By now we’re all aware of how millennials are disrupting the fashion industry, but what about the jewellery business? Are diamonds still a girl’s best friend? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because millennials still romanticise about jewellery, after all, who could resist pretty little sparkly things? And no, because well, girls today aren’t waiting for a knight in shining armour to gift it to them—they buy it for themselves, #girlpower. The biggest considerations, however, motivating jewellery purchases among millennials are that it has to be modern, cool and unique.
So, if you’re a millennial and looking to buy beautiful contemporary jewellery, here’s our comprehensive list of 25 brands for your consideration.
It was her Paniers Dorés earrings, inspired by leftover fortune cookies, that put Anissa Kermiche and her namesake jewellery label on the map. Bold yet femininine are words we’d use to describe her brand. Apart from eye-catching and thought-provoking pieces to boot, the brand has got a cult following led by Leandra Medine. This tongue-in-cheek French for Goodnight Bracelet featuring freshwater pearls is what you need to make a statement.
The brand describes itself as “something old meets something new” and we couldn’t agree more. As ironic as it sounds, the pieces from Ashley Zhang are contemporary yet vintage. They’ve got everything from 14k pieces to large-cut diamonds, but the one we’re fawning over is the Pink Tourmaline Heart Starlight Pendant—it has a quiet elegance to it that’s equal parts chic and nostalgic.
London-based Bar Jewellery creates the most beautifully abstract pieces that electric and extremely wearable. Its Small Vega Earrings inspired by Frank Gehry‘s iconic ‘wiggle’ chairs and made from a lost wax casting method are our favourite.
This NYC-based jeweller, best known for its modern yet understated designs, has been spotted on the likes of Karlie Kloss, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Hunter Schafer. Launched in October of 2015 by sisters Ally and Albina Mataj, Bonheur Jewelry offers handcrafted, architecturally-inspired pieces that use reclaimed precious metals in a bid to maintain environmental responsibility. We’re loving the sleek Trendsetter Collection that will effortlessly take us from day to night.
Here’s another New York native jewellery brand for your consideration—Catbird. It is popularly known for its stackable rings, but we also love its intricate dainty details. The Paeonia Diamond Ring in beautifully rendered flower and the Demeter Ring akin to rosebuds are our favourites.
They’re a local jewellery brand inspired by the raw nature of semi-precious stones, geometric shapes and reimagining them with contemporary silhouettes. Pieces from their collections are dainty, a little eclectic and definitely one-of-a-kind. Hit up Curious Creatures for beautiful bespoke pieces (we love this one) that tell your story.
Edge of Ember
Edge of Ember is an affordable jewellery brand with a focus on ethical production and personalisation. It also emphasises that “smart, stylish and talented women who want quality fine jewellery” inspire its pieces. There’s something about the stackable Goddess Rings that caught our fancy.
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New York-based Hernán Herdez is a season-less jewellery line by designer and art director Melissa Hernandez. Its unique selling point is that all pieces are made with recycled metals with help from local silversmiths. There’s something nostalgic yet contemporary about the brand as a whole and its pieces. Our favourite piece has to be its Caged Pearl Necklace which features a beautiful baroque pearl.
New York-based Jenny Klatt and Stephanie Wynne Lalin teamed up to launched Jemma Wynne in 2008, marketing itself as a casual luxe fine jewellery brand. “The juxtaposition of precious gemstones and “ready to wear” sensibility” offers the brand a truly millennial POV. Its handcrafted Prive Luxe Emerald and Diamond Shield Necklace featuring 18k white gold and Fine Zambian Emerald is a perfect example of understated sophistication with a twist.
Since it appeared on our radar, Los Angeles-based Katherine Kim’s fine jewellery label, KATKIM has been a favourite. Kim calls the likes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Kate Hudson and Taraji P. Henson her clients. And her jewellery feature clean lines and unique silhouettes. We’re currently loving this beautiful Anerise Diamond Ring.
Lisa Eldridge embodies the term ‘multi-hyphenate’. She’s the creative director of Lancome, a makeup artist, an author, owns her eponymous cosmetics line and is also a jewellery designer—which we bet many of you didn’t know—who specialises in coloured gemstones in silver and gold, reminiscent of old school Hollywood glamour but simpler and more modern. We’re loving The Kate Cushion Cut Prasiolite in 18-carat gold.
American fine jewellery and body piercer, Maria Tash’s fondness for jewellery developed when she attended a jewellery designing workshop with her mom. She actualised her passion after college and since been creating jewellery for over two decades. Tash’s pieces focuses on reimagining Indian and Pakistani aesthetics in unique contemporary jewellery. Her Opal and Diamond Pave Ring is on our wishlist.
The artist and couple behind Meadowlark Jewellery is Claire Hammon and Greg Fromont. Their beautiful pieces are handcrafted in their New Zealand atelier from luxurious metals and semi-precious stones. Rihanna, FKA Twigs and Zoë Kravitz are among its list of clientele. Our favourite piece from the collection is the Petal Ring, which feature a single tear drop stone surrounded by seven diamond-set petals.
What’s cool about Monarc Jewellery is that its founder and creative director Ella Drake, was inspired to get into the trade from modelling jewellery. The brand emphasises on sustainability and its pieces are crafted by master goldsmiths and touts them to be luxurious and practical enough for everyday. We’re currently loving its Embrasé Diamond & Pearl Hoop Earrings in 9k yellow gold, and made with Keshi pearls which are pearls formed without a nucleus.
If fun and cool are two words often used to describe you, then Origin 31 is the jewellery brand for you. And its Rock Ring, featuring all the colours of the rainbow in your choice of 9k or 18k white or yellow gold, definitely embodies the brand’s spirit.
Related article: The Latest And Most Talked-About Jewellery Collections
Homegrown jewellery label State Property has a lot to tout—it is an award-winning jeweller inspired by the intersection of nature and science, and gets to call the likes of Michelle Obama, Charlize Theron and Lady Gaga as clients. The Blair Minor Earrings, worn by Theron, was inspired by Connie Blair, the protagonist in mystery novels written by Betsy Allen.
The Mindful Company
The Mindful Company is a homegrown jewellery label with the intention to spread love and positivity via its jewellery, which are also meant to be gentle reminders to be kind to one another. We’re really liking its range of charming bracelets that can be inscribed with a personal message or reminder.
The Last Line
Los Angeles-based jewellery brand The Last Line was founded by Shelly and Teddy Sanders. The jewellery business insiders created this label with the intention of cutting out the middleman to bring “well-priced jewellery staples every girl needs and wants”. The brand itself is a little tongue-in-cheek and very millennial, with a little ‘90s throwback. The Diamond Star Bombe Ring crafted with 14k yellow gold and white diamond is perfection.
Vanessa Mooney is the great-granddaughter of Harry Warner of Warner Bros., so expect old Hollywood glamour reimagined as modern jewellery pieces from her namesake label. We love its charm necklaces that are equal parts chic and edgy.
Lise Ferreira is the jewellery designer of Parisian-based handcrafted jewellery label, Vanrycke. The pieces from the the label are a return to simple sophistication of fine jewellery ranging from white, yellow and rose gold with precious diamond-pavé. The Coachella Ring in 18k rose gold with diamonds, is our current favourite, which may or may not have anything to do with its name.
The New York-based designer of her eponymous jewellery label Wendy Nichol describes herself as a ‘witch’. Which is probably what intrigued us to check out her pieces and we have to admit, we love them. There’s something quite Morganian about it, especially these Briolette Emerald Cut Ghost Amethyst earrings.
WWAKE is the brainchild of New York-based designer Wing Yau, who is challenging what heirloom jewellery should be with her jewellery label. With a background in sculpture, Yau’s jewellery feature prominent shapes and interesting contours. These Unfinished Conversation Earrings made our hearts skip a beat.
Xiao Wang makes the daintiest, most opulent fine jewellery pieces for her namesake brand. The New York-based label feature recycled gold (A+ for sustainability efforts) and untreated colourful gems like tourmalines and emeralds. Her Galaxy Rare Diamond Ring is crafted from kite-shaped rosasite, cushion-shaped fossil dinosaur bone, triangle-shaped winchite, white round diamonds, natural colour mix shape diamonds and grey diamonds, is not only a great statement piece but also a worthy investment.