The Best Jewelry Stores
Opinion may be split about Valentine’s Day, but we need the thinnest wisp of an excuse to supplement our jewelry collection. Whether you’re dropping hints—or more inclined to pick something up for yourself—here are some of our favorite stateside jewelry spots that all sell online (and the pieces we’d love to have from each one).
Our Favorite Independent Jewelry Shops
1. Broken English
Occupying a tiny sliver of a space in LA’s Brentwood Country Mart, Broken English is one of those rare spots where you’ll find a $200 pendant nestled next to diamond slice earrings that might be $20,000. Price aside, it’s all good, from Annette Ferdinandsen’s Mexican Opal earrings to tasseled gold bracelets by Carolina Bucci.
Smith & Mara Pave Deep Diamond Ring, $1,700, Broken English Jewelry
2. Doyle & Doyle
Helmed by two sisters, Doyle & Doyle was the first shop to make estate jewelry cool, thanks in no small part to its gallery-like space in New York’s Meatpacking District. Since 1998, Elizabeth and Irene have been scouring the country for exquisite pieces from every conceivable period: You’ll find intricately-rendered Art Nouveau lockets, Edwardian diamond drop earrings, and a huge range of 19th century engagement rings.
Victorian Onyx, Diamond & Turquoise Drop Earrings, $2,800, Doyle & Doyle
3. Erie Basin
While the selection here is small, it’s exquisite enough to draw a Manhattan crowd to Red Hook, one of Brooklyn’s more far-flung neighborhoods (also one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy). Owner Russell Whitmore has an unerring eye for the types of estate and auction pieces you won’t see elsewhere (i.e., on eBay): You’ll find diamond cluster rings from the late 19th century and Etruscan revival bracelets inset with tiny drops of pearl and turquoise.
Victorian Butterfly Brooch, $235, Erie Basin
4. Erstwhile Jewelry
Owned by a fifth-generation jeweler, the deeply-nostalgic, online-only Erstwhile specializes in gems and pieces that were mined before the ‘40s. As they explain, “The most eco-friendly and conflict-free diamond is an old one.” They’re also some of the most beautiful, as evidenced by emerald-dotted, rose-cut diamond rings from the ‘20s, and little gold bands, laced with rubies.
1.07 Carat Antique Victorian Engagement Ring, $13,000, Erstwhile Jewelry
5. Love, Adorned
As the jewelry extension of the East Village tattoo parlor, New York Adorned, you might expect that the jewelry here would be of the skull and crossbones variety. But it’s actually gorgeous, and for the most part, dainty: There are sapphire studded earrings from UK-based designer Polly Wales, tourmaline slab necklaces by Lola Brooks, and diamond rings in the shape of mini-crescents by Anna Sheffield. If you’re ever in Nolita, don’t miss their boutique, where you’ll also find a smattering of home goods and candles.
Nature’s Geometry Quartz Apothecary Ring, $315, Love, Adorned
You’ll only find Caitlin Mociun’s eponymous jewelry collection on her site—but should you go to her new, Williamsburg store, you’ll see the work of her friends, too, including hexagonal brass necklaces by Iacoli & Macallister, and Chen Chen and Kai William’s marble bangles. You’ll also get to shop Mociun’s full line, from her signature eensy, triangular turquoise pendants to her custom rings, which feature a mismatched—and stunning—combination of stones.
Triangle Hexagon Square Necklace Gold, $886, Mociun
Offering an encyclopedia’s worth of designers, there’s something for pretty much any sensibility at this pair of Los Angeles boutiques. We gravitate toward the double eagle rings by owner Kathy Rose, along with the key pendants by Amanda Keidan and Yakira Rona’s delicate starfish necklaces.
14K Gold Key Shape Necklace (with optional row of diamond pave) $1,100.00 – $1,520.00, Roseark
8. Trumpet & Horn
While the emphasis here is on engagement rings, you’ll find plenty for the right hand, too, like a giant star sapphire cocktail bauble from the ‘50s, and a carved carnelian crest ring from Victorian times. There are gem-studded pendants cast in the shape of bugs, enameled bangles, and a deep selection of shoulder-grazing art deco drop earrings.
Utopia Sapphire and Ruby Ring, $3,250, Trumpet & Horn
Mark Your Calendars
It may get less attention than the Christie’s and Sotheby’s of the world, but we think Doyle New York is a sleeper hit, particularly when it comes to jewelry. They’re auctioning off some gorgeous pieces from Buccellati, Tiffany, and Bulgari on February 25th—and for what the pieces are, the estimates suggest there will be some great deals.
Vintage Rolexes (Made Custom)
Watch collector or not, there’s something undeniably cool about a Rolex—particularly when it’s a rare vintage model or custom. These three resources offer the range, from impossible-to-find versions from the 1960s, to bespoke dial faces and black, powder-coated bands.
Purist’s rejoice: While you won’t find any crazy tricks here, you will find an impeccable range of vintage Rolexes that have held—and will continue to hold—their value. Bob’s Watches also functions as a marketplace, too, so if you’re looking to unload a piece that you rarely wear, you’ll see what it’s currently worth. For rarer models (rose gold, etc.), you can join a waitlist and they’ll try to track one down.
Wanna Buy a Watch?
You could drive down Melrose Avenue a hundred times, and never know that Wanna Buy A Watch? was there; step inside, and you’ll be even more surprised. Not only will you find cases full of pristine vintage Rolexes, but you’ll find dials in every conceivable shade, from persimmon, to lilac, to emerald green. You can customize any watch they offer—including swapping out the face of a Rolex you might already own.
Bamford Watch Department
This British-based company will take the Rolex of your choice (or Patek Phillipe, etc.), and coat it in a military grade PVD, which turns the stainless steel black. Then, they’ll customize the dial face, the hands, and engrave the band, for a fully bespoke creation. You sacrifice the original warranty of course, though they guarantee their work for two years. Understandably, there are no bargains here.