Good stores for $50–$250 jewelry in silver or other metals?
July 4, 2016 6:50 PM   Subscribe

It seems like there’re plenty of stores with $15 earrings and stores with $500 earrings, but I’m having a bit of trouble finding stores with jewelry in that middle ground of like $50–$250 (ish). Basically, I’m looking for stores with jewelry that I could potentially wear every day but which won’t fall apart after a year or two.

If it helps at all, I tend to go for metal jewelry, like silver and other metals, and I’m not really into a jewelry with a lot of color, such as gemstones or tassels. I’ve got a few things from James Avery that I like, and I’m also a fan of Anita Sarkeesian’s style.

In the near term, I’m looking for some leads on some hoop earrings roughly around 1½″–3″, give or take (in silver or another non-golden-colored metal). And in general, I’d love to hear any recommendations for stores (online or otherwise) for jewelry such as earrings and necklaces and rings that don’t have that “lowest bidder” feel of workmanship but which doesn’t cost as much as an Apple Watch either.
posted by Handcoding to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (28 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
I see things like that at craft shows a lot, I don't know what they have in your area.
posted by bongo_x at 7:24 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I really like Holly Yashi. Much of it is quite colorful but they specialize in metals and most pieces come in different color options and there's usually a subdued or solid toned option. Here are nice medium sized hoops that come in gold or silver. They come in other sizes too. You might like these necklaces maybe? I've got a pair of earrings and a bracelet that I've worn (and frankly slightly abused) for a few years now and they've all held up wonderfully.
posted by Mizu at 7:30 PM on July 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


That's right in the sweet spot of department stores, the mall anchor type. Nordstrom, Macy's, Dillard's, even JC Penney. Kohls, too.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:32 PM on July 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have had incredible luck on Etsy. If you search for "silver jewelry India" there are a lot of great shops. I've gotten some gorgeous, really unique pieces for $15-30 of 925 silver with different gemstones. I've even found some really pretty pendants for $5-10, and just got the chains locally.

The only downside is that shipping, although included with price, can take anywhere from 2 weeks to over a month to arrive in the U.S.
posted by floweredfish at 7:35 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Winners actually has quite nice jewelry in this range. If you're in the US, TJMaxx is American Winners.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:04 PM on July 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


All my everyday wear jewelry is from a local metalsmith / watchmaker, and he does amazing custom work as well if you can't find exactly what you want. Link. Mostly sterling silver on the site but he can work with any metal, I commissioned a ring from him that is my favorite piece of jewelry EVER.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:09 PM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Here are some white gold hoop earrings that I think are quite nice from TJMaxx. They're $79. They don't say plated, but even 14K would be plated not solid for that price, I have to imagine.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:09 PM on July 4, 2016


Weirdly, Sundance Catalog. You have to read the reviews--quality seems a bit uneven, but you can get some decent jewelry from them in that price range. Tending towards a hippie style, but some more basic stuff, too.
posted by praemunire at 8:29 PM on July 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


I find fab.com's jewelry section a decent place to discover independent designers making quality stuff. They have just a few pieces from any given designer (often at the lower end of the designer's price range), but they make it easy to go to the designer's own site. They tend towards certain aesthetics, but, well, that's life. CatbirdNYC is another site that showcases a lot of different designers with high-quality work; price is an order of magnitude higher than Fab but some still falls into your range and it's a good way to discover indie designers.

Individiual designers I've bought from and like who work in that range -- Holly Yashi, mentioned above; a lot of her stuff may be too colorful for you but she has some more plainly-colored and it's all so lightweight and sturdy. Kris Nations (she's gone a bit Southwestern for my taste but I always check the new collections anyway and sometimes find stuff I love -- I have worn her stuff HARD and for years and it's in great shape still). Vanessa Gade, particularly fond of "inner circle." i and i jewelry (I am wearing these earrings right now, they are crazy comfortable because so teeny).

Strongly second finding a local corporate-ish jeweler (a non-chain place that does a robust engagement ring business and also replaces watch batteries will almost certainly have some stuff you like in your price range and the quality will be good) -- for staples and basics like hoop earrings and chains and simple pendants you can do really well. And a local indie designer/jeweler who can make your specific dreams come true!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:07 PM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nordstrom's and Macy's for sure. It took me awhile to figure this out, too, but now they're my go-to when I need a nice pair of earrings or necklace either for everyday or special occasion wear. The selection can be a bit overwhelming, but I always have luck finding a salesperson and saying, "I'm looking for X in this price range, can you show me where I'm likely to find it?"

I also got a lot of really nice, unique, well-made silver jewelry in your price range at a local art co-op/gallery in the city I just moved away from. If you have anything like that near you, definitely check it out.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:20 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gravel & Gold have some groovy different sized hoop earrings (at the bottom of the page)
posted by speakeasy at 3:02 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I always have luck with www.ross-simons.com for that stuff, and their search by price function.
posted by slateyness at 3:20 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nthing Holly Yashi. Much of their stuff is niobium or titanium, so it's durable and looks magical.

I came in to say "check your local museum's gift shop." It can be hit or miss, but I've gotten great-quality unique jewelry from a variety of museum gift shop. Prices range from "expensive souvenir" to "legit art piece" so you should find something in your range.
posted by blnkfrnk at 5:24 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Art/craft fairs are wonderful sources for nice jewelry in your price range. Many of the artists from the fairs are also represented at artisan shops, most of which are also online, making it easier to acquire nice handmade jewelry without attending a fair. Ed Levin made one of my favorite pairs of earrings (see the Allegro hoops at the bottom of the linked page). The linked store, Appalachian Spring, is a particularly nice artisan store which represents other jewelry makers as well. If you like Ed Levin, though, do shop around for the best price.

I'm also particularly fond of Diana Marksz' work; I get more compliments on the pendant and earrings she made than all my other jewelry combined.
posted by DrGail at 5:30 AM on July 5, 2016


Seconding Ross Simons (ross-simons.com). They have some stupidly expensive stuff, but also real solid stuff at the $125-200 range particularly necklaces.

Blue Nile is good for plain silver (earrings).

If you like the style, Danforth Pewter has jewelry (earrings, matching necklaces) that holds up very well around that range but they tend to be more colorful metal (no gemstones or tassels though).
posted by typecloud at 5:57 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Etsy is a great resource, especially if you like slightly offbeat jewelry. You do have to be careful you're buying from an actual maker and not a resell shop, though. I really like Talismana Designs or, for more subtle options, Sasha Bell, who makes lots of smallish embellished hoops.

I have found some great jewelry at middle-range art galleries, as well. Often it's affordable even if the art isn't.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 6:30 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


You might like the jewellery from Moorea Seal. Simple, beautiful, and well-made.
posted by toby_ann at 6:34 AM on July 5, 2016


Etsy is a great resource, especially if you like slightly offbeat jewelry. You do have to be careful you’re buying from an actual maker and not a resell shop, though.
I don’t suppose you might have any tips on sussing out Etsy’s actual makers from the resell shops? (Or is it as simple as looking for the words “maker” or “reseller”?)
posted by Handcoding at 9:29 AM on July 5, 2016


I really like Pat Daugherty Jewelry. Disclaimer- I have taken her classes and she's great! She would customize designs too. Definitely unique, wearable, and well-made.
posted by the twistinside at 9:48 AM on July 5, 2016


I really like Silpada and it's right in that price range. It's a "home party" brand but I just buy direct online. Good quality, very solid.
posted by peep at 10:04 AM on July 5, 2016


20 strand liquid silver from SW Native American crafters.
posted by brujita at 11:20 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I like to buy jewelry directly from independent artisans. Examples to consider (on my phone so I can't link): Kythryne Aisling of Wyrding Studios, Christophe Poly. Jewelry making blogs often feature specific artists, some on Etsy and some not, so you know they're legit. Also, a willingness to take custom orders/commissions is a good sign of the seller being the real artist.

And see if your city has a weekend craft fair any time this summer. That's a great place to find mid-priced handmade jewelry. Or Seattle's Pike Place Market, NYC's Chelsea Market, if you're lucky enough to live in a place with one of those.
posted by serelliya at 12:01 PM on July 5, 2016


I don’t suppose you might have any tips on sussing out Etsy’s actual makers from the resell shops? (Or is it as simple as looking for the words “maker” or “reseller”?)

Use a reverse image search on the images in the listing. Many resellers just use the promo image from their wholesaler.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:15 PM on July 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


"I don’t suppose you might have any tips on sussing out Etsy’s actual makers from the resell shops? "

Unrealistically low prices for handmade items; also, if you find, say, a laurel-leaf hair comb you really like, pop some descriptive search terms into etsy and see how many other makers have the exact same haircomb. Also ebay. Now, sometimes (as in the case of that particular haircomb) that's because the laurel leaf element is readily available in mainstream crafting catalogs and lots of different makers use that element in a variety of ways. But when you see it glued to a comb and listed for $40, you're being ripped off. Other times it's just something they're buying in bulk on alibaba.

Read reviews, look at the location the shop ships from (those located in China are more likely to be resellers; American shops selling at Claire's prices are clearly resellers), and just poke around the seller's shop and see if their work seems truly original and handmade or whether you can find the same things in EVERY shop. I usually follow shops I like for a while and see what kinds of things they add and how often and how their reviews are before taking the plunge. Most established designers who sell through etsy also have a webshop that they link to that you can go check out -- or at least other social media. That can give you a good idea too. (Newer designers who are just starting out/seeing if there's a market are more likely to JUST have an etsy shop and no further professional web presence.)

You can also reverse image search; a lot of resellers just use the alibaba marketing materials as their photo, they're lazy.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:53 PM on July 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Of A Kind has limited edition jewelry in that price range. I'm a big fan.
posted by MrBobinski at 5:17 PM on July 5, 2016


If an Etsy shop isn't a sponsored site or has sponsored advertisements, it's usually the real deal, but of course, YMMV.

Also the "info" tab for each shop gives seller information and it's pretty easy to figure out as well.
posted by floweredfish at 7:19 PM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Some Etsy jewelry shops I like and/or have purchased from that may suit you: Revonav, Loop Handmade, Moonsilver Studio, Down to the Wire Designs, Lolide.

I'm a fiend when it comes to sniffing out Etsy resellers after getting burned by one at Maker Fair. I look for individuals selling jewelry items that don't really match in style or substance, or selling items that have the same motif but done differently (most people who make, say, angel wings make them in the same way over and over again). I also search Etsy with keywords. I'd be willing to bet that 90% of "tribal" jewelry sellers on Etsy are resellers. Here's one mentioned in this thread, and another seller. Same earrings.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:04 AM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


individuals selling jewelry items that don't really match in style or substance

This is very true for handmade, but not so much for vintage shops on Etsy!
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 9:52 AM on July 7, 2016


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