My favorite type of jewelry is the kind that I get the most wear out of. It’s 14K gold, comfortable and minimalist jewelry. There is something amazing about being able to wear the same ring or gold chain for a month straight without getting tired of it! Time has shown that for a piece to become a staple for me, it most likely needs to be very dainty and be made of a material that will not tarnish. My preference is to wear 14K gold, but I will occasionally also get something gold plated to sprinkle in some more affordable variety pieces. I am also a lot more careful with jewelry that I invested a pretty penny into. I have lost or misplaced so much costume jewelry in my life, that I think twice before spending $15 on a cute pair of earrings that I’ll only wear a few times.
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Minimalist Jewelry Brands I recommend
Catbird is a local jewelry shop based in Brooklyn. They are known for their dainty, barely-there minimalist jewelry and might be responsible for starting the stackable rings trend. They have the thinnest gold chains and chokers I have come across. Catbird also makes specialty jewelry and works with diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and pearls. Those pieces are naturally a lot pricier but would be a great gift for a very special occasion. They also specialize in unique engagement rings and wedding bands. I really like the luxurious feeling of buying Catbird pieces. They are not mass-produced, but made locally in Brooklyn by Catbird jewelers. Read my full Catbird Jewelry Review here.
Price point: $$$
Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Ana Luisa has a very interesting business model that is helping alleviate the environmental footprint of the jewelry industry on our planet. They use recycled metals to produce their jewelry instead of encouraging the mining of natural resources. They also co-create jewelry pieces for Instagram influencers, that are then able to pre-sell and share a unique piece of jewelry with their fan base. Their regular collection has both solid gold pieces that are quite affordable, and gold plated pieces. I have not had the chance to test their quality.
Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Mejuri has taken over Instagram and the flat lays of every influencer! They are a Canadian based direct to consumer e-commerce company focusing on making luxury jewelry accessible, fun and reflective of your personal style. You can be sure to find the trendiest jewelry designs at Mejuri, but their pieces tend to stick to the minimalist look I really like. I got pretty excited last November and ordered 3 different pairs of earrings from them. Two of the earrings were 14k gold, and one of the pairs was gold plated, which they call “Gold Vermeil”. The quality of the 14k gold pieces was great, however, the gold plated one didn’t seem to differ much from a costume jewelry piece you could buy at Aldo. I had gotten thread earrings and found the chain to be pretty thick and not delicate enough.
My biggest complaint about Mejuri earrings was the poor quality of their back ends. They kept coming off and didn’t seem to be designed to securely hold the earrings in place. Anytime I would put a sweater on, I’d hook them off accidentally. It took me about 3 months to lose all three pairs because of that.
I might not repurchase stud earrings from them in the future, but I will definitely give their necklaces and bracelets a try. Mejuri is for sure a force driving a big change in the jewelry industry by eliminating the markups of traditional retailers. I am also a big supporter of female-founded Canadian businesses! (just please…make those earring backs more secure!)
Price point: $$
Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★
Tai would be your more affordable option. All their jewelry is gold plated over brass, hence the price is a bit lower. The brand is based in California, but the founder Tai is originally from Thailand, where she chooses to produce all her pieces and supports local Thai artisans. TAI jewelry is the perfect brand to add some variety to your assortment of studs earrings. They make mismatched Alphabet earrings and have a few astrological based pieces as well. I like that all their designs are dainty, but some also have a pop of delicate color.
Price point: $
Quality: ★ ★ ★
Vrai (previously called Vrai and Oro) focuses on quality and sustainability. All their creations are solid gold. From their website: “Unlike plated, filled or vermeil– solid gold is built to last, and won’t rub off or change color over time. Currently, over 90% of our gold is recycled but our goal is to reach 100%. The remaining 10% is responsibly sourced.”
This brand is also an excellent destination for those that want a sustainable man-made diamond that has the exact same atomic composition of a mined diamond, without the human and environmental toll that normally comes with it. I have not tried this brand yet, hence I can’t comment on their quality.