The best gifts come in small packages.By: Sarah Shemkus
They say that the right accessories make an outfit. But how do you find that ideal jewelry piece to elevate your look from pedestrian to perfection? This roundup of 15 of the best jewelry shops in Southern New England is sure to provide the answer. Whether you’d rather pick out diamonds in a classic setting or browse through an offbeat boutique for something vintage, we’ve got options for every style and budget.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get shopping.
A Boston institution, Shreve, Crump & Low has been a destination for jewelry and gifts for more than 200 years. The store’s polished wood paneling and gilt-frame art create a classically luxe environment for browsing the extensive collection of diamonds, gemstones and pearls. The offerings are a mix of pieces from celebrated designers and jewelry fashioned by the in-house staff of gemologists and craftspeople. Later on this year, the company is unveiling a new Greenwich, Conn., location, so stay tuned.
- 39 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 617-267-9100
- 232 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA, 617-969-6262;
Quadrum, located in the Mall at Chestnut Hill, aims to merge jewelry and art. The result is an eclectic selection that includes bracelets crafted from iron nails and adorned with gold and diamonds; bold, asymmetrical cocktail rings; and necklaces featuring delicately carved horn. Cases and lighting are specifically designed to highlight the unique collection for an immersive shopping experience.
- 199 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA, 617-965-5555;
The jewelry at South End boutique M. Flynn is classic and contemporary all at once. The shop was founded by sisters Megan and Moria Flynn, who curate the showroom’s offerings, which range from gracefully simple to colorfully modern. The pair also design their own pieces, drawing inspiration from the fashions of the ’50s and ’60s and their grandmother’s collection of vintage costume jewelry.
- 40 Waltham Street, Boston, MA, 617-292-0079;
With an outsized bow wrapped around the building, the flagship store of Long’s Jewelers in Burlington suggests that every shopping trip there is a special occasion. Founded in 1878, the family-owned company has long been a fixture in Greater Boston, with five locations selling everything from sparkling engagement rings and refined timepieces to playful, colorful fashion jewelry, all from a carefully selected roster of designers.
- 60A South Avenue, Burlington, MA, 781-272-5400
(additional locations in Boston, Braintree, Natick and Peabody)
Lux Bond & Green started in 1898 with one man selling watches and eyeglass frames from a horse-drawn cart in Connecticut. Four generations later, the business has eight locations, including two stores in Massachusetts, where shoppers can browse the work of dozens of designers, starting with the bold, organic shapes of Carelle, romantic pieces by Temple St. Clair and colorful pearl accessories from Honora.
- 416 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 617-266-4747 and 60 Central Street, Wellesley, MA, 781-235-9119
Dorfman on Newbury Street is the destination for shoppers seeking high-end sophistication. Chandeliers and burled wood fixtures showcase a distinctive collection that features the traditional beauty of diamonds, emeralds and rubies. In addition to pieces designed in-house, the store sells jewelry from Alexandra Mor, Assael and the revived Marina B line based on classic designs from Marina Bulgari of the famed Italian jewelry family.
- 24 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 617-536-2022
Providence’s M.R.T. Jewelers may be big, but it is not a big box store, says vice president David Audette, who owns the business along with his parents. While the 7,000-square-foot store houses a sprawling and eclectic array of jewelry, the family strives to keep the atmosphere casual and friendly. An open in-house design studio lets shoppers watch as custom work is created.
“We do not believe in pretense,” says Audette.
Founded in 1918, M.R.T. originally focused on jewelry repair and custom work; the company began a serious retail expansion in the 1970s, when Audette’s father joined the business. Today, the East Providence showroom features a wide selection of diamonds and bridal jewelry as well as more casual fashion lines like Rebecca and Anna Beck.
“My father and I are always adding to our inventory,” Audette says. “There are constantly new offerings going into the cases.”
- 927 Warren Avenue, East Providence, RI, 401-435-3500
Tiffany Peay makes and sells jewelry that celebrates and highlights the beauty of gemstones. She started the business in her Manhattan walk-up apartment more than 15 years ago but moved to the village of Tiverton Four Corners in 2007. There, working with many lesser-known materials, like smoky green tourmaline and striking blue kyanite, Peay creates pieces that let the color and shape of her stones shine.
- 3851 Main Road, Tiverton, RI, 401-816-0878
Sure, you can find diamonds and gold at Down Under Jewelry in Newport. But don’t forget to check out the colorful resin bracelets, reworked vintage beads and accessories made of seedpods while you’re at it. The store—named for its first location in a basement studio—prides itself on its relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, so feel free to linger over the wares.
- 479 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-849-1078
Stocked with popular brands like Pandora, Hearts of Fire and Tacori, Baxter’s Fine Jewelry probably has what you need (or just want). But if you can’t find that ideal something, the in-store design center can create the perfect custom piece. The store even offers comfy chairs and refreshments if you want to take a break and contemplate your potential purchases.
- 200 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI, 401-739-8222;
As the name suggests, Providence Diamond Co. started out specializing in those signature sparklers; a husband- and-wife team met with clients privately by appointment only. Today, the company’s retail location in Garden City Center offers an even wider variety of luxury. Besides having an extensive array of bridal jewelry, the store is also Rhode Island’s exclusive provider of David Yurman, Ippolita and Stephen Webster designer pieces.
- 65 Hillside Road, Cranston, RI, 401-946-7070
Founded in Providence in 1952, Ross-Simons has made quality accessories and affordable prices part of its mission since day one. Today, the flagship store in Warwick has options appropriate for the everyday, the very special occasion and everything in between, from birthstone tennis bracelets and simple pearl strands to striking diamond bridal sets and charming children’s jewelry. For a unique statement, browse their selection of whimsical animal-shaped baubles, including octopus brooches and porcupine rings.
- 136 Lambert Lind Highway, Warwick, RI, 401-738-6700;
Estate pieces are at the heart of Warwick’s Place Jewellers, where shoppers can browse unique wares such as turn-of-the-century gold pocket watches, Art Deco diamond rings and funky 1960s costume jewelry. Owner Rodney Baril works with banks, attorneys and private sellers to ferret out the best vintage pieces for his collection. “It’s always a different mix and we never know what’s going to show up,” he says.
Baril started the business in 1992, taking over a space built as a jewelry store in 1951. He purposely kept the wood paneling and hand-built display cases to create a relaxed atmosphere that complements the style of his merchandise.
Customers appreciate not only the shop’s jewelry but also its old-fashioned flair, notes Baril. “There is a lot more mystique in older pieces of jewelry,” he adds. “Customers often muse about the previous owners’ lives.”
- 3228 Post Road, Warwick, RI, 401-738-0511
With sea glass necklaces, wave pendants and flip-flop earrings, the accessories at C.B. Stark Jewelers have embodied the spirit of Martha’s Vineyard since 1966. The store’s two locations in Vineyard Haven and Edgartown offer jewelry ranging from the casual and fun (think Jaws-inspired shark tooth charms) to the elegant and upscale, including classic diamond engagement rings. The shops also offer a wide range of charm bracelets and beads that pay tribute to the Vineyard; lighthouses, ferries and the island’s iconic gingerbread cottages are among the choices.
- 7 Winter Street, Edgartown, MA and 53A Main Street, Vineyard Haven, MA, 508-627-1260
Italian jewelry designer Roberto Coin merges fun and glamour in his designs: necklaces strung with a spectrum of semi-precious stones, eye-catching black sapphire-and-diamond rings, bracelets made of flexible ropes of gold. His creations are available in many jewelry stores, but the Roberto Coin boutique at Mashpee Commons on Cape Cod lets shoppers immerse themselves in his work. While browsing, keep an eye out for his signature: a small ruby hidden somewhere on each piece.
- 16 Steeple Street, Mashpee, MA, 508-477-7772
The gray-shingled shop of goldsmith Ross Coppelman is surrounded by lush, colorful gardens. Inside the East Dennis showroom, the embrace of nature continues with jewelry inspired by ocean waves, flower petals and the shifting curves of tidal sands. Coppelman’s distinctive designs make playful use of materials, incorporating craggy freshwater pearls, assertive chunks of semi-precious stones and even sprinklings of gold and platinum dust.
- 1439 Route 6A, East Dennis, MA, 508-385-7900
Tucked into a small cottage on Nantucket’s picturesque Straight Wharf, Jewel of the Isle lets visitors shop for a touch of the island’s casual sophistication to bring home with them. Owners Gary and Kelli Trainor, who opened the store more than 25 years ago, pride themselves on their extensive collection of island-themed jewelry, including gold scallop shell bracelets, pendants bearing tiny vials of island sand and a line of miniature Nantucket lightship baskets, rendered in gold or silver.
- 6 Straight Wharf, Nantucket, MA, 508-228-2448