For years buying jewellery has been a choice between a high-street impulse purchase that would stay together for six months, or a big investment piece to stand the test of time. But now there’s a generation of high quality, ‘demi-fine’ jewellery filling the space between luxury and affordability, and making our collections bigger – and more beautiful – than ever.
‘Demi-fine jewellery bridges the gap between fine and costume jewellery offering long-lasting materials in everyday designs, at more accessible prices,’ explains Christie Wollenberg, co-founder of Otiumberg.
‘The materials we work with are luxurious and high quality – 9ct solid gold, gold vermeil, sterling silver and gemstones. Price points are lower then that of fine jewellery, however you still have the reassurance of quality and craftsmanship.’
According to Christie, shoppers are moving away from both the more flashy statement pieces of fine jewellery, and the disposability of costume or high street jewellery, towards something a little more personal. Demi-fine delivers, whether you’re buying for yourself or as a gift.
‘Gone are the days when women just want to wear gold and diamonds. Jewellery is now a form of self-expression,’ Christie adds. ‘Unusual and unique stone combinations are something that will be popular amongst our demi-fine customers’ – indeed, Otiumberg’s Rainbow Ring has been their bestselling since the beginning, and they’re launching a new series of stone combinations this year, including Ceylon sapphires and black diamonds.
Whether you like your jewels subtle or statement, there’s a demi-fine brand out there crafting your dream accessory – it’s just a case of discovering them.
16 of the best demi-fine jewellery brands
Founded four years ago by Christie and her sister Rosanna, Otiumberg are best known for their huggie hoops, which are tiny solid gold hoops with pave set gemstones that can be stacked from lobe to helix. From bright white diamonds and black diamonds to pink and Ceylon sapphires, their jewellery is perfect for a mix-and-match feel.
Missoma’s feminine pieces are ideal for layering – think overlaying golden pendants with personalised discs, or fingers stacked with rings crafted from 18ct gold vermeil. Also look out for their wanderlus-inspired collaboration with influencer and ‘serial world wanderer’ Lucy Williams – the rising sun medallion necklace is one of our personal favourites.
Love your jewellery personalised? Socially responsible brand Edge of Ember’s initial necklaces are for you. ‘We are for fashion that looks and feels good, that does not come at the cost of the people who make it or the world we live in,’ they explain of their philosophy, which means working with partner workshops in developing communities globally, and using sustainable materials wherever possible.
A Scandi influence shines through in Maria’s pieces, which are both simple and chic, while carrying more weight than some of the more delicate brands. Pieces like her arsiia hoop earrings will make a wearable addition to your jewellery box for many years to come.
Since 2007, Astley Clarke have been making ‘refined yet easy-to-wear’ fine and demi-fine jewellery. From turquoise to lapis, their range is great for those who favour a pop of colour – plus, Sienna Miller, Cara Delevingne, Cameron Diaz and Alexa Chung have all been spotted in their designs.
Catbird is an achingly cool cult brand straight out of Williamsburg. With prices starting from just £35, their trend-led jewellery is an affordable way to get your demi-fine fix – although their selection does enter the luxury end of the spectrum with diamonds, too.
Another brand from a set of siblings, San Souers’ mission is to create versatile jewellery ‘that travels well across occasions, styles and ages’. Using everything from architecture to the human body as their muse, they craft timeless gems like wire rings and simple studs.
Aussie brand Cendre takes its inspiration from Parisienne opulence, but with a fresh, modern feel. The collection is packed full of golden goodies, from chunky chain necklaces to cool hoops and signet rings. They currently only ship from Australia, but their shipping costs are a mere $10 AUD per order to the UK, which works out as around £5.
Brigitta comprises a number of special, hand made pieces from London. The carefully crafted pieces are all designed by Brigitta Anderson, and take inspiration from artists, designers and craftsmen, rather than fashion trends. The gorgeous Shinju earrings (pictured) are a must buy, and their signet rings are also stunning.
You’ll probably recognise Daphine from Instagram, where their infamous Oli rings have been doing the rounds. As well as these rings (which look excellent doubled up), the brand has some other super chic designs, and therefore are anything but a one trick pony. Their Tere ring, for example (pictured), is perhaps even more stylish.
Stellar 79 is created by the sweetest sisters Sheena and Natasha, who have channeled their passion for precious stones and 18kt gold vermeil into this lovely brand. Pieces are inspired by their travel experiences, as well as their Trinidadian and Mauritian Indian heritage. The stacking rings are particularly appealing.
Tada & Toy’s earrings are the stuff of mid-range jewellery legend. Be it the cute studs or their many shaped hoops and ear cuffs, the brand has everything you need to achieve a perfectly stacked curated ear. Their prices are also very fair, and you can also pick up most of their designs on Amazon, so if you have prime, you can get your hands on them super quickly.
Astrid & Miyu
Astrid & Miyu is another brand known for its affordable ear stacking jewellery, especially their ear cuffs. Their bricks and mortar stores also offer in-store piercings, and experts there can help you build the perfect curated ear.
Founders Zoë and Morgan grew up between the UK and New Zealand, and it was after a trip to India that they were inspired to begin making jewellery. Their exceptional pieces are unique and instanstly recognisable, and as well as demi-fine collections, they also do fine jewellery and engagement ranges. You can buy online or visit their store in London.
Alex Monroe is a brand known for its quirky and playful approach to jewellery designing. Many of their pieces are animal-inspired, and they have had collaborations with organisations such as The Natural History museum, where they created their brilliant dinosaur jewellery.
This British jewellery brand was created by Carrie Elizabeth Dennahy back in 2015, after she had spent 10 years working as a buyer for another leading jewellery brand. With stones sourced from India and 14k gold vermeil and gold plated brass materials, the pieces are high quality as well as pretty.