What kind of jewellery should you choose?
To give someone a piece of handmade jewellery is something truly special. Though it may not be the easiest job, to find out exactly which kind of jewellery will suit the receivers style and personality.
Here are some leading questions to assist you through your considerations:
Is the jewellery for everyday wear or for special occasions?
Jewellery which is worn often has to be able to withstand more usage, than jewellery made rather for special occasions. An often worn piece of jewellery, therefore has to be made of materials which are not easily damaged, and the design cannot be too unpractical. Is the jewellery big, or does it have big elements attached to it, it can get stuck in ones clothes or be in the way when working (this apply mainly to rings and bracelets, e.g. when working a lot with ones hands). For jewellery made for special occasions, practicality does not always have to be the main focus, since it normally doesn´t suffer that much wear. The creative margin is therefore larger, and more things are “allowed”; the dimensions may be bigger, the design more dominating and it is possible to put more attention to the curious details.
What is the receiver of the jewellery like?
If the person likes to dress up with many accessories, and show his/her individuality, I will suggest a daring and dramatic design, perhaps with some gemstones in strong colors. Does the person on the other hand have a more classic style, and tend to wear discrete jewellery, clear lines, and light colored gemstones or pearls, will be more suitable. If the person has a feminine style, flowers, leaves and round shapes will be a good choice. For a more raw choice of style, asymmetric shapes with strong contrasts, maybe combined with leather, wood, or other solid materials, will be fitting.
Should the jewellery be made of silver or gold?
This is a question about price and taste. Think about what kind of jewellery the person mostly wear, or what kind of colors he/she tend to wear; gold suits warm colors, while silver is mostly worn with cold colors.
Silver is significantly cheaper than gold, which is why gilded silver is offered as an economic alternative to gold, on the jewellery market. Gold is a consistent metal, and it can endure more usage than silver. With time, silver jewellery therefore appear more worn, whereas gold jewellery stay nice longer. Something else to be aware of, is that silver gradually darkens and become less shiny. This is caused by silvers chemical reaction to sulfur-containing substances in the air. This is nothing severe, as a bit of careful polishing with a silver polishing cloth, normally removes it. Some people like this “antique” look, and the reaction of the silver may even be produced to create a black patina (as I have done on several pieces my self).
I make gold jewellery in two different finenesses: 14 karat and 18 karat. 14 karat gold is cheaper since there is less gold in it. By alloying gold with different metals (mostly palladium, silver and copper is used), other color variations are achievable. Besides yellow gold, other often used gold alloys are white gold, which is a grayish variation, and red gold, which has a reddish hue.
Should the jewellery be with any gemstones, pearls or other materials?
There is a variety of beautiful stones and organic materials, which may be used for jewellery. Some are more precious than others, and they may be used to add some color and character, to the jewellery. Consider if there is a special stone or organic material, e.g. amber or (cultured) pearls, which would suit the person. It may be, that the receiver of the jewellery has a favorite color, or that you would like to add some special values through the symbolism of the stone.
By using other less traditional materials, it is possible to create a truly unique piece of jewellery. Maybe the person has a special interest, which can be integrated to the jewellery.
Which dimensions – big, medium or small?
How big/small should the jewellery be? If ring, which ring size ? (If the ring size is unknown to you, I can send an instruction on how to measure it). If necklace, how long?
How much may the jewellery cost?
This is of course an important factor, which set the limits regarding the kind of materials may be used, and how complicated the design may be.