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Choosing the right jewellery for your beloved

Updated on May 5, 2010

Some of the fabulous jewellery from

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Marie-Antoinette setAndrea's gorgeous tiaraSimple but elegant coin pearl ringFabulous hairpiece for the mother of the brideArt Deco style pearl necklaceSpecial commisionSheer luxury
Marie-Antoinette set
Marie-Antoinette set
Andrea's gorgeous tiara
Andrea's gorgeous tiara
Simple but elegant coin pearl ring
Simple but elegant coin pearl ring
Fabulous hairpiece for the mother of the bride
Fabulous hairpiece for the mother of the bride
Art Deco style pearl necklace
Art Deco style pearl necklace
Special commision
Special commision
Sheer luxury
Sheer luxury

Buying guide for jewellery


No gift in the world will please a woman more than a thoughtfully chosen piece of jewellery. It will also be a constant and lasting reminder of your love. Think Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and that enormous diamond. There is something magical about opening a cute little box with the expectation of finding a precious and beautiful object. Unlike, say, an electrical appliance, a piece of jewellery is a very personal gift: it is worn on the skin, it is highly visible and it also makes a statement of wealth, taste and fashion. Would a woman ever get tired of being given jewellery? The answer is emphatically NO, but do try to vary what you buy. You should consider the occasion, the personality, age and size of the wearer, current fashion trends, materials and last but not least, price.


Wedding anniversary The major anniversaries are usually assigned a particular stone or material. For example, 25 years is Sterling silver, 30, pearl, 35, emerald, 40, ruby and so on making it easier for you to choose.

Birthday Birth months are also assigned a stone but this should only be bought once or twice. No problem if she was born in April (diamonds) but a little tedious if she was born in December (garnet)

Christmas is usually an occasion for something sparkly and showy to go with all those party dresses. So go for diamonds if you can afford them otherwise, crystals or facetted stones.

Valentine’s Day A piece with a heart is a popular and charming idea. The heart could be made of silver or gold but also of gemstone, crystal or unusual hand-made foiled Murano glass.

The birth of a child In my opinion, the birth of a child should always be marked by a piece of jewellery. Choose a pink stone for a girl (rose quartz, pink sapphire, star ruby) or a blue stone for a boy (sapphire, tanzanite, lapis lazuli, blue topaz, blue lace agate). Pink or blue freshwater pearl earrings would also be a good choice. Childbirth is a joyful but also painful and traumatic event in a woman’s life. Everyone naturally fusses over the baby often ignoring the mother. Show her how proud you are of her and how much she means to you by this thoughtful and unexpected gift.

Sorry Yes, flowers might work but a gift of jewellery would go a long way towards eventual forgiveness! It would show that you really mean it.

Thank you Show your appreciation by buying her an unusual piece of fashion jewellery unexpectedly. You will get lots of Brownie points for this one.

Your partners taste and personality:

  • Is she a larger than life character who wears huge earrings and bright colours? Then a thin chain with a small pendant will almost certainly not be to her taste. Large, bold earrings or a 3-strand necklace with lampwork beads or a clinking colourful cuff will be more her style.
  • Does she like or hate a particular colour? Be aware of this when buying jewellery.
  • Older ladies look their best in pastel colours. Choose rose quartz, lavender amethyst, pale milky green amazonite, aquamarine or pearls.

Size matters:
There is no pleasure in wearing something that is too tight or too large. Bracelets and rings will be lost if they are too loose. If you buy on the Internet the size of the piece ought to be mentioned. Unlike clothes which are sized to fit women from the thinnest to the largest, jewellery is not. Bracelets in particular only go from 6.5 to 8.5. I see a lot of women with bracelets tight around their wrists when they should be hanging loosely. If your lady is outside the middle range of sizes:

1.     Measure a piece of jewellery that you know fits her well as a guide and take a note of it.

2.     Choose necklaces and bracelets with extension chains.

3.     Consider bespoke jewellery where the piece will be made to your specifications and measurements. It costs very little more and you have a truly unique piece. (I enclose a card with all my jewellery explaining the design, the materials and can even name the piece after her).

How important is fashion in jewellery? The answer is: VERY. Jewellery has been worn since times immemorial but if you look at what ladies were wearing in a particular era you will notice that the pieces are similar but also very different from another era. For instance, jet was the thing to wear under the reign of Queen Victoria; in the 1920s flappers were never seen without their very long strands of pearls. The younger your partner, the more fashion tuned she will be but remember the baby boomer generation of women is not settling down to twin-set and pearls either. That said, there is no need to be a slave to fashion. You can’t go wrong if you buy freshwater pearl jewellery for instance. The clever Chinese have found a way to dye them in all colours thereby giving a classic material a very modern twist. Semi-precious stones in all shades, cuts, sizes, shapes have also become very popular and make jewellery much more affordable.

Yes, finally, we come to cost and let me first de-bunk the idea that jewellery is an investment. Few pieces resell at a profit as the consumer is charged a huge mark-up plus tax. The jewels that sell for fabulous sums have either been owned by a famous person (Princess Margaret, the Duchess of Windsor, Jackie Kennedy for example), made by a famous house or have an antique value. On saying that, precious metals do keep up with inflation and are very durable as are good quality diamonds. Here we come to a divergence of opinions. Men get really hung up on the price. They equate the amount they spend with the size of their love. Now, don’t get me wrong: women know cheap when they see it! But they will be much more impressed and will derive far more pleasure from a piece of jewellery that their partners have spent time, effort and care in choosing. It is not necessary to spend a fortune. It is far better to purchase a one-off, well designed, quality piece of fashion jewellery than a mass-market, common piece.

What women prize above all else is the attention and time you devote to her. Money comes a poor third. In fact, it’s a substitute when you don’t give her the other two.

So, come on chaps, you know she’s worth it.

© Martine Callaghan All rights reserved




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