Mid-priced jewelry, which could also be termed affordable luxury, is all the rage right now, writes The Telegraph. "It sits exactly half-way along the food chain: it’s not the cheap-and-cheerful high-street offering, but nor is it the wildly expensive pieces to be found on Bond Street." Pieces are usually sterling silver, gold-plated or made from 9 carat or 14ct gold, and consequently maintain a low price point. Stones are semi-precious (moonstone, labradorite, quartz, topaz), synthetic or tiny, pavé-set diamonds. "You’re looking at roughly under $150 for stud earrings, $150-$380 for a bracelet or pendant necklace, and anything up to $750 for a ring." Its popularity is in part because “women are now buying jewellery for themselves,” says Bec Clarke, founder of Astley Clarke, rather than higher price points of husbands buying diamonds for wives.
The 'hundreds but not thousands' price reflects the trend of getting value for money, as the pieces will not tarnish, nor fall apart. Both the sums, and the whole, have an intrinsic value. Brands like Astley Clarke, Thomas Sabo, Stella & Dot, Pandora and Monica Vinader have been pushing the rise, as the gap between the high and low ends of the market has been widening. “Precious metals and stones are getting more expensive, while non-precious metals, semi-precious gemstones and synthetic materials are dropping,” explains Chloe Wu, at industry analysts Euromonitor. These labels offer an alternative: fine jewelry, but at an affordable price.