Buying jewellery as a gift sounds wonderful, in theory. Sentimental, romantic, personal – better than a gift card. But finding the right piece… what type to buy and how to choose it – very complicated. So here’s a guide to make jewellery buying easier.
Don’t pick something you’d wear
As jewellery is down to individual preference (though we can all agree, Elizabeth Taylor’s diamonds are exquisite), don’t base your purchase on what you’d wear. Take time to consider the person’s style and personality before shopping. If you’re not a big jewellery fan yourself, it’s beneficial to visit a store or speak to an advisor online before making an order.
Arguably, the most difficult jewellery item to buy. It’s one of those: love it or hate it. Some people only want to wear their engagement or wedding ring while others like mixing and matching costume pieces. Besides knowing their tastes, rings require a ring size – and how many of us know our own size, never mind a partner or friend. Instead, you could shop Guess Earrings or an elegant bracelet/necklace.
Look at their jewellery
A lot of people have told me how they’ve received jewellery they didn’t like. And mostly, it’s due to buying the wrong colour. It doesn’t matter if its expensive and beautiful – gifting a gold piece to a silver wearing individual and vice versa, will only leave the jewellery stored in its box. Check their photos to see what colour they wear.
You can also use social media to see if they follow any jewellery brands (a good indication on where to shop) and to gain inspiration on jewellery styling. Someone trendy may want to follow the styles seen in Vogue and on the catwalks. When you look at the jewellery a person wears, notice if they have a sentimental piece. In Sex and the City, Carrie adores her Carrie necklace. You couldn’t replace it with diamonds because the necklace holds too much value. There’s no point buying jewellery that may compete with a meaningful piece worn daily. Your best bet is to choose something that they often replace.
Consider skin tone
Yes, skin tone and hair colour can affect buying jewellery – much like makeup and clothes. Some metals and gemstones don’t suit certain skin tones as well. For instance, people with a light but red pigmented skin tone often stay away from traditional yellow gold jewellery and lighter coloured stones like citrine and peridot. I wouldn’t say this is something to hugely worry about – it’s helpful to keep in mind.
Find out about allergies
For me, costume earrings can be hit or miss. I’m cautious about wearing sterling silver because I’ve suffered from irritation before. In general, watches and jewellery are common causes of skin allergies in some people. Depending on what it’s made of, it could cause a reaction. If there’s no one you can ask, try to find a way to drop allergies in a conversation. This works best months in advance of a birthday or occasion (to keep the surprise). You can casually remark, ‘I feel I may be allergic to certain metals. My earrings are causing me pain. Have you had issues with costume jewellery?’
Stereotypes can help
The minimal simplistic dresser – probably favours an elegant stud. The bold and colourful – may prefer large hoops. And the individual who like a little accessory to compliment their outfit – perhaps a teardrop shape. Of course, this isn’t the most exact guide, but from experience, close enough – especially with earring styles.
If you can’t afford diamonds
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – if we overlook their price tag. Gemstones are another option. Some people avoid buying jewellery as they feel it’s either out of their budget or not quite special. Birthstones are likely the best option. If you’re shopping a fake stone, choose carefully. You want to avoid anything tacky. Or, you can skip stones altogether. Regardless of someone’s beliefs surrounding horoscopes – who doesn’t like star sign jewellery? Both personal and affordable, many brands (including luxury) now offer lovely star sign pieces.
Another choice to consider – eco-friendly jewellery. Someone who cares about the environment and making conscious fashion purchases, will appreciate a gift from a sustainable brand. Overall, if price is an issue, sign up to newsletters for deals and sale notices. In fact, do this anyway – a saving is a saving!
Style over fashion
If you’re looking for something that can be worn for years to come, skip the trendy options. In a few years’ time, they may feel outdated. You merely have to look at makeup choices to realise how true this is – thank goodness I stopped painting my eyebrows. Fashion fads come and go. Shop classic shapes and metals – things that never go out of style.
Buying jewellery as a gift
Today, the market is flooded with choice. Nearly every fashion brand has a jewellery department – it’s overwhelming. No one wants a Ross and Rachel situation: He buys her jewellery; she swaps it for something else. Don’t let that put you off – with observation, some research and putting yourself in their shoes, buying jewellery will be a perfect gift result.
Have you ever bought jewellery as a gift before? Looking for more gift guides? Consider: Best Books to Gift a Female Friend