Choosing the best jewelry gifts for friends or family can seem simple, but once you start shopping, you’ll find that there are so many options to choose from. So how do you choose the best gift jewelry? Consider the following tips to make your shopping trip an easier one.
1. Set Yourself a Budget
Before you start shopping for any jewelry gifts, set yourself a realistic budget. The price range for jewelry is extremely large; you can find many pieces that cost as little as $20 or less, while many others cost well into the $1,000s. If you know what you can honestly afford to spend, you’ll instantly narrow down your options. And just because you set a relatively low budget, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to low quality. Many good quality jewelry gifts can be found in the $100 – $150 range.
2. Educate Yourself
As you consider jewelry gift ideas, make sure that you know what you’re buying. If you’re considering jewelry with gemstones, do you know the difference between natural, laboratory-created, and imitation stones? What should you look for in a gemstone? What type of metal does the person who you’re giving the gift to prefer? If he or she is allergic to nickel, for example, you’ll want to make sure that the piece you choose doesn’t include this metal. If she likes “silver” jewelry, should you buy white gold, sterling silver, stainless steel, or platinum?
Clearly, there’s a lot to learn when it comes to buying jewelry. Here are some quick tips to guide your search:
- Save money by avoiding big name brands. You’ll pay extra for the name. Shop in local stores or from reputable online retailers.
- If you want gold, 18k typically offers the best combination of color and price, but 14k and 10k are also good options and will cost less. Gold is expensive, however, so you might want to consider plated or gold vermeil, which is sterling silver coated in 14k or 24k gold.
- Sterling silver is a beautiful option when considering “silver” metals. Platinum is a rare white-silver metal that’s significantly more expensive. An increasing amount of jewelry is being made with stainless steel; it’s affordable, rust proof, and extremely durable, but it’s more commonly found in casual, everyday pieces.
- Think beyond gold and silver – cultured pearls are a lovely option, for example. Other jewelry gift ideas include natural or synthetic (lab-created) gemstone jewelry, or semi-precious stones that offer a similar look to more well-known gems but for a much lower price.
- If you’re considering a diamond, make sure that you get everything in writing, including information about the quality. Ask for an appraisal that includes the qualities of the diamond or a certificate of replacement cost along with your sales receipt.
The more you know going into your purchase, the less likely you are to spend more than the gift jewelry is worth.
3. Research the Recipient
The best jewelry gifts often reflect the preferences and interests of the person who is receiving them. What type of jewelry does that person already wear? Have you been in a situation with them where they’ve mentioned not having jewelry that would go with their outfit? Knowing what a person has and what they like to wear can give you great guidance for choosing a new piece. For example, one man might love a pair of attractive cufflinks or a tie clip, but another might put them in a drawer and never wear them.
Knowing the person’s hobbies or interests can also give you more jewelry gift ideas. If he or she enjoys football, for example, you might choose a pendant with their favorite team’s logo. A pair of paw print earrings might be great for that dog or cat lover in your life. Choosing a gift that shows that you’re paying attention to your friend or loved one’s interests gives it that much more meaning.
4. Know What Your Gift Is Saying
This is an area where some men, in particular, get into trouble. Although giving jewelry to family members is usually pretty straightforward, jewelry gifts to people with whom you have a casual or romantic relationship can potentially send the wrong meaning if you’re not careful. Spending a lot of money on a gift – giving diamonds, for example – is usually only appropriate for a serious relationship. Jewelry that includes hearts is usually fine for most personal relationships, but is usually not a good idea for someone you just met or with whom you have a very casual connection. Unless you have a clear understanding with the person you’re giving the gift to, it’s best to avoid giving a ring, especially one that might be confused for an engagement ring.
Surprising someone you care about with romantic gift jewelry can create a wonderful moment that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Or, if you’re not really sure about where the relationship stands, it can be awkward and unwelcome. Don’t give an expensive or romantic gift unless you and the recipient are clear about your relationship.
5. Give a Gift With Meaning
Jewelry can be a great gift to commemorate a moment in a person’s life. Rather than choose a generic piece of jewelry, why not look for something that reflects the event? For a new job, maybe a pair of classic pearl earrings that would be appropriate for the office. An attractive pair of cufflinks could be the perfect choice for the groom, best man, or father of the bride at a family wedding.
If the person you are giving the gift to has recently suffered a loss, then memorial jewelry can be an especially meaningful gift. You can find a wide range of memorial jewelry options, including those depicting angels, crosses, dolphins, and more. In most cases, this type of jewelry can be engraved with the name, birthdate, and date of death of the deceased. Many animal lovers find that pet memorial jewelry also brings a measure of comfort during their time of loss. With either type of jewelry, you’re showing your love and concern for the recipient.
6. Personalize Your Gift
Memorial jewelry isn’t the only type of jewelry that can be engraved. Many types of jewelry can be personalized with engraving or other details. You might add a Swarovski crystal charm to a necklace, for example, or have not only the person’s name engraved, but also an image or symbol. Personalized jewelry gifts are unique, giving the recipient something special to treasure.