Bold baubles: The best statement party jewellery

Annabel Harrison

13 December 2021

Now is not the time for subtlety; adorn yourselves in the sparkliest, most fabulously ostentatious jewellery and accessories this Christmas

13 December 2021 | Annabel Harrison

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arties shall continue – we remain optimistic – albeit with the take-a-test before you come caveat. We're fine with that if it means we can shimmy into our favourite party dress and accessorise to the hilt. Because when Christmas rolls around, especially after the year we've just had (again), we're not into subtle rings, delicate necklaces or earrings with the tiniest, prettiest of gemstones. We're hypnotised by showstopping, diamond-encrusted wrist candy, dazzling earrings in one or all of the rainbow hues, oversized look-at-me rings and – why not? – royalty-worthy tiaras. Read on for our selection of some of the best party jewellery this Christmas.

Shine bright like a diamond: Bulgari

Bulgari calls this a watch but really it's really an exquisite statement bracelet with a secret watch face as an added bonus. Before you've even checked the time, you, and your fellow partygoers, will have been wholly distracted by 103 blue buff-top sapphires, 10 tourmaline beads and a staggering 779 (yes, you read that right) brilliant-cut diamonds. Slide a sapphire-encrusted cover aside to reveal a hidden full pavé dial. Bulgari doesn't do things by halves – this watch is from the Magnifica collection, designed to showcase its "strenuous commitment to magnificence".

Magnifica Celestial Sky watch, POA, bulgari.com

Dress to impress: Tessa Packard

If no one comments on these Tessa Packard earrings, we'd be flabbergasted. Firstly, because surely your friends, family and colleagues are yet to have set eyes on any other jewellery that has been made from yellow gold, brass, coral, plastic, vintage wallpaper and resin fish. Secondly, because they are as beautiful as they are kooky, with a design inspired by mid-century American culture with its salmon and coral pinks, 1950s wallpaper, vintage sewing pins and sweetheart motif. And if you want something (slightly) less OTT, this mega cocktail ring is one we've been admiring for a while. Handcrafted in 18ct yellow gold and lapis lazuli, it represents the Manhattan skyline at dusk (= cocktail hour). Perfect for getting the bartender's attention, and for admiring as you sip your own Manhattan.

Riviera earrings, £4,900, and Manhattan ring, £7,500, tessapackard.com

Chanelling the mighty Aphrodite: Olivia & Pearl

She didn't earn the moniker Mighty Aphrodite for no reason – the goddess of love and lust was, by all mythical accounts, a force you'd rather not reckon with. These earrings were designed with Aphrodite in mind, and the tale of her birth from a sea shell. You can enjoy swishing your new mother of pearl droplet earrings around, safe in the knowledge that the gold is 100% recycled and the pearls are top certified AAAA+ grade, ethically sourced and hand-selected by founder Olivia Smith.

Aphrodite earrings, £220, oliviaandpearl.com

French flair: Jennifer Gibson Jewellery

Selfridges has an admirable commitment to helping us shop sustainably wherever possible so choose to give this pre-loved Givenchy multi-strand pearl necklace a new lease of life this party season. Three strands of simulated pearls are embellished with sizeable glass crystals and a gold-plated, crystal-studded flower. Dress up and show this off to maximum effect with a high neckline in a block colour.

Vintage Givenchy necklace from Jennifer Gibson Jewellery, £595, selfridges.com

In like a lion: Gucci

Gucci does deliver, and always has, when it comes to making a statement. The lion head, says the house of Gucci, is synonymous with the brand, as a symbol of authority and command. This one comes in the form of a ring – metal with an aged gold finish – holding a faceted green crystal between its teeth (there is also a version with a red crystal). Festive colours, fashionably fun and fab-u-lous.

Ring, £285, gucci.com

Wonderful walnut: Chalk Jewellery

For something cool and a bit different, turn to Selfridges' Project Earth edit. We love the combination of dark walnut with pops of bright acrylic in turquoise and orange in these earrings by Chalk Jewellery, a London-based design studio run by architect Malaika. Her output comprises unusual, geometric forms, influenced by architectural elements, everyday objects and bold cultural patterns. Love.

Chalk Jewellery Moyo earrings, £70, selfridges.com

Dream team: Swarovski

Green and gold are a winning combination, especially teamed together on this deep vibrant green crystal, its cut and colour inspired by emeralds. Part of the Lucent family, designed by Swarovski's creative director Giovanna Engelbert, the clever magnetic design and double band means this ring, and its crystal, can separate into two parts and be stacked with other pieces.

Lucent ring, £165, swarovski.com

Mirror mirror on the wall: Chaumet

Who's the fairest of them all? Probably the queen in this tiara, that's who. Some might say tiaras should be reserved for real-life royalty or brides looking to push the (diamond) boat out, but we say, especially after the couple of years we've just all had, there is no time like the present to own a tiara. In both senses of the verb. This showstopper is remarkable thanks to the twisting, curving motion that has been embued into white gold and diamonds, inspired by a frieze on the Place Vendôme where Chaumet opened in 1812. For maximum impact, wear it with a monotone outfit (we'd be inclined to channel Claudia Winkleman and wear all black).

Torsade de Chaumet tiara, POA, chaumet.com

Twinkle twinkle little stars: Emily P. Wheeler

These Twinkle earrings do exactly as their name suggests and were designed to celebrate the joy of dressing up; we are fully on board with that. Even better: they're cast from 18ct recycled gold, reducing waste, and given their vibrancy thanks to amethyst posts framed by contrasting enamel and a row of sparkling lemon quartz. You might be tempted to whip your hair back and forth to ensure these beauties catch the light with maximum impact.

Emily P. Wheeler Twinkle earrings, £1,530, net-a-porter.com

Perfectly pre-loved: Susan Caplan

One of the most eco-friendly ways to shop jewellery is from sites that curate the very best pre-loved and vintage pieces out there. Susan Caplan is an industry expert and, if you're already interested, it's worth knowing she and her team deem 'vintage' items to be 20 years or older. This gold-plated collar necklace is embellished with jewel-coloured Swarovski crystals in an ornately detailed design and the bracelet, also gold-plated, reflects the Edwardian period in style, with tones of amethyst Swarovski crystals. 

Susan Caplan necklace, £165, and bracelet, £48, susancaplan.co.uk

Charmed, we're sure: Goossens

We could all do with some extra luck in 2022 (as 2021 didn't quite deliver the improvement on 2020 that we had hoped for). This charm bracelet – metal dipped in an intriguing-sounding bath of 24-carat gold – features a blue enamel four-leaf clover in its centre, ticking the lucky box, along with four other motifs that recur in Robert Goossen's creations: wheat, a medal with a rock crystal cabochon, a pearl and a water lily.

Charm bracelet, £575, goossens-paris.com

Think (very) pink: Kimberley McDonald

If you're going to spend £18,295 on a bracelet that is perfect for parties (and we'd wear it with jeans too – loungewear even – to ensure a vaguely reasonable cost-per-wear), it should be this creation by Kimberley McDonald. Three reasons. One: it's from the Net Sustain collection on Net-a-Porter, which means that it meets at least one of eight key sustainable attributes. Two: it's an epic shade of pink. Specifically, the rare pink of the cobalto calcite druze stones. Three: it's one-of-a-kind so there's no chance of another partygoer sporting the same wrist candy. We also love the blackened white gold and very subtly-placed diamonds.

Kimberley McDonald bracelet, £18,295, net-a-porter.com

Angle blinder: Eéra

Even if you don't know Eéra, you may well have seen its pieces on the likes of Hailey Bieber and Dua Lipa. This Allegra earring was inspired by snap hooks and is cast from PVD-coated silver in a geometric shape, traced with sapphires. Yes please.

Eéra Allegra earring, £1,845, net-a-porter.com

Secret garden: Dior

Technically a timepiece... but oh so much more. An exquisite bangle-strap of white gold twisting stems and leaves; a textured, intricate rose crafted from pink gold, diamonds, purple garnets and pink sapphire; a diamond watch face. We can only hazard a guess at how many hundreds of hours this creation took, and we'd think of that every time we wore it (as well as keeping this miniature work of art on display the rest of the time). 

Rose Mantique timepiece, POA, dior.com

Over the rainbow: Kiki McDonough

Kiki McDonough is a coloured gemstone connoisseur so these earrings showcase her favourites in all their technicolour glory. And we love a rainbow-inspired palette because it's as beautiful as it is cheering. Yellow hues come in the form of lemon quartz and citrine; green in the shape of peridot and tourmaline; blue courtesy of topaz and pink thanks to tourmaline. Diamonds add the finishing touch. Yes, they're perfect for parties but we'd definitely wear them every day henceforth as well.

Rainbow earrings, £4,500, kiki.co.uk

Head first: Maison Michel

We love the OG Gossip Girl vibe of this grown-up headband in the palest pink satin tafetta – very Blair Waldorf. Its bow is crystal-embellished and a small metal Maison Michel logo dangles from one side. The brand cautions us that 'the artisanal making of this piece doesn't allow it to be waterproof' but we wouldn't plan to be out in the rain in this; it's made for the dancefloor.

Miwa bow, £305, michel-paris.com

For the gentlemen: Stephen Webster and Miansai

We appreciate, gentlemen, that you may be just as partial to a great piece of jewellery so here are two options for you (or them, if you're buying gifts). First is an offering by Stephen Webster. At face value, it's a cool 18ct sovereign pinky ring – so far, so good. But add its Flipside element in and it's even better. A spinning coin, inspired by the brand's Jitterbug collection, that features a King Beetle on one side – Heads – and, on the other black enamel face – Tails – there's the option for a personalised engraving. If you're after something with more colour and to wear on your wrist turn to Miansai; its Orson Loop bracelet features a nylon bungee-style cord that fastens with a rhodium-plated sterling silver toggle clasp. We love the bright colour and subtle pattern.

Ring, £1,950, stephenwebster.com; Miansai rope bracelet, £60, libertylondon.com

Read more: The best watch and jewellery Christmas gifts