Worth It: Gems You Can Actually Afford

Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.

My friends always joke that I'm like a kooky hippie aunt when it comes to my taste in jewelry; I'm a sucker for rough-cut stones, dangling crystals, and anything resembling a dreamcatcher. But although I like to think of myself as a special snowflake, "kookie hippie aunt" accessories are apparently very popular right now, which means they're also outrageously expensive: every pair of amethyst earrings or gigantic turquoise ring I come across costs almost half my rent.

That's why the Etsy store "A Birch For Monday" is a geode-studded godsend. Chloe, the store's owner and a recent creative writing MFA grad, has excellent taste and told me she "loves" making custom orders: for example, she made me this pearl necklace even though it was already sold. I bought it along with these amethyst and kunzite earrings, which I gave to my mom for Mother's Day (I also ordered a pair for myself), and a necklace made out of a 1920s men's pocket watch that I gave my roommate for her birthday.

Another fantastic thing about Chloe is that she'll give you a discount on her already reasonable wares (most items cost between $24 and $50) if you order a few at a time. So what are you waiting for? Some of my favorite pieces on sale right now include a simple but glittery geode necklace that would definitely cost four times the $48 price in any boutique, and these $18 turquoise hoop earrings. Chloe's so sweet (I swear I don't know her personally, although now I feel like I do after the many emails we've exchanged about gems and stones) that you'll feel great about giving her your hard-earned money. Everybody wins!

A Birch For Monday, at Etsy.com.

Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.