I Love Sterling Silver Jewelry Now As Much As I Did When I Was A Brooding '90s Teen

But my days of shopping for rings at the head shop are behind me.
Publish date:
December 12, 2014
jewelry, rings, Bracelets, earrings, Necklaces, silver, Sterling Silver

I can clearly remember what I was wearing the day I graduated from high school: a sleek black Gap dress, a sterling silver necklace with a silver charm, and a sterling silver ring on every single finger, including my clubbed thumbs. (That was never comfortable, but I insisted.)

For some reason, I felt that wearing a pound of silver jewelry somehow told the world what a deep, sensitive and functionally depressed young philosopher I was. Once I had my driver's license, I would go to the closest head shop as often as possible, not for bongs and pipes, but because it had the best selection of silver rings. And by best selection, I mean chunky bands and shapes that expressed my innermost thoughts, like peace signs and hearts and birds.

The one thing the vast majority of my teen-years silver jewelry had in common was that it was just silver. I had very few pieces with stones or other embellishments. And while I like a variety of metals and jewels today, I still have a fondness for simple sterling pieces.

If you have a long-standing love of sterling silver, you'll probably love these contemporary picks as much as I do. (Sorry, no peace signs.)

Donovan Smith Design Studio Sterling Silver Drop Earrings

These get the first spot on my list for three very good reasons.

  • First, I can actually wear earrings now. I didn't get my ears pierced until I was almost 18, so I'm making up for lost silver-earring time.
  • Second, I love these. They're sexy and delicate, but the ellipse dangling at the bottom gives them just a teensy bit of heft.
  • Third, y'all get a discount just for being xoJane readers! When you buy these earrings or Donovan Smith's Silver Drop Necklace (right) any time between now and December 17th, just enter the code xoDiscount: the earrings, usually $125, will be $75, and the necklace, usually $180, will be $130. Woohoo!

Digby + Iona Rope Band

I've always loved a chunky sterling silver band, especially when it has a little something extra, like this Brooklyn-made piece. A rope is hand-etched into the thick, otherwise simple ring. I would have absolutely worn this on my index finger back in high school -- OK, and right now, too.

Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Doughnut Bangle

Listen, I'm well aware that pretty much none of us are gonna drop a grand on a bracelet, but I cannot stop staring at this magnificent beast of a bangle. I mean, it really does look like a silver doughnut! And unlike actual doughnuts, I get total satisfaction from just looking at it.

Target Sterling Silver Horse Necklace

I'm a sucker for a cute silver charm, and while I was never one of those "horse girls" --- come on, you knew or were one -- I find this little pendant just darling.

Target is actually a great place to find inexpensive sterling silver jewelry, and I often find myself wandering around that little never-manned counter in the middle of their accessories section even when I came in for just socks and dog treats.

Adina by Adina Reyter Tiny Right Angle Necklace

If you're looking for a more modern and sophisticated way to wear a charm, Adina Reyter has created an alternative that I love: shapes suspended off-center on a looped-around chain. I've been a fan of Adina Reyter's rings for years, but I can definitely see myself wearing a number of her necklace designs, too.

Madewell Sterling Silver Glider Ring

Did y'all know Madewell has sterling silver jewelry? I did not! Last time I visited their Soho store, there was plenty of cute jewelry, but it was all brass and enamel and whatnot -- stuff that turns my skin green in about a millisecond of wear. I'm really excited to see them creating interesting sterling pieces, like this clever ring. I've never really seen anything like it, with its rivet closure and whatnot. Very cool.

Verameat Fly Free Bird Cuff

This isn't just a cuff, it's a goddamn work of art -- and priced that way at $860. Man, when did inflation hit silver bracelets so hard?

Luckily, not all of Verameat's pieces are at almost-Tiffany prices. Their under-$100 ring and necklace sections are full of conversation-piece sterling jewelry.

Jane Diaz Triple Dot Earring

Jane Diaz has become one of my favorite jewelry designers in recent years, so I was pleasantly surprised to find these tiny-yet-eye-catching earrings on the Sundance Catalog website -- yep, that Robert Redford catalogue where your great aunt who lives in Arizona buys her vests and hand-painted steel wall-hangings.

Sundance actually has some awesome jewelry at a range of prices if you're willing to sift through some schmaltzy stuff, and these posts are a perfect example.

Have you been wearing sterling silver jewelry for two decades like I have? Who's your favorite designer?