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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Selecting Timeless Jewelry Gifts for Holiday Giving

As the owner of a retail jewelry store I am asked frequently by customers, “Is there a memorable jewelry item I can give my loved one that will not become dated and out of style?”

My advice is to look for something that is trendy but classic at the same time. For example, pearls are always in style and timeless. A great way to update the look, while not going for a fad fashion design is to select a freshwater pearl with an unusual shape, such as coin pearl, cornflake pearl or biwa pearl or the newer shell pearl which mimics a Tahitian or South Sea pearl, for lower cost. You may also select a colored pearl in one of these shapes as opposed to classic white, mixed with crystal or metal. Long pearl strands have been worn since the 1920’s flapper age. A long 36 to 45 inch strand can be wrapped multiple times for a great multi-strand look, wrapped and twisted to make a torsaud or worn full length with a removable pendant attached. It can be mixed with layers of chain for a more casual look. Look for a pearl necklace with a “statement” clasp. A clasp of this type can be worn in the back, front or on the side of the necklace for versatility. Many designers are using vintage pins and clasps for closures which add character to their pieces.

When selecting fine jewelry, look for a well constructed piece. Whether the piece is made of sterling silver, gold, platinum or one of the newer trending metals such as palladium, argentium silver, stainless steel, tungsten, titanium, or ceramic, the quality and durability of the piece is determined by it’s construction. Check for securely set stones, smoothly finished sturdy metal and well-cut gemstones. These pieces will stand the test of time and when cleaned regularly they will still look new after several years of wear. Don’t compromise on the quality of the construction to get a design you like. Ask if a piece can be made in a less costly material with higher quality construction, rather than settling for a poor quality piece with a higher metal cost. There are many new metals options that will help you conserve cost and not compromise on quality. Ask about a new sterling alternative, Continuum, silver with palladium alloy developed by Stuller that has the look of silver white metal, with the strength of gold. It can be set with diamonds and does not tarnish.

Buy jewelry from a reputable business that has been around for a few years, preferably with a bench jeweler on site who can make adjustments in size and design when necessary. If you can find a store with a jeweler who hand fabricates in artisan style and makes fine jewelry, or who can customize jewelry designs, you will be one step ahead. These businesses make a point of making jewelry that is one-of-a-kind, and many times can make a custom piece just for you, at a cost that is not much more than a piece selected from out of a case. This jewelry is guaranteed to be unique and will most likely be something that can be worn for a lifetime, and handed down to the next generation. Beware of items advertised on the internet and verify the return policy of the store before purchasing in the event the quality is not what you expect. Many internet sites are selling mass produced items with lower price points and quality. If you must purchase on the internet, try to find a website for a store that you have dealt with in person, and where you have had the opportunity to verify the quality of their products. Many brick and mortar shops now have websites so if you find a shop you like, ask if they have a website and search their site before shopping elsewhere.

Remember the old adage “you get what you pay for”, and if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t settle for poor quality when you can find good quality at a fair price with minimal effort!

Happy Holiday Shopping!

As Featured On EzineArticles


Cornflake Pearl

Biwa Pearl

Coin Pearl

Necklace Lengths

Opera length

Follow this link to Shop at Analece Design for Your Holiday Gifts!