The 15 Best Places to Buy Affordable Quality Jewelry Online
For jewelry enthusiasts who like to switch up their look, finding affordable jewelry brands can prove to be quite the challenge. To find pieces that look like a million bucks (but actually cost less than $100), it's all about finding the balance between quality and cost—you don't want to end up with cheap jewelry that tarnishes immediately and looks bad after just a few wears.
We researched dozens of affordable jewelry brands, assessing them on the range of their inventory, shipping and return policies, and quality of their materials to find the best options. Our top picks include larger retailers that carry other merchandise in addition to jewelry as well as smaller specialty brands that offer more limited yet still impressive jewelry collections.
Check out our selection of the best places to buy affordable jewelry online, plus learn how to keep your jewelry pristine and tarnish-free for years to come.
Our Top Picks
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How to Shop for Affordable Jewelry
When shopping, keep an eye out for pure silver and gold varieties. Pure silver and gold won't rub off the way that plated gold or silver does, or tarnish the way that sterling silver does. Pure gold and silver cost more, though the investment will be worth it in the long run.
When it comes to silver, the two most popular varieties are pure silver and sterling silver. Sterling silver is still more than 90 percent silver, but the remaining 10 percent is made up of another metal. When it comes to gold, look at the karats to tell whether or not a piece of gold is pure. A karat is a unit of measurement that determines how much gold is in one piece of jewelry. The higher the karat, the closer you are to having pure gold, which is 24 karats. Like sterling silver, the remainder of the jewelry piece is another type of metal.
Questions You Might Ask
Why does some jewelry make your skin turn green?
Your skin turns green when you're wearing jewelry that contains copper. Copper turns green when it comes into contact with various substances, including water, lotion, and your skin's oils. This is a natural reaction and won't be harmful to you—it can actually be washed off with soap and water. In truly "cheap" jewelry, copper typically makes up most of the formula and is topped with a coating. The best way to prevent this is to apply clear nail polish to the vulnerable parts of your jewelry, which will act as a coating over the copper. Just know that you will have to do this frequently to prevent green skin, so it's better to spend a bit extra on jewelry that is copper-free.
How do you prevent jewelry from tarnishing?
Tarnishing happens when jewelry mixes with a variety of everyday items and substances, including air, some fabrics, and even food. You can prevent jewelry from tarnishing by doing a number of things. First, organize then space your jewelry out while storing them so they have space to breathe. If you've ever received fabric bags with your jewelry purchase, keep them! This helps further prevent other jewelry from touching in your storage space. Secondly, after every wear, wipe them down with a microfiber cloth. Then, every so often, you'll need to clean your jewelry by lightly scrubbing them with a small brush that has been soaked with warm water and mild dish soap.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Rachel Center, a lover of all things fashion and a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. She spent hours researching where to find the best places to buy cheap jewelry, ultimately choosing the websites on this list based on price as well as jewelry type and styles available.