(credit: Lance Heck Design)

(credit: Lance Heck Design)

Trading off diamonds and pearls in favor of the more carefully crafted custom-made jewelry is a novel approach in the art of accessible jewelry. With the increasing popularity of unique and personalized jewelry, many accessory aficionados are looking to the crop of budding jewelry designers to design their next great piece. Orange County has more than its fair share of talented, locally-based jewelry designers who integrate Orange County’s scenic beauty, their own personal taste and current trends into their jewelry pieces. Here are few of the best jewelry designers in the OC.

(credit: Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Jewelry Designs by Ruth Fitzgerald

30101 Town Center Drive, Suite 101
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 495-7800

Jewelry designs by Ruth Fitzgerald, located in Laguna Nigel, is a personal jeweler-based business that specializes in customized jewelry and jewelry appraisals. The boutique-style design studio has a longstanding reputation for its quality customer service. Jewelry Designs by Ruth Fitzgerald creates its jewelry from an assembly of precious metals, gemstones and diamonds at competitive price rates.

(credit: Lance Heck Design)

(credit: Lance Heck Design)

Lance Heck Design

1153 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-3299

Orange County-based jewelry artist Lance Heck is the owner of Lance Heck Design located in Laguna Beach. Lance’s passion and dedication to creating fascinating pieces has landed him on many top lists in and around Orange County. His boutique specializes in exclusive craftsmanship of bracelets and broaches, colored stone rings, earrings, necklaces, men’s rings and diamonds. Lance’s love for the outdoors is visible in his award-winning pieces as he seeks to inspire clients with his wearable art.

Ballard & Ballard Jewelers

18400 Brookhurst St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 962-0088

Ballard & Ballard Jewelers has been around since Woodrow Wilson was president — a testament to its lengthy expertise in curating and producing exquisite jewelry that is unmatched. The family-owned business prides itself on being real jewelers that design and make real jewelry. The design team works carefully with clients in creating pieces from start to finish. This coupled along with its excellent level of service, wealth of experience and careful attention to detail is what makes jewelry designers at Ballard & Ballard among the best in Orange County.

Related: OC’s Best Shops For Summer Accessories

(credit: Abby's Fine Jewelry Designs)

(credit: Abby’s Fine Jewelry Designs)

Abby’s Fine Jewelry Designs

32382 Del Obispo, Suite C-3
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 493-3632

Abby’s, located in San Juan Capistrano, is under the namesake of jewelry designer Abby Khan and features a vast array of custom-made pieces including engagement rings, pendants and earrings. Abby has a clientele that varies from local Orange County residents to Hollywood celebrities — Cher and Lamar Odom to name a few. Abby’s jewelry shop centers on the highest quality of handmade jewelry and designs that are on the forefront of fashion.

Related: OC’s Best Boutiques For Summer Clothes

(credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Jewelry by Angelo

23966 Aliso Creek Road
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 643-2492

Jewelry by Angelo is a family-run business that provides customers with the family treatment as evidenced by its top level of customer service and welcoming atmosphere. In operation for more than 30 years, Jewelry by Angelo offers a full-fledged scale of services that includes jewelry repair, customized pieces and personalized jewelry, appraisals, bridal jewelry and engagement rings. Its showroom displays a fine selection of unique, originally developed pieces that are personally designed by design duo Angelo and Dino. Customer satisfaction, an extensive selection of custom jewelry and the local hometown feel is what makes Jewelry by Angelo an excellent choice for your jewelry needs.

Barbara Akowuah is a freelance journalist based in Southern California. As a fashion examiner who is privy to style, Barbara loves to write about fashion and how it relates to the Los Angeles scene. Barbara loves to dish out the latest trends, style tips, and inside scoop. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.