Sure, January is a month of austerity. Of scrimping, staying in and, crucially, not looking full-priced items directly in the eye. Oh, the joys. It's also, I'd posit, the month where we're most in need of a pick-me-up. Something shiny and glorious. A bit of sparkle maybe? Affordable jewellery has a bit of a reputation for rusting and falling apart, but it's come a long way in the last few years, with quality, handmade pieces from brands dedicated to offering luxury pieces at accessible prices.
Here are five of the best brands to know
Founded in 2012, UK-based brand A Weathered Penny is picking up a cult following for its beautiful, modern pieces. Timeless but with a fashion twist, you'd be forgiven for thinking its stylish designs are pricier than they are. As it happens, pieces start from £7.50 and include gems like the sellout tortoiseshell hoops, the abstract gold oval earrings and the face necklace. Rather than tiny studs and barely there bracelets, this is your go-to for stand-out, statement-making earrings.
Set up by brother and sister duo Nick and Louise Bartlett, Estella Bartlett is a mix of whimsical and delicate pieces, from pineapple earrings and gold-plated lightning studs to pretty flower-engraved pendants and the simple twisted knot bangle below. A hit with the fashion crowd, the brand is stocked in high-end retailers like Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Selfridges.
Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but brands like Missoma and Monica Vinader have put forward a convincing case for semi-precious stones like malachite and rose quartz, too. If you like them, you'll love Orelia, which offers gorgeous, expensive-looking, semi-precious gold-plated jewellery that looks and feels luxe but starts from £10. A good one to check out if you're after fashion-forward huggie hoops and constellation studs, as well as rings and necklaces that are perfect for stacking.
London-based jewellery brand Ania Haie started up with the aim of creating high-end jewellery with high-street prices – and that's exactly what they've done. Plated in 14ct gold and 925 sterling silver, its pieces are simple, modern and beautifully crafted, plus they start from £10.
Known for its dainty, stackable earrings, Astrid & Miyu is a favourite with fashion editors. If you're a fan of ear cuffs, crawlers and multiple studs, look no further.