A Guide to Demi-Fine: Leveling Up Your Jewels

vor 5 Monaten

Allow me to turn you onto a little something special… draping yourself in Demi-fine jewelry. Your life will become more beautiful (and it’s affordable.)
Thank me later. 

In the winter, I wear a lot of heavy metal. Throw me the Margiela horse bits. Drape me in chains. Give me those items that can hold their own in a plethora of turtlenecks, the pieces that don’t snag my sweaters but could still be used as weaponry. They provide weight and look good in boots and bundles. I like to be heard before I am seen, without needing to open my mouth. I rely on my jewelry to do the talking for me and it usually says ‘Leave me alone.’ 

But now Spring is here, and my jewelry box gets the same rejuvenation my sunroom does. Pines are taken down and so is all the silver and the heavy cuffs. Spring is the time of renewal. Gold is always preferable. It glimmers in the sun. I soften and melt and am okay with being a bit more approachable. I want my jewelry to beckon and beguile.

For women, jewelry is a leading role in the course of our lives. I have always totally delighted in the cheap jewelry found in museum gift shops, and the unique hand-painted wood and metal pieces found at outdoor markets. But I have reached a time in my life where I am beginning to question and research the sourcing of jewels and baubles, how they are made, and why, and where they are coming from. I would like to start collecting my own beauties (I am okay in admitting that the ‘nicer’ pieces of mine have come from past romances with associations I don’t necessarily want complimented.) In the meantime, I want to deck myself out in beauty, and all on my own! One of my favorite purchases has been a Victorian mourning ring I found by happenstance at an estate sale in New York (after having a number of eBay alerts set up for the exact kind of ring). It was an unexpected mini splurge, which I have never once regretted, and I am proud to wear it. My talisman of independence. 

Vintage sourcing aside, I have noticed a recent uptick in the market ‘Demi-fine’ which is perfect for those of us looking to level up our necks and chests and perhaps spend a little bit more, without sacrificing too much (and still being on time with the rent). Demi-fine typically means anything below 400EUR. The pieces are made of gold (below 18k) and silvers (no painted alloys such as steel or copper), and use semi-precious stones (and if you ask me, the term ‘precious’ is relative anyway.) Demi-fine can be just as beautiful as any of the auction pieces I still routinely peruse. They are created in tandem with where they are being ethically-sourced. No faceless artisans. Can you say the same for your Zara initial necklace? 

I have compiled a list of my favorite Demi-fine jewelry lines for you to have somewhere to start. These designers have faces and stories. They are not pandering to a luxury market. They are creating beauty for you to revel in, with them. The way jewelry should be. 

MISSOMA

Coming from London, Missoma has been around for over ten years now. They know what they’re doing, and they have finally landed in Germany. This is the line for you if you enjoy mixing, matching, and stacking. There is a very classical element to their designs… I have been wearing the 18k Roman Coin pendant with everything I own, which is in collaboration with the designer Lucy Williams. There is a bit of mysticism hidden within this collection as well… with signet rings, golden orbs, crescent moons, pyramid clasps, and special stones and minerals found on everything from chokers to anklets and ear cuffs. I am happy to reveal my indoctrination to the Missoma Secret Society. It looks very good over here. Join us. 

AKIND

Name something more chic than a simple freckle of a diamond around your neck, hanging from the finest and thinnest of chains… Name something more fantasy-inducing. This minimal flirtation is so sexy. This is Akind’s aesthetic. In toning down the amount of material used, you are now able to have the finest of fine… Akind uses all recycled metals, and their diamonds (including the black ones…) are lab-grown in Sweden. Why yes, that is a diamond on my finger, thanks for noticing. You simply had to have it, you can tell your date, who by now is definitely imagining you in nothing but your diamond. This may or may not lead you to more diamonds, be they lab-grown or foraged.

SARA ESTHER

Last year, I had the opportunity to interview my jewelry crush Sara Esther Touijar, the free-spirited designer who speaks the same language I do (and it’s not German)- she presents the gorgeous natural surroundings she finds in Bali, morphing them into little pieces of complete beauty. Think gilded constellations, imprinted shells, hand-plucked pearls… I wish to be naked wearing nothing but Sara Esther jewels. And it’s a good thing she is using quality materials. I find her pieces are best worn outside and let’s be honest- I wish to remain untarnished when I come out of the water (or a sweaty bike ride) with my goods… A ghostly green-grey tinge on the skin where your rings and necklaces are to lay, is not a good look, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to make you self conscious, babe, but we see it! 

OUVERTURE

Over the holidays, I received the most beautiful, simple earcuff from Ouverture, and it completely changed my style! Believe me or don’t. This thin gold piece morphed my initial preference for silver into the realm of gold and I became hooked on gold cuffs on my ear. I am someone with no ear piercings, always preferring the heavy clip-on drop jewels, if I were ever to decorate my ears. All or nothing. But I have not taken off this simple delight for months. I wear it all the time. I have gifted one to a girlfriend. I intend to do even more gifting of these, actually. While some earcuffs can slide or become a bit too heavy and uncomfortable, the lightness and shape of this piece has made it the PERFECT ear decor, even with the constant masking and unmasking. It doesn’t budge. It must be magic. Ouverture is based here in Berlin and if you haven’t already noticed, we can’t get enough of them.

PASCALE MONVOISIN

Elegance and simplicity can be off-putting to some. More power (and bangles!) to those who prefer higher octane. If that speaks to you, allow me to lead you over to the Parisian Pascale Monvoisin, whose stone crafting is not only unique, but totally divine and eye-catching. Think layers of lapis… gatherings of citrine… Earrings are sold individually so you are not tempted to conduct the Monvoisin cardinal sin of matching. It takes a special kind of woman to pull off a ratty T shirt with Demi-fine jewels and engraved crystals, but whoever is doing it, we see you, we love you, never stop.

Text by Janna Shaw
All Images are Given Courtesy of Designers 

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