Life Style

Los Angeles designers have made 17 pieces of jewellery that are just breathtaking.

This is part of the L.A. Times 2022 Gift Guide. See the full guide here. If you make a purchase using some of our links, the L.A. Times may be compensated.

From skull earrings and diamond daggers for your edgier friends to engraved bracelets for people who want to carry the names of their loved ones close to them, we’ve rounded up an assortment of handmade statement pieces from Southern California jewelers that will suit just about everyone on your list. In an effort to highlight local independent artists, we tried to feature items that were affordably priced and made in L.A. Keep in mind that many pieces are made to order and may take two to three weeks, or more, to arrive.

Agapantha Jewelry Flora earrings

Dani Paquin’s lightweight Flora Earrings are delicate and sweet and just the thing for the person in your life who loves flowers. The earrings are handcrafted in Paquin’s Torrance showroom and come in two sizes in three metals: sterling silver, 14-karat gold fill and 14-karat rose gold fill.

$45-$88 at Agapantha Jewelry

Amy Jennings Designs Flat Beaded 14-karat gold-filled ring set

Amy Jennings Flat Beaded 14k gold-filled ring set

Handmade “with Aloha” in Los Angeles, Amy Jennings’ three-ring stack set includes a beaded gold ring and two 16 gauge rings. Wear them together or separately. If you don’t know the ring size you need, Jennings recommends tying a piece of string around the finger, or even floss, and measuring it against a ruler.

$128 at Amy Jennings Designs

Zoë Chicco Tiny Bead Turquoise Starburst stud earrings and Itty Bitty MAMA bracelet

Turquoise earrings from Zoe Chicco

Zoë Chicco’s tiny 14-karat-gold bead and turquoise starburst stud earrings can be worn solo or in a series. If earrings aren’t quite right mood-wise, try a handmade tiny word bracelet — we’re told MAMA and LOVE are the bestselling words in the collection.

$138-$275 for turquoise studs (can be sold as a single or pair); $295 for MAMA bracelet in white, yellow and rose gold at Zoë Chicco

Starling Jewelry engraved bar bracelet

An engraved bar bracelet by Starling Fine Jewelry

Customize the Figaro and Staple Chain Bracelets with a child’s name, zodiac sign or a significant date. Both the Figaro and Staple bracelet designs are available in 14-karat yellow gold, 14-karat rose gold and 14-karat white gold. Mix and match, or get several with the names of the loved ones.

$340-$350 at Starling Jewelry

Dea Dia Sun Tarot necklace and ring

The Sun tarot necklace from Dea Dia

Dea Dia designs are carved by hand by designer Jessica Lawson in Joshua Tree and cast in recycled metals in downtown Los Angeles by a woman-owned casting business. Lawson says the Tarot Sun card resonates in sunny L.A. because “it signifies optimism, fulfillment and abundance.” Both pieces are available in recycled brass, sterling silver and gold plate. For a luxury option, the necklace is also available in 10-karat gold.

$88-$850 for the necklace; $80-$130 for the ring at Dea Dia

Dru dagger pendant

Sterling silver dagger from Dru

Dru designer Thea Miller is drawn to daggers because they represent strength and fortitude. The dagger is designed for men and women and is available in two sizes and five stone options. (Chains are sold separately.)

$290-$345 in sterling silver at Dru

Gjenmi Jewelry Disco bracelet

Disco bracelet from Gjenmi jewelry

Highland Park designer Jennifer Sung says the Gjenmi person prefers a stacked look, and “bracelets are always a hit.” This year, she launched 637 chains (637 is a numeronym meaning “always and forever”), where she welds a bracelet onto your wrist. However, if you’re looking for something a little more temporary, Sung’s sparkling Disco Bracelet is fun and looks great paired with her other bracelets.

$175 at Gjenmi

Talon Jewelry mini skull stud

Skull earrings by Talon Jewelry

According to Ojai designer Emily Hirsch, her tiny skull earrings are “infused with dark romanticism that reflect the remote, mystical landscapes” of her youth. The faces are made by hand in Los Angeles and Ojai with recycled metals and Australian opal eyes. Available in sterling silver and 14-karat gold.

$132-$196 apiece at Talon Jewelry

Laura Estrada Jewelry Ophelia hair pin

Ophelia hair pin from Laura Estrada Jewelry in a woman's hair

Laura Estrada combines metalworking with innovative designs to create timeless handcrafted heirlooms. The hand-formed loopy hairpin with a natural freshwater pearl is available in polished brass, solid sterling silver and 14-karat gold-plated.

$148-$172 at Laura Estrada Jewelry

Clarke & Barba Double O-Ring wrap bracelet

Clarke & Barba Double O-Ring Bracelet

Husband-and-wife designers Melissa Clarke and Silvano Barba craft handmade pieces that are simultaneously elegant and edgy. The Double O-Ring Wrap Bracelet can go high or low, depending on the vibe. Just wrap it around the wrist and fasten with the two O-rings. Handmade in black and red leather.

$35 at Clarke & Barba

California Dirt Sun Cuff No. 5

Silver sun cuff from California Dirt

Jewelry designer and illustrator Carmen Kelly designs organic jewelry “for people to touch, to carry, to become an extension of self.” Pieces are designed by Kelly and handmade in the Jewelry District of downtown Los Angeles. The Sun Cuff No. 5 comes in one size in sterling silver.

$250 at California Dirt

Studio Tian Quartz and Sun Threader earrings

Earrings from Studio Tian

Stephanie Sekou’s delicate sun threader earrings, composed of 18-karat gold over sterling silver, are handmade in small batches at her home art studio in Carson.

$45 at Studio Tian

Maya Brenner letter necklace

Letter necklace from Maya Brenner

Simple asymmetrical letters ramp up the glam factor in Maya Brenner’s bestselling necklace. Available in gold, as well as diamond pavé, letters on 14-karat-gold chains ranging from 16 to 20 inches in length. Each ¼” letter is soldered onto a very delicate chain and designed to sit on the collarbone.

$255-$520 at Maya Brenner

Kinn Studio Maison oval locket

Oval locket from Kinn Studio

Wear Jennie Yoon’s locket as a blank oval — she also sells a heart-shaped locket — or engrave it with a signature letter. To add photos inside, simply open the locket and carefully press the photos into place. Complimentary engraving for one letter in York Script font. The price of the piece varies depending on the style of chain selected.

$295-$580 at Kinn Studio

Liza Shtromberg necklaces

Necklace from Liza Shtromberg

A Los Feliz fixture for more than 20 years, Liza Shtromberg offers handcrafted heirlooms ranging from fine jewelry such as wedding rings to everyday necklaces, including offerings in sterling silver, 14-karat gold plate and a variety of stones.

$183 at Liza Shtromberg

Educated Chola Rx Medication capsule stud earrings

Dopamine stud earrings by Educated Chola

Rosa Valdes of Educated Chola designs pill-shaped earrings in an effort to break the stigma around taking medication to manage your mental health. The brand offers different versions of gold-plated, silver-filled studs representative of the medications Lithium (pink), Cymbalta (blue) and Prozac (green). Educated Chola recently added a new design, Xanax, in gold, available this December.

$25 at Educated Chola

Brave Daughters Forever Jewelry

Brave Daughters forever jewelry gets zapped onto a wrist

For a unique jewelry experience, treat your giftee to a clasp-less, permanent piece of jewelry from Erin Myles and M. Semrau of Brave Daughters at their jewelry pop-up at Otherwild in Los Feliz through Dec. 30. Each piece of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, anklets and bracelets, are welded seamlessly onto your body, creating a special bond that will last forever. Twenty-minute appointments are available daily from noon to 7 p.m. and can accommodate two people.

$45 to $330. (A $40 non-refundable fee is taken when you book an appointment to hold your date and will be deducted from your final purchase). Book online at Brave Daughters.

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