Jewelry comes in many shapes, styles and price brackets and can signify many different things. For example, a teenager might look at one of the many heart jewelry options and choose a heart pendant to give to his lovely girlfriend; a gold wedding ring is the traditional way of pledging commitment and devotion to your marriage partner; and diamond earrings can demonstrate wealth and sophistication for high-society ladies.
But to get the most from your purchase, it is very important when buying what can be a very expensive item to match the piece of jewelry to the individual for whom it is intended. And if you’re buying for yourself, how do you know what is right for you?
Fortunately there are some basic guidelines to follow, depending on what type of jewelry you’re considering, and these can help even the most inexperienced buyer to make a great selection:
- Personality and style preferences are perhaps the first thing to think about. If the intended wearer is large as life and extrovert, that chunky gold necklace or those big hoop earrings could be just the thing. But for an attorney or professional businesswoman, a more delicate necklace or a more understated pair of stud earrings could be essential.
- Next, is there any existing jewelry to complement? Buying a silver bracelet for someone whose jewelry box only contains gold pieces could be the start of a whole new direction for her – but it could also mean that the gift sits unused forever.
- For earrings, think about face shape. If you’re buying earrings, make sure that the size and shape of the earrings complements the face shape. People with oval shaped faces are lucky, because almost any type of earrings will suit them. But avoid long, dangly earrings for long-faced people. Round-faced wearers are not a good match for large, hoop-style earrings so go for something square or long. Match a square-faced person with something softer and rounder. Think about earrings with a broader base because they look good on a heart-shaped face.
- Necklaces and pendants: give some thought to body size and shape. Just as the face shape is most important for earrings, think about the wearer’s body shape and size before making a decision on necklaces. A petite person may look good with a longer necklace, emphasizing length. Larger necklaces holding bigger pieces of jewelry or pendants may look overpowering and be more appropriate to taller people. If you’ve seen the intended recipient wearing a necklace before now, what looks right and what doesn’t?
- Rings are all about hand and finger size: a large, wide ring may look wrong and may be uncomfortable if it overlaps the knuckle. Petite women need petite rings to match their hands. Long fingers can look good if the ring has a wide band but oval setting are generally better for shorter fingers.
- Bracelets follow a similar rule: delicate pieces for petite ladies, larger bracelets for average sized individuals and larger – more than one band if necessary to make the look effective.
- Personal choice is what matters the most. There is no absolute right or wrong, and once the issue of comfort is taken into account (for example, see the rings comment above), what matters most of all is that the wearer likes the piece of jewelry and feels good about wearing it. Ultimately, that is where jewelry buying requires at least some personal knowledge of the individual for whom it is being purchased to be the most successful – and that can be the most difficult issue to get right.
There are so many different choices of materials and styles that choosing what to buy can in some instances be highly confusing. And clearly, the budget available in conjunction with the prices of what you can find will be a major factor in your choice. But following these guidelines as well as following your instincts will make sure that you buy a lasting treasure that the lucky recipient will be proud to wear for years to come.