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Jewelry is always an investment worth making and now more than ever, there has been an influx in sales, especially across major online retailers and through social media platforms like Instagram, that have found new ways of interacting with contemporary jewelry customers. And it’s not just the big names in jewelry that are finding success—a younger crop of designers and brands are making a name for themselves. We’re familiar with the dazzle of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, and we know to shop independent jewelry brands like Jennifer Fisher, Foundrae, and Alison Lou for their hoops and medallion necklace parts, but, as of late, other labels are catching our eye.
Below, we introduce you to some of the buzziest names (and their designs) in the contemporary jewelry world, from Panconesi’s gravity-defying earrings to Lauren Rubinski’s new heirlooms.
Lauren Rubinski’s eponymous style is defined by bold silhouettes, wheat-chain links and uniquely-shaped gold lockets. Inspired by her grandmother’s jewelry box in the South of France, her pieces are made to feel like family heirlooms kept for generations.
This Parisian-based jewelry brand was founded in 2019 by gemologist Kelly Souied and antique jewelry tastemaker Kelia Toledano. With vintage and art deco influences in mind, their opulent designs make for modern, cool girl jewelry.
In 2019, Chinese-Ghanaian designer Melinda Zeman launched her brand which successfully merges fine jewelry and playful nostalgia. Her signature style—named the Slinkee—is a set of spiraling rings, bracelets, and necklaces reminiscent of childhood memories.
In 2021, New York-based designer Jack Broadnax launched his brand after identifying an opportunity in the market for men’s jewelry at an accessible price point. His collection features chains, pendants, rings, bracelets all crafted in sterling silver and 14-karat plated gold. Since its inception, he’s expanded his range into unisex pieces, each with a modern, versatile design ideal for everyday wear.
Paris-based Marco Panconesi launched his eponymous line after cutting his teeth designing accessories (for Givenchy and Balenciaga) and then jewelry (for Fendi, Peter Pilotto, and Fenty). He launched his modern sculptural line in 2019, and his collections are a mix of gravity-defying swirling hoops and colorful crystal climber-esque ear cuffs.
Completedworks is a modern and self-described “reductive” line of demi-fine and fine jewelry founded by London-based Anna Jewsbury. Jewsbury’s “golden scrunchie” earrings quickly became a celebrity favorite, and her stark and simple designs—using primarily recycled materials—have earned her a spot on the 2022 shortlist for the British Fashion Council’s Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
Turkish designer Senem Gençoğlu captures fluidity and sculptural shapes in her mixed metal designs. Made by traditional handmade methods in tandem with local artisans and environmentally-conscious materials, her line is well-informed with craft and sustainability top of mind.
Sister-founded jewelry brand Agmes features mainly silver and gold pieces inspired by art and architecture. The simple yet bold forms are made of mostly recycled materials and scrap metals, resulting in a collection that is impactful without being overpowering.
Longtime Parisian fashion editor Marie Lichtenberg left the magazine world to start her own jewelry collection inspired by her Creole heritage. Dainty chains and colorful lockets evoke 18th-century pendants, while her collection of colorful thread pieces can be traced to a trip she took to India.
After a chance find of a vintage snap hook in a market in Tokyo, two friends—Chiara Capitani and Romy Blanga—transformed the item into jewelry and started their brand Eéra. The Milan-based duo took the minimal original design and morphed it into pavé diamond-encrusted links for bracelets or fluorescent dangles on earrings.
After years behind the scenes in fine jewelry, Italian Francesca Villa started her eponymous label. Each piece of her jewelry line incorporates a found vintage artifact: poker chips, intaglios, bingo numbers, and so on. Her collection is full of elements that are equal parts charming and eclectic.
Paris-born Catherine Sarr’s fine jewelry brand Almasika is inspired in part by the body’s soft curves and flowing lines. The collection is full of undulating timeless gold and diamond pieces that defy trends.
California-based designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey was an award-winning art and creative director before she decided to launch her own brand. Her fine jewelry line is inspired by ancient textiles and patterns of the African diaspora, seen through handcrafted jewelry made from 18-karat gold with ethically-sourced diamonds and precious gemstones. Most recently, she was nominated by the CFDA in the “American Emerging Designer of the Year” category for 2022, and took home the 2022 Gem Award for Jewelry Design.
Founder Jia-Jia Zhu conceived her namesake jewelry line during a meditation after moving to Bali following a long tenure in the fashion industry. The line focuses on the use of crystals and stones with symbolism throughout, making each piece not only extremely unique, but also one that possesses a distinct meaning.
David Farrugia designs conceptual, modern pieces that fuse precious gemstones with unique shapes like hand-carved ram and hippo skulls from Siberian artisans. His distinctive style is characterized by the integration of pavé links and champagne diamonds. Farrugia’s innovative perspective breathes new life into fine jewelry, making each piece feel like investment art.