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This article was originally published on November 20, 2015.
Actively seeking out new jewelry brands never seems to make it to the top of our priority lists. Often, we rely on the tried-and-true brands our grandmothers have educated us on, or we resort to buying up trendy pieces filtered down from this season's runway looks. This usually leaves us with pieces too difficult to incorporate into our everyday wardrobe, or increases the chances of our fingers turning a sickly shade of green. But the jewelry world is actually erupting with modern and affordable collections as both young and experienced designers are finding an audience that's much more receptive to their experimental designs.
In a day and age where everyone seems to be searching for "alternative engagement rings," the rise of personal, unique jewelry that deviates from gold and diamonds has become clear. So, we've chosen an array of new and under-the-radar brands to direct your attention to. Ahead are snapshots of eight different brands, with a look at each of their backstories and a few key pieces worth falling in love with. It also doesn't hurt that this gang of passionate jewelry creators is all about handcrafting and researching as much as possible to continue the fight towards using conflict-free stones and gems.
Click through for the inside scoop on who we're calling the next big thing. These eight designers have made their mark on our radar — now it's time to make one on yours.