They came with an identification report from the International Gemological Institute detailing the shape, cut, color, and clarity of the pieces. The color of the stones in both pieces is graded H-I which, in diamond speak, is pretty good. The fine print: Verlas offers 30 days for returns and 60 days for Verlas credits. TL;DR: Verlas sells diamond pieces in classic and versatile designs — think hoops and studs, circle and heart pendants, engagement rings in traditional styles, and a tennis bracelet — at a lower price than you would find at a typical jewelry store.
Tester: Maxine Builder, managing editor. Vrai incorporates the stones made at the Diamond Foundry into their jewelry. Both are from the solitaire-set and had 0. The solid-gold chain on the necklace is beautifully thin and delicate — so delicate that I immediately tangled it while taking it out of the box.
Luckily my co-worker Hilary was there to unravel it with no trouble or visible damage. Not only did the jewelry stay out of my way during all that activity, with no itching or irritation, but each piece looks just as good after two weeks as it did straight out of the box. Although the classic solitaire setting is a little subtle for my taste, I loved wearing them to add a bit of extra sparkle to any occasion. The fine print: Vrai accepts returns of in-stock jewelry, including made-to-order pieces, within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.
Items can also be automatically exchanged within 30 days for the same item in a different color or size, provided the price remains the same. Vrai offers complimentary standard delivery 5—7 business days for all orders in the United States, and complimentary two-day shipping on made-to-order engagement and wedding jewelry.
Tester: Liza Corsillo, writer. About the brand: Aurate designs and makes all of their jewelry in New York City and sells directly to customers, so there are no crazy markups or costly import taxes baked into the prices you pay. Each necklace, ring, bracelet, and pair of earrings is produced using ethically sourced and sustainably made 14k gold, 18k gold, or 14k gold-plated vermeil.
The company has four retail locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Washington, D. Or you can try them at home for free and keep and pay for what you like. Each piece in their broad range of styles — from everyday basics like gold hoops and pearl studs to more unique pieces like Art Deco fan rings and collar necklaces — is made to order, but they do carry some limited stock to cut down on delivery time.
For every piece of jewelry purchased, Aurate donates a book to a charter-school network in Philadelphia. What we think: I genuinely like 99 percent of the jewelry Aurate sells, so it took awhile for me to pick just one pair of earrings and a necklace. In the end, I chose two somewhat basic pieces, knowing they would fit in with the jewelry I already own: a pair of medium hoops and a gold necklace with a small pearl-drop pendant. Both arrived in a few days, housed in a beautiful teal-green box that included two suede-like pouches for storage and traveling.
I was immediately struck by how lightweight the hoops felt in my hand. Part of me loves this, because heavy earrings can start to hurt after hours of wear. But the lightness also feels somehow contradictory to the fact that they are 14k solid gold — and it makes me nervous that I might easily lose one.
The necklace, however, was perfect. This Aurate necklace comes on an inch chain with an extra jump ring a second loop you can hook the clasp to at 15 inches. I also wore my engagement ring on it while at yoga with no issues at all. Overall, I am happy with both pieces. The fine print: Aurate offers a lifetime guarantee on all of their jewelry, plus free shipping and returns for up to 30 days after purchase. Engraved pieces are final sale. Their larger pearls are ethically sourced from the South Sea with the highest quality AAA-grade, and the smaller Akoya-style pearls are from Japan.
Their conflict-free white diamonds are graded SI or above for clarity, and D to J for color. They offer both wedding bands and engagement rings plus a home try-on program that lets you borrow five pieces of jewelry for a week based on your answers to their online quiz with no commitment to buy. TL;DR: Aurate sells solid-gold and extra-thick vermeil jewelry in a wide range of styles, with diamonds, pearls, and semiprecious stones.
Everything is made locally in New York for less than you would pay at a traditional retailer. Tester: Jenna Milliner-Waddell, junior writer. About the brand : GLDN sells handmade, customizable jewelry think classic hoops and dainty pendants. The company caters to many tastes and price points by allowing shoppers to choose the material their jewelry is made out of — everything from sterling silver to gold fill to rose-gold fill to solid gold.
Bracelets and necklaces come in multiple lengths, and you can even get certain pieces inscribed with your own handwriting. Based on the photos in the listing, the earrings were smaller and less chunky than I expected, but that ended up being a good thing for daily wear especially for two weeks straight. In my ear they are incredibly lightweight and attractive.
The earrings come with two backs, a traditional one and a rubber one, and I chose the traditional one since that always seems to feel more secure. I slept in them and worked out in them, and never once did I find them uncomfortable. The only thing that bothers me is how even the slightest movement causes the bottom loop to flip and catch upside down, changing the look of the earring.
The necklace has fewer details, but I enjoyed it just as much. I never wear necklaces, so I appreciated that this one was virtually weightless. The site has a very helpful sizing guide , which I used to choose the inch chain length. That made the necklace hit right at the top of my cleavage without falling in it.
The clasp is also easy enough to take on and off even with my long, almond-shaped nails. Big plus. After a week of wear it did seem to have a tiny bit of dullness, but after using the included care guide and polishing cloth it shined right back up. The boxes the jewelry come in are pretty minimal, but attractive enough that you could give them as gifts.
The fine print : Because each piece is handmade, standard U. You can return your unworn item within 30 days, exchange it within 90, and get free repairs within the first six months. Just be ready to wait a bit to receive it.
Tester: Chloe Anello, junior writer. Each item is made from 14k solid-gold in L. Responsible Jewellery Council also certified Kinn as a responsibly sourced brand for using ethical and traceable factories and mines for their jewelry. After putting them in, I forgot I was wearing them until after I showered that night. I even slept in them without any trouble.
They stayed in for two straight weeks with no irritation. One other factor I liked: At my desk, I wear over-the-ear headphones, which typically are not earring-friendly, but these cling to my earlobes and have such a low-profile clasp that I can actually leave them on while I listen to music.
The necklace has a similar versatility, in that it looks great on its own but can easily be layered with something else. Even when I slept in it, somehow I always woke up to it laying exactly how it should. I also liked the teal box and matching velvet pouch both pieces came in. However, any customized or engraved orders are final sale and cannot be returned. Tester: Dominique Pariso, writer. About the brand: The Last Line offers both classic designs like gold hoops and simple Figaro chains , and more whimsical offerings like rainbow tennis bracelets and safety-pin earrings.
While most direct-to-consumer jewelry brands tend to focus on minimal styles, the Last Line has the largest selection of colorful, blingy pieces of any of the ten brands we tested. Plus, a lot of their pieces can be customized or engraved. What we think: While I was seriously charmed by some of the more extravagant designs on a scale of Catbird to Uncut Gems , I am decidedly in the borderline-gaudy camp — I want my gold to scream, not whisper , for this story I kept it simple by testing out the Small Diamond Solitaire Hoops and the Ultimate Rectangle Chain.
The earrings were delicate and pretty, and I like how they combine the look of a gold hoop with a diamond stud. The brand pledges a focus on craftsmanship and attention to detail, through a meticulous selection of materials and a handmade process executed by vetted artisans. In , Stone and Strand founder and Wharton graduate Nadine McCarthy Kahane set out to build a brand that prioritized affordability, fine craftsmanship, and a female ethos. The business first started as an archive of rare and beautiful objects collected by Harris who was recently featured on The Stax for her personal jewelry staples.
Today, the pieces are literal strings of treasures sourced from artisans worldwide. For a tight edit of distinctive and high-quality pieces at an attainable starting price point, look to ByGeorge, a fashion and lifestyle boutique headquartered in Austin. The collection is full of undulating pieces made of recycled brass, bronze, sterling silver, rose gold, and yellow gold.
The creators of Auroro have an honorable goal—to reduce the demand for mined gold and stones, a practice with major social and environmental consequences. While it does have an impressive selection of made-to-order pieces, crafted chiefly with recycled gold and vintage gems, we think its curation of one-of-a-kind pendants, rings, pins, and bracelets, all of which are estate or vintage pieces, make it the best in this category.
Embrace color and texture with Bea Bongiasca, a Milan-based brand known for candy-colored enamel and stone pieces that channel a summer camp aesthetic. The designer launched her namesake brand in after graduating from the prestigious design school Central Saint Martins in London.
We especially love her rings, which are playful and can feel more personalized when stacked. Mother-daughter duo Brinker and Eliza Higgins put their heads and professional experiences in metalsmithing and fashion merchandising together to start a jewelry collection rooted in whimsicality.
Bold chains and charms dominate the line and can be worn on their own or layered for maximum impact, as influencers like Arielle Charnas and Whitney Port show on their Instagram accounts. This length cannot be adjusted, so if you have small wrists, they may not fit ideally. Completedworks designs semi-fine and fine jewelry using an environmentally conscious strategy of prioritizing recycled and fair-trade materials in the production process. You can read their full pledge to sustainability , along with a breakdown of their design and production processes here.
The brand, founded and creatively helmed by London-based designer Anna Jewsbury, prides itself on creating pieces that are sculptural, durable, and aesthetically timeless. London-born Elizabeth Gage marries creativity and tradition for her jewelry collections, which admirers seek for her imaginative combinations of gemstones and goldsmithing that speak through decades. Austin-based Bell and Bird carefully sources and curates 18th- and 19th-century jewelry, from Edwardian old mine cut diamond rings to colorful Victorian brooches, that are all viewable and purchasable via its website.
Though, the selection, which evolves based on demand for the one-of-a-kind items, also serves as inspiration for in-house bespoke designs. Jewelry can be made from a myriad of metals and gemstones. Different materials cater to different needs and preferences, so keep this in mind as you search the web for your new jewels.
Stones are graded based on color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. These determinations ultimately play a role in the value of your diamond. Discovering pieces that best fit your personal taste and lifestyle is paramount to your experience and, well, the whole point of your shopping endeavor. We see it almost as committing to getting a tattoo, basically. It might not seem like a necessity, but great customer service, even in the e-commerce space, can make a big difference in your shopping experience.
Given that most jewelry purchases are personal ones, you want to be sure that the company exhibits good communication and patience with its customers throughout the process of selecting an item, sizing, and delivery, should you experience any issues. Additionally, it's important to analyze the warranty options when buying investment jewelry, like an engagement ring. Some sites offer packages that include yearly cleaning, complimentary sizing, or insurance.
Some gems are treated to alter their color or clarity, while others are left raw. The latter category of gems may look durable, but Lampley Berens cautions consumers not to be fooled by appearances and to treat them gently. The best course of action is to follow any instructions noted in the product description. Concerning stones, they have a hardness factor based on the Mohs scale.
Ultrasonic cleaners generate high-frequency sound waves that travel through water or a solution to create heat and pressure. The effect dislodges dirt and debris in hard-to-reach places without altering the item in any way, but this is only the case for particular gems in robust, not delicate, settings.
Gems that are not safe to be cleaned with this tool include malachite, sunstone, moonstone, lapis lazuli, opal, topaz, and turquoise. For more detailed information on ultrasonic cleaners, visit the GIA website. This shopping guide was written by Byrdie contributor Hayley Prokos. Thank you [email] for signing up.
Please enter a valid email address. Reviews Product Reviews. By Hayley Prokos. Hayley Prokos. Byrdie's Editorial Guidelines. Fact checked by Erika Reals. Sophie Buhai. Buy on Sophiebuhai. Buy on Mejuri. What Our Editors Say "Mejuri is my go-to place for gold hoops and everyday rings—I'm wearing at least one piece of Mejuri jewelry at all times.
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The 26 Best Online Jewelry Stores You Should Start Browsing ASAP · Sophie Buhai · Mejuri · Swarovski · Solange · Catbird · Missoma · NET-A-PORTER. The Best Jewelry Websites to Buy Jewelry Online · 1. James Allen · 2. Ross Simons · 3. Ice Trends · 4. Helzberg Diamonds · 5. World Jewels · 6. freefloo.com · 7. Blue. 17 of the best places to buy affordable fine jewelry, from simple gold hoops to gemstone stacking rings · Montserrat · Italic · Page Sargisson.