Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but far be it from us to turn down the rest of the precious stone posse. From engagement rings to gauges and watches to one-of-a-kind pendants, the Valley of the Sun has its fair share of razzle dazzle. Whether you're shopping for someone special or looking for a reason to treat yo self, here are 10 metro Phoenix jewelers worth visiting.
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For those who favor a family-run business, Schmitt Jewelers, 4402 East Camelback Road, is a justified stop. Founded in 1970 near 16th Street and Bethany Home Road, the ever-successful Schmitt Jewelers now has two locations in North Central Phoenix and Arcadia. They offer customized pieces which can be viewed and built step by step in their in-house studio and pride themselves on having a member of the family on the store floor. This aquamarine pendant with a diamond halo picture above is priced at $2,475. Visit schmittjewelers.com.
If you want to make a statement, Molina Jewelers is a good place to go. The Phoenix jeweler has a reputation for selling high-end and highly valuable pieces. To give you an idea, a sale associate told us they recently sold a rare one-carat red diamond for $3 million. If you're looking for a piece that makes a serious statement (and possibly a serious dent in your savings account), it might be worth setting up an appointment with Molina Jewelers. Visit www.molinafinejewelers.com.
Since 1998, Halo Piercing has been making and filling voids in Phoenicians' lives -- well, physical ones anyway. In addition to its piercing services (you get three free on your 18th and 65th birthday), Halo offers a wide selection of jewelry to accessorize the body: from ear lobes and eyebrows to nostrils and belly buttons. Piercing prices start at $15 for the ears work their way up to $50 as you move down the body. Whether you're looking for megalodon shark teeth ear weights or Swarovski crystal helixes, you're first pick for piercing Jewelry in Phoenix should be Halo. Visit www.halopiercing.com.
Against the Grain
If you followed our 2014 Big Brain finalists, frequent Frances and Bunky Boutique, or surf the online shops of Etsy, chances are you already know Ashley Weber's jewelry line, against the grain. The Tempe-based artist single handedly designs, builds, and sells original jewelry pieces that steer clear of the beaten path -- or trail rather. Weber draws her inspiration from nature with delicate earthy pieces that feature metal bangles, turquoise beads, and subtle inscriptions, including this pair of dangling turquoise beaded earring (pictured above) priced at $115. Visit ashleyweber.blogspot.com.
Old Town Scottsdale is a popular jewelry destination for happy couples looking to get hitched. And no engagement tour of this neighborhood would be complete without a visit to Cornelis Hollander. Since 1984, Hollander has been creating signature style rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets with a more modern aesthetic: streamlined designs with large geometric shapes. For those who aren't in the market to propose, but would like a ring for everyday wear, we recommend looking instead to the Elements collection, which does well to embody Cornelis Hollander's contemporary look and offers rings between $75 and $189. Visit www.cornelishollander.com.
Wearing something from Jewelry by Gauthier is like wearing a fine work of art. While it's easy enough to find any caliber of shiny and pretty in precious stones around the Valley, designer Scott Gautheir acquires rare gems like natural alexandrites, canary diamonds, and star sapphires, then takes them to a whole other level, by creating unique designs that are as contemporary as they are eye-catching (take the the atomic style pearl and diamond necklaces with matching ring pictured above and priced at $16,700 and $22,500, respectively). These hand-crafted pieces are sold at locations in Scottsdale and Santa Barbara. Visit www.jewelrybygauthier.com.
Robert C. Wesley Jewelers
The Wesley name has been in the Phoenix jewelry scene since 1910. And while much has changed since the store's early days on Central Avenue and Adams, it's commitment to quality has remained the same. Now located in Old Town Scottsdale, the Robert C. Wesley Jewelers, 7088 East Fifth Avenue, is divided into two parts: a Rolex shop and a boutique for women's designer jewelry fashions, including A. Jaffe, Marco Bicego, and Natalie K. They offer their own signature collection which contains custom-made necklaces and earrings. The Rolex pictured above is one of the store's more popular watches and is priced at $42,150. Visit www.robertwesleyjewelers.com.
If it ain't bespoke, go fix it by visiting Mother of Gideon at the Union in Biltmore Fashion Park. The jewelry line created by Charis Elliott and Seth Fainkujen is dedicated to using ethically sourced stones and repurposed materials to create a signature style of accessory that is as bold as it is beautiful with large geometric stones, ornately carved bands, and an overall presentation that is both rugged and refined. Because Elliott and Fainkujen handcraft all their jewelry, they can also create customized pieces that best fit their client's style. Some of our favorites include the stackable diamond band rings from Mother of Gideon's Convergence Collection priced at $920 a piece. Visit www.motherofgideon.com.
If you don't find what you're looking for in Old Town Scottsdale, we recommend taking the short drive north to Oliver Smith at Gainey Village. Since 1981, Smith has brought designer jewelry, timepieces, and his own signature designs to the Valley. Some of our favorite pieces come from Smith's Signature Collection, which features its own line of diamond earring charms to mix and match with diamond hoops. These charms include hearts, fleur de lis, and starbursts, and are priced between $175 and $1,595. Visit www.oliversmithjeweler.com.
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At Addison Taylor, custom is key. Which is why designer Scott Berger and his wife Marla see clients by appointment only.
Their private gallery on the sixth floor of Camelback Tower, 6900 East Camelback Road, features a 1970 Shovel Head Harley, hanging displays heavily bejeweled pendants created for various charity events, and ready-to-purchase watches and jewelry, the majority of which give off a slight rockstar vibe: think diamond crosses, hearts, and skulls. With their wholesale pricing, step-by-step design involvement with the customer, and the privacy that comes with forgoing a public gallery, it's no wonder why the Bergers say they attract celebrity clients including Playboy playmates, athletes, and local rocker Alice Cooper. The custom ring pictured above sold for $128,000. Visit addisontaylorfinejewelry.com.