Gorjana is an affordable jewelry brand that makes some of the best layering necklaces and accessories we've worn
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- Gorjana is a Laguna Beach-based jewelry brand specializing in unique everyday jewelry.
- I was won over by the quality of the materials and how opulent their pieces look and feel, especially given that the brand is relatively affordable.
- My favorite styles are The Parker and Parker Gem layering necklaces, which are $65 and $75, respectively.
Though most of us are still mainly relegated to the safety of our homes, the jovial nature of the summer season does seem to bring out the desire to adorn oneself a bit. Seeing as most social and work engagements are now conducted via Zoom, there's no better way to show off a bit of
If you're not yet familiar with Gorjana, prepare to become obsessed in short order. This jewelry brand was founded by a husband-and-wife team out of Southern California (Laguna Beach, to be precise). That laid-back, supremely cool beach vibe permeates all of Gorjana's pieces, making them ultra-wearable and easy to layer.
What started off as a small collection sold out of the couple's apartment has grown into a huge business with over 1,000 retailers nationwide as well as their own brick-and-mortar locations on both coasts. Gorjana prizes versatility, collaboration, and authenticity in their jewelry, and those values resonate within the company culture, which prioritizes giving back to the local community. The company routinely partners with local charities such as Children's Hospital of Orange County, With My Own Two Hands Foundation, various food drives, and more.
We've tested several pieces of jewelry from Gorjana, but its necklaces are a particular standout.
You can shop all manner of jewelry at Gorjana: necklaces, earrings, rings — you name it, they've got it. All of them are versatile and effortlessly appropriate for all occasions. These are the kinds of pieces that can make any old outfit feel special. Their delightful earrings caught my eyes early on thanks to unique designs such as tiny bejeweled cacti and skull studs, but it's their necklaces that officially got me hooked on the brand.
Gorjana's necklaces were all made to complement each other, making them the perfect layering — whether you follow the rule of three or like to bedeck yourself in necklaces until you feel like you're going to tip over.
My personal favorite is the Parker necklace collection, which features a distinctive clasp that can be worn alone or adorned with charms.
Available in 18-karat gold-plated brass, the original Parker necklace is an elevated link chain with a slightly retro vibe that exudes freshness and originality. At just $65, this necklace looks much more expensive than it actually is. It adds a simple, yet bold, touch and looks beautiful whether worn alone or layered. The clasp is designed to look like it's part of the necklace, and you can add charms to give it a little extra something or leave it as-is.
The Parker Gem necklace uses the same clasp, and comes in three different stones: natural agate, turquoise, and opalite glass, for $75 each. Unlike the OG Parker necklace, this 18-inch chain can't be shortened, but you can add a charm to the clasp. Some of the stones on these necklaces contain a slight color variance, but it only makes them more unique.
Senior editor Sally Kaplan has been wearing her original Parker link necklace for almost two years now. After rarely taking it off and showering with it almost every day, she says it still looks brand new.
Other styles we love
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that Gorjana's other jewelry styles are as special as the aforementioned necklaces. The brand does an equally wonderful job of elevating everyday basics when it comes to staples like stud earrings, simple bracelets, and rings. The ring sets, in particular, are especially stunning. We're partial to the Hudson set, which features three delicate gold and opalite rings. The limited sizing is a bit of a bummer, but getting three gorgeous rings in a single set for only $60 is pretty radical.
A few other pieces that have us swooning include the Bespoke Plate Adjustable Bracelet, because a sweet ID bracelet never goes out of style, and the Farrah Huggie earrings. We're also obsessed with the fact that you can buy individual studs like the Palm Charm Stud to mix and match one's ear decor. Ease, elegance, simplicity, and charm permeates Gorjana's entire line.
Cons to consider
It would be nice if we could shorten the Parker Gem necklaces like one can with the original Parker chain, but it's definitely not a deal breaker. Because the necklaces are all the same length, the only option for any kind of variation is to pair a shortened Parker chain with a Parker Gem necklace.
The circular clasps are larger than traditional necklace clasps, making them easier to grip, but the locking mechanism can feel a bit precarious at times. It took me a few wears to get used to the way the clasp needs to be firmly locked into place. At times it can be more difficult to get the mechanism to click properly into place, so it's definitely something the wearer needs to be mindful of so as to not lose it. And as with pretty much all necklaces, those with long hair do run the risk of getting a bit of a tangle in the back which, while unpleasant to extricate one's mane from, is not the end of the world.
While shoppers are able to return and exchange non-sale items, Gorjana has not updated its policy in light of the many shipping issues that have arisen as a result of COVID and the current USPS crisis. Giving someone 30 days to decide whether they want to keep something and then return it doesn't quite feel sufficient in these unreliable times, and it would be nice if Gorjana extended the grace period, as so many other brands have in recent months.
Additionally, those who are looking for stud earrings with gold or gold-plated brass posts will be disappointed to find that the majority of Gorjana's earring selection contain surgical steel posts. It helps keep the prices relatively low but means bad luck for those with metal sensitivities or those who are looking for solid gold studs.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, these are simply gorgeous necklaces. You'd be hard-pressed to find any real reason not to incorporate them into your daily looks, quarantine or not. It's not often one finds truly high-end jewelry for under $100 that is timeless and elegant while still feeling up-to-date and kicky. And while generally we're all for splurging on investment pieces, it's always a delight to find reasonably priced jewelry that doesn't feel like it's about to fall apart in your hands or look cheap. It's not an easy tightrope to walk, but Gorjana has achieved this near flawlessly with the Parker necklaces. They feel easy, clean, and light, and despite their minimalist design add a burst of bling without looking too trendy.
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