Our appetite for contemporary fine jewellery – the minimalist, delicate and totally affordable type – is pretty much insatiable. (What else conveys that coveted effortlessness like a stack of teensy tiny rings and countess, pendant-adorned chains?) Luckily, Canada is home to a bevy of thoughtful fine jewellery makers, from women-led startups to global juggernauts. Here are our 11 favourite brands making waves in the Canadian jewellery space and beyond.
Designers Melissa Gobeil and Susan Shaw meticulously design custom engagement rings out of Attic’s Toronto studio (we’re particularly fond of the Aline ring, a pear-shaped champagne diamond affixed to a milgrain band), but even if you’re not in the market matrimonial adornment, consider Attic’s selection of everyday fine jewellery essentials: claspless gold bangles, earlobe-hugging hoops and a bevy of novel chain styles.
2. Poppy Finch
Fans of this Vancouver-based brand find beauty in founder Amanda He’s delicately designed, but thoroughly modern jewellery (think: pearl cluster earrings and an ultra-fine lariat featuring a tiny ruby baguette). If you’re keen on building a responsible jewellery collection, it’s also worth noting Poppy Finch’s sustainable standards, making use of conflict-free diamonds, recycled gold and fairly mined gemstones and pearls in all of their designs.
Quality over quantity: that’s Toronto-based brand Oremme’s take on the fine jewellery movement. Designer Emilie Nolan executes her tightly curated collections of responsibly sourced investment pieces with the eye of an editor (her former day job): hollowed out hoops for ease of wear, stackable gem rings that all work together and solid gold chains that are meant to last a lifetime.
As its name would suggest, BluBoho’s design DNA is centred around a certain free-spiritedness. Expect highly layerable necklaces – crescent moon pendants, gemstone-flecked medallions, chains dotted with petite diamonds – and 14 karat stacking rings you’ll never want to take off. Basically, the kinds of pieces that come to define your style without you even trying.
5. Omi Woods
Omi Woods’ founder Ashley Alexis McFarlane’s homage to the African continent results in jewellery with layered meanings: gold-plated cowrie shells nod to the former currency in West Africa, while authentic South African coins – bearing the country’s coat of arms and a calla lily – are transformed into flattened pendants. Omi Woods has completely captured the idea of the contemporary heirloom: pieces that feel at once familiar and totally of the moment.
Hestia’s creative director Yasemin Mutlu takes jewellery box mainstays and reimagines them ever so slightly with a more modern aesthetic. Take her new Hearth collection, for instance: simple, stackable bands in structure and form, but enveloped in primary hued ceramic. Same goes for a dainty diamond bar necklace, which swaps pristine perfection for baguette gems sent askew.
There’s a distinctly feminine element that connects all of designer and founder Allison Asis’ reflective work. Her female-forward artistic inspirations – Georgia O’Keeffe’s magnified blooms and Ruth Asawa’s abstract wire sculptures among them – are evident across Cadette’s tightly curated collections, from the botanical-shaped earrings celebrating womanhood to her much-adored Female Form necklace.
8. Leah Alexandra
A quick perusal of Leah Alexandra’s designs and you instantly understand that gemstones – their raw, natural beauty – are her thing. Our top picks? A piercingly blue turquoise teardrop pendant, a cluster of violet tanzanites gathered around a vermeil ring and, for the colour happy, kaleidoscopic sapphires suspended on a gold chain bracelet.
9. Wolf Circus
The all-female design team at Wolf Circus plays by their own rules. Their spin on contemporary luxury never feels stuffy or unconsidered; they lean on recycled, post-consumer materials like sterling silver and bronze to craft each piece; and WC’s prices still remain attainable (most jewellery comes in under $200). The piece that encapsulates the brand best? A gold vermeil elongated chain necklace with a daisy shaped toggle.
10. Melanie Auld
Every piece in Melanie Auld’s vast collections are meant to tell a story – your unique story, to be precise. Choose from her strikingly wearable ready-to-wear pieces (we’re partial to the rounded Oro ring) or take on some of the styling onus with her build-your-own necklace option (picture a cabochon amulet, tiny gemstone pendant and delicate medallion engraved with your initials all stacked on one chain).
You can’t talk about Canada’s fine jewellery scene without mentioning Mejuri, the everyday luxury brand that pretty much put us on the map. Their weekly drops – white sapphire-dotted zodiac bracelets one Monday, croissant-shaped rings the next – keep things interesting, while their commitment to socially responsible materials (and fair pricing) keeps us coming back for more.
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