The 17 best places to buy affordable fine jewelry you’ll have forever

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Fine jewelry costs a bit more than costume, but you can still get quality pieces on a budget.
  • Brands and retailers like Catbird, Mejuri, and Vrai are changing the game.
  • We’ve rounded up our favorite pieces and retailers below.

affordable jewelry lead

With its inaccessible prices, technical terminology, and nebulous production practices, the world of fine jewelry is intimidating to step into and, for a generation that cares simultaneously about value, style, sustainability, and ethics, often a world that’s avoided altogether.

Not too long ago, we wouldn’t even have considered buying nice jewelry online. But with direct-to-consumer jewelry companies taking center stage, no middlemen or mark-ups mean that you can pay a palatable price that’s closer to the true cost of making that beautiful gold necklace. Plus, high standards for sourcing and production quell any fears that your purchase sets other livelihoods or the environment back.

These online jewelry companies will help you make the decision without overcharging you in the process.

The best places to buy affordable fine jewelry in 2021:

Montserrat

woman wearing the Fresas necklace and earring set from Montserrat

For everyday pieces that make more of a statement, Montserrat has a collection of playful designs that are easy to wear alone or layered with minimalist pieces.

A playful blend of pearls, charms, and 14-karat gold plated settings make up Montserrat’s jewelry line. With its enamel fruit designs, the latest collection transports you to a state of constant vacation. Though statement-making, the pieces are still dainty enough to layer with other pieces you own and an entire set won’t set you back more than $200.

What to buy:

The Limón Huggie Earrings (small)The Frutti Di Mare Fresas Set (small)The Seta Set (small)
Italic

Woman wearing Italic Diamond Solitaire Necklace

Just by skipping the brand name, Italic lets you buy jewelry made in the same workshops as designer artisans at a fraction of the price.

Italic is a membership-based online retailer where you can find clothing, handbags, home goods, and more that are made in the same factories as designers like Miu Miu and Prada — just without the label and for a fraction of the price. Recently, it added fine jewelry to the mix. You can now pick up timeless additions like diamond necklaces and solid gold huggie hoops for as little as $225 and $150, respectively. 

What to buy:

Gold Huggie Earrings (small)Diamond Eternity Band Ring (small)Diamond Solitaire Necklace (small)Baguette Diamond Pinky Ring (small)Solitaire Diamond Bracelet White Gold (small)

 

Paige Sargisson

Woman wearing gold heart stud earring

Look to Paige Sargisson for handmade solid gold and sterling silver jewelry that’s perfect for gifting and starts as low as $32.

Brooklyn-based designer Paige Sargisson makes custom pieces that run well into the thousands, but you’ll also find plenty of more affordable options as part of the 10kt & silver collection. Everything is made by hand out of solid gold or sterling silver and includes pieces like an opal-studded evil eye necklace ($350), tiny stud earrings ($32), and a calendar charm (from $735) that can be personalized to commemorate a special date.

What to buy:

Teeny Tiny Double Post Earrings (small)Evil Eye Small Ring (small)Zodiac Constellation Charms – Silver (small)Small Calendar Charm (small)
Catbird

catbird ring

Known for its delicate rings and transparent sourcing, Catbird is the epitome of cool, affordable jewelry. 

Cool, Brooklyn boutique vibes meet the ease of online shopping at Catbird, where you can find delicate $44 rings alongside sparkly $12,700 engagement rings. It’s fully transparent about the source of its materials, and donates 1% of all sales to non-profits including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. In addition to jewelry that’s crafted in-house, Catbird is home to other designers and beauty and home goods. 

What to buy: 

Mejuri

mejuri_4x3

Mejuri provides dainty, minimal jewelry at an affordable price point. 

Toronto-based startup Mejuri, founded by a former art director and a former engineer and third-generation jeweler, drops new pieces every week of the year, and without fail, its largely female clientele return again and again to its 14-karat gold, gold vermeil, and sterling silver jewelry that’s made for everyday wear. Mejuri’s mission is to have women “embrace a daily dose of luxury.” With plenty of under-$100 options, it makes fulfilling this mission very achievable.  

What to buy:  

AUrate

AUrate anklet

AUrate offers both minimal, everyday pieces as well as bold statement pieces, so you can create a well-rounded jewelry collection. 

AUrate offers both the solid foundation pieces and the unique statement pieces that you’ll need for a jewelry refresh. Everything is crafted in New York City, which also means that NYC dwellers can enjoy same-day delivery of 14- and 18-karat gold, AAA pearls, and ethically sourced diamonds (the rest of the country gets free shipping).

What to buy: 

Soko

soko

For handcrafted pieces that won’t break the bank, Soko is a go-to. 

At the helm of the movement towards “ethical fast fashion” is Soko, a jewelry startup with an innovative, efficient, and empowering model that uses technology to connect with independent artisans in Africa. Soko’s jewelry is guaranteed to attract attention, not only for its unique sourcing and manufacturing origins but also for its structural, powerful style. These hand-made pieces are produced from less conventional, but more affordable materials like brass. 

What to buy: 

Auvere

auvere

The pieces at Auvere are investment pieces, but they’ll appreciate in value over time. 

For top-line luxury, specifically 22- and 24-karat gold, at surprisingly affordable prices, Auvere is the place to go. There’s a range of feminine and more masculine designs, so there’s something to fit everyone’s style. There’s no denying that the architectural pieces are investments, but you get what you pay for — pure gold, wrapped into beautiful designs without the mark-up — and they’ll only appreciate in value over time. 

What to buy: 

Ariel Gordon

avo

Ariel Gordon designs cute, delicate jewelry that is meant to be worn over and over again. 

This Los Angeles-based brand is a celebrity favorite and it’s easy to see why. Launched out of her apartment while Gordon worked as a Hollywood publicist, the collection is made up of pieces designed to be worn over and over again, transitioning from occasion to occasion without losing quality and durability. Its charm pieces, which include animals and flowers, are truly sweet designs that’ll brighten your day. 

What to buy: 

The Last Line

last line

For those who love bold, beautiful jewelry, The Last Line is a must-shop. 

Founded by a Parsons grad and industry veteran, The Last Line wants to be the one and only place you buy all your jewelry. That might not be as ambitious as it sounds considering the brand sells everything from show-stopping rainbow pieces to chunky rings to classic gold hoops. If you thought fine jewelry couldn’t be fun or colorful, The Last Line is here to prove you wrong. 

What to buy:

Pink Tourmaline Perfect Tennis Bracelet (small)Emerald Large Biggie Earring (small)
Gorjana

gorjana

For jewelry that is effortlessly cool, look no further than Gorjana

If you love the “I-just-threw-this-on” jewelry look, you’re going to want to check out Gorjana. If you haven’t heard of it already, this Laguna Beach-based brand is well-loved for its range of affordable, gold-plated pieces that range from simple and dainty to funky and trendy, that pretty much all cost under $100. 

What to buy: 

Product Card (small)Product Card (small)Product Card (small)

Stone and Strand

s&s

Ethically sourced and conflict-free, Stone and Strand has its own capsule collection while also curating other like-minded brands on its site. 

Stone and Strand produces its own high-end jewelry and curates other like-minded brands on its site, creating an online space where shoppers aren’t intimidated to explore fine jewelry. Most pieces are made of 14-karat solid gold — though you can also find more affordable gold-plated options — and the diamonds and gemstones used are ethically sourced and conflict-free. Its first capsule, Good Girl Tools, sets the tone for the types of jewelry you can expect from the rest of the brand: bold, pretty, and wearable for every day. 

What to buy: 

Verlas

Verlas

If you tend to be indecisive about purchasing jewelry, you’ll love Verlas‘ at-home try-on service. 

Investing in a nice piece of jewelry without trying it on first can feel risky. If you can’t make up your mind right away, Verlas makes it easy to make sure you’ll love your new piece. The brand offers a try-at-home program where you can try any three pieces from the site for 15 days. The test pieces are made of replica materials (like cubic zirconia and brass), but when you’re done, you can choose the ones you love best and then order the real deal made with diamonds and gold. If you want to pass on them all, that’s okay too. Of course, if you know what you want right off the bat, you can go straight to purchasing it too. 

What to buy: 

Vrai

rings vrai

Skeptical about buying diamond rings online? Vrai helps to streamline the process. 

This downtown LA-based company only uses solid gold and Diamond Foundry diamonds, which are physically and chemically indistinguishable from mined diamonds, and created using solar energy. Vrai’s simple and timeless pieces will delight minimalists and anyone who hates to be plagued by pages and pages of choices. Couples should take advantage of its free home try-on program for wedding rings, which decreases the pressure of choosing the perfect ring. 

What to buy:

Holden

holdeeen

Customized wedding rings are super affordable thanks to Holden

When wedding ring shopping gets so stressful that it detracts from the real experience of starting your life with someone, that’s a problem. Holden is making it easy to shop for and customize wedding rings that start at only $249. Simply request a free ring size kit, choose your ring profile, width, metal, karat, and finish, and add an optional engraving, and your rings will be made-to-order with 3D printing technology. 

What to buy:

Couple

halo

Couple gives couples the opportunity to purchase their engagement rings online. 

The idea for Couple began when one of its co-founders had difficulty finding an engagement ring for his now-wife and saw an opportunity to also lessen the environmental and ethical challenges of mined diamonds. Couple works with lab-grown diamonds that look identical to mined ones (and are actually of higher quality) so that marriages can start off on the right foot — with trust, transparency, and thoughtfulness. Many of the rings can also be engraved for a truly personal touch. 

What to buy:

Knife Edge Ring (small)Classic Thin Ring (small)The Halo Ring (small)The Pavé Signature (small)
Gemist

Gemist

If you love a ring stack, you’ll love Gemist‘s wide array of rings that you can layer. 

Love a finger full of stackable rings? You’ll love Gemist’s wide variety of affordable pieces. The brand offers a streamlined at-home try-on process, where you’re given three costume rings to play with for two weeks. Enjoy the pieces? Just let Gemist know, and they’ll send you the custom pieces after you send your testers back. Gemist also has a variety of earrings, wedding bands, and engagement rings, too.

Check out our other jewelry guides and roundups

affordable jewelry related guides
Read the original article on Business Insider