Before you hit the boutiques, take stock of what she already has in her jewelry collection.
Unless she’s requested a specific piece, like a cocktail ring or a tennis bracelet, do some sleuthing: Does she already own a classic diamond necklace? It’s a safe bet she would appreciate a pair of earrings to match. Also of note: Does she have a preference towards white, yellow or rose gold? Are her pieces typically bold and colorful or more understated? Finally, of utmost importance is considering her lifestyle. The busy working wife and mom who favors streamlined, unfussy pieces and timeless, tailored looks might not get as much use out of a statement-making collar necklace or cuff as her fashion-obsessed, 20-something daughter.
SIZE HER UP
Of course, fine jewelry can be adjusted, but it helps to have a general idea of her size before you shop.
“Borrow” one of her lesser-worn rings (to avoid suspicion) to take to the boutique. Also worth considering is her frame size in general, as scale is important—petite women with delicate features may get overwhelmed by larger pieces, while tall, statuesque women are sometimes better able to carry off the season’s trendy oversized styles.
BRING IN BACKUP
For an important purchase, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the ones who know her best: Her mother, sister or close friends.
Send snapshots of pieces you like before you buy, and never underestimate the power of a woman’s perspective. If she has a favorite boutique or department store that she frequents, get feedback from personal shoppers and sales associates on what jewels she’s been eyeing of late.
MAKE IT MEMORABLE
There’s a reason jewelry is considered an “emotional purchase”:
The most special pieces evoke strong memories of the person who gifted it, and are often held onto for a lifetime and passed down to future generations. For this reason, consider a bauble with a sweet sentiment behind it, like a charm bracelet or a locket, or opt for a piece that features the recipient’s birthstone— or her children’s birthstones—in a stunning setting. Add to the experience by presenting the piece in a unique and unexpected way—both packaging and setting are key.
WHEN IN DOUBT…
You can’t go wrong with classic.
Case in point: A simple but sophisticated strand of flawless pearls can be piled on with other pieces for an edgier look, or worn alone for Grace Kelly-style glam. Focus on top quality, rather than trendsetting styles, and you’ll gift her a piece she’ll treasure for years to come.