Philadelphia’s Best Local Designer Jewelry Stores
Craiger Drake Designs
Rittenhouse | 1701 Walnut Street, fifth floor
Forget snooty shops meant to intimidate—the new showroom of prolific gem whisperer Craiger Drake feels like the comfortable, but luxe, living room of a pal’s Rittenhouse condo. Drake’s diversity is impressive; you’ll find pieces like show-stopping geometric emerald and diamond dangle earrings, a pastel pink quartz stone set in delicate rose gold, fierce cuffs adorned with sculptural animals, and simple standards like gold hoops or chains dotted with amethyst and citrine. There’s plenty to browse, but appointments are welcome.
Go here for: High-quality handcrafted designs.
Gladwyne | 355 Righters Mill Road
Self-taught jeweler Marissa Small has a design mantra: Each piece needs to be casual enough to wear with jeans, but worthy of being dressed up. Now you can find her collection in the polished Gladwyne shop she opened in December. Pieces nudge toward edginess, like stunning emerald teardrop earrings set in oxidized silver with 14-karat gold, tassel necklaces of labradorite and diamond, and a stretchy sapphire rondelle bracelet connected with a diamond bar. Prices range from $55 to $6,000.
Go here for: Upscale—but wearable—finds.
Northern Liberties | 716 North
There’s a wonderfully moody, curiosity-shop-like vibe at this NoLibs showroom and studio, where owner Angela Monaco turns out her own pieces and sells creations by other locals. Each item is original, and the perfect balance of thoroughly feminine and totally badass. Monaco’s raw-crystal-cast necklaces and rings, often in rose gold and dotted with stones, are wearable art, while Philly designer Carly Herman’s Bombita line includes shapely hand-textured rings.
Go here for: Fashion-forward items from designers on the rise.
Lambertville | 6 Bridge Street
Park Place’s stellar reputation for estate and vintage jewelry (and discretion) means its cases are filled with some of the most Liz Taylor-worthy pieces in the area. While inventory moves quickly, you could find a signed 1960s diamond and sapphire brooch from Tiffany, or a circa-1925 Art Deco emerald and diamond ring—you know, the kind that’s being reproduced (without the terrific backstory) today.
Go here for: Fabulous baubles with a pedigree.
Rittenhouse | 260 South 16th Street
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: The jewelry here is unlike anything in the area. Owner Kate Egan has a discriminating eye—which leans towards the delicate, simple and earthy—and carries lines from artists who show in only a handful of stores in the country. Nicole Landaw sets a monocle-sized rutilated quartz in a cuff bracelet; Ted Muehling turns gold into lacy diamond-flecked earrings; and local Jessica Berwind uses found objects—like shells—for her 18- and 22-karat gold designs.
Go here for: Understated modern classics by cult-favorite designers.