Jewelry is always personal. Whether it’s an heirloom passed down through generations or a necklace you wear every day, there’s nothing in the fashion realm quite like jewelry to make you feel like your truest self. So when it comes to showing up and supporting brands, opt to create a more inclusive jewelry box. Supporting Black artists is and will always be important, and not just an act that should be reserved for Black History Month. With designers like Matthew Harris of Mateo contrasting pavé diamonds with malachite, Areeayl Goodwin’s Beads Byaree celebrating Black joy and taking the fashion industry (and Solange’s wardrobe) by storm, and BYCHARI mastering the art of simplicity, it’s easier than ever to do so. Ahead, discover 35 Black-owned jewelry brands to shop now and forever.
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Designed in Los Angeles with roots in the Bay Area, mastermind Tenisha Wilde has California ease down to a science. Her label Ten Wilde offers products from gold-plated to solid 14k, making chic jewelry accessible to all. Think: delicate stackable rings, hoop earrings in all proportions, and our personal favorite, this personalized take on the classic pearl necklace.
If this circular emblem by Almasika looks familiar, that’s because you might have caught Michelle Obama wearing a pendant version on Black-ish. No big deal. Designer Catherine Sarr cut her teeth in the diamond industry for years before launching her own label (she even had a stint at De Beers), and now is one of Chicago’s top diamond visionaries. Beyond creating fine jewelry worth the investment, she also sits on the Women’s Board and Advisory Committee of the Art Institute of Chicago and serves as a member of the Palais de Tokyo International Board.
Danyell Rascoe created Dan-Yell as an extension of her childhood fascination with gems and stones that she saw in the gift shop at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Years later, a trip to India rekindled her love for design, and Rascoe began crafting jewelry for herself. According to the brand’s page, she stated, “My work aims to be delicate with a sort of strength, that allows the jewelry to be part of your everyday life.” The result is beautiful jewelry cast in 10k gold and sterling silver, encrusted with semiprecious stones reminiscent of baubles you’d find in a museum.
Kira West, a community cultivator and content creator born in Brooklyn, set out to use her travels as a source of inspiration and change. With products inspired by globetrotting, 10 percent of MadeByKwest’s sales are donated to Girls Going Global, a nonprofit aiming “to address the disparity of girls of color in international education and today’s field of travel and international affairs.”
Say it like it is with Dominique Reneé. The nail artist turned jewelry designer creates cheeky jewelry with a playful bent. Phrases like “Always on Your Mind” and “Sweet Lies” are splashed in 3D-printed bioplastic, making this a brand to look to if you want to make a statement.
Trecy Bleich Jewelry
Trecy Bleich jewelry is the kind you’d find in an exhibit. Literally. With an eye for geometry and bold color combinations, Bleich’s designs are sold in museums nationwide. With every item made to order by Bleich’s own hands, you can feel the love in each item.
Lauren Newton uses her background as a former zoologist to inform her designs, which results in natural forms like a pair of tusk-shaped earrings or textures molded after a stingray’s skin. When she works beyond the animal kingdom, you’ll fall in love with her delicately intricate charms, including this sweet little skull.
Don’t Let Disco
Having worked at Sotheby’s, Ashley Harris uses her trained eye in the art industry to inform her own creative endeavor, Don’t Let Disco. The jewelry brand upends the beaded necklace, so think of it as an adult upgrade of the styles you made as a kid. Necklaces and bracelets are skillfully curated by Harris using beads she’s sourced over the years from vintage markets, creating an intentional, beautiful style that is one of a kind.
An ode to founder Morgan Thomas’s mother, Yam’s pieces are all handmade in Queens, New York. The nostalgia-driven line features gold-plated metals offset with playful charms like blown glass hearts.
Helmed by designer Sade Mims, EDAS has everything your aesthetic mind craves: sustainable home goods, luxurious handbags, and, notably, eclectic jewelry made by hand.
If these “Vote” necklaces look familiar to you, it’s because you’ve seen them on the décolletage of none other than Michelle Obama. Suffice it to say, designer and creative director Chari Cuthbert creates with purpose.
Although Matthew Harris was born in Jamaica, he cut his teeth in New York’s jewelry district and is now blazing the trail as one of the top modern designers in the city. With jewels worn by Rihanna, Solange, and Zendaya, everything he touches (literally) turns to gold, diamonds, and precious gems.
Omi Woods is on a mission to not only create future heirlooms inspired by the African diaspora but to empower everyone involved, from the miners to the eventual wearers. Using fair trade gold and workers protected with fair wages and community outreach, designer Ashley Alexis McFarlane aims and succeeds in producing jewelry that matters.
For starters, Third Crown is backed by Beyoncé herself. Founders and co-designers Kristin and Kofi Essel pour their love and industry experience directly into their fine wares, complete with heavy geometric shapes and gender neutral statement pieces.
For romantic jewelry that fuses traditional cuts with a modern day slant, consider jewels by Valerie Madison. Pay special attention to her custom engagement rings, which feature unexpected touches like salt-and-pepper diamonds and rose-cut gems.
Backed by Solange and Tracee Ellis Ross (who wore Beads Byaree on ELLE’s August 2020 digital cover), Areeayl Goodwin’s brand is fast becoming a household name. She marries whimsy with power, evoking an emotional response with her imaginative jewelry. The only thing more magical would be actually getting your hands on a piece, since her designs are quick to sell out.
Johnny Nelson says his jewels are “conversation pieces that catch the eye.” The topic of discussion? Anything from Black history to hip-hop to spirituality, with direct references to Harriet Tubman and the Wu-Tang Clan alike.
The gold standard at Auvere is just that: pure, unadulteraed gold. In 2016, Gina Love (a former real estate lawyer) and Steven Feldman founded Auvere on the premise that all of their jewels be made of 22 or 24 karat gold only, to let the metal really shine.
Oma the Label
If you’re a gold-only kind of person, look to Oma the Label. The brand excels at modernizing classic chains, rings, and even body jewelry, all in your favorite metal.
We Dream in Colour
Fortune favors the bold, and that can be said specifically of Jade Gedeon, the creative brains behind We Dream in Colour. Her collection is not for the faint of heart, but it’s easy to fall in love with her technicolor earrings, oversized necklaces, and designs made to make you smile.
Based in the Bay Area of California, founder Lauren Harwell Godfrey’s high-end jewelry speaks to your soul. She designs to heal, using 18k gold, luxuriously detailed inlay enamel, and a special use of color to protect wearers with symbolic pieces.
Think of Marcia Vidal’s jewelry as talismans. Her handmade silver and gold jewels are the kind you can’t imagine taking off. With proceeds from each purchase benefiting the non-profit organization Choose Love, it’s hard not to wear your heart around you neck.
Founder Ope Omojola’s pieces are wearable works of art. With each stone cut by hand, her jewelry enhances its source materials, and by default, enhances your whole look.
Fans of Vrai are sure to love Khadijah Fulton’s line, White Space. The designer created Vrai’s wedding collection, but her own brand is decidedly more delicate, with items like baroque pearls and sinuous earrings that curve along the ear.
Alicia Goodwin’s Lingua Nigra “is inspired by nature, with a focus on ancient talismans, Victorian era work, and mourning sentimental jewelry.” The pieces speak for themselves.
SOKO puts people first. The jewelry and tech company empowers artisans in Kenya by offering them a tech platform that connects them with global markets. In other words, SOKO directly reaches its artisans via mobile app, cutting out the middle man. The designs themselves are modern and ideal for everyday wear.
If your taste in jewelry is more niche, check out Angely Martinez, whose work is inspired by an avant-garde aesthetic with splashes of Baroque Rococo art.
Not all jewelry has to fall in the “classic” or “statement” category. Case in point: Bernard James, with pieces ranging from flower-studded cuban link chains to mixed metal bracelets, is a quiet combination of both. (Editor’s note: James’s dog wears a custom chain, as featured in ELLE.)
Founded in 2011 by pastors Jeremiah Kuria and Zane Wilemon, Ubuntu Life originally partnered with nine moms in Kenya to help produce home goods that would support them financially. The next year, the brand expanded and started working with Maasai craftswomen in the Ngong Hills, who utilized their traditional beadwork knowledge to create beautiful bracelets. Ubuntu Life continued to grow, but its goal to support communities and provide sustainable employment has never changed.
Shayba Muhammad’s poetic brass jewelry is sensual and meditative all at once. Her designs encourage you to be intentional with your jewelry choices, whether it’s with an elegant choker or a pair of twisted hoop earrings. “I want women to feel at home with Mahnal,” she says.
With stints at Narciso Rodriguez and Barney’s, Jameel Mohammed is an emerging design talent with a bright future. Khiry’s alluring pieces range from voluptuous curves to Horus pendants and custom fine jewelry, so we expect to see more from him soon.
L’Enchateur is the kind of jewelry that you simply must tag in your grid post, otherwise your comment section will be flooded with “where’d you get that” questions. Founded by identical twins Dynasty and Soull Ogun and inspired by science, religion, mythology, magic, and fairy tales, even the brand’s quietest designs speak volumes.
Get noticed in Taylor Nikole’s jewelry. Her handmade, sculptural earrings merge art and fashion—and will ensure at least three compliments per wear. Above all, the pieces truly spark joy.
Experimental in nature and handcrafted in Nairobi, Kenya, Theresia Kyalo’s pieces subvert what we think of as jewelry. Her beautiful, made-to-order metalwork is truly a sight to see (and wear).
Jewelry doesn’t have to be serious, and founder Sydney Ziems and her brand Serendipitous Project will surely lift your spirits. Her colorful, conceptual designs are like a DIY project gone right, with items like carved turquoise rings bedazzled with gemstones and barrettes made of seashells.
Justine Carreon is the market editor at ELLE.com covering fashion, Dutch ovens, and fashion again.
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