Jewelry is, without a doubt, the most valuable thing you can invest in for your wardrobe. Not only do gold, silver, and other metals hold real market value, but they also create sentimental value over time, as each piece becomes an extension of its owner. With that in mind, even costume jewelry can be considered a treasured piece.
“Unlike a sweater or even a beautiful pair of shoes that may last a season or two, jewelry, when properly cared for, will last a lifetime,” says Jillian Sassone, founder and creative director of Marrow Fine. “Jewelry can be so personal and meaningful — I find it to be the most interesting part of my wardrobe and often a conversation starter.” Sassone adds that jewelry is also often considered an heirloom as many pass down special pieces to loved ones, too. Another perk to shopping for jewelry is that it “elevates every outfit and can be worn on repeat,” says Alexis Taub, founder of Alexis Jae Jewelry.
Whether you’re a fine jewelry collector, looking for some chic everyday pieces, or prefer bold statement jewelry items, there are several top online jewelry stores to shop from. We researched dozens of options, carefully considering the types of jewelry offered, as well as styles, materials, and quality of construction to find the best of the best.
Discover PEOPLE’s picks of the best online jewelry stores ahead.
Someone looking for a lot of variety in materials, designs, and styles who like the convenience of shopping from a larger jewelry company
Mejuri is one of the best online jewelry stores around, and it’s our pick for best overall because it has a little bit of everything in terms of materials, designs, styles, and convenience. It also has excellent prices, including for fine jewelry which can add up pretty quickly. Whether you’re shopping for a dainty necklace to wear every day or looking for something a bit more trendy — such as an enamel or ceramic piece — Mejuri has all your needs covered. The company has creations made from 14K solid yellow gold, 14K solid white gold, sterling silver, 18K gold vermeil, and titanium, as well as enamel and ceramic pieces. It also aims to include recycled materials in its pieces whenever possible and supports communities that rely on the industry as well. Additionally, it features responsibly sourced diamonds in its jewelry pieces and also incorporates only AAA-grade precious and semi-precious gemstones in its designs as well.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping on orders $75 and above, $8 standard shipping for orders under $75 | Return Policy: 30 days | Metal Types: Yellow gold, White gold, sterling silver, gold vermeil, titanium
Affordable and jewelry don’t always go hand-in-hand, especially if you’re looking to buy fine jewelry — but JTV has figured out a way to make it happen. From more affordable metal options like gold plating, platinum plating, silver, and platineve to solid gold options at 10K, 14K, and 18K, JTV has some outstanding pieces at a fraction of what they would (and do) cost elsewhere. On top of that, the company has some amazing discounts and coupon offerings, plus you can earn cash back on purchases to apply to future jewelry splurges. We own a couple of solid gold rings from JTV that cost a little less than $200 (after applying a $40 cash back and new customer coupon code) and are completely blown away by the level of quality for the price point. When compared to some pricier pieces in our collection, you can’t tell the difference. With that said, if you do have your eye on more fine jewelry options, pay extra close attention to the metal types on the jewelry pieces, as some might be gold over brass or silver versus solid gold.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping over $49 | Return Policy: 30 days from shipment date | Metal Types: Gold, gold over brass, gold over silver, platinum over silver, silver, platineve
Best for Minimalist Pieces
Catbird is one of our favorite places to shop for jewelry, in general, because they offer a variety of pieces, including some styles from different designers — it’s also one of the best places to buy minimalist pieces. Whether you’re looking for a simple tiny chain necklace, a dainty little ring band, or classic and timeless hoop earrings, Catbird is the spot to shop. It’s also a great place to buy gifts for loved ones as the price points on many designs are fantastic and each piece comes pre-gift wrapped with all sorts of additional goodies like pens and postcards. And, if you’re ever in-store in one of their New York City locations or can make it to their pop-ups in selected US cities, Catbird does chic and minimalistic permanent jewelry.
Shipping Policy: $5 standard shipping, $25 next-day delivery, $30 same-day delivery for select New York addresses, free in-store pickups | Return Policy: 10 days from when the shipment was received for a $5 fee | Metal Types: Yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, platinum, silver
Best Shopping Experience
Someone shopping online for lab-grown diamonds who might not have as much experience or knowledge of clarity, cut, and other important details
Shopping for diamonds can get confusing in person, let alone online. However, VRAI makes it user-friendly with their website’s countless tools and features to make choosing the right diamond a possibility — plus, the brand offers a lot of carat variety on their ready-to-wear items as well. The lab-grown diamond company has a specific section of their website dedicated to shopping diamonds, where you can shop based on cut and review beneficial buying guides created by the company, such as How to Buy Diamonds, The 4 Cs of Diamonds, and a Lab-Grown Diamonds guide as well. The company’s clog also has an entire section dedicated to diamond education, making it not just a great place to find the diamond of your dreams, but also to empower you to learn more about diamonds and what to look for when shopping.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping over $700, $30 2-day shipping for orders under $700 | Return Policy: Free returns and exchanges within 30 days of delivery for in-stock items under $700, custom engagement rings require a $200 recycling fee upon returning | Metal Types: Platinum, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold
Best for Lab-Grown Diamonds
The only difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds is their origin and price point — everything else is the same — and Clean Origin offers some of the best lab-grown diamonds on the market. We love shopping Clean Origin because they have excellent prices, gorgeous modern and classic designs, and amazing shipping and return policy. When you buy jewelry from the online jewelry store, you get free overnight shipping and the peace of mind of knowing you have 100 days to return it (for free!) if it’s not the perfect fit. Plus, it’s easy to shop the brand’s collection of lab-grown diamonds, as they offer an easy-to-navigate filter system on the website, which allows you to select the shape, price range, carat, cut, clarity, color, and certification type. It also has a helpful frequently asked questions section on the diamond page, which makes it easier to understand diamonds in general and the diamond-buying process. Clean Origin also offers virtual appointments, so you can get that traditional jewelry-buying experience without leaving your home.
Shipping Policy: Free overnight shipping | Return Policy: Free shipping within 100 days of purchase | Metal Types: White gold, yellow gold, rose gold
Best for Fine Jewelry
Alexis Jae Jewelry
When shopping for fine jewelry, we look to brands like Alexis Jae Jewelry for options that feel unique and modern yet timeless. This brand offers a variety of designs in yellow and white gold, including classic chunky hoops, trendy tennis bracelets in colorful gemstones (as well as diamonds), and even some stylish — yet still ultra-fine — enamel pieces. The brand’s mission is to create gorgeous pieces without the enormous cost fine jewelry can take on, and, as a result, charges around 50 percent less than traditional jewelers, thanks to their direct-to-consumer model. Beyond its price point and ready-to-wear items, Alexis Jae Jewelry also offers custom designs, where you can literally make up your dream jewelry piece and see it come to life through the design process. It’s magical.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping on orders over $250 | Return Policy: 7 days from shipment on select items | Metal Types: Yellow gold, white gold
Best for Engagement Rings
Engagement rings should feel as unique as the person wearing it, and Marrow Fine knows a thing or two about unique creations (after all, they were the ones behind Machine Gun Kelly’s custom diamond manicure at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards). The fine jeweler got its start transforming family heirloom pieces into one-of-a-kind designs — which they still do — and then branched out into additional custom jewelry pieces as well as some of the most unique engagement ring options we’ve ever seen, including lots of fun and colorful ballerina rings and other fun options like this Peach Sapphire Double Spray Ring. Additionally, Marrow Fine also puts a gorgeous spin on classic engagement ring designs, like the thicker prong setting in this solitaire engagement ring.
Shipping Policy: Free 2-day shipping | Return Policy: 10 days from shipment for a 10 percent restocking fee and $40 insured shipping | Metal Types: Yellow gold, white gold, rose gold
Best for Handmade Pieces
Communion By Joy
Communion by Joy makes some of the most stunning, handmade fine jewelry pieces we’ve ever seen. Most of her work is hand-carved in wax and then cast into a glistening 14K yellow gold. While Joy does carry some ready-to-wear items — such as the Burst Necklace (which we bought several years ago and wear every single day) and her collection of fun and whimsical zodiac jewelry — a majority of her pieces are one-of-a-kind and made to fit the unique shape of the stone selected for the piece. We love shopping with Joy because her work is not only gorgeous and special, each piece is made to fit a specific energy, allowing you to build an even stronger connection to the piece you end up with. In fact, you can even shop by energy on her website, as she has a variety of jewelry pieces designed for grief, forgiveness, love, motivation, strength, and joy, of course.
Shipping Policy: $20 flat rate shipping | Return Policy: No returns | Metal Types: Yellow gold
Best for Maximalist Pieces
Last Line is filled with some of the most whimsical designs we have ever seen, especially in terms of fine jewelry. Whether it’s a rainbow tennis necklace, a stylish signet ring, or a diamond-encrusted ear cuff, this jewelry company never ceases to wow us with its truly unique and fun options. While you won’t find over-the-top chunky maximalist pieces on Last Line, you will find statement items with playful energy, meant to elevate and brighten everyday outfits. Last Line also carries a variety of metals, including black rhodium, rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, and sterling silver — and all cast pieces in gold are created from recycled material, so there is an element of sustainability, too. While the return policy isn’t the best on our list, you never have to worry about shipping, which is an added plus, considering the investment involved when purchasing jewelry.
Shipping Policy: Free | Return Policy: Exchange for store credit only, within 7 days of receipt | Metal Types: Black rhodium, rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, sterling silver
Best for Everyday Pieces
Someone who loves a lot of variety and is looking for options that are fine, demi-fine, or more fashionable costume pieces, as well as someone who might be shopping for watches in addition to jewelry
We love Kendra Scott because you can find something for everyone and every occasion on the brand’s website. Whether you’re shopping for everyday pieces that are solid gold or sterling silver or want interchangeable pieces at more affordable prices in gold and silver plated, Kendra Scott has it all — they even have some gorgeous watches that pair beautifully with dainty jewelry. In addition to metal types, Kendra Scott’s fine jewelry collection also features dazzling diamonds, precious pearls, and colorful stones set in designs that fit a range of personal styles and preferences. Whether it’s a shimmering bracelet you never take off or a statement necklace paired with your favorite pantsuit, you can find everything you need for the best everyday jewelry pieces at Kendra Scott.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping on orders over $100 | Return Policy: 30 days from receipt on eligible items | Metal Types: Yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, gold vermeil, sterling silver, gold plated, silver plated
Best for Costume Jewelry
For timeless costume jewelry that lasts, look no further than Pandora. The online jewelry company offers an impressive collection of necklaces, pendants, bracelets, rings, earrings, and more, all either made from sterling silver or gold plating, so they’re durable and high-quality. While the Pandora style might not be for everyone (especially those looking for more trendy costume pieces or affordable jewelry dupes), the brand has plenty to choose from and is an excellent place to find gifts for nearly every jewelry lover in your life. Additionally, they’re known for their iconic charm bracelets — which are certainly on trend right now — and a fun way to start a jewelry collection. Compared to other costume jewelry brands, Pandora lasts much longer due to the quality of materials and design, too.
Shipping Policy: Free shipping on orders over $75 | Return Policy: 30 days from purchase | Metal Types: Sterling silver, gold plating
How to Pick the Right Online Jewelry Store
When shopping for jewelry, check to make sure that the store authenticates its pieces. This generally means they are transparent with the metal type and also offer gemstone authentication — especially when purchasing a diamond — and are upfront about whether the material is fine or demi-fine.
Whether you’re shopping for costume jewelry or fine jewelry, it’s important to look at the types of metals offered at a jewelry brand. For more fine options, consider gold, platinum, or silver options. When shopping for costume jewelry, vermeil is of higher quality than plated (though both can last for years if cared for properly).
“Take some time to read the specifications and notes on the website,” says Sassone. “A lot of jewelry is made to order, which means you won’t receive it the next day and may have to wait a few weeks or even months if it’s a truly one-of-a-kind design.” For the most part, product pages of high-quality online jewelers will note the processing time for the pieces and whether or not it is made to order. If you’re ever unsure about the timing of a piece, Sassone recommends getting in touch with customer service to learn more about the process and what to expect when buying made-to-order pieces.
When shopping for jewelry online, sizing can be tricky. Some companies — such as Catbird — offer ring sizers that you can order ahead of time. They might also have online resources like Catbird’s sizing guide to educate customers on how to properly size for rings, necklaces, and more. However, there are also ways to check for sizing at home, without the help of the retailer. “For bracelets, use a string or another cable chain bracelet and tightly measure your wrist,” says Taub. “I like to add 0.25 inches for a tight fit and 0.5 for a loose fit,” she adds. If you’re shopping for layered necklaces, she says to start with a 16-inch chain and then add 2 inches between each subsequent necklace. As for ring sizing, Amazon offers several options to help ensure the right fit. The Accmor Ring Size Measuring Tool with Plastic Ring Mandrel is our top pick because it comes with a variety of options, including a mandrel that you can use to determine the size of a ring you already own.
Frequently Asked Questions
What brand of jewelry is most popular?
Jewelry brand popularity varies depending on the type of jewelry you’re looking for and personal style preferences. However, there are several highly popular brands that seemingly transcend this factor. One of the most popular jewelry brands is Catbird, a New York City-based jeweler offering a variety of minimalistic pieces at reasonable price points. Catbird also helped launch the permanent jewelry trend with their in-house “Zap” appointments, where they weld a dainty metal chain to your wrist.
Kendra Scott is another popular jewelry brand for statement pieces, demi-fine jewelry, and some costume styles, too, while Pandora is a go-to for jewelry gifts, especially holiday and Mother’s Day gifting. Marrow Fine is another popular pick, especially amongst celebrities like Hilary Duff, Lauren Conrad, and Margot Robbie, who have all been spotted in pieces from the trendy jeweler. Above all else, Mejuri takes the cake for being the most popular, since the jewelry brand offers so much variety and is known for its incredible prices (including budget-friendly fine jewelry pieces).
How can you tell good quality jewelry?
There are several ways to test the quality of jewelry, but Janie Marshall, head of brand at Clean Origin, has the ultimate hack. “A little-known tip is to use a magnet near your jewelry to test the metal,” she explains. “Gold and silver have no magnetic properties, but if the metal is excessively plated, the magnet will detect the underlying metal.”
In addition to the magnet test, Carmen Lopez, a retail shopping expert and the president and founder of Current Boutique, says it’s important to educate yourself on a few factors, especially when it comes to fine jewelry. “Fine jewelry is made from precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum — these pieces may also have natural or lab-made gemstones like diamonds or rubies and they should also have a marking called a ‘hallmark,’” she says. “This indicated the type of metal that the jewelry is made from and is etched into each piece.” She says this can help you determine the material of the piece, and, if diamonds are included in the design, Lopez says the piece should come with a certification of authenticity.
Is buying expensive jewelry worth it?
“Many women wonder if buying expensive jewelry is worth the investment of money and energy in caring for it, and I believe it is worth it,” says Lopez, noting how fine jewelry is durable since real metals tend not to break, corrode, or wear down with normal wear. “With proper care and occasional repairs, you can keep your fine jewelry for decades or longer.”
Sassone says another reason why buying expensive jewelry is worth it is because it can become a family heirloom piece and be passed down for generations to wear and love — like your very own family treasure. She recommends starting simple, with a classic cigar band that will always be in style, can be mixed and matched with trendier pieces, and can be worn for years to come.
Take Our Word For It
Jessie Quinn is a contributing commerce writer for PEOPLE and has written for publications such as Byrdie, InStyle, The Spruce, NYLON, and more. Additionally, Jessie is a collector of fine jewelry and a metalsmithing student at Pasadena City College, where she is learning to become a fine jeweler herself. When researching the best online jewelry, Jessie tapped into her journalism background and experience with metalsmithing to find the best of the best. She looked at style, materials used, and quality of construction, in addition to other features that make shopping for jewelry online a more personalized and helpful experience. She also tapped top jewelry experts such as Alexis Taub, Carmen Lopez, Jillian Sassone, and Janie Marshall to learn more about what makes an online jewelry store the cream of the crop. As a result, she curated this list of the best online jewelry stores.