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John Hardy Review: I Tried Their Most Popular Men’s Pieces

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post containing affiliate links. We received compensation and courtesy product from John Hardy in exchange for our honest review only. All opinions expressed here are our own. Learn more.

Matt Gulielmi
Expertise:

Style, Jewelry, Watches, Skincare, Brand Activations

Matt is a NYC-based merchandise planner in the luxury space and moonlights as a retail documentarian through his TikTok blog @retailecology. His fashion career has waltzed through styling for Michigan State's VIM Magazine, translating brand copy into Spanish for cosmetic startups, to managing inventory for some of the biggest retailers in the US. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 4, 2024
10 min read
John Hardy Packaging from Love Knot Collection

Shopping around for new luxury jewelry doesn’t always inspire my confidence. With conflicting advice on brand, quality, and price-per-gram of silver, how can you expect to make an informed purchase?

I tried three pieces from John Hardy’s Love Knot collection to see if their value and quality backs up their good looks.

The Adult Man Image/Icon image source: John Hardy
John Hardy

Bottom line: I’ve seen John Hardy’s product around, but wearing the Love Knot Necklace, Ring, and Bracelet has shown me that it’s not just a brand with flashy designs. Their genuine .925 silver hasn’t lost its luster after a few weeks of wear, and the fact that it’s ethically sourced and hand crafted feels great.

Ratings: The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service
Pros:
  • Luxurious packaging that includes a soft fabric pouch and polishing cloth
  • Distinct Indonesian-inspired designs set their product apart from anything else on the market
  • .925 silver is ethically sourced and doesn’t tarnish easily
Cons:
  • The Love Knot Necklace’s clasp can be hard to maneuver, but creates a secure hold

I’m a believer that the right jewelry can take the average outfit from just OK to outstanding. 

And based on that belief, I’ve accumulated a whole heap of chains, charms, and pendants ever since I owned my own bank account.

But my collection of cheap, no-name accessories that arrived in bubble-wrap are now a painful reminder of the age-old saying: Quality over quantity.

My jewelry box was once a gleaming trove of flashy silver and gold. Now it’s a tarnished mess that looks like a mechanic’s toolbox.

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The luxury department store I work for in my 9-to-5 carries John Hardy, so I’ve seen it up close before.

It’s undoubtedly shiny with the modern aesthetic I like, but appearance means nothing if they’re weak links with a top coat of silver or gold.

To get the real scoop on John Hardy’s metalwork, I picked up a necklace, bracelet, and ring from their Love Knot collection and put it to the test.

What Is John Hardy?

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Canadian-born designer and artist John Hardy started his jewelry brand after a trip to Bali, Indonesia.

Inspired by the artisanal handiwork of the island craftspeople, he founded the brand in 1975 and their headquarters remain in Bali to this day.

The brand didn’t have a retail footprint until 2010 when they opened their first boutique in Jakarta. Since then, they’ve expanded into destinations such as Houston, New York City, and Hong Kong.

John Hardy abides by ethical regulations like the Kimberly Process, ensuring that “blood diamonds,” precious stones sourced from conflict-stricken nations, aren’t set in their jewelry.

To reduce raw material extraction, all of John Hardy’s gold and silver is refined from recycled jewelry.

The brand offers a 12-month warranty on their jewelry that covers things like mechanism flaws, chain failures, and unusual cosmetic defects at no cost.

For anything damaged after a year, the brand offers repairs on any items purchased from an authorized retailer. Because their artisans are located in southeast Asia, repairs can take anywhere from six to eight weeks after the item is received.

Things to Consider Before Buying

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Jewelry from John Hardy isn’t like your grandpa’s wedding band. They have a nice selection of traditional pieces, but the brand is really known for its artistic edge.

If you’re looking for something nobody else has, their dragon motifs from the Naga collection, serpent-esque link patterns, and colorful beadwork may be right up your alley.

John Hardy Jewelry

Their iconic patterns don’t come on the house, though. You’re paying for the design, unlike ordinary chains that don’t charge a premium for the aesthetic.

My Hands-On Review

Love Knot Bracelet

Love Knot Bracelet

I try not to get too excited, but John Hardy’s packaging is worthy of its own opening ceremony.

Each piece of jewelry came inside of its own branded box—rigid, sturdy, and unscathed from shipment.

After removing the fluorescent orange band, I removed the Love Knot Bracelet from the soft fabric envelope, which is nice enough to keep around as a carrying pouch. The box also included a polishing cloth.

The Adult Man John Hardy Love Knot Collection Packaging 800

Fit

The Love Knot Bracelet comes in 4 sizes: 1.5mm, 3.5mm, 5mm, and 6.5mm.

I went with the 3.5mm, as the 1.5mm looked too dainty and the 5mm and 6.5mm seemed cumbersome

Love Knot Bracelet on Wrist

Sometimes I like wearing bracelets by themselves, and other times I’ll layer them with a watch or cuff. The 3.5mm is perfect for both. Big enough to be noticeable, yet discreet enough to wear for days at a time.

Now, you might think that’s because it’s lightweight, but the Love Knot Bracelet has a weighted presence to it despite mine being the second smallest size.

That’s because it’s made from .925 silver, which is denser than the commonly used, but cheaper, stainless steel. The weight is noticeable, but it isn’t a drag.

Feel

The Love Knot Bracelet is comfortable as every ~$700 bracelet should be, besides one caveat that I’ll get into.

The bottom of both the clasp and chain is smooth, and the love knot is shaped to match the circumference of the wrist.

Design

The Adult Man John Hardy Love Knot Bracelet On Hand 800

The Love Knot Bracelet sits in my jewelry box like a Warhol in a classical art museum.

Compared to common chain patterns, the angled links of this bracelet remind me of a snake’s scales. It’s unordinary, but stylishly so.

Two bracelets come together to form the “Love Knot”, the confusingly stable centerpiece of the bracelet that represents the bond between lovers. I thought it would be loose, or that the links would be compromised from the sharp turns, but it lays flush over the contour of my wrist.

The clasp is my favorite part of the Love Knot Bracelet. Two pins pop out when you combine both ends, and the mechanism is rock-solid compared to lobster clasps that have failed me.

John Hardy pays a subtle homage to their Bali-inspired roots with a beautiful oriental pattern on the clasp too. Fine details like this make it easier to spend more for a piece I’m proud to wear.

Would I spend over $700 for a bracelet like this again? Absolutely. I’ve learned time and time again that I get what I pay for. The Love Knot Bracelet’s .925 silver makeup, original design, and sturdy construction makes it an investment piece. Even with the minor hair-tugging issue, I can safely say it won’t lie to rest in my graveyard of dirty, broken chains.

John Hardy Love Knot Bracelet
Infused with John Hardy’s Indonesian heritage, the Love Knot Bracelet is a standout piece that I can wear with anything. Every clasp should be strong, but rarely are they as ornate as the Love Knot’s. Other than it occasionally pinching my arm hair, I’m stoked to wear it for days on end.
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Love Knot Necklace

Love Knot Necklace Package

My necklace game is on point. I have gold, silver, charms, charmless—all of them.

I was unsure if it could be versatile enough to be part of my jewelry rotation, but allow me to go over it link by link.

Fit

The Love Knot Necklace can be worn one of two ways, choker-style, with both loops attached to the O-ring, or what I call “bolo-style”, where one loop is secured around the neck while the other hangs over the chest.

When it’s worn choker-style, there’s just enough room to be unrestrictive, but there isn’t much dangle going on.

Love Knot Neckalce Worn

I normally wear longer necklaces with pendants, but they don’t lay flat hoodies and button-ups. Since there isn’t much loose slack, I appreciate that it’s always visible no matter what I’m wearing.

Bolo-style is less versatile, and it doesn’t look as natural. The small rings on either end don’t make sense as a focal point. Maybe I’m not the kind of guy that can pull off this look, but it looks awkward.

Feel

I’ll give you the bad news first: The Love Knot Necklace also tugged on my neck hair.

Because the links are smaller, it doesn’t happen as much. But when an unlucky hair gets caught in the jaws of the Love Knot Necklace, the sting can’t be ignored.

Love Knot Necklace Close up

With that out of the way, the necklace is easy wearing otherwise. The chain itself is thinner than the 3.5mm circumference of its bracelet counterpart, so it’s naturally lighter. I can’t even tell it’s there most of the time.

Design

While I don’t see myself rocking the Love Knot Necklace both ways, the convertible styling of the piece is innovative and versatile.

Between the necklace, bracelet, and ring, the O-ring clasp is the main differentiator here.

It shares similar Indonesian-inspired carvings as the push clasp of the bracelet, and I like that it adds another point of interest against the knot.

It’s sleek, but man is it fickle.

Love Knot Necklace O Ring Clasp

The small rings attached to the chains make it hard to loop through the clasp. On top of that, the necklace itself isn’t long enough to buckle it within my field of vision.

I haven’t taken it off much because of that. On the other hand, it’s been on me sleeping, working out, and showering for over two weeks. The .925 silver hasn’t tarnished a bit.

Despite the tedious fastening process, I dig the overall aesthetic of the Love Knot Necklace. The dual styling is a neat feature I haven’t seen from other jewelry brands, even if I’m only going to rock it choker-style. If you’re already formulating outfits in your head reading this, I think the ~$700 price tag is worth the range it can bring to your style.

John Hardy Love Knot Necklace
The Love Knot Necklace is basically two necklaces in one. It’s lightweight, versatile, and somehow manages to radiate John Hardy’s Eastern design language. It earns my adoration for being the only necklace I can show off no matter what kind of top I’m wearing.
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Love Knot Ring

Love Knot Ring Package

The Love Knot Ring is John Hardy’s most petite rendering of the Love Knot design.

Seeing as it still costs almost $400, I had to see what kind of value was rolled up into the little thing.

Fit

Going with the size of my other rings, I picked up a size 10 in the Love Knot Ring.

The chain link design of this ring had me wondering if I should size down, but the fit was spot on. It hasn’t left my hand for weeks, and I haven’t noticed any shifting or looseness despite the chain-link design.

Love Knot Ring Worn

Massive rings are reserved for Super Bowl champions and crime lords, of which I am neither. The 2.5mm chains that form the ring match the proportions of my hand perfectly.

The ring comes in different circumferences, but like the necklace, it’s only available in one diameter. Depending on your hand size, expect it to have more or less of a presence on your hand.

Feel

The Love Knot Ring is more forgiving than the typical ring forged from a single piece of silver.

While the links are tightly bound together, there’s still enough give to move with my finger whether I’m relaxed or squeezing something.

Luckily, I didn’t experience any yanked knuckle from it.

Design

Coming in ~$300 cheaper than the necklace and bracelet, it isn’t just a matter of raw materials. It’s the simplest entry into the Love Knot Collection.

The ring is one continuous chain. While it’s a subdued look in contrast to other pieces in the collection, I doubt it would be as comfortable if it had a clasp.

For an accessory worn on the most touch-sensitive part of my body, I’ll take the comfort over an extra detail.

Love Knot Jewelry all pieces

If you like your jewelry to be ‘matchy matchy’, wearing all three pieces is a no-brainer.

I’m not keen on it, but I like wearing the ring with either the bracelet or necklace. The identical shades of silver make for a cohesive look, but the smaller size avoids looking too coordinated.

Priced at just under $400, the Love Knot Ring is the ideal entry point into the John Hardy brand. It’s adaptable design makes it the most comfortable piece I tested, and the dialed-back look is suitable for just about anyone.

John Hardy Love Knot Ring

Even though the Love Knot Ring is the smallest piece of jewelry I tested from John Hardy, I think it has the best value. It maintains all of the unique, comfortable, .925-silver goodness the brand is known for at around $400, and the understandable design is suitable for those who aren’t as willing to experiment with designer looks as I am.

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What Do Other Reviewers Say?

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Past customers of John Hardy on their store speak about admiring the lasting shine of the silver pieces, one sharing that they’ve gone months without having to polish their necklace, even with occasional showers.

I was expecting to see other reviewers share my experience with hair-tugging, but fortunately, that might just be me. Overall, those who’ve bought jewelry from John Hardy have no complaints comfort-wise.

My Thoughts Overall

What I Like

  • Gorgeous packaging that includes a soft carrying case and polishing cloth.
  • The intricate, Indonesian-inspired designs feel both elevated and elegant compared to all the other jewelry I own.
  • The clasp of the Love Knot Bracelet isn’t just a secure closing mechanism, but a detailed focal point.
  • While I only wear the Love Knot Necklace choker-style, the convertible design sets it apart from necklaces from other designers.
  • The chain-link design of the Love Knot Ring flexes with my finger’s circumference, making it comfortable to wear all the time.
  • Even after a few weeks of constant wear, I haven’t noticed any tarnishing on the chrome-like finish of the .925 silver.

What I Don’t Like

  • The Love Knot Bracelet and Necklace occasionally snag on the hairs they rest on top of.
  • Fastening the Love Knot Necklace’s clasp isn’t easy.

Who Is John Hardy For?

I see John Hardy jewelry calling the name of two types of guys.

The first guy values quality jewelry. He only settles for the real deal—silver or gold. He knows what it costs, and he’s ready to part with his money for it.

The second guy is someone who’s ready to close on their first major jewelry purchase. He’s done all the window shopping, but sadly the box, Cuban, and oval-loop chains can be seen around everyone’s wrists. John Hardy has that flair that can’t be found from the mass-market jewelry dealers.

The Verdict

Like I said, John Hardy and I have history. I’ve seen him around, but only from above a glass display case.

He and I have finally gotten to know each other, and my first impressions have been confirmed: the product is metallic excellence.

I knew the visual appeal would align with my tastes from the get-go. Even the small details, like the Love Knot Bracelet’s clasp, are stunning. How they’re able to manipulate the chains into the signature Love Knot shape blows my mind.

Sure, the hair-snagging issue was a bother, but I’m still holding out for the necklace and bracelet to loosen, as all chains do.

Between the three John Hardy Pieces I tested, I see the ring getting the most use. Obsessing over how comfortable a ring is isn’t something I expected to happen, but here I am. Whether I’m dressing in cool tones or I need an extra dollop of luster to compliment my watch, it goes with everything.

John Hardy

I’ve seen John Hardy’s product around, but wearing the Love Knot Necklace, Ring, and Bracelet has shown me that it’s not just a brand with flashy designs. Their genuine .925 silver hasn’t lost its luster after a few weeks of wear, and the fact that it’s ethically sourced and hand crafted feels great.

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