If you’ve ever caught yourself meandering at the local mall or passing the time during your airport layover by checking out airport shops, you might have come across a little store called Brighton.
Most of what you’ll see in Brighton’s window display is handbags. But if you walk into one of their stores, you’ll find they sell many other items—including a full jewelry collection.
Curious to know more? We’ll take you through an overview of the Brighton brand, but we’ll focus mainly on their jewelry items and whether or not they’re a good buy for you.
Let’s get started!
Brighton was launched in 1991 by Jerry and Terri Kohl. What began as a small collection of men’s leather belts soon blossomed into a full boutique-style store with all kinds of women’s accessories and style accents.
Classic English belt styles inspired the brand’s first product. This led the creators to name their brand Brighton, after the beautiful English city.
Now, the Los Angeles-based company has over 180 stores around the United States. Brighton products can also be found at several other boutiques, as well as their online store,Brighton.com.
Also called Brighton Collectibles, this company anchors its inspiration in focusing on details and crafting with care. They also place a lot of emphasis on cultivating an outstanding customer shopping experience.
Those behind the brand are passionate about making a difference in the community at large. Brighton boasts over $9 million raised for a handful of charity organizations through their “Brighton Gives Back” initiative. Charities include Toys for Tots, Soles4Souls, and contributions that support breast cancer research.
Brighton focuses on the concept of details. Think of every piece you might reach for to finish off an outfit—and that’s Brighton’s specialty.
Their product line includes handbags, wallets, watches, jewelry, belts, shoes, and a host of other accessories such as fun fobs, charms, and accents.
They even carry small scarves attached to a clip designed to be used as handbag accents.
Nowadays, of course, Brighton also carries face masks—which could be called 2020’s most essential accessory.
Most of Brighton's inventory is designed for women—however, there is still a small collection geared towards men in Brighton boutiques—especially if they’re interested in leather belts or a new wallet!
Since Brighton is all about the accents, they feature a reasonably extensive jewelry collection with everything from earrings to bracelets, rings, and necklaces.
Although they have a wide selection available, they don’t specialize in subtle jewelry. Most of their pieces are designed to make a statement.
One signature piece of Brighton style is unique charm bracelets.
A chunky charm bracelet gives off a rustic look that vintage jewelry enthusiasts love! The throwback design is a fun way to personalize your details by adding charms of your choice.
An interesting twist Brighton offers is including colorful leather inserts designed to fit their cuff bracelet styles (and some of their necklaces). This design lets you customize your look to match your outfit or your mood.
And when you remove the insert, it will look like a completely different bracelet!
Brighton also carries bead bracelets, leather bracelets, colorful cord bracelets, and a variety of bangles.
Most of Brighton’s rings are quite large. However, the brand does hop onto the ring-stacking trend by offering slimmer rings in sets for convenient pairing.
Rings are silver plated and often set with Swarovski stones, whether large and eye-catching or smaller stones set in a wide pavé-style band.
Although they do feature some interesting shapes, there’s not a lot of variety among Brighton rings—most of them stick to the same bulky, statement aesthetic.
Of all the jewelry items Brighton carries, their earring collection is the most extensive. You’ll find drop earrings, post or stud earrings, hoop earrings, and statement earrings among their offerings.
Regardless of their designs, most of Brighton’s earrings are meant to be noticeable and prominent. Still, you’ll find a few that are a little bit more subtle.
Interestingly, many earrings that Brighton labels “mini” or “petite” are not especially small—more average-sized.
For example, these “mini” post earrings probably wouldn’t be considered mini by today’s standards—especially given the widespread trend of minimalist, barely-there jewelry that has recently flooded the market.
When you buy Brighton jewelry items, what exactly are you getting?
Although the brand prides itself on handcrafted goods, it’s still important to know the value of the materials that are being used. That will give you more realistic expectations of how long the pieces will last—and from there, whether the price is worth it to you.
Brighton doesn’t carry any fine jewelry. So if you’re looking around for an engagement ring, for example, Brighton wouldn’t be your spot. But if you like fashion jewelry, you might be intrigued.
Many of their signature pieces are a silver color—but they’re actually silver-plated and not made of sterling silver. This is an important distinction to make because there’s a big difference between sterling silver and silver-plated when it comes to quality and durability.
Sterling silver is a precious metal, and it must be made up of 92.5% pure silver. On the other hand, silver-plated jewelry is made up of a base metal that’s coated in a thin layer of silver.
Brighton’s silver plated jewelry is cast in a copper or zinc alloy. Most of their pieces are silver-plated, but they also carry some gold-plated options as well (like thesebangles and hoops from their Contempo collection).
One feature that Brighton goes out of its way to advertise is the double coating of lacquer finish they apply to their metal jewelry. This lacquer finish is meant to extend longevity and delay the onset of tarnishing that will inevitably happen to plated pieces before long.
Although a double coating of lacquer is a thoughtful touch, neither the lacquer nor the thin layer of silver underneath it will hold up with regular wear. And that’s just the nature of fashion jewelry in general.
Many of Brighton’s designs feature Swarovski crystals to decorate the pieces and add an attractive sparkle. Other materials include enamel, leather, and the occasional opal, pearl, or moonstone.
Despite their jewelry formulations being on the lower end of the quality spectrum in terms of materials, Brighton’s jewelry items receive loads of rave reviews. Most of the jewelry offerings on their website have several reviews per piece and still get between 4–5 stars overall (or hearts, in this case).
Of course, there are also reviews about the pieces tarnishing. As with all fashion jewelry formulations, the base metal begins to show in a matter of time—depending on how often the piece is worn and what conditions it’s exposed to.
There are also some reports of Brighton jewelry turning customers’ skin green. This is acommon reaction caused by plated jewelry when the plating rubs off and the base metal comes into contact with the skin.
Some younger demographic customers point out that most of the styles are not particularly trendy but are geared towards a more mature customer base.
So if you’re a fashion fanatic and only appreciate current trends, you will probably find most Brighton pieces a bit dated. On the other hand, some just consider these designs classic and timeless.
Is Brighton jewelry worth it?
One thing that even some of Brighton’s biggest fans admit is that Brighton jewelry is pricey—and we have to agree. For the materials used to make the pieces, the price point is relatively high.
Customers pay between $30–$150 for Brighton jewelry, with most pieces falling somewhere in the middle of that range.
For those prices, you could afford demi-fine jewelry pieces (like the sterling silver and gold vermeil designs that Blush and Bar carries, for example) that contain a far higher concentration of precious metals and aren’t prone to tarnishing like plated pieces are.
Nonetheless, Brighton jewelry is a go-to for many people when it comes to gift-giving. It seems everyone knows someone who loves all things Brighton, which makes their boutique a perfect place for gift shopping.
Brighton offers a1-year warranty for their jewelry items. They also claim that only 2% of all their jewelry sales are returned to the store for repair.
Would you enjoy Brighton jewelry? It all depends on your personal taste and quality preferences.
If you don’t gravitate towards statement jewelry, you’ll probably want to pass on Brighton’s collection. Jewelry retailers that specialize in delicate and minimalist styles, like those we carry here at Blush and Bar, would likely fit your style much better.
The other major considerations are quality and price. All things considered, Brighton jewelry is a bit overpriced for what you get.
Nevertheless, they seem to have a faithful following of brand loyalists—customers who purchase Brighton products repeatedly and swear by their quality.
Could you get better value elsewhere? Yes. But if you love Brighton designs and simply can’t resist, then they might be worth your while.