If you’re going to indulge in the high-pressure gift-giving frenzy that surrounds Valentine’s Day in an attempt to prove your love to an S.O. this year, may we suggest forgoing generic roses, chocolates, and diamonds, and opting for a locally handcrafted piece of jewellery from one of Vancouver’s many talented designers instead?
From banana-shaped earrings to upcycled wine-barrel pendants, there’s no shortage of bling to impress the sweeties, pals, and partners in your life. Plus, nothing’s sexier than treating a loved one—or yourself!—to a one-of-a-kind jewel all while supporting the city’s creative and small-business communities, right?
For the free spirit
Beads are the leitmotif in designer Brittany Weir’s boho-influenced Dorrit & Millie, though they don’t look nearly as clunky here as in the trinkets you rocked during grade school. Tiny moonstone and seed beads make up subtle chokers, necklaces, and abstract hand-loomed bracelets, forming pieces that are at once laidback, sophisticated, and fun. We especially love the beaded chandelier earrings, which come awash in rich jewel tones like emerald, fuchsia, and indigo. From $35 online.
For the minimalist
For those who enjoy the finer, more luxurious things in life, there’s Roque’s collection of pared-down, beautifully subdued bling. Founded by local jewellery designer Negar Khatami and stylist Michelle Addison, the recently launched line includes 14-karat-gold and sterling-silver stacking rings, delicate hand-carved necklaces, and swoon-worthy pearl-studded hoops that transition effortlessly from the 9-to-5 grind to date night. From $55 online and at TurF (2041 West 4th Avenue).
For the artsy fartsy
Traditional metalsmithing meets modern, anomalous supplies like Plexiglas, acrylic, and acetate in Wasted Effort’s line of fantastically funky bling. Designed and produced by Marie Foxall—a self-proclaimed mathematician by trade—the geometric rings, necklaces, and earrings are modelled after everything from bananas and juicy citrus slices to Grecian jugs and palm fronds. We’re obsessed with the Copacabana earrings, a dramatic set of shapely danglers drenched in hues from a tropical sunset. From $89 online and at Nouvelle Nouvelle (302 West Cordova Street and 208 East 12th Avenue).
For the old soul
One of Vancouver’s longest running and most coveted jewellery lines, Pyrrha has been producing talisman necklaces, charms, rings, bracelets, and more since 1995. Designers Danielle Wilmore and Wade Papin take great care to ensure each piece is imbued with meaning, employing reclaimed minerals and authentic, Victorian-era wax seals to convey messages of love, strength, everlasting friendship, and more. Indicative of Pyrrha’s longevity, the label even teamed up with HBO to make a Game of Thrones–inspired collection in 2014, which remains available online. From $48 online and at Much & Little (2541 Main Street).
For the glamazon
They say all that glitters isn’t gold, but that certainly ain’t the case with Pamela Card Jewelry. The designer’s gilded, sumptuous, and antiquelike jewels are the stuff royal dreams are made of: all textured, high-shine, and dripping with pendants or medallions influenced by Egyptian motifs, Roman relics, and whatever else Card has stumbled upon during her worldly travels. The collection features rose-gold and sterling-silver pieces, too. From $120 online.
For the expressive
Rock on, whatever, and fuck you are just a few of the terms you can rock with Carli Sita’s line of fine jewels—though not exactly in those words. The Vancouver-raised silversmith is perhaps best known around town for her Famous Fingers collection, which features sterling-silver pendants molded after hands forming the signs for the aforementioned phrases—plus peace, love, and others—though she also produces a range of dainty rings, earrings, and beaded bracelets. From $75 online and at Woo to See You (1062 Mainland Street and 3671 Main Street).
For the eco-conscious
Crafted from used wine barrels that her winemaker father brings home, Madeleine Belanger’s upcycled shadow-box necklaces are perfect for those with a thing for Mother Nature, Mother Earth, or the Pacific Northwest. Offered under the name It Must Be Nice to Be a Bird, each of the adorable vintage-inspired pendants is carved from wood and features an original illustration by Belanger—sketches of crows and robins, for example, and even custom pet portraits if you ask nicely—showcased in a transparent panel. From $26 on Etsy.