It’s time to stop buying your jewelry at H&M. A well-made, interesting bangle, brooch, or pendant can turn a blah outfit into a fashion moment. So put down the ring 10-pack and pick up a single statement piece from one of our favorite independent jewelry designers instead.
A sixth-generation jeweler, Parson sees jewelry as a memento, sure. But she does not discount the playfulness an accessory should convey. Her high-end collections riff on this theme, with subjects ranging from the peacock (India’s national bird, whose feathers are rendered on rings and necklaces) to lush flowers made of hand-carved tourmaline. For those on a budget, fear not: She also has a line of affordable creations, Madu, whose latest collection draws from the elegant shapes of the lotus flowers in its designs. Macy’s, 151 West 34th Street (between Broadway and Seventh Avenue), Herald Square
Péan is widely known for using dinosaur bones and meteorites in her creations, which come in sharp geometric shapes and bear no trace of the Museum of Natural History aesthetic we might associate with fossils. Her line, Mineraux, offers a sleek, contemporary take on Art Deco engagement rings. She also has a men’s line that includes cuff links and other covetable accessories. Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue (between East 60th and 61st Streets), Upper East Side
The collections from this Brooklyn-based designer bear evocative names such as Quechua and Cicada, which indicate the inspiration behind the designs: The former has an Andean aesthetic, while the latter subtly draws from the insect world, with rings and brooches mimicking the look of wings. Branches influence the shape of hairpieces and bracelets. She also caters to more conservative tastes, creating whimsical but classic rings and studs with Herkimer diamonds and 14-karat gold. Still House NYC, 307 East 9th Street (between First and Second Avenues), East Village; We the People Fashion Collective, 156 Stanton Street (between Suffolk and Clinton Streets), Lower East Side
Adam has a degree in archaeology from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and her work reflects the shapes and aesthetics that were popular in Greece, Rome, and Ancient Egypt. Her designs can easily convince you that you can pull off goddess-inspired crowns, complete with metal laurel-like leaves, in everyday life. Those who are less daring can still experiment with Adam’s ancient civilization aesthetic through barrettes, hair prongs, and bracelets, which bear similar goddess-like motifs. ABC Carpet & Home, 888 Broadway (between East 18th and 19th Streets), Gramercy
Jeweler and photographer Castiglioni divides her time between Milan and Brooklyn, where she recently opened her second boutique. The daughter of famed designer Achille Castiglioni, she is primarily known for jewelry designs that take an Art Nouveau–like spin on shapes found in nature. Warning: Once you start collecting her rings, you won’t be able to resist creating maximalist stacks with them. On the other end of the spectrum, Castiglioni has also created a line of 3-D-printed jewelry: The pieces are affordable, lightweight, and come in rich jewel tones. 268 Court Street, Cobble Hill
This designer first rose to mainstream fame when Leighton Meester’s Gossip Girl character, Blair Waldorf, wore her opulent headbands in the early seasons of the show. And while Behr still crafts both silk and rhinestone head garments that will make you feel like you’re part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Heavenly Bodies” exhibition, she recently branched out into jewelry design. Her line of earrings includes designs inspired by tropical florals and the Art Deco era. If you want to go an extra mile fashionwise, Behr also sells tiaras, which, much like her earrings, reference nature and celestial bodies in their styles. Various stores, including Blue Tree, Fivestory, Rebecca Taylor, Tags, and Bergdorf Goodman