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How I Tried $1900 of Jewelry for FREE—My Review of Curate by AUrate

Megan K.
ByMegan K.Apr 12, 2019 | 14 comments

Curate by Aurate Jewelry Try On

Curate by AUrate lets you try on high-end gold and diamond jewelry at home for FREE. With just a few clicks and a credit card on file, you can get hundreds of dollars of fine jewelry delivered to your doorstep. Sound nuts? Read on.

Curate by Aurate jewelry box open

Learn more about our favorite jewelry subscription boxes and rental programs here! And check out all the boxes you can try for free!

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Curate by Aurate box unboxed

About Curate by AUrate

The Box: Curate by AURate

The Cost: Free to try, pay only for what you keep! Note that they do require a credit card. (They posted a $100 hold on my card until my box was returned.) 

The Products: 5 fine jewelry pieces to try on at home in different shades of gold. Some pieces even come with diamonds!

Ships to: US for free.

Good to Know: This is NOT a rental service, nor a subscription, but rather an at-home try-on service designed to help you decide which pieces are best for you. You can only request a maximum of two Curate by AURate boxes.

Curate by Aurate box and jewelry review

Is Curate by AUrate a jewelry subscription?

Let me preface this review by expressing how surprised I was by the promises of this box. Gold and diamond jewelry mailed to me at no cost? Is this real life? Why would the company do this? AUrate‘s store already has a pretty generous 30-day return window for their products. So why even bother with a try-on box?

Here’s how AUrate explains it:

The major difference [between Curate and AUrate] is that Curate is put together by an expert stylist who’ll help you find your perfect pieces. Plus, it’s also a completely pressure-free way to try on our finest pieces before you commit, letting you play with dazzling diamonds and perfect pearls without any upfront costs.

To be clear, Curate is technically not a jewelry rental program like Rocksbox, but rather an at-home experience that allows you to try on different pieces handpicked for you by the stylists of AUrate.

That said, when my box was delivered, I got an email that read:

Try [your Curate pieces] on, see how they look with your other pieces, text your friends for their input, take them to work, out to dinner, whatever you like.

I feel like this is a little generous and also confusing. I guess if I were to wear something out to dinner and lose it, they do have a credit card on file so they could certainly charge me. But on the flip-side, I am not sure how they expect people to not use this try-on service as a way to rent fine jewelry for free. In my case, the value of the items I got absolutely kept me from wearing my jewelry out of the same room that I tried them on in, much less across town for brunch!

So what is the catch? (Is there a catch?) Before we jump into what I got in my pretty pink box, let’s walk through the basics and the sign-up process, which includes a quiz about your preferences.

Getting Started

It is super easy to get started. I took screenshots from my entire quiz process so you would have all the details.

The first question was easy. I am totes shopping for myself!

Here is where questions got a little fuzzy for me. When it comes to fine (AKA $$$) jewelry, I do tend to lean a little more classic and timeless, but I didn’t want super basic pieces, either. I decided to play it safe and selected the “In between” option. The other quick questions touched on gold color preference and how large I like my jewelry.

Lastly, there is a spot to select your price range preference. AUrate is a fine jewelry company, and their pieces can range from $25 (for vermeil pieces) to $2800 (for gold and diamonds). I decided that $500 max per piece was a safe bet, just in case I fell head over heels for a piece and ended up splurging. There is also a spot for you to leave a message for your stylist, an opportunity I took to explain that regardless of my non-committal/ middle-of the road answers to the quiz, I actually did have a few preferences and some sort of style. I also requested that no rings be sent—while they have rings for sale in a range of sizes, they only send out size 7 try-on pieces. (That size won’t work for me.)

My First Curate by AUrate Box

Did I seriously just get a delivery filled with gold and diamond jewelry? Let’s check out that pretty millennial-pink box!

Aurate box and accessories

Aurate open

Aurate inner box set up

Let me start by saying the unboxing experience is incredible. The gorgeous pink box contains custom inserts that carefully cradle each of your try-on pieces. It feels very fancy and expensive! Also included is an info booklet, ring sizer, and a built-in mirror.

Aurate hello letter

Aurate itemized product list

Aurate return info

The first thing I looked at was my itemized product list. Curate sent me $1900 worth of jewelry. GULP!

Also inside was a sheet with return instructions and a stick-on return label.

Aurate booklet cover

Aurate booklet inside

Aurate booklet pages

As if they knew this expensive box of jewels might make me a little nervous, there was a little booklet explaining how simple the returns process was and exactly how to send the items back.

Aurate card

Aurate booklet photographs

Aurate booklet info

Aurate more info in card

There was also another booklet giving some background info on the AUrate brand. Major takeaways: all jewelry is conflict-free and created with natural materials. Each piece comes with a lifetime guarantee and can be repaired or re-polished with no questions asked. Plus, a portion of each sale is used to buy books for children in the US to assist with developing literacy.

My Curate by AUrate Jewelry

Ok, I promised some gold and diamonds. Now that we’re through the nitty-gritty details, let’s see some sparkle!

Aurate gold link necklace dtail

Aurate gold link necklace

Aurate gold link necklace detail

Aurate gold link necklace on megan

Connection Necklace in 14k Solid Yellow Gold – Retail Value $380.00

This little necklace is one of those classic pieces that will stand the test of time. The design of the interlocked circles is interesting and also easy to layer with other necklaces. The circles have a nice weight to them, and the gold is super bright and shiny! It has a built-in jump ring that allows you to wear the necklace shorter (15″) or longer (18″). I am wearing it at the full 18 inches in the photo above.

I could totally see myself adding something like this to my collection, and for the quality, I do think the price is more than fair. You could absolutely find this style elsewhere for less money, but don’t expect the rings to be nearly as heavy.

Aurate rose gold ear cuff

Aurate ear cuff

Aurate rose gold diamond ear cuff

Bold Ear Cuff with Diamonds in Rose Gold – Retail Value $300.00

I knew there would be one piece that made me question my resolve to let this purely be a try-on experience and not cross over into a purchase. This ear cuff was absolutely it. From the second I pulled it from the box, I knew I was in trouble. The domed shape of this wide cuff catches the light so beautifully, and the rose gold is polished to a high sheen. It is carefully set with 3 sparkling diamonds. It is ear cuff PERFECTION. On the technical side, you can feel that this piece is heavy for its size, and it certainly feels like a large amount of gold when you hold it. This is a piercing-free piece that slides onto the edge of your ear. Just squeeze it gently to set it securely in place.

Aurate black diamond hoops

Aurate black diamond hoop earring

Huggie Earrings in Rose Gold with Black Diamonds – Retail Value $450.00

I asked for huggie earrings, and my stylist delivered! These edgy black-diamond-studded earrings are really subtle yet beautiful. You can even buy a single huggie if you are like me and have an extra piercing in one ear. There is something really great about this combo of black diamonds and rose gold metal.

Though these are beautiful, they might be my least favorite in the box mainly because I can’t see myself spending the $$$ on such small hoops (though I completely understand where that price comes from with the quality of materials). I would be more likely to purchase a necklace or that dreamy cuff. I also have super small lobes, and these looked almost strange on my ear lobe shape in a way I can’t quite explain.

Aurate hoops and cuff on megan

Here is a shot of my ear with both my beloved rose gold cuff and one of the black diamond rose gold huggie hoops.

Aurate rose gold and diamond necklace

Aurate rose gold necklace

Aurate rose gold diamond necklace

Aurate rose gold necklace on megan

Icon Necklace in Rose Gold with Diamonds – Retail Value $650.00

This necklace is STUNNING. This is exactly the type of jewelry I adore. It is timeless and unobtrusive, but super unique and eye-catching. The shiny rose gold really sets off the diamonds on this piece and the geometric shape is modern, while the demure size will help this piece never go out of style. It was also wearable at two lengths (15 inches and 18 inches). I am wearing it at its longest above.

This was the most expensive piece in the box, but it felt great in my hands and on my neck, with a weight that was substantial enough to make me believe it was worth what was on the price tag. The twinkling diamonds had fire that could be seen from across the room.

Aurate fan earrings

Aurate gold fan earrings

Aurate gold fan earrings and cuff on megan

Sensu Earrings in Yellow Gold Vermeil – Retail Value $120.00

These cute little gold fans were the most affordable item in my box, and I thought the design was pretty and unique. The design both frames the face and also catches a ton of light with the shiny yellow-gold finish. This is another design that would absolutely be just as pretty 100 years from now but manages to feel very fresh and on trend. Again, as with each earring I viewed on the AUrate website, you can buy a pair or a single, which is awesome!

My Curate by AUrate Review

Wow. I did indeed just get a box of expensive jewelry in the mail to play with. Firstly, I thought Curate was incredible. If you are ever looking to treat yourself after a promotion, special life event, or just because, you should absolutely try this box out. It is an incredible way to feel like you have multiple amazing choices at hand to experiment with and decide if you truly love.

That being said, prepare to probably fall in love with more pieces than you can honestly afford. I am borderline obsessed with both the rose gold ear cuff and the Icon necklace. These pieces would cost me $950! Are they worth it? In my opinion, absolutely yes. But I also set a limit per piece of $500, which goes out the window if I convince myself to buy more than one item.

I also feel the need to touch on the fact that while this is NOT a rental service, they do encourage you to wear the jewelry out, meaning there is a huge potential for loss and/or damage. I am pretty sure that situation is why they require a credit card on file—let’s be honest, they have to also protect their interests. And I totally understand this! I am actually a little confused as to how they justify the free rental cost because you could easily treat this box like a really fancy one-time rental service for a special event.

Is the Curate by AUrate try-on box worth it?

The Pros
  • Try on 5 incredible pieces of high-end jewelry in the comfort of your own home.
  • Experience the quality of this brand before you commit to a purchase.
  • Incredible unboxing experience that makes you feel super fancy.
  • FREE to try! This model reduces the likelihood of your eventual purchase arriving and being something you weren’t expecting or that you dislike.
The Cons
  • Limited control—you share your preferences, but the stylists of AUrate pick what you get based on your quiz results.
  • Pieces aren’t for keeps and can be pricey.
  • There is a hold placed on your credit card of at least $100. This was immediately removed when my return arrived back to them.
  • They only send size 7 rings for try-ons.
Is It Worth It?
  • If you are looking to purchase something special and are unable to visit this brand’s storefronts, this is a great way to try on pieces specially selected for you in a way that makes at-home shopping feel incredibly elevated.
I’d Recommend Curate if
  • You expect an experience along with your higher-end purchase, or you are looking for a “space” between online shopping and going to a jewelry store.
  • You are curious about conflict-free and ethical higher-end jewelry.

What do you think of the Curate by AUrate at home try-on box? Would you try a box to help you shop for your next investment piece?

Curate by AUrate is a styling and home try-on service for fine jewelry. Take their style quiz and you'll receive 3-5 pieces to try on at home, with free shipping and free returns. Keep any items that you fall in love with and return the rest within 7 days. Prices on individual pieces range from $45 ... read more.
Megan K.
Megan K.
I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Megan K.
Megan K.
I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.
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14 comments

Ronda

Wow! Where was this while I went thru nine, yes Nine wedding rings I started trying to purchase last November? When the crash of 2008 happened it hit us hard and I had to sell my 2 karat platinum ring. Finally gathered everything back together about 3 years ago and started back replacing things like, a decent car, bed set etc. I was so saddened about selling my ring, it took a lot for me to start the process of finding something truly special. 5 months and nine rings later, I finally settled on one. Let me tell you, Sam’s club are saints for allowing me to go thru so many and return them about every 3 to 4 weeks and actually have some of the best prices around. I wear a size 7 so, this would have been great to do to find my perfect ring. I guess I was so spoiled before that even though it’s been 2 months and I’m definitely settled on my ring, I’m still thinking there is something better out there for me… sigh. Oh, hubby is a saint as well for going thru the process with me.
Great detailed review and I gotta resist the temptation of wanting to find another ring! I had no real budget to hinder my decision and though I could have afforded a 5 karat set from Sam’s club I had my eye on it was too much on my hand and I settled with a gorgeous square cut 2.5 karat collection.

Sammee

Wow – great review! The summation at the end is great. I love everything in that box. Small, gold, delicate but blingy is just my style. It’s probably too on the mark and if I subscribed I’d just get mad that I wouldn’t be able to keep everything 🙂

Bee

I don’t like the idea of paying $500 for something that could be used, especially earrings.

Kelly

Wow, I love everything in this box! The cost would make me hyperventilate a little though, I’d be worried about it getting lost firing transit on its return trip! Great box, thanks for the review!

Megan K.

Thanks for reading Kelly! Yeah, it was a mixed feeling sending it back. Sadness that I had to and immense relief that these gorgeous pieces were no longer my responsibility!

Jennifer Jo

Ohhhh my goodness that Icon necklace!😍😍
It’s classically elegant and has a superhero-ish flair (that I LOVE!!) And it’s rose gold. I just can’t. I do not have the restraint to be able to try it on and have to send it back. That beautiful pink box would be completely tear stained.
Stupid bills…
I have however bookmarked their site.
Thank you for your review!

Megan K.

Yeah…. that necklace and cuff were painful to return. They were both so pretty! I also plan on keeping an eye on the site because it would really be a perfect way to treat myself if the time ever comes.

callmeinge

Great review & your step by step explanation’s very helpful!
@Megan: I like your style! Why don’t you review clothing subscription too?

Megan K.

Glad you liked it! Clothing boxes are tons of fun, but I hate getting in front of the camera! Maybe someday… 😉

Flora

Wow Megan! You rock all the jewelry and your skin looks AAHHmazing!

Megan K.

Thanks so much Flora! And the skin comment made my day. Must be all those excessive layers of serums, creams, and oils. 😅

Flora

Haha, you too? There can never be too many layers! What’s your favorite essence and serum right now? My current regiment’s consistent performers are Tatcha essence, Soroci rice softener, Perricone MD C serum, Iope derma cica cream, and skin owl beauty drops.

Christy

#SMIZE
#werk

Great review! Thanks for breaking it down for us!

Megan K.

You are most welcome Christy! I am glad the looks came off as friendly. I worry I look like I am scowling sometimes. When I smile full blown my eyes get all beady! #SMIZELIFE

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.