Jewelry is often thought of as a means of expressing love—specifically romantic love—and commitment to one special person. Traditionally jewelry is a romantic token given at the start of a relationship and then again on anniversaries. However, limiting jewelry to just romantic occasions means lost opportunities to celebrate and commemorate all sorts of personal and professional milestones in life.
Gifting jewelry sends a message; it tells the receiver that the gifter is ready for some form of commitment, no matter the nature of the relationship. It also conveys appreciation, and in many cases, love (not just romantic). Determining when is an appropriate time to give jewelry can be complex and depend upon many factors, including the stage of your relationship, the receiver’s personality, and societal expectations–just to name a few.
The first thing to consider when determining when to give jewelry is what jewelry means to a relationship, and specifically, your relationship. The most common meaning of gifting jewelry is romantic love and commitment, with diamond earrings, or an engagement ring. Milestones are often celebrated with jewelry gifts, such as anniversaries, graduations, or professional promotions. Once you understand what the gift of jewelry can mean within a relationship, it can help you evaluate the stage of your relationship.
Understanding what stage your relationship is in is crucial when you’re considering when is the right time to give jewelry.
- Just started dating: when just starting to date someone, gifting jewelry can seem quite assertive. At this state it may be best to keep any jewelry gifts to something minimal and inexpensive, such as a small necklace or bracelet (perhaps in silver, as it’s a less expensive metal). This is a way for you to convey your interest without coming across as too forward.
- Exclusive dating: Once you’ve established that you’re in a relationship where you’re exclusively dating only each other, and you’ve been together for several months, it becomes more appropriate to give your partner jewelry without coming across as presumptuous. This might be a good time to give personalized jewelry, such as a name necklace, a birthstone pendant, or a promise ring if you are already very serious about your future together.
- Engagement: This is the most obvious choice when giving jewelry, as it’s a time honored tradition within most societies. It is important to know that your partner is on the same page and is ready for the next step. The best way to ensure this is to have a conversation prior to taking this leap. This is your opportunity to give the ultimate gift of asking your significant other to spend the rest of their life with you. It can sound like a daunting task, but there are many guides to help you through this process.
- Marriage: Once you’re married, there are endless opportunities to give the gift of jewelry, and the more often you do, the more points you’ll score with your spouse! On a serious note, anniversaries, birthdays, work promotions, graduations, push gifts, and holidays are all examples of appropriate times to give the gift of jewelry to your spouse. Here are some of our gift recommendations:
- Anniversaries: Diamond bands to match an existing wedding set, diamond earrings or pendant, or something personalized to represent your relationship.
- Birthdays: Personalized jewelry or something fun that shows off your partner’s personal style.
- Work Promotions: Cufflinks, pendants, bracelets, or something else that would be tasteful to wear in their professional environment and would show them how thoughtful you are.
- Graduations: Again, something personalized with their name, initials, or perhaps their college or trade school of attendance would be considerate.
- Push Gifts: Since rings often don’t fit perfectly during this stage of life, a pendant is a great option. You can even include the child’s name, birthstone, or birth date.
- Holidays: Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah are all celebrated holidays when you can give your partner jewelry, and it will most likely be appreciated.
Now that we have more clarity on what type of jewelry to give at different stages of your relationship, it’s important to note that communicating with your significant other is extremely important. If you have open communication throughout your relationship, you can discuss your partner’s preferences when it comes to jewelry. Some important questions to ask are:
- What metal type and color do you prefer?
- What diamonds or gemstone colors do you like?
- What shape of gemstones do you like?
- Do you prefer simple jewelry or something more ostentatious?
- What do you think is an appropriate amount of time to date before getting engaged?
- What is an acceptable amount to spend on jewelry at different stages of our relationship?
- Do you want to be involved in picking out your own jewelry or do you prefer to be surprised?
There are other things to consider when determining when to give the gift of jewelry. You must think about societal norms, e.g. where you live, what stage of life you are in, and what your culture traditionally does. Depending upon your culture, there may be specific jewelry given for specific milestones, or certain times where it is not appropriate to give jewelry.
Religion can also play a role, as certain religions dictate appropriate timing for relationships to move to the next level of engagement. Different items of jewelry might also signify something specific within a religion or culture, so make sure to pay attention to this. If you’re not familiar with your partner’s culture, it may be necessary to involve their friends or family, or do your own independent research. You should also consider the personal values of your partner, which should be evident by their responses to the above questions that you’ll ask during an open and honest conversation.
Keep in mind that jewelry gifts are not only for romantic relationships. Unique engagement rings, designer jewelry, and colored gemstones are not limited to representing an engagement. The possibilities are limitless and designer jewelry can represent and record personal and professional memories. Like Samantha Jones (played by Kim Cattrall) in Sex and the City: The Movie, the flower ring she wants to buy at the auction “represents the essence of me”.
Handcrafted designer jewelry can represent so much, for both men and women. Colored gemstone cufflinks can be purchased to celebrate a successful business merger or as a token of good luck when starting a new job. Every time those cufflinks are donned, pleasant memories of success and leisure will accompany the wearer and remind them of their accomplishments.
Likewise, designer jewelry such as colored gemstone earrings, pendants, or rings can be purchased as gifts for someone you love–or for yourself. Pearl earrings can be procured to celebrate reaching one of your life’s goals, like buying your first home or overcoming a fear. They can also be given to a parent, sibling, or child.
Diamond earrings can be given to mom as an everlasting token of love and appreciation. A gemstone can be given to a sibling as a memento that represents support and familial love. An ornate pin or pendant can be gifted to your daughter as she embarks on her own adult life. Regardless of what the gift comes to represent, designer jewelry signifies a meaningful and inextinguishable memory or bond—one that does not diminish or fade over time, but instead survives for generations to come.
Whether as a gift to a romantic partner, friend, parent, child–or even yourself–the gift of jewelry can be a meaningful gesture that conveys your commitment and love to the receiver. Before choosing jewelry as a gift for any occasion, it’s important to evaluate, with the above suggestions, what the most appropriate timing is to give this special gift of jewelry
Hopefully we’ve given you the necessary tools to make wise choices. The gift of designer jewelry is something that holds memories more valuable than the gems or precious metals that they're made of.