8 online startups that make affordable and sustainable fine jewelry

8 online startups that make affordable and sustainable fine jewelry

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With its inaccessible prices, technical terminology, and nebulous production practices, the world of fine jewelry is intimidating to step into and, for a generation that cares simultaneously about value, style, sustainability, and ethics, a world to be altogether avoided.

Not too long ago, we wouldn’t even have considered buying nice jewelry online, but then again, that’s what we thought about mattresses, luxury watches, and wine. With direct-to-consumer jewelry companies taking center stage, no middlemen or mark-ups mean that you can pay a palatable price that’s closer to the true cost of making that beautiful gold necklace, while high standards for sourcing and production quell any fears that your purchase sets other livelihoods or the environment back.

Whether it takes the form of a single, thin gold ring, a heavy statement necklace, or dangling earrings that sparkle with every subtle head movement, jewelry is a very personal purchase. These online jewelry companies will help you make the decision without overcharging you in the process.

Mejuri

MejuriMejuri

Shop jewelry at Mejuri

Toronto-based startup Mejuri, founded by a former art director and a former engineer and third-generation jeweler, drops new pieces every week of the year, and without fail, its largely female clientele return again and again to its 14-karat gold, gold vermeil, and sterling silver jewelry that’s made for everyday wear. Mejuri’s mission is to have women “embrace a daily dose of luxury.” With plenty of under-$100 options, it makes fulfilling this mission very achievable.

What to buy:

  • Sapphire Hoops, $59
  • Rolo Bracelet, $65
  • Spiral Earrings, $125
  • Engravable Necklace, $259
  • Hammered Stacker Trio, $259

AUrate

AUrateAUrate

Shop jewelry at AUrate

AUrate offers both the solid foundation pieces and the unique statement pieces that you’ll need for a jewelry refresh. Everything is crafted right in New York City, which also means that NYC dwellers can enjoy same day delivery of 14- and 18-karat gold, AAA pearls, and ethically sourced diamonds (the rest of the country gets free shipping). For indecisive shoppers, Curate is AUrate’s personalized jewelry box delivery service that gives you a week to try on five pieces and decide which one(s) you want to keep.

What to buy:

  • Flower Earring Back Small, $150
  • Inverse Cuff, $220
  • Diamond Bezel Ring, $220
  • Solid Circle Earrings, $280
  • Icon Ring, $380

Catbird

CatbirdCatbird

Shop jewelry at Catbird

Hip neighborhood boutique vibes meet the ease of browsing and speed of online shopping at Catbird, where you can find delicate $40 rings alongside sparkly $14,000 engagement rings. It’s fully transparent about the source of its materials, and donates 1% of all sales to non-profits including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. In addition to jewelry that’s crafted in-house, Catbird is home to other designers and beauty and home goods.

What to buy:

  • Loopdie Earring Gold (Single), $44
  • Greco Lariat Necklace, $188
  • Gold Safety Pin Earring, $275
  • Kitten Mitten, Yellow Gold, $238
  • Snow Queen Ring, $1,296

Vrai & Oro

Vrai & OroVrai & Oro

Shop jewelry at Vrai & Oro

This downtown LA-based company only uses solid gold and Diamond Foundry diamonds, which are physically and chemically indistinguishable from mined diamonds, but are created using solar energy. Vrai & Oro’s simple and timeless pieces will delight minimalists and anyone who hates to be plagued by pages and pages of choices. Couples should take advantage of its free Home Try-On program for wedding rings, which decreases the pressure of choosing the perfect ring.

What to buy:

  • Circle Bracelet, $120
  • Simple Stack Rings, $181
  • Bar Necklace, $295
  • Baguette Diamond Earrings, $495
  • The Oval Rose Signet, $2,400

Soko

SokoSoko

Shop jewelry at Soko

At the helm of the movement towards “ethical fast fashion” is Soko, a jewelry startup with an innovative, efficient, and empowering model of using technology to connect with independent artisans in Africa. Soko’s jewelry is guaranteed to attract attention, not only for its unique sourcing and manufacturing origins, but also for its structural and powerful style. These hand-made pieces are made from less conventional, but more affordable materials like brass.

What to buy:

  • Sia Stud Earrings, $48
  • Zuri Statement Ring, $48
  • Bidu Fanned Studs, $54
  • Dash Hoop Earrings, $58
  • Lucine Statement Cuff Bracelet, $84

HOLDEN

HOLDENHolden

Shop jewelry at HOLDEN

When wedding ring shopping gets so stressful that it detracts from the real experience of starting your life with someone, that’s a problem. HOLDEN is making it easy to shop for and customize wedding rings that start at only $149. Simply request a free ring size kit, choose your ring profile, width, metal, karat, and finish, and add an optional engraving, then your rings will be made-to-order with 3D printing technology.

What to buy:

  • Domed Profile, starts at $149
  • Octagon Profile, starts at $199
  • Beveled Profile, starts at $249
  • Line Profile, starts at $249
  • Eternity Profile, starts at $699

The Last Line

The Last LineThe Last Line/Instagram

Shop jewelry at The Last Line

Founded by a Parsons grad and industry veteran, The Last Line wants to be the one and only place you buy all your jewelry. That might not be as ambitious of an effort as it sounds considering the brand sells everything from show-stopping rainbow pieces to chunky rings to classic gold hoops. If you thought fine jewelry couldn’t be fun or colorful, The Last Line is here to prove you wrong.

What to buy:

  • Gold Bar Slim Cuff, $314
  • Solitaire Emerald String Necklace, $397
  • Diamond Chain Connected Slim Hoops, $440
  • Antique Rainbow Cocktail Ring, $1,257
  • Ruby Teddy Flower Earring, $1,320

Auvere

AuvereAuvere

Shop jewelry at Auvere

For top-line luxury, specifically 22- and 24-karat gold, at surprisingly affordable prices, Auvere is the place to go. There’s no denying that the architectural pieces are investments, but you get what you pay for — pure gold wrapped into beautiful designs — without the mark-ups, and they’ll only appreciate in value over time.

What to buy:

  • Firebolt Earring Short, $950
  • Carina Earring, $1,200
  • Two Moons Cuff, $1,350
  • Callen Ring Polished, $1,500
  • Cage Collar Necklace, $3,700

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Business Insider’s Insider Picks team. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected]
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