alex and ani: my new sweethearts

By Michelle Hammond

When my boyfriend handed me a jewelry box as a gift for our six-month anniversary, I was instantly filled with dread. I assumed it would be one of those awkward moments where you open the box, see something that doesn’t suit your style at all, and then, as you’re sitting there with the sad realization of holding a piece of jewelry you will probably never wear, you still look up and have to squeeze out a seemingly genuine smile. You probably say something like, “ OMG I love it!” because you don’t want to hurt his feelings, obviously. We’ve all been there, and it can get pre-tty uncomfortable.

Lucky for me, this was not one of those moments. I’m not usually very flashy with my jewelry. I tend to opt for more delicate, subtle pieces. So when I opened the tiny box to see a simple, gold bangle with a peace sign charm on it, versus something chunky, shiny and bedazzled, I was one happy (and relieved) girlfriend.

I soon learned the bangle came from Alex and Ani.

Alex and Ani is a company started by Caroyln Rafaelian, who comes from a long line of jewelers. The company is named after her two daughters.  It is based in Rhode Island but has stores in almost every state.  Plus, the jewelry is also sold in  select boutiques and department stores.

Alex and Ani makes earrings, necklaces and rings, but their bangles are the most popular item.  They hand-make every piece of jewelry from sustainable, recycled materials so they’re all eco-friendly, which is pretty awesome.  They’re affordable, too, with bangles starting at $28.

I loved my bangle so much I couldn’t help but go online and buy myself three more. From football teams to your initials to sorority letters, there’s a variety of charms to choose from. I wear mine almost every day.

I still can’t believe my boyfriend was the one who helped me stumble upon them.

My four Alex and Ani bangles: The initial charm, the seahorse charm, the pink beaded bangle and of course the one that started it all, the peace sign charm.
image via Michelle Hammond

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