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The gift of jewellery - Top 10 tips for buying jewellery as a present

September 02, 2020 4 min read

amber and sterling silver pendant ring bracelet

You might be a jewellery lover but that doesn’t mean everyone else is. No matter how much you love a certain style you need to think very carefully before buying a piece of jewellery for a friend or loved one. Jewellery is a very personal and emotional gift. It requires an investment of thought and consideration by the buyer, so when you get it right it’s a very meaningful and valued gift. Here are some things to consider when buying jewellery for someone else.

  1. Does this person wear jewellery? If the answer is no, then anything you buy is unlikely to be worn, no matter how much you like the piece.

  2. What’s their style? If they do wear jewellery, what kind of jewellery do they wear? Is it fine, delicate, small pieces or big, statement pieces, or somewhere in between? If it’s possible to sneak a look at their jewellery collection this is will give you the best indication of what they are likely to wear. People will generally not wear something that doesn’t fit into their style and that they are not comfortable wearing.
  3. What metals do they wear? People generally like to wear gold or silver, but not both. Some people do have allergies to certain metals so you have to be careful. Generally gold or silver, platinum will not cause allergic reactions but some alloys will (commonly used in costume jewellery).
  4. Plain or gemstone? Plain gold, silver, platinum jewellery is very popular, as is gemstone jewellery. Again, if you can observe what jewellery they usually wear and stick to their style, otherwise you run the risk that the piece will never get worn.
  5. What’s the occasion? Are you looking for something dressy or blingy, or casual, everyday-wear jewellery? Facetted (cut stone) jewellery tends to be dressier and more ‘blingly’ than cabochon jewellery (gemstone is round and polished).
  6. So you have established that they do wear jewellery, now narrow it down to a particular type. Generally the choice is between pendants, necklaces, earrings, rings and bangles/bracelets.
    • Earrings – make popular gifts. Check first if the person has their ears pierced. Then it’s usually down to studs versus drop earrings, short, medium or long and dangly.
    • Rings – the most problematic as you need to know the size, and rings are very symbolic, so think about what message you are trying to send with a ring. For established couples rings are a popular gift, for couples dating, rings are dangerous territory, so choose with care.
    • Pendants – make very popular gifts, who doesn’t like to complement an outfit with a nice pendant?
    • Necklaces – are different from pendants in that they are a decorated piece of jewellery around the neck, as opposed to a pendant, which is a single piece of jewellery hanging from a chain. Not as easy to wear as a pendant, but the right necklace can really finish off a beautiful outfit, think of a pearl necklace, for example.
    • Bangles/bracelets – can be tricky, wrist sizes vary, and it can be hard to estimate a wrist size. Having said that, they are just as popular with men as they are with women, and people like stacking them, so for bangle/bracelets wearers, it can be hard to go wrong with this gift.
  7. So you have narrowed it down to one or two types of jewellery, then what next? I like to think about colours at this stage. What colours do they like and what gemstones correspond to that colour? Here are some examples;
Blue – turquoise, blue topaz, larimar, kyanite, tanzanite, iolite, sapphire, rainbow moonstone, lapis lazuli, indicolite, aquamarine
    Green – turquoise, peridot, jade, malachite, prasiolite (green amethyst), emerald, dioptase, chrysocolla, aventurine, azurite-malachite, fluorite, moldavite
      Brown – amber, agate, tiger’s eye, smokey quartz
        Pink – rose quartz, pink tourmaline, pink chalcedony, calcite, morganite
          Orange – Carnelian, sunstone
            Yellow – Citrine, apatite, lemon quartz, rutilated quartz
              Red – garnet, ruby, spinel, rhodolite, rubellite
                Purple – amethyst, ametrine
                  Black – onyx, black tourmaline, hematite
                    Transparent – diamond, crystal, moonstone
                      White – quartz, mother of pearl, agate, opal
                        This list is by no means exhaustive, there are hundreds of gemstones of differing colours, but people do tend to like particular colours and stick to it.
                        8. Special Occasion?
                        And then there are always special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations etc that can be commemorated with a corresponding stone. Birthstone jewellery makes a lovely birthday gift.

                        Here’s a list of the stones for each month of the year.
                        January - Garnet
                        February- Amethyst
                        March – Aquamarine, Bloodstone
                        April- Diamond
                        May- Emerald
                        June – Alexandrite, Pearl and Moonstone
                        July - Ruby
                        August- Peridot
                        September - Sapphire
                        October- Opal and Tourmaline
                        November – Topaz and Citrine
                        December – Tanzanite, Zircon, Turquoise
                        And then there are the wedding anniversaries….
                        Here are the gemstones that correspond to each year
                        1st – Mother of Pearl
                        2nd– Garnet
                        3rd– Moonstone
                        4th– Blue Topaz
                        5th– Rose Quartz
                        6th– Amethyst
                        7th– Onyx
                        8th– Tourmaline
                        9th– Lapis Lazuli
                        10th– Green Tourmaline
                        11th– Turquoise
                        12th– Jade
                        13th– Citrine
                        14th– Opal
                        15th– Rhodolite
                        16th– Peridot
                        20th– Emerald
                        25th– Tsavorite
                        30th– Pearl
                        40th– Ruby
                        50th– Gold
                        55th– Emerald
                        60th– Diamond

                        9. Budgets – If you have a budget then the easiest way to stick to it is to tell the shop assistant what the budget is from the outset. A range will give you more flexibility. For online shopping use the price filter to stick to your budget.

                        10. Returns policy – Also make sure you know what the returns policy is. Online shopping has different returns policy than purchases made in person. A good website should display the terms clearly. In a shop, ask what the returns policy is. And ask for a gift receipt.