How to Buy Jewelry as a Gift – Expert Tips on Purchasing Fine Jewelry for Someone You Love
Fine jewelry is always a welcome gift at any age and for any reason. However, buying jewelry as a gift can sometimes feel like a daunting task. How do you find the perfect gift as an expression of love, affection, and/or gratitude that the person will actually adore and wear often? As with any significant purchase, the more you know, the better. Informed and educated consumers tend to be much happier with their purchases and chances are if you are well informed, you will make the best choice for your loved ones. So, here we take a look at how to buy fine jewelry as a gift, using expert advice from Giuseppe Picchiotti himself.
“Throughout my incredible 55 years here at PICCHIOTTI, my family and I have literally helped thousands of people choose jewelry as a gift for their loved ones. It is an honor and a privilege! The questions and concerns that customers have shared with me over the last five decades have taught me so much about the types of things we should keep in mind when selecting the perfect gift of jewelry for a loved one. I hope my expert tips, shared below, can help you to find that magical gift to commemorate your love in a lasting and meaningful way.”
Whether you shop for standard holidays like Valentines, Mother’s Day, or Christmas/Hanukkah or more personal events like a 50th birthday, a college graduation, or a “push present” for a new baby, there are some specific questions you may want to ask yourself about the gift recipient as you consider what jewelry gift will be perfect for her or him. Here, we will look specifically at key gifting occasions for the most cherished relationships in life; however, the advice below is relevant regardless of the occasion or the type of relationship you are honoring with your gift of precious jewels.
Romantic Jewelry Gifts
Fine jewelry is a classic expression of romantic love and has been since the beginning of civilization, from Valentine’s gifts to engagement rings, from anniversary bands to expressions of eternal true love. Rings are often expressions of love – commitment rings, engagement rings, anniversary bands, and cocktail rings. But rings can be particularly challenging to buy for a loved one without knowing their exact ring size. For many years, Giuseppe Picchiotti was often asked about how to handle the element of surprise when gifting a ring. So often did he hear this concern that he worked with his top designers and craftsmen in the Valenza atelier to develop the patented Xpandable™ Collection* which gently expands and contracts to comfortably fit any finger. Most of the Xpandable designs expand up to about 2.5 sizes (in U.S. ring sizes), so without knowing the exact ring size, you can still feel confident in gifting an Xpandable ring as a surprise gift. Such rings also have the added benefit of versatility as the ring can typically be worn quite comfortably on different fingers. If your gift recipient has large knuckles, or at least knuckles larger than the width of the finger (which is quite common), an Xpandable ring can easily expand to fit over the knuckle and then contract to snugly fit the finger for secure and comfortable daily wear. The best part is that the technology is completely invisible within the design, so the ring looks like it was made for your particular ring size.
Other things to consider when buying rings, beyond ring size and knuckles, include – styling and color. If you are buying an anniversary or wedding band, consider matching the metal color and cut or shape of the center diamond in the engagement ring. If the platinum or white gold engagement ring has an emerald cut center, perhaps an emerald cut diamond anniversary band from the Xpandable collection could be the perfect choice – again, it slides easily over the knuckle for comfortable, durable wear and can grow over time with the wearer (up to about 2.5 ring sizes). Also, if they love a particular color, consider rings with color accents – gemstone cocktail rings or anniversary/eternity bands that include a touch of color with gemstones like rubies, emeralds, or sapphires as accents. Eternity Bands also make great stackers so find a style that your loved one enjoys and then for every significant anniversary or relationship milestones, you can add to their collection with another band. They can choose to wear them singly or stacked up for special occasions.
For other categories of jewelry as romantic gifts, including cocktail rings, consider their typical fashion styles and their personality. People who are more modest often appreciate more delicate and dainty styles, perhaps a pinky ring, for example. People with more outgoing and larger personalities might appreciate a big bold cocktail ring that makes a statement and becomes a conversation starter. Use color and shape to personalize such a gift. If the person loves bows and the color red, a ruby bow ring from PICCHIOTTI’s Fiocco (bow) collection might be perfect. If, however, they work with their hands often (a baker, a ceramic pottery artist, etc.), consider a pendant necklace as a gift that they can wear without having to remove it whenever they start to work. If they like rounder styles, a medallion could be a beautiful amulet symbolizing your love. Or if they have bright blue eyes, a sparkling paraiba tourmaline pendant could be a highly cherished gift option.
And when in doubt, choose versatility every time! Versatile jewels with classic designs offer incredible value that is always appreciated, despite personal preferences for color or shape. Giuseppe and his team recently launched the new Reversible Xpandable collection which has the added benefit of featuring two designs in one. Rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces can literally be “flipped” over, while being worn, to reveal a different design on the alternate side. If you are uncertain if your beloved would prefer gold or diamonds, why not choose both! One side of the ring (or necklace, bracelet, earring) features all gold or mother of pearl or colorful ceramic, while the other side is all diamond. For busy women running from board room to charity event, these reversible jewels are a time-saver and a delight. For women who like to wear more simple styles for everyday tasks like grocery shopping, they can wear the all-gold or all mother-of-pearl facing outward. When they need a bit of sparkle, they can easily flip it over to reveal the diamonds.
*patent applies to select styles
Family Jewelry Gifts – Heirloom Jewels for Your Closest Relationships
Family members are often some of our closest and longest relationships, worthy of significant attention and special gifts or tributes that will last. Jewelry is often gifted to mothers, daughters/sons, sisters, favorite aunts, and chosen “family” members in the form of best friends. While we often know these people better than anyone else, it is worthwhile to consider their unique personalities when buying a gift of fine jewelry for these family members. Knowing that precious jewelry is often an heirloom, passed down from one family generation to the next, is also important to keep in mind. Giuseppe suggests personalizing the gift but keeping the style classic, knowing that the gift might be worn by other family members in the future. In fact, Giuseppe has built the entire PICCHIOTTI brand reputation upon a classic aesthetic – always something new with cutting edge technology but only styles that will stand the test of time. When thinking of the family member or dearest friend, ask yourself some key questions. The first question might be what type of jewelry should you buy? Some women prefer earrings over necklaces or bracelets as opposed to rings. If your mother, grandmother, or aunt is always covering her neck with turtlenecks and scarves, perhaps a short necklace is not the best choice for her. Instead, consider a longer necklace (roughly 20 – 36” in length) or perhaps a beautiful bracelet instead. PICCHIOTTI’s Easy Wear chain necklaces are perfect for everyday wear and classic in style, making them fabulous heirlooms later. Also, some of the Easy Wear chains have strong magnetic clasps which are easy to put on and can be clasped to the matching bracelet for a longer length necklace. There are options with and without diamonds, as well.
Also, when considering the type of jewelry to buy, if earrings are on your list, you will need to know if their ears are pierced or not. Some women opt not to pierce their ears and will need clip-on earrings. Others may have damaged their ear lobe over time and switched to clip back earrings. Pay attention to what they wear normally and any expressions of insecurity. For example, if they ever mention ear lobe sensitivity or fear that their lobe is too long or too short. Short earrings like buttons, hoops, or short drops can help allay concerns about the earlobe; while longer chandelier styles are great for fashion-forward people, as long as the earring is manufactured in a lightweight style for comfortable wear. Many people also now have additional piercings as they curate the perfect ear. Ask about singly sold earrings and make sure that the style is appropriate for the location of the piercing.
When selecting the style or design of jewelry, be it earrings, necklace, or bracelet, ask yourself – are they typically more classic in style, wearing tailored suits, solid colors, smooth fabrics? Or do they prefer bold fashion prints and colorful fabrics, beaded/sequined/feathered fabrics, extreme silhouettes like miniskirts, flowing sleeves, over the knee boots, etc.? The jewelry you select should match their own personal style or taste. For example, fans of more reserved and tailored attire might appreciate the PICCHIOTTI Classics – Masterpieces, Hoops, Fiocco, and Easy Wear styles; while those who appreciate bolder looks might enjoy Essentially Color, Gem Ceramics, Chandelier, Rose Garden, and Xpandable designs.
One of the greatest things about most jewelry (besides rings) is that size is less of an issue. Unlike pants that can hang in the closet unworn if one goes up or down in personal size, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets often continue to fit for a lifetime. They also make great heirloom pieces as standard sizes tend to fit most necks, wrists, and ear lobes. That being said, Giuseppe will often ask about the height and size of the gift recipient. Sometimes taller people with broader shoulders might need slightly longer necklaces –18 inches as opposed to 14 or 16 inches, just so the necklace lays beautifully on the decolletage.
Milestone Jewelry Gifts – Graduations, Babies, Special Birthdays, Retirement, etc.
People often look to fine jewelry for commemorating important milestones, as well, celebrating events like a bar or bat mitzvah, high school or college graduations, new baby births, career achievements, or retirement. Buying jewelry for these types of events considers a bit of thoughtfulness as well. Much of what has been stated above remains true for milestone jewelry gifts. Other considerations include stage of life, profession, significance of the event, etc.
One important consideration is lifestyle. Does the person attend important social events (black tie charity galas, Junior League luncheons, conferences/seminars, etc.)? Or are they more casual in their daily routine. If special events are a normal part of their career, consider diamond or precious gemstone jewelry like the PICCHIOTTI Masterpieces and important cocktail rings. Or if they are a soccer mom or personal trainer, gold accented jewelry might be more relevant for everyday wear. PICCHIOTTI’s Reversible Xpandable is optimal for those with busy lives, jet setting or frequently switching between business and black-tie attire. The option of easily changing from sparkle to a more subdued or subtle shine comes in handy. Xpandable bracelets are also great for busy individuals who do not have the time or patience to struggle with cumbersome clasps. The all diamond Xpandable bracelets serve as the modern tennis bracelet and wear well with a luxury watch.
Giuseppe also advises jewelry buyers to try to match the gift with the significance of the event. For example, a university graduation might be rewarded with a more significant piece of jewelry than a high school graduation. A 50th birthday celebration or golden wedding anniversary might be worthy of a more significant investment than a 21st birthday or 5-year wedding anniversary. While this may seem obvious, the idea is less about budget and more about thoughtfulness. The more thought that goes into your selection of a fine jewelry gift, the better both you and the recipient will feel about it. Expressions of love come in all varieties, especially in fine jewelry. Even the most basic pendant necklace can warm someone’s heart and continue to give them joy, literally wrapping them in a symbol of your love every time the piece is worn.
In terms of personal preference, remember to ask yourself about their style preferences. Do they like monochrome or multicolor? If they wear a lot of basic blacks or neutrals like beige and gray, stick with classic gold or diamond styles, or add their favorite color with single-toned jewelry designs like an all emerald, all sapphire, or all ruby bracelet. PICCHIOTTI’s 8158 is a popular style for those loving a more subtle approach to fashion. For color lovers, precious gemstone and fashion gem Xpandable bracelets or rings are a fun way to add bright pops of color. They also make great collector’s items, giving you the option of adding to your loved one’s collection or stack with every milestone they achieve.
Another thought to consider is the meaning of the gemstone. For new baby, so-called “push presents,” consider a gift of gemstone in the baby’s birthstone. Or for other events, a gemstone in the person’s birthstone can be a nice way to personalize a gift. Also, many gems have special meanings from historic folklore. For examples, rubies signify passion, protection, and wealth. So a ruby ring might be a nice gift for college graduate embarking on a life beyond the family homestead – a way to wish her safety/security and financial abundance for her or his career. Sapphires on the other hand, have historically symbolized loyalty, integrity, and sincerity. A sapphire bracelet might be a lovely way to commemorate a long-term reliable friendship.
One last consideration is stage in life. A young high school graduate or “sweet 16” might be more likely to appreciate a delicate or dainty style, whereas a highly successful executive who is retiring might appreciate a statement-making status symbol of significant weight and presence. It is also important to consider their career. Someone in the legal or accounting profession may be limited by workplace culture to more refined styles like diamond stud earrings, pearl strands, or tennis bracelets; whereas someone in the art world may prefer to wear a unique one of a kind brooch or an artistic bejeweled cuff bracelet.
Buying jewelry as a gift can be a joy, not only for the gift recipient, but also for the gift giver. It is fun to think of the people we love and what would bring them the most joy. By following some of these tips or answering some of these questions about your loved one, you will be sure to select the best piece of jewelry possible. Also, always shop with a reputable retailer and ask to see things in person. Feel free to ask the sales associate to try something on for you so that you can see how it will look on. And if you are buying for someone similar to yourself, try it on yourself to gauge comfort and quality. Enjoy the process and the simple knowing that your gift will shine on, sparkling with your love every time your loved one wears it.
“I may be biased, as I have devoted my whole life to fine jewelry, but I cannot imagine a greater or longer lasting gift than a piece of finely crafted, beautifully designed jewelry. It will continue to give joy for many years to come. The gems and the precious metals come from the heart of the Earth itself, and I believe they convey special meaning directly from your heart to that of the ones you love most.” – Giuseppe Picchiotti.
Feature image at top – clockwise from top center – PICCHIOTTI Reversible Xpandable Diamond and Gold Necklace, PICCHIOTT Ruby, Diamond, and Fancy Yellow Diamond Cocktail Ring, PICCHIOTTI Gem Ceramic Xpandable Bracelet, PICCHIOTTI Emerald Cut Lover Xpandable Anniversary Band, PICCHIOTTI Reversible Xpandable Bracelets, PICCHIOTTI Xpandable Fancy Yellow Diamond bracelet, PICCHIOTTI Xpandable Ruby Cocktail Ring
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