I'd like to tell you that there are some hard-and-fast rules about what kind of jewellery looks cheap and what kind of jewellery looks expensive, but unfortunately it's an ever-changing set of visual pointers that are entirely related to what's trending at the time. For example, if faux-crystal chandeliers are having a moment within design circles, it can be very hard to distinguish which pieces are £500 and which cost you a fiver. In essence, many jewellery trends can look cheap on purpose—and that plays to our benefit.
A few tips for you: Cheaper metals may tarnish more easily, so don't expect a long shelf life on something you want to wear every single day. I'd suggest looking out for and avoiding jewelled pieces that have foil-effect backgrounds on the gems, as they can chip. Perhaps this is just my preference, but I always think gold tones tend to look more expensive than silver ones.
Then it really comes down to knowing the brands that have an eye for creating directional jewellery pieces at a lower price point. Which is where I'm stepping in to help. Keep scrolling to see the labels I go to for affordable jewellery that looks 100% fabulous.
Mango: Great for Sculptural Art Teacher-Style Jewellery