This story was originally published on March 17, 2016.
There was a time in the mid- to late-aughts when it seemed like the key to becoming a bona fide street style star only involved sporting a sparkly, crystal-covered costume bauble (or 20). But the heyday of colorful bib necklaces and rhinestone arm parties has passed, and now a new guard of independent jewelry designers are offering heirloom-worthy designs for a wide array of budgets. What that means: really nice jewelry that you'll want to wear every day, for the rest of your life. "Minimal" and "subtle" are the words of this era, and designers have been churning out creations that encompass them both — as well as "timeless," and "unique."
Fashion veterans Gaia Repossi and Delfina Delettrez have been focusing on fine fashion bijoux for years, but what is exciting about the new wave are the relatively lower price points — for example, Lauren Klassen’s gold padlock earrings start at $200 (not $2,000) — and the emphasis on local production and materials. Also, fine jewelry is now being touted as something people can own to wear every day. Because if you’re going to shell out for a four-digit choker, it should be something that you’ll want to wear 24/7, and not just on special occasions.
Here, eight very fine brands to consider making part of your jewelry family.