Yes, we can hear the naysayers guffawing at the idea of shelling out the equivalent of a mortgage payment for a bauble that could easily be lost within five minutes of leaving the store. But those willing to forgo a designer label – and settle for gold plate – can get a gilded fix for a lot less. Agatha, the French trinket chain, has dozens of sleek styles for under $100. (Call 800-AGATHA-7 for store locations.) Our favorites are the square-link bracelet ($43) with matching necklace ($77) and a pair of classic hoop earrings ($24-$72).
For a little more ethnic flair (at subcontinental prices), accessories editors swear by Little India Emporium (128 East 28th Street, second floor; 212-481-0325). Bangles here are so cheap they’re sold in bulk (textured gold-tone ones are $8 a dozen), gold-plated rope necklaces are $35, and a groovy chain fringe choker with matching earrings is only $65.