There comes a day in every self-respecting adult woman’s life, when — after years of silent acceptance — she has the life-changing, outlook-altering epiphany we all one day have, and she proudly declares to the world: “I will not spend one more penny on cheap jewellery that is ruined after three wears.” Is this the moment she becomes a classy adult? I like to think so.
My epiphanic moment arrived about a month ago, post shower, as all good moments do. It was a certain H&M necklace, (sorry, H&M), and its once gold sheen was gone by wear number three. Granted it was £2.99, so what did I expect?
But, as someone who at least tries to run my wardrobe by the mantra “fewer, but better” and who prefers sustainable fashion, this really irked me. How many pieces of cheap jewellery had I blindly just thrown into the rubbish? Did my cheap jewellery pile have its own graveyard-rubbish hill somewhere? And importantly, could I go visit it and name this graveyard “The Hill of Cheap-Ass Women and Lost Dreams?” Obviously not important, getting back on track now.
The point is, I’m sure we’ve all done this. Namely because, well, jewellery is one of those annoyingly dichotomic items that falls into either the ‘cheap as Primark’ bucket or the ‘only Queen Bey can afford.’ Particularly if you have a penchant and skin colour for gold (like me), then it’s nigh impossible to find remotely affordable, quality jewellery that lasts.
But do not fret, my lovely readers, because as you can expect, I have trawled through many saved links to bring you a list of the best independent jewellery shops this side of the Atlantic. I’ve also put together a Jewellery Edit for y’all of my favourite picks, all under £100. Proof that you don’t have to be Beyonce to afford nice things (although a girl can DREAM).
My Jewellery Little Black Book
All of these are independent, British-made jewellery shops that I LOVE.
// Best For… Range: Missoma
Missoma is the jewellery shop I am most often peeking at time and time again. They have a huge variety of jewellery collections, with each piece unique and quality. I’m currently all over their Evil Eye collection – a nod to my Turkish heritage, but mostly because they are simply stunning.
// Best for… Affordablity: OMCH
You can buy gold-filled jewellery (not plated; filled. MIRACLE) for as little as £18. Perfect for those of you looking for quality on a budget, like me. Plus, owner Sophie runs a kickass lifestyle blog, and I am seriously in love with this gal and her jewellery.
// Best for… Minimalist Design: Wild Fawn Jewellery
Not only does this have the most beautiful collection of soft, minimal jewellery, but they also sell affordable eco-skincare and soy candles. I’m sold.
// Best For… Maximalist Design: Wolf & Moon
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t only like this brand for its oh-so-beautiful name. These wood-meets-metal geometric pieces are fun, frugal and fascinatingly designed, yet they also are timeless. Definitely worth a browse if you’re looking for a fashion-forward piece without the high-fashion price tag.
// Best For… That Boho Feel: Essentia by Love Lily Rose
Think totems, chakras, dreamcatchers and all the things you’d be clamouring for at Coachella. Or, if you’re a closet 1970’s hippie like me with a penchant for alternative spirituality, ALL THE TIME. Also great for variety of metals and designs.
// Best for… Studs, Midis & Cuffs: Mei-Li Rose
I would also rank this in ‘Best for Minimalists.” Mei-Li Rose’s collection is chock full of clean lines, tiny studs and geometric shapes – all come together in a quality, timeless way.
// Best for… Something a Bit Different: Rachel Entwistle
This beautifully decorated shop is tucked away in Shoreditch just off Redchurch Street. I walked by it for years, yearning to have a reason to buy nice jewellery. As luck would have it, Rachel Entwistle’s shop had the perfect ‘first wedding’ rings for Stag and I. Holds a special place in my heart, and is a must-visit if you like earthy, slightly dark and most certainly unique pieces.
// Best for… Stones: Wanderlustlife
As evidenced from the picks below, I’m not one for colour in my jewellery. However, Wanderlustlife’s Northen Lights collection has melted my cold, cold heart, and I want every piece with rose quartz now.
The Jewellery Edit
1 || Arrow Stud Earrings | from £49 | Essentia
2 || 14K Gold Discs Necklace | £18.20 (was £26) | OMCH
3 || Initial Necklace – Gold | £45 | Rachel Jackson
4 || Spirited Silver Stack | £80 | Essentia
5 || Small Triangle Earrings Silver | £65 | Mei-Li Rose
6 || Pineapple Necklace Short | £55 | Rachel Jackson
7 || Evil Eye White Topaz Double Band Ring | £79 | Missoma
8 || Wire Triangular Silver Ring | £80 | Mei-Li Rose
9 || Dreamcatcher Bracelet | from £85 each | Essentia
10 || Star Cut Out Stud Earrings in Rose Gold | £29 | Daisy London
11 || Hexagon Full Bangle | £95 (was £190) | Rachel Jackson
Love Gold Jewellery As Much as I do?
Sadly, pure gold jewellery is damn expensive, so gold-plated jewellery (also known as Gold Vermeil) becomes your new best friend. However, gold-plating does, sadly, come off after a while, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of your gold-plated jewellery. I’d also say that, from personal experience, not all gold-plating is created equal. High-street and cheap gold plating comes off so much faster than well-made plating. My best advice: do some research before you invest, and follow the tips below to keep your gold
10 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Gold-Plated Jewellery
1. Wash your hands before putting on or taking off plated jewellery.
2. Put on gold plated earrings after you’ve applied your perfume.
3. Put on your plated jewellery after you have applied lotion or put on makeup.
4. Take off your plated rings or bracelets before chopping tomatoes for dinner.
5. You also might want to remove your plated jewellery before changing junior’s diaper.
6. Avoid rubbing plated bracelets and necklaces against each other. Try to prevent plated rings from banging into counter tops and rubbing against car keys buried in pockets and purses.
7. Don’t swim in your plated jewellery.
8. Don’t wear your plated jewellery when you’ll be sweating profusely.
9. Clean your plated jewellery gently, and don’t rub it.
10. Store your gold plated jewellery in a pouch or soft cloth separate from other jewellery