When it comes to dainty jewelry, many industry experts see Catbird as a trailblazer. The jewelry’s lightweight appeal and barely-there designs paved the way for many of today’s top trends. The small but powerful retailer has even been credited as “the brand that invented ring stacking” (according to Marie Claire), as well as the creator of other innovative trends like knuckle rings.
One of the main ways that Catbird sets itself apart is by specializing in these tiny details that put that sheen or sparkle just where you want it.
Although “dainty” is the name of the game for Catbird, you can still find a selection of slightly bolder styles among the slimmer ones.
Some of their larger styles include signet rings, engagement rings with sizable precious stones, and the occasional vintage-inspired piece that takes on a more rustic shape.
In general, though, the Catbird aesthetic relies heavily on quantity over size. In other words, their pieces are designed to be layered and stacked to your heart’s content.
Quality, craftsmanship, and pricing
Catbird focuses exclusively on crafting fine jewelry.
But what does that mean, exactly? Let’s get into the specifics of the category.
What materials does Catbird use?
In order for a piece to be classified as fine jewelry, it must be made up of solid precious metals, like gold, silver, or platinum. So when customers purchase a Catbird design, that’s exactly what they get.
Solid gold means that the piece isn’t coated in gold—instead, it’s gold all the way through.
Now, the term “solid gold” is not to be confused with 24 karat gold. Without a stronger alloy added to this precious metal, it would be far too soft to wear!
Most of Catbird’s designs are made of 14k gold, which is a standard measurement of a mixed metal that contains 58% gold and 42% alloy.
Because solid gold is made up of such a high concentration of gold, it comes with a higher price tag. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
What other kinds of gold jewelry are on the market?
Of course, you don’t have to buy solid gold jewelry to have jewelry that contains some level of the precious metal.
Gold-plated jewelry (often known as fashion or costume jewelry) is made up of a base metal covered in a very thin coat of gold. This is the most inexpensive way to purchase gold jewelry, but the gold layer is so thin that it doesn’t last long before tarnishing and wearing away.
Gold vermeil jewelry is a significant step up in terms of both quality and longevity. It’s often called demi-fine, because it is made up entirely of precious metals.
Gold vermeil features a much thicker layer of gold that’s coated generously around a sterling silver base. Our own designs here at Blush and Bar are made of gold vermeil.
How much does Catbird jewelry cost?
As you may have guessed by now, the price tag that accompanies Catbird’s minimalist aesthetic is anything but minimal.
Depending on the design, you could pay up to $14,000 for a piece of Catbird jewelry. This is not only because they’re crafted with solid 14k gold, but also because they use authentic precious stones (as opposed to synthetic ones).
That said, Catbird’s designs vary quite a bit. Some of them are so dainty that they cost less than $100.
For example, their minimalist chain ring called the “Sweet Nothing Ring” is so tiny that it retails for just $44.
Overall, Catbird’s high-end prices are the result of high-quality, expensive materials and subtle, intricate designs.
So we’ve covered the basics. Now it’s time to evaluate!
Catbird’s array of timeless pieces certainly carry a luxe appeal. But are they a good fit for you?
The first consideration to think about is your own sense of style.
Statements vs. tiny accents
Here at Blush and Bar, we love those micro-details as much as the next person!
There’s a reason why minimalist jewelry is so popular. It tends to look effortless and flattering—not to mention minimalist pieces look good with absolutely everything!
But here’s the problem: not everyone wants to pile on 4-10 pieces of jewelry to achieve their desired look. And if you want more than a soft whisper of jewelry against your skin, Catbird’s pieces will need to be paired with other ones.
If you’re the kind of person that likes a simple get-ready routine, you probably gravitate towards designs that have a little more impact.
It all depends on your own personal jewelry preferences. But if you’re not into layering, most of Catbird’s designs probably aren’t the most practical buy for you.
Price point and durability
While you don’t have to buy solid gold jewelry to buy high-quality pieces that last a lifetime, a higher level of gold might be an investment you’re willing to make.
If so, Catbird could be right up your alley!
But as always, when it comes to fine jewelry purchases, you’ll need to be prepared for what comes next. When you make an investment, you’ve got to protect it!
Make sure you get acquainted with what goes into maintaining those precious pieces—and knowing when to take them off and set them aside so that they don’t get damaged or broken.
Keep in mind that most of Catbird’s designs are so dainty that they’re also more fragile than heavier-duty jewelry. However, many customers report getting daily use out of some of Catbird’s staple minimalist pieces.
Our final recommendation
Will you be able to get enough use out of Catbird’s luxe but dainty styles to justify the high price? That’s for you and your wallet to decide!
In any case, Catbird’s beautiful designs are enough to give any jewelry lover some serious style inspiration.
If you love the look but the price is too high, start searching for similar styles that come at a price and quality level that better suits your needs. Luckily, minimalist jewelry is currently on-trend, which means it’s much more widely available!
At the end of the day, Catbird isn’t going anywhere—the brand is well-established and popular, so it will still be around when you’re fully ready to try out minimalist fine jewelry.