylike pearls to trendy gemstone-based rings and earrings.
Their full catalog encompasses small “stocking stuffers” as well as statement luxury pieces and customizable collections. Their platinum and silver collections always look polished and luxurious; nobody will ever think they were bought online. In addition, they routinely release new collections themed around seasonal celebrations and birthstones, which means that they are a mandatory stop if you are looking for a special birthday present.
Their specialty: Revamped timeless classics
Why we love them: They offer a great balance between pieces from major retailers and custom designs
This is no bijouterie reseller: Catbird is the kind of online store that seeks to revive the days where each piece of jewelry carried a story and was assisted by a devoted salesperson. Granted, this experience may now be reserved for the rich and famous who can afford a personal shopper. However, Catbird has organized its store marvelously, which ensures you will be able to quickly find the type of style you are after – even if it’s not for you.
They work with many reputable specialized designers, and all their products come in beautiful branded cases and pouches. This is great if you ever need to make a gift for a brand-conscious older relative. However, their custom collection is also full of unique designs that, without straying too far from timeless elegance, manage to look one of a kind.
Their specialty: Ethically sourced diamonds
Why we love them: Their history and willingness to experiment with their designs
Zales was started by a family that has been dealing with diamonds since 1924. This has not made them into a stuffy, overly traditional brand, however. Quite on the contrary, their experience working with fine materials has afforded them the talent needed to experiment with youthful themes and to draw inspiration from movies and pop-culture icons alike.
Whether you want Queen Elsa’s tiara for the family’s youngest princess or need the kind of engagement ring that will open doors as well of hearts, Zales will have a good array of premium options and discounted models. In addition, their gold and watch collection also offer many special gift ideas. If you are in the U.S., you can also access one of their payment plans, which will allow you to stretch your imagination a little bit further.
Their specialty: Trendy sterling silver creations and a stellar post-sales service
Why we love them: Their necklace collection, which offers superlative semi-precious stones
Kendra Scott strays a little further away from the timeless pearly and old-school styles that a young woman can expect to inherit. Instead, their creations cross the line into boho-chic just a little step further without ever abandoning the class that one expects from fine materials such as gold, silver, and gems.
Their necklace collection has consistently ranked among the best and most unique, especially for those who are fond of day jewelry. They play around with thin layers, chokers, and finely polished, bright stones, which makes even their platinum finishes look floral and spring-worthy. If you are looking for something a little bit more glamorous, make sure to check out their statement earrings section.
Their specialty: Professional and minimalist day jewelry, pearls
Why we love them: Their eagerness to combine cute with elegant
Kokichi Mikimoto was a Japanese pioneer in the pearl industry, but that was back in 1893. Ever since, the brand may have changed logos and headquarters, but they are firmly standing on their business, eager to share the qualities that made them special the first time around.
They were the first luxury jeweler to offer cultured pearls, thus making them accessible to many more women back when they were the kind of objects that had to be inherited across generations. Pearls remain at the core of their designs, but they never stopped releasing new and imaginative collections that are effortlessly feminine and slightly cheeky. Naturally, they also work with silver, gold, and a range of shiny gemstones.
Their specialty: Sustainable, tear-free real diamonds
Why we love them: Timeless models with new-Millennium ethics, their Curate option
Listen – we have all seen that movie with Leo diCaprio and are as aware as ever about the impact of our purchasing choices. While there is little you can do about the history of any diamonds you are given (or inherit), you can take a stand whenever making a new purchase.
AUrate is tremendously committed to ensuring their diamonds are cruelty-free. All their pieces go through the exacting Kimberly Process. This ensures they come from conflict-free zones and from mines with humane working conditions.
Their Curate advice option deserves further accolades; a quick style quiz will help you choose from five options in order to determine which one is the most versatile according to your pre-existing style.
Their specialty: The statement piece of the season
Why we love them: They’re cool, they’re innovative, and they care for both customers and manufacturers
&Other Stories has long been a recognizable name in Paris, London, and Stockholm. They may be rather new to the U.S., but they have been constantly featuring on “streetwear” sections on the other side of the pond for over 5 years.
As a fully-featured accessory retailer, &Other Stories doesn’t limit itself to jewelry options. Their full catalog hits every box from chic scarves to head-turning boots, but their jewel section is still where they shine best. Here you will find the vintage-inspired oversized earrings that everyone must have this year, as well as a wide variety of unique-looking but affordable rings, necklaces, and hair accessories.
Tiffany & Co
Their specialty: Luxury
Why we love them: Because they evoke everything that is fabulous about success, from indulgent breakfasts to late Sunday mornings
As one of the most recognizable brand names in the luxury items business, Tiffany & Co requires almost no presentation. On the other hand, their new online store does deserve all the accolades it has been getting; it functions quickly and easily, offers intuitive instructions, and looks polished and professional.
Generally speaking, we tend to be more concerned with the design of the actual pieces they sell than with the website, but Tiffany &Co. is not exactly a new or obscure kid on the block. Pretty much anybody who is offered one of their gift boxes next Christmas is going to be immediately happy – both for the successful branding and the delicate beauty of the products within.
The fact that we can now buy them from home just makes it all the better.
Their specialty: Engagement rings
Why we love them: For the beauty and the special occasions they target, they offer very comfortable choices
Blue Nile is one of the major players in the wedding industry, as their luxurious diamond creations are exactly what we know romance is supposed to be about. From subdued and eternal wedding bands to graduation presents, Blue Nile specializes in commemorating those once-in-a-lifetime events that deserve a real diamond.
They offer a wide range of customizable engagement rings in a variety of styles, from modern minimalist creations to superb vintage masterpieces. In addition, their sourcing practices guarantee conflict-free diamonds and a secure shopping suite, which is a great layer of security when making a major purchase. Confident as they are, they don’t hesitate to offer style advice and choice guides; they will help you create a completely custom piece of jewelry, starting from your birthstone or favorite metal.
Their specialty: Super feminine, chic pieces
Why we love them: Their ability to create miniature art pieces at a variety of prices
For the designers at Mejuri, less is often more. This is especially evident when dealing with any of their famous minimal earrings, which combine perfectly polished gemstones and superb artistry in dainty and delicate sizes. They offer a vast range of necklaces, rings, and earrings in gold, silver, and platinum, and they all share the same delicate lines and feminine appeal.
Not that they lack for variety, of course; between their new malachite edition and their “Instaworthy” collection, they have made sure to include truly unique pieces for the observant crowd. In addition, their business practices are centered on lowering final prices to their consumers and providing flexible tweaks to customize their final products. In their own words, they seek to make the kind of diamonds that girls can buy for themselves.
The Last Line
Their specialty: Original statement pieces
Why we love them: The bohemian and flowery appeal of their designs, which spell out fun
On the opposite side of the size spectrum, The Last Line makes no apologies for their love of glitter and bold, cheeky earrings. They offer a large variety of hoops, earrings, studs, and anklets, all tailored to different trends, styles, and personalities.
Their classic catalog includes the mandatory gold-and-diamond tennis bracelets that you can expect to find on any well-tended wrist at the country club. However, a deeper delve into their limited edition “Last Drops” will showcase themed zodiac-based creations and fun costume-worthy sets that will let you play Princess Leia as easily as Flower Queen. In addition, they offer very transparent and quick shipping, as well as thorough care instructions.
Their specialty: Big-Apple-Worthy diamonds
Why we love them: Their eagerness to never stop, with a Latin zest on top
Avianne may be a newcomer to New York’s Diamond District, but they never accepted that as an excuse to stay on a corner. They quickly became one of the biggest players in the area, and when the opportunity to expand their sales online presented itself, they were quick to embrace it.
The people behind Avianne have embraced the democratic yet decadent spirit that makes New York unique. Many of their Cuban gold link chains and Bridal sets become family heirlooms, and they are just as eager to deal with a 20-year-anniversary present as they are to set up a private viewing for a celebrity. Make sure to gawk at their collection of diamond-studded statement pendants.
Their specialty: Fast, fun, shiny objects
Why we love them: Their prices and frequent specials on customizable goods
Baublebar believes that everybody has the right to engrave their name on something beautiful and flashy. They are quite close to making this dream a reality; in addition to an ever-growing collection of bijouterie and real-gold accessories, they also offer some of the fastest custom objects available online. Whether you need to add your favorite emoji to a bracelet or order a set of matching necklaces for your squad, their online platform will handle it within minutes.
It’s not all fast-fashion and funky anklet bracelets though. Their “Fine” collection also hides some truly elegant pieces that won’t raise an eyebrow with the stuffiest of grandmas – although they never stop being easy to combine with streetwear.
Their specialty: Colored diamonds
Why we love them: Their flexibility and quality-versus-price option
Jewelry Point started out in New York’s Diamond District, just like many of its competitors. However, instead of trying to conquer the largest number of debutantes who are behind the same white-and-silver tiara, they have devoted all their magic to one niche.
Their rings, hoops, tennis bracelets, and wedding bands all offer bright and crystal-clear colors that defy our expectations from diamonds. Each one of their pieces was designed around their unique colors, in the best way to display them. In their online store, you will find the traditional and hyper-romantic pink diamond and aquamarine-tinted necklace alongside dramatic black, red, or purple diamonds. They are also very willing to play around with their metal textures and blends to achieve some very unique results.
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