Guide to Choosing Jewellery
- Why does jewellery make a good gift?
- Styles of jewellery
- Personalised jewellery
- Jewellery for men
- Birthstones and the meaning of gemstones
- Gold, silver & other metals commonly used in jewellery
Why does jewellery make a good gift?
You don’t need to know a person’s size with most forms of jewellery (rings are an exception), the amount you spend can range from inexpensive through to very expensive, it is easy to send through the post (lightweight and not fragile) and can be given for a range of different reasons. Jewellery can match particular themes or interests, can be given to all ages and can be given to males & females. It is personal yet also can be formal, you can match a person’s preferences in colour and materials, you can select something functional or purely decorative. Jewellery is a gift that can be expanded on for future occasions (e.g. give someone a necklace for their birthday and then the matching earrings for Christmas).
Styles of jewellery
There are many types and styles of jewellery - for example, a necklace could be anything from a string of homemade beads to a carefully crafted combination of precious metals and gemstones. There are rings, bracelets, nose rings, cufflinks, watches, tie pins, earrings, anklets and the list goes on and on. Some jewellery is merely decorative, while other pieces are also functional (e.g. a decorative clip that holds a scarf in place).
Some things to keep in mind when selecting a jewellery gift for someone else:
- Does the person predominantly wear gold or silver? A woman who has gold earrings, rings and bangles is unlikely to wear the lovely silver necklace you gave her with any regularity.
- Do allergies or skin sensitivity need to be taken into account? Select hypoallergenic materials or items that won’t come into contact with the skin.
- Do you know the person’s particular style? Someone who never wears dangly earrings has possibly made a conscious choice not to do so and your gift of such earrings is unlikely to make them alter their personal opinion. This also applies to other differences in style, e.g. the person who wears a lot of chunky, ethnic-looking jewellery may not be attracted to a dainty gold chain.
- If buying for a man, have you seen him wear other pieces of jewellery? Some guys like to, while others just aren’t interested.
- Take into account the person’s age and clothing style. Large hoop earrings are probably not a great gift for your grandmother, unless you know she particularly favours them. A pretty silver anklet is not the best choice for a girl who spends her life in jeans and boots.
- Be aware of the length of the chain, watch band, etc. Some people have larger wrists or neck circumferences than others and some items may be sized for children.
- Perhaps most importantly, does the function of the jewellery fit the recipient? For example, does the girl you’re buying post earrings for have pierced ears? Does the man you’ve chosen cufflinks for wear shirts with French cuffs that need cufflinks?
Some styles of jewellery lend themselves to repeat giving. A lovely gift for someone you want to give frequent gifts to (for example, a daughter) is a charm bracelet - the bracelet itself forms the first gift and for subsequent celebrations large and small, you can present her with a new charm to add to her collection.
Many forms of jewellery can be engraved and retailers often offer this as an extra at the time of purchase. These engravings can be names, initials, dates, phrases or a combination of these. In the case of rings, it is usually suggested the size is checked to be correct before getting them engraved. Also realise that having an item engraved will just about always mean it cannot be returned or resold.
Another way of personalising a jewellery gift is to choose something that fits a particular theme. For example, a cat-shaped pendant for the lady who loves cats, or a watch featuring the club logo of a man’s favourite football team. Some retailers offer jewellery that incorporates old coins and you can choose a coin from the recipient’s year of birth.
Jewellery for men
Men are not always easy to buy jewellery for, especially if you are not familiar with their personal opinions about wearing bracelets or necklaces. Retailers offer men’s-style rings, pendants and chains, as well as watches, tie clips, cufflinks and toe rings. Many jewellers also sell items such as money clips, keychains, lighters and belt buckles, so there really are many options from which to choose. A wide range of materials are used in men’s jewellery and many items can be engraved or otherwise personalised. It is worth considering a purchase from a jewellery retailer when looking for a personal gift for that special man.