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If you’re looking to make a wardrobe investment, might we suggest jewelry? Between Etsy, Instagram, and a slew of e-commerce websites, there are plenty of options to buy jewelry online, in a space that can take you from Milan to London and beyond to source the best baubles for you. At the same time, the internet can make it difficult to tune out the noise and find exactly what you’re looking for, or what truly resonates with you.
So, we decided to round up the best online jewelry stores in numerous categories to help you focus your search efforts, be they for chunky and trendy gold-plated pieces or classic yet personalized forms from a fine jeweler. Byrdie’s recommendations are based on our research, testing, and a few insights from experts like Laurel Pantin and Victoria Lampley Berens, co-founders of The Stax Advisory—a consulting firm that explores the “squishy” side of jewelry by helping people discover items in the styles they love and connecting with designers to have bespoke pieces made.
For an introduction to some names worth knowing in the jewelry world, and that also have very intuitive e-commerce experiences, read on.
Sophie Buhai has something for everyone. Her clean, contemporary, and conscious approach to designing jewelry essentials makes her our top pick. Based in Los Angeles, she designs with silver, gold, and some pearls and stones and prices most of her pieces under $700—a worthy investment, given their quality and versatility.
If you're just needing staples that are long-lasting but won't cost a fortune, just look to direct-to-consumer brand Mejuri. Based in Toronto, the label is committed to sustainability (currently their gold is 100 percent traceable) and its items are designed for everyday wear. Plus, there's a two-year warranty on any product if damage to the material occurs.
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. They have proven to be durable throughout each season." —Erika Reals, Associate Fashion Editor, Commerce
Swarovski, a century-old brand that specializes in luxury crystals, offers a wide selection of baubles at price points less than $300 (though some pieces run into the thousands). We love the brand’s latest collections—Millenia, Lucent, and Dulcis—which boast some bold and oversized cuts in striking colors by the label’s first-ever creative director and former fashion editor Giovana Battaglia Engelbert.
Solange Azagury-Partridge founded her eponymous brand in 1990 by creating one-off pieces from her kitchen table. Her distinctive creations were such a success that by the end of the decade, the designer had opened her first store in London. She also created the Hotlips ring, an iconic design that ultimately went on display at London’s V&A Museum and became a mainstay in stylish women’s jewelry collections worldwide. You can shop all of Azagury-Partridge’s collections, or commission a semi-bespoke Written ring in your chosen letters and metals, through her website.
If you love unique designs, a vintage appeal, and excellent customer service, Catbird is the store for you. The line is made in New York with ethically sourced and conflict-free gold and diamonds, according to the website, which has a slew of purchasing guides and resources to educate buyers on product care. Catbird also offers complimentary jewelry appointments, both in-person and virtual, to help customers navigate decisions related to styling and sizing.
Missoma makes a collection of small and delicate pieces that pack a strong punch impact-wise. Much of its work is gold-plated brass and sterling silver that looks truly rich against the skin. For layering, you can mix and match your separate Missoma purchases or buy a pre-paired set of necklaces, bracelets, or earrings, which fall within the range of $130 to $540.
If you’re simply interested in the widest selection of jewels, NET-A-PORTER has you covered. The online retailer offers fashion, semi-fine, and fine jewelry to accommodate all of its customers’ aesthetic needs and desired price points (think Roxanne Assoulin, Aligheri, Pomellato, and others that separately take up numbers on this list). It also has quick delivery and great customer service, though perhaps what we love most about the site is how quick it is to spotlight new talent and how seamlessly it mixes them with established designers.
You've no doubt seen WOC-owned BonBonWhims in your Instagram feed recently (you can count Kylie Jenner, Olivia Rodrigo, and Megan Thee Stallion as fans, just to name a few). Founded by Clare Ngai in 2020, this funky brand is fueled by Y2K nostalgia, vintage charms, and bright colors; check out the various chunky acrylic resin rings and Pop Drop earrings. Plus, many are customizable, so you can really hone in on pieces that are true to your style.
Lab-grown diamonds and gemstones are having a moment. VRAI creates diamonds at a foundry in America's Pacific Northwest, which is 100 percent powered by the nearby Columbia River. Not only that, but the brand uses only solid recycled gold, not gold plating or vermeil. Since it's direct-to-consumer, there aren't any additional markups either, which helps keep these pieces relatively affordable.
If you're prone to infections and itchiness when it comes to earrings, try out Tini Lux. The brand makes "all of [its] earrings with pure, medical-grade metals" that are safe for the skin, lightweight, and, importantly, don't tarnish. The site is user-friendly, too, and even has a virtual ear stack planning tool so you can visualize your piercings before you buy.
What Our Editors Say
“I have sensitive ears, so these hypoallergenic earrings from Tini Lux are perfect for all-day wear minus the irritation. Plus, they’re super cute.” —Jasmine Phillips, Social Media Editor
Jameel Mohammed started his jewelry brand, Khiry, in 2016 while studying political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and has been a rising star in the industry ever since. His Brooklyn-based brand honors imagery from the African diaspora in the form of contemporary vermeil (gilded silver or bronze) jewelry and has been worn by A-listers like Selena Gomez and Angela Bassett. In 2021, Mohammed was a CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist.
Fine jewelry brand Retrouvai was named for the French word retrovailles, which is defined as the happiness of reconnecting with someone or something from the past. Almost needless to say, the Los Angeles brand’s ethos is rooted in nostalgia and whimsicality. Its designs—which mix gold, diamonds, and precious gems into something unique for everyday wear—are all one-of-a-kind or made-to-order (i.e., made upon purchase, to avoid overproduction and reduce waste in the long run). It also offers a bespoke service, which customers can use to commission custom engagement rings and family heirlooms.
When former fashion stylist Jennifer Fisher went searching for a personal gift to commemorate the birth of her son, she was left feeling disappointed, like the market was filled exclusively with saccharine and insubstantial offerings. In turn, she made a talisman in 14-karat gold with just the right amount of heft—a move that propelled her into the world of jewelry design and would ultimately make her one of the most coveted brands. All of her styles are classic and versatile and come in plated brass and 14-karat gold. The latter is fine jewelry and more expensive; however, it’s also more durable, which makes it a better bang for your buck, particularly if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t always remove jewelry when showering, swimming, or exercising.
Viltier is the brainchild of childhood friends Iris de La Villardière and Thomas Montier Leboucher. 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. Though the Parisian brand only recently launched, its creations have already been worn and endorsed by celebrities like Anne Hathaway, as well as international fashion personalities like Leia Sfez and Blanca Miró Scrimieri.
Stone and Strand
In 2013, 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. From an aesthetic perspective, Stone and Strand specialize in understated gold pieces and jewelry with small natural and conflict-free gemstones mostly under $500. It also offers a bridal collection, composed of vintage-inspired engagement rings and wedding bands that sit in a price range of $950 and $1,950.
Shopping for an engagement ring online allows consumers to browse styles with ease, and Victor Barboné, a jewelry company that curates a selection of vintage engagement rings for shoppers to view online and in their New York City showroom. Rings purchased online are shipped complimentary, fully insured, and overnight shipped under an alias, according to the company’s website. When purchasing an engagement ring, Pantin stresses the importance of securing a GIA certification, or an official assessment of carat weight, cut, color, and clarity, “so you know exactly what you’re buying,” she says.
Don’t Let Disco
Beaded jewelry is so hot right now, but all of the pieces out there aren’t created equal. That said, Don’t Let Disco’s art-inspired and hand-beaded jewelry tells a story to which you might want to lend an ear. The brand’s name is both a play on words for the don’t let this go and an indication of the founder Ashley Harris’ love for disco. 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. “ByGeorge has a really interesting curation of fine and semi-fine jewelry that is growing,” says Pantin. “It’s been so fun working on that edit with them.”
Leigh Miller Newman’s designs are inspired by nature and its natural elements. The collection is full of undulating pieces made of recycled brass, bronze, sterling silver, rose gold, and yellow gold. There’s also a selection of pieces with semi-precious stones and hand-cast glass, the same material Josh Lucas’ character in Sweet Home Alabama built a homeware business around.
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 2013 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.
Brinker & Eliza
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. Having tested their bracelets, it’s worth noting that each design comes in one size, running a standard total length of approximately 7.7 inches. 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. “She’s so niche and so kind of classic and English, but I love her work,” says Lampley Berens, who treasures a gold and turquoise enamel zodiac ring her late mother bought for her 18th birthday.
All of the designer’s pieces are displayed and available for purchase through the website.
Bell and Bird
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.
What to Look for When Buying Jewelry Online
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. If you want something durable, perhaps look at 14-karat gold, platinum, or cobalt; in terms of stones, diamonds rank a 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, so they’re also hardwearing. Softer stones require extra care and cannot be worn daily, as they’re much less resistant to the elements.
Stones are graded based on color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. These determinations ultimately play a role in the value of your diamond. Even when working with reputable retailers, it’s important to view the GIA certification of the stone(s) in question, lest you were misquoted on the price of an item or you need to resell it later.
Accommodates aesthetic and lifestyle
Discovering pieces that best fit your personal taste and lifestyle is paramount to your experience and, well, the whole point of your shopping endeavor. “Buying fine jewelry, whatever your budget is, is an investment relative to your life and something that you want. We see it almost as committing to getting a tattoo, basically. You’re probably going to wear this thing for a long time, pass it down to your kids, and have it forever,” Pantin points out.
When buying jewelry, nail down what you’re looking for aesthetically, then cross-reference the materials used with your lifestyle needs before making a final decision.
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.
When is a warranty on jewelry most important?
Jewelers will likely fix a piece if it’s faulty, but to keep your jewelry in top shape, it’s necessary to seek the correct care for the pieces you have, Pantin and Lampley Berens say. This is especially important when purchasing one-of-a-kind pieces, which cannot be replaced through any sort of policy since an identical item doesn’t exist.
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.
How do you treat raw stones?
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. Handled improperly, these stones can change colors and become dull, “so [it’s important to know] what the stone is and really what the materials are, so you know how to take care of it,” Lampley Berens says.
The best course of action is to follow any instructions noted in the product description. Otherwise, “if something’s dirty and you’re not sure, some warm water and gentle soap will do the trick,” says Pantin, who uses a soft baby toothbrush on her pieces as a means to a more thorough clean.
What are the best ways to maintain fine jewelry?
All stones and metals aren’t created equal, so it’s important to understand the nature of your fine jewelry before making treatment decisions. Concerning stones, they have a hardness factor based on the Mohs scale. Diamonds rank the highest, which means they’re most durable, and rubies and sapphires rank next. Emeralds, opals, and pearls are more delicate, which means they’re not ideal for everyday wear, so the best means of maintaining them begins with refraining from wearing them daily.
Are ultrasonic cleaners effective and safe for cleaning fine jewelry?
Sometimes. 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. “For certain jewelry, you shouldn’t use ultrasonic because [stones] will detach from the settings,” cautions Lampley Berens. “If you have loose-set stones or a French cut, it can fall apart.”
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.
Why Trust Byrdie
This shopping guide was written by Byrdie contributor Hayley Prokos. A seasoned commerce writer and editor, she’s constantly on the lookout for brands that make classic yet captivating wardrobe and accessory pieces. Her work has appeared in SELF Magazine, Newsweek, and the daily Greek newspaper Ekathimerini, and she holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Northwestern University.