The next gem revolution: The coolest mid-price jewellery brands

Stack and layer your heart out with fashion director Shelly Vella’s guide to the coolest brands doing ‘demi-fine’ jewellery – luxe pieces that look like they will break the bank… but won’t!

Ever snapped up an on-trend ring from the high street only to find that it leaves your finger with a strange green hue after just one wear? Costume jewellery may be fun and a bargain but it tarnishes easily, so isn’t ideal for everyday wear. And who’s got thousands lying spare to splurge on a ring?

However, the trend for piling on jewellery isn’t going away. Women of all ages and walks of life are stacking rings on every finger and adorning their lobes with rows of earrings. And luckily the fashion industry offers them the perfect compromise: demi-fine jewellery.

Bridging the gap between fine and fashion jewellery, these mid-price brands cater for women who want to indulge in timeless, good-quality pieces without the hefty price tag. Demi-fine pieces aren’t packed with low-grade metals such as nickel or copper, which fade quickly and aggravate skin. Plus the use of sterling silver, lower-carat golds or gold-plated silver – along with semi-precious moonstones, quartz, topaz, turquoise or teeny pavé diamonds cultivated in laboratories – means that prices are reasonable.

This accessibility, combined with clever celebrity collaborations, has seen the number of demi-fine jewellery brands boom, so that covetable pieces are no longer just a gift for special occasions but something we can treat ourselves to. Here are the brands you need to know…

The mid-price jewellery brands to have on your radar

The fashionista’s favourite: Otiumberg

Price range: £25 to £670

Otiumberg

The brainchild of stylish sisters Christie and Rosanna Wollenberg, the brand was born after they struggled to find elegant, everyday jewellery that wouldn’t break the bank. The label, which eschews trends in favour of enduring pieces, fast became a go-to among fashion editors and celebrities (Margot Robbie is a loyal customer).

Before entering the jewellery world, Rosanna lived in Buenos Aires, Barcelona and New York, while Christie worked for Burberry and Louis Vuitton. Their backgrounds have given their designs a contemporary twist, with inspiration taken from all over the world. Think stacking rings, delicate hoops and personalised charms.

Everything is ethically and sustainably made and the duo keep costs down by designing seasonless pieces that are crafted by hand. There’s no bulk ordering here – stock levels are kept to a minimum, which means less waste and therefore purse-friendly prices.

WHAT TO BUY: A huggie hoop – the brand’s 9-carat gold version (£127 per earring) is a bestseller. My favourite pieces are the personalised yellow gold and pearl letter necklace charms and the pearl and white sapphire huggie. otiumberg.com

Otiumberg hoops
Otiumberg

Hoop earrings, £120, Otiumberg

Otiumberg earrings
Otiumberg

Hoop earrings, £48 each, Otiumberg

Otiumberg necklace
Otiumberg

Chain necklace, £180, Otiumberg

Otiumberg huggie
Otiumberg

Pearl and white sapphire huggie, £157, Otiumberg

Otiumberg alphabet pendant
Otiumberg

Letter necklace charm, £95, Otiumberg

The forever pieces: V by Laura Vann

Price range: £30 to £265

V by Laura Vann

Sustainability and ethical responsibility are at the heart of Laura Vann’s jewellery.

Her glittering, gem-infused designs include the art deco-like Daphne earrings, which have been worn by Meghan Markle, and the Freya necklace, which is made from 18-carat yellow gold-plate with synthetic baguette-cut emeralds (they are much less expensive than natural gems).

Laura, whose father worked in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter wholesaling fine and costume jewellery, studied fashion journalism before deciding to join the family business and switching to jewellery design instead.

Her brand is now stocked in John Lewis and Harvey Nichols and she has a loyal following that includes celebrities such as Daisy Lowe and Katy Perry. She recently added a diamond engagement ring collection (from £2,500).

WHAT TO BUY: The Chloe black agate circle necklace – with its silver chain and striking pendant – is a favourite of mine. vbylauravann.com

V by Laura Vann necklace
V by Laura Vann

Chloe necklace, £100, V by Laura Vann

V by Laura Vann earrings
V by Laura Vann

Hoops, £130, V by Laura Vann

V by Laura Vann necklace
V by Laura Vann

Freya necklace, £125, V by Laura Vann

V by Laura Vann ring
V by Laura Vann

Ring, £110, V by Laura Vann

V by Laura Vann earrings
V by Laura Vann

Daphne earrings, £130, V by Laura Vann

The A-list accessories: Daisy London

Price range: £19 to £249

Daisy London

Catapulted into mainstream popularity by collaborations with TV presenter Laura Whitmore and fashion blogger Estée Lalonde, not to mention red-carpet sightings on the likes of Ellie Goulding, Cara Delevingne and Sienna Miller, Daisy London has become one of Britain’s favourite jewellery brands.

Founded by a father-and-son duo in 2009, the label is now helmed by creative director Ruth Bewsey, who was also the company’s first employee. She is passionate about jewellery that can be layered and worn every day and the brand majors in bold shapes and distinctive designs made from sterling silver or 18-carat-gold-plated sterling silver.

WHAT TO BUY: Don’t miss the sunburst designs from the Estée Lalonde collection – available in rings, necklaces and earrings (from £19). Its beautiful charm hoop earrings are also hard to resist (from £45). daisyjewellery.com

Daisy London bracelet
Daisy London

Sunburst bracelet, £59, Daisy London

Daisy London ring
Daisy London

Sunburst ring, £49, Daisy London

Daisy London earrings
Daisy London

Aphrodite earrings, £119, Daisy London

Daisy London necklace
Daisy London

Flower necklace, £119, Daisy London

Daisy London necklace
Daisy London

Beaded necklace, £59, Daisy London

The Scandi stylista: Anni Lu

Price range: £25 to £245

Anni Lu

Inspired by her late mother and daughter’s names (Anni and Luella), Helle Vestergaard Poulsen created Anni Lu after years of working as a creative director for Danish fashion magazines. Helle’s pretty and delicate designs are packed with eye-catching semi-precious stones and seed beads – the sort that remind you of sun-drenched summer holidays.

WHAT TO BUY: Must-haves include her pretty pearl hoops (from around £49), tiny golden shell pendants (around £43) and coveted ‘Bite me’ earrings and necklace (£85). annilu.dk

Anni Lu necklace
Anni Lu

Textured pendant necklace, £195, Anni Lu

Anni Lu hoops
Anni Lu

Pearl hoop earrings, £98, Anni Lu

Anni Lu earrings
Anni Lu

Bite me earrings, £85, Anni Lu

Anni Lu bracelet
Anni Lu

Snake chain bracelet, £74, Anni Lu

The dainty desirables: Kaaren Buchanan

Price range: £28 to £172

Kaaren Buchanan

Designer Kaaren draws inspiration from her modelling days in New York in the 1990s and family holidays in Hawaii for her affordable line of dainty jewels. She keeps costs down by using gold-plated silver decorated with semi-precious stones such as opals, lapis and zirco. Her use of tiny gemstones adds a little extra glamour to the gold pendants and stud earrings that have earned her an army of loyal fans, including model Jodie Kidd and comedian Katherine Ryan.

WHAT TO BUY: The beautiful balloon ring (below) has gained a huge Instagram following while the beaded bracelets (below) and necklaces are fabulous worn either alone or layered. kaarenbuchanan.com

Kaaren Buchanan necklace
Kaaren Buchanan

Silver disc necklace, £66, Kaaren Buchanan

Kaaren Buchanan ring
Kaaren Buchanan

Balloon ring, £74, Kaaren Buchanan

Kaaren Buchanan bracelet
Kaaren Buchanan
Kaaren Buchanan ear cuff
Kaaren Buchanan

Ear cuff, £45, Kaaren Buchanan

Kaaren Buchanan hoops
Kaaren Buchanan

Gold hoops, £68, Kaaren Buchanan

The affordable luxury: Alex Monroe

Prices from £75

Alex Monroe

Often considered fine jewellery that is way out of most people’s budgets, Alex has striven to make his brand more affordable by creating his nature-inspired designs, including his iconic bumblebee charm, in a range of metals – from silver to rose-gold plate (sterling silver, plated with 22-carat rose gold) and 18-carat yellow gold. It means his jewellery, which can be seen on many a TV character – the trademark ear cuff of Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker or Dr Foster’s dragonflies – and has fans that include Holly Willoughby and Anna Friel, is now more accessible. For example, £135 for a silver bumblebee necklace, rather than £2,400 for the gold version. Each item boasts the brand’s high quality – all are hand-finished using sustainably sourced materials by craftspeople in London and Birmingham.

WHAT TO BUY: I’ve collected Alex’s jewellery for years and recommend any of the bird or bee necklaces. Many loyal customers have chosen the brand for their wedding rings (from £295 for a sapphire engagement ring). alexmonroe.com

Alex Monroe necklace
Alex Monroe

S necklace, £135, Alex Monroe

Alex Monroe earrings
Alex Monroe

Bee earrings, £180, Alex Monroe

Alex Monroe earring
Alex Monroe

Stud earring, £75, Alex Monroe

Alex Monroe bracelet
Alex Monroe

Starfish bracelet, £225, Alex Monroe

The cult classic: Missoma

Price range: £25 to £475

Missoma

From the moment it launched in 2008, Missoma has been at the top of everyone’s wish list. It also has the royal seal of approval – the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister-in-law Meghan have both been seen sporting the label’s covetable pieces.

A collaboration with influencer Lucy Williams in 2015 yielded pieces such as the ‘mini fang’ necklace which, at only £95, became a style staple for those in the know – yes, I too succumbed and wear mine every day.

Each piece is made from sterling silver and 18-carat gold plated on brass. It’s all designed in-house to reflect its founder Marisa Hordern’s passion for travel and culture.

WHAT TO BUY: Pieces to look out for include the chunky hoops (from £75), chain necklaces (from £80) and Lucy Williams’s now cult gold coin necklaces (from £75). missoma.com

Missoma necklace
Missoma

Frill necklace, £165, Missoma

Missoma ring
Missoma

Twisted ring, £95, Missoma

Missoma bracelet
Missoma

Chain bracelet, £110, Missoma

Missoma hoops
Missoma

Hoop earrings, £89, Missoma

Missoma stud earring
Missoma

Stud earring, £25, Missoma