The Best Gifts in Life, Part II
Giving the gift of experience is something I enjoy, but being that I am in the jewelry business, it would be remiss to not talk about giving the gift of jewelry.
I am a believer in giving things that are going to be worn. Otherwise, what’s the point? This goes for jewelry as it does other things. But jewelry is unique in that it is inherently a very versatile gift with endless possibilities (and price points). It doesn’t take up too much space. You can enjoy it without taking up too much of a footprint. It's easy to store. In that way it can be very practical.
We always think of jewelry gifting as that from husband to wife, or boyfriend to girlfriend, but it can also be mothers to daughters, daughter to mothers and gifts to friends. Sometimes I will buy jewelry without a specific reason, without intention (usually costume pieces), to hold onto for later and give to my friends or my daughters.
For a man buying a woman jewelry, it can be intimidating. One rule of thumb that I have is, if you are not planning on getting engaged soon (more on that later), don’t give a ring—even if it’s not an engagement ring.
Earrings are always a good option, as it is both a sensitive and sensual part of the body. A brooch, for example, is a bit more distant, physically and symbolically. In Italy, we say that when you give a brooch, the person who receives it has to pay a symbolic amount because pins prick and they hurt.
The responsibility lies in the giver’s hands, not in the receiver’s, to find just the right thing. If you are buying something that is even a little expensive you have to ascertain if you or the person who receives it can exchange it. Otherwise, you have to be very sure of what they want. The giver should be very thoughtful when giving jewelry of real value.
If you receive a piece of costume jewelry that you don’t like, it’s completely proper to regift. I don’t see anything wrong with it, provided that you cross your T’s, dot your I’s and make sure that it isn’t regifted in the same social circle. And of course you want to be certain that the regifted piece of jewelry is appropriate for the new recipient.
There are also many family heirlooms that are passed down during the holidays as gifts. There are things that I have personally asked for, not because of their value but because I think they would actually be very useful to me. This is very important to consider with heirlooms. Many people have pieces passed down to them by their grandmother, for example, but they never wear it. You should give these pieces only when people are ready to receive them. But the truth is that the world has changed and many heirlooms can seem out of place today. You will never be ready to receive these things if you aren’t going to wear them.