Five Malaysian semi-precious jewellery brands chase away the lockdown blues with contemporary and affordable beautiful pieces

IT is a real stunner how subtle adornment of jewellery can change a person’s visage. The old adage “less is more” could not be more true, because the beauty of simplicity is really about minimal expression with maximum effect.

In addition to renowned Malaysian demi-fine jewellery brands such as The Straits Finery and ‘KIN, there are other similar brands with an equally different and unique sense of style that would not cost you an arm and a leg.

$!Olena Jewellery.

1. Olena Jewellery

Cousins Nisa Ashman and Alia Farouk launched Olena with its motto “Our creation for your curation”, which truly says it all. As they draw their inspiration from constellation piercings, the idea is to place multiple earrings that complement each other along the earloop, or worn solo, if preferred.

By pairing delicate studs and hoops, they are able to mix and match varying shapes to create a layered and stacked style. Some patterns of the earrings are lifted from traditional motifs and textiles, while others are influenced by more contemporary designs.

Olena’s understated demi-fine jewellery exudes quiet confidence. They are crafted in 18 carat yellow gold vermeil and rhodium vermeil, with the sparkles of cubic zirconia in a nice balance of minimalism and sophistication.

$!Luccacal.

2. Luccacal

This Kedah-based label founded by Lau Hui Yin is where modern minimalism meets subtle luxury. From iridescent freshwater pearls and abalone shells, to genuine raw crystals and a slew of precious metals, Luccacal’s handmade jewellery is designed for everyday wear as they are hypoallergenic, highly durable and need very little maintenance.

Some of the popular pieces include the mother-of-pearl Asha flower necklace, and the multifaceted Bastian necklace in an 18 carat gold pendant with irregular cut and brushed finish.

Its collection of raw gemstones such as rose quartz, amethyst and aquamarine are either strung as a necklace, bracelet or crafted as a ring, and have a different kind of beauty due to their unpolished state.

$!MYJN.

3. MYJN

At the heart of MYJN, simplicity is elevated by the art of storytelling through the lustre of its demi-fine jewellery range in sterling silver, gold vermeil and freshwater pearl. But the hefty price tag associated with handmade, fine jewellery continues to remain the status quo.

Hence, founders May and Jun are challenging the traditional jewellery segment by carving a new form of accessible luxury that merges quality and sustainably-made pieces with affordability, while maintaining its limited and exclusive nature.

Founded just three years ago, the brand has made a name for the modern woman to find dainty little pieces of jewellery that add subtle elegance to an everyday outfit. Despite being minimalist, their versatile pieces are stylish enough to wear on special occasions.

$!Gung Jewellery.

4. Gung Jewellery

The form and structure of Gung’s minimalistic and sleek jewellery designs reflect founder Yinn Ooi’s background in interior architecture. She takes pride in being hands-on, starting with gathering inspiration, then sketching the designs, choosing the appropriate materials and monitoring the production process – all to ensure top-notch craftsmanship and good quality jewellery.

With four collections so far, Gung’s latest Chunky collection makes an elegant and bold statement connected through exquisite link-chains made from 14 carat gold and rhodium-plated materials. The finesse and beauty of the pieces take inspiration from the ongoing “chunky” jewellery trend but with a more feminine touch, featuring woven styles in varying sizes and lengths.

$!Jeoel.

5. Jeoel

Growing up in a family of jewellers, Choong Jiayueh got to play with pretty gemstones but was never interested in the family trade until much later on, when she got hooked on the fulfilment of delivering new demi-fine jewellery designs.

The journalist-graduate and certified gemologist founded Jeoel (pronounced jewel) to make luxury keepsakes affordable and accessible for the fashion-driven yet discerning audience. In other words, Jeoel looks like fine jewellery but without the fine jewellery price tag.

Choong believes that everyone deserves to enjoy small luxuries, by putting the seemingly unattainable diamonds and natural gemstones such as sapphire, ruby and emerald within our reach. Her whimsical and wearable pieces are crafted to ignite and inspire joy as a way to celebrate life despite its many ups and downs.

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