Remember the days of big chunky statement necklaces and bold colorful baubles? I was never really into that sort of trend and always found myself gravitating towards simple dainty pieces and usually always in gold. There are a few pieces from my childhood that my parents got me from trips to Italy, to my gold cursive necklace that I’ve had since I was born. And yes, it’s about as New York 1980s as you can imagine, and I love it. Nowadays you can always catch me wearing a few gold dainty pieces like my “P” necklace layered up or just wearing one simple piece at a time.
Over the years I’ve found pieces I love from new to me jewelry brands. From trying to track down the perfect “P” necklace for my love of my dog Pork, to my Instagram handle that I’ve been wearing for nearly 5 years straight. Here are some of my favorite pieces and brands I’m wearing and loving.
The Best Affordable Gold Jewelry
1. AUrate New York
I recently discovered this jewelry brand and am loving their dainty fine jewelry pieces. I had been on a hunt for a “P” necklace that was real gold and dainty enough to layer. Originally I was trying to replace a nameplate “P” that was destroyed (it was $30) and instead opted for this diamond single letter. There are so many pretty necklaces, bracelets, and more in their shop. I kind of want them all! After owning a few pieces from AUrate, fine jewelry and non, I can tell you their quality is fantastic. Big fan of this brand and will buy again.
2. Mejuri Zodiac Necklace
I surprised myself when I found this brand through an Instagram ad and ended up buying not one but two things from their site. You may see me wearing this round gold necklace all the time and it’s my zodiac, Aquarius. It’s gold vermeil, which is a thick coating of gold over sterling silver. It’s not your standard gold plated that tends to chip and diminish more easily over time. I’ve had mine for years and never take it off and it still looks great. Vermeil definitely holds up a lot better than gold plated and love that there are so many options to choose from. It makes gold jewelry much more affordable.
3. Mejuri Thumb Ring & Croissant Ring
Mejuri is such a great jewelry brand and I have a few other pieces from them. I wear a gold thumb ring every single day that I love. It’s thin, simple – I love it. And I also picked up their popular croissant ring while visiting their shop in Soho. Highly recommend it if you’re in NYC, it’s such a cute store. So many beautiful and affordable pieces to shop.
4. Madewell Earrings
No surprise here! I love all things Madewell and that also means their jewelry. I typically wear a lot of their earrings. Their affordable price point and great quality make this a favorite spot to grab new pieces. Plus, they’re all super pretty. I’ve been living in their classic gold hoops (both sizes!) lately. The big hoops are definitely statement earrings!
5. Taudrey Jewelry Nameplate Necklace
This is the nameplate I’ve had for years. We received these with our Instagram handles on it years ago at the 2nd Annual Blog Societies Conference (previously Southern Blog Society, boy how time flies!).
6. Pierced Jewelry
I get quite a few questions about a few of my piercings (you can check them all out in this post) from time to time. Specifically my conch piercing. Many people just have a cuff which I may actually suggest doing. It’s an insanely painful piercing to not only pierce but also heal. As in, it took over 9 months and was not pretty or comfortable. A few years ago I switched out all my ear piercings from that high school sterling silver crap we all had and swapped them out for high-quality yellow gold. They look so much better and match the rest of my jewelry. I also think they’re a little more elevated and feel more grown up.
7. Gold Bracelets
The question I get asked the MOST about when it comes to jewelry is usually where are those gold chain bracelets from. I wear two gold bracelets every single day. One is from my Dad that I basically took from him and had it sized for me. No backsies! It’s a classic Italian style chain link bracelet. The other is a more dainty gold link bracelet that my Dad bought me while in Italy. Both are classics that you find EVERYWHERE in Italy. They mean so much to me because they were not only from my Dad, but speak to my Italian heritage as well.
8. Signet Ring
One of my favorite childhood pieces of jewelry is a gold signet ring with a J on it. It’s the perfect pinky ring and an essential piece of jewelry to round out your collection. There are so many options to choose from now from affordable to more fine jewelry options that even have pretty gemstones in them.
9. Gold Huggies
This set of gold huggies have been game changer. I love to wear earrings but hate having to take them in and out all the time since I refuse to sleep in them. A huggie allows you to sleep in your earrings without being bothered by the backs of them. This set from Shashi is under $70 and love the three sizes you can choose from. Where one set, or two, they’re perfect!
10. Emerald Cut Diamond Studs
These are definitely a splurge, but if you’re looking for something classic that you’ll wear for years, this is it. Diamond stud earrings will run you up to $1,000 for a decent everyday size. The ones I wear the most are emerald cuts which is a nod to my Grandmother and her stunning emerald diamond ring. I got these through the Diamond Concierge which was such a fun experience and one I highly recommend. Read more about it here.
11. Diamond Necklace
As I’m sure many of you have old jewelry in your jewelry box that you never wear, I had a few pieces from an ex that I just did not like. I never wore the diamond earrings, and I had a necklace that was just not my style and in white gold. I decided to turn these 5 diamonds into something new and special. I used Kate the Diamond Concierge again for this and utilized her upcyle program. She basically turns your old jewelry you never wear into something new and amazing just for you. There’s a $97 upcycle consultation fee on top of the jewelry labor but you can waive this fee with code JESSICA97. This was such a cool experience and I love my new pieces she made which you can see here.
12. Diamond Pinky Ring
After my beloved Boston Terrier, Pork, passed away I wanted to commemorate her with a piece of jewelry. In a fog of emotions, I headed to a local jewelry store to shop for a diamond pinky ring. I had been wanting one for a while and thought this would be a good reason to get one. I ended up doing a custom ring with 12 stones to represent her 12 years. I even had them engrave her name on the inside. It means so much to me and I just love it.
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Featured image by Hannah Lozano
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