When is it Appropriate to Gift Jewelry?

When is it Appropriate to Gift Jewelry?

When is it Appropriate to Gift Jewelry?

Giving friends and family jewelry can sometimes be a tricky process to navigate. Click to learn when it's appropriate to gift jewelry.

Keyword(s): gift jewelry


With major gift-giving holidays coming up (think Christmas, Valentine's and Mother's Day) it's time to talk about who you should and should not be buying jewelry for. 

Of course, there are other times throughout the year when giving jewelry as a gift might be a good idea as well. Is it your friend's birthday? Or are your co-workers having a surprise birthday in the conference room for your boss?

You know you need to bring a gift. You love the idea and thoughtfulness of a necklace or bracelet. But you aren't sure if the occasion is appropriate for such a present. 

You don't want to risk an awkward reaction. But at the same time, you want to convey that you are thinking of them.

When do you buy gift jewelry and when don't you? Read on to find out!

Jewelry Gift

You Should Definitely Consider Gift Jewelry If...

Bridesmaid Jewelry

It's for Your Bride's Maids

Bride's maids normally are your nearest and dearest friends and family that you've known practically your whole life. 

In this situation, getting each bride's maid jewelry to show how much they mean to you is a great option. 

Opt for something that's simple yet classic so that each bridesmaid will love their jewelry, no matter the difference in personal styles. Simple Swarovski crystal pendant and earring sets are a perfect choice. 

It's also a bonding experience if each of the bride's maids and yourself wear the jewelry at your wedding.

Boyfriend Jewelry

You're Not Quite Official with Someone But Past the Meet and Greet

You haven't had the boyfriend-girlfriend talk yet. But it's definitely on your mind. If you're the guy, it is appropriate to buy your special someone a simple yet elegant piece of jewelry — perhaps a pair of pearl earrings or a simple necklace?  

This shows that you care but doesn't make things awkward. Know that she may not be at the stage to give you a gift. Or she might not have thought it was that time yet. 

Ladies, you can also buy your special someone a simple bracelet or necklace if you notice that's his style.

Again though, you'll want to avoid going overboard with the bling. 

Buying Jewelry for Girlfriend

You're Dating, Renting an Apartment Together, or Married

Don't try to be creative here. Gifting jewelry can "speak" commitment without saying a word. Go with timeless classics that reinforce your voice of commitment to quality, and thoughtfulness - all traits of a healthy relationship. 

Go all out and buy your significant other that diamond necklace or a pair of diamond earrings. 

You know where each of you stands in the other's eyes and want to show that through gift jewelry. 

You can take it one step further by giving bracelets with your wedding date or anniversary date engraved on the inside. 

It's Your BFF

Your best friend has been with you through thick and thin. Show your appreciation for all that she or he has done and the history and stories you two have shared. 

Get them a piece of jewelry that fits their style. You can even buy matching friendship bracelets to celebrate your friendship. 

It's a Family Member

Maybe Mother's Day is fast approaching? Or it's your grandmother's 75th birthday? They've been supporting you since you were young — from the baby years to the awkward teenage years, in your roaring twenties, and now. 

Show that special family member you appreciate her consistent love and support with a beautiful silver necklace. Or some sapphire earrings. 

In this situation, it's appropriate to stray from the classic and buy her something more along her style. 

Jewelry Gift

You Should Definitely Not Buy Gift Jewelry If...

It's for a Co-Worker

Now, if this coworker has worked with you for years and you are good friends, both inside and outside the office, that's a different story.

But if you're buying for one of your co-workers who you only make small talk with at the coffee maker, jewelry might not be the way to go.  

You may offer to bring her her coffee if you're making a run or vice versa, but that's the extent of the relationship. 

Giving your co-worker gift jewelry may make things awkward between the two of you. As she may believe you mistook your working relationship as a friendship. 

It's for Your Boss

So, it's your boss' birthday. You want to give her something nice. However that something should not be gift jewelry. A mug, pens, or gift card are all appropriate gifts. 

Buying your boss jewelry will not only make things awkward for you, but it may communicate that you're trying to suck up for that upcoming promotion. 

Once the relationship is awkward, it's hard to turn it back. Even if you've known your boss for years, it's best not to go this route. 

It's for a Client

Again, similar to your boss, giving a client jewelry could signal you're trying to people please in order to secure the account or prolong the contract. 

Instead of jewelry, opt for assorted chocolates or gift cards. If you know your client is a baseball fan, buy them tickets to their favorite baseball team. 

Personalizing this sense will score you brownie points; buying jewelry for them won't. 

It's for an Acquaintance

You've known your mail carrier for over a decade. Or you've swapped latte recipes with your neighborhood barista. These are well-acquainted acquaintances that you enjoy small-talking with. 

You want to buy them something for the holidays. However, jewelry is not the thing to buy. 

For one, expect that, since the relationship is very casual, she probably won't have anything for you. 

Also, since jewelry is a very thoughtful and personal item, it would be inappropriate given how superficial your relationship is. 

If you want to give a gift, why not buy something that relates to your small talk? What about a $10-gift card to that new latte shop that opened up?  

Or, since your mail carrier talks about her dogs, why not a few gourmet dog treats wrapped up? 

It's for an Extended Family Member You've Only Met Twice in Your Life

The family reunion is around the corner. And you're debating whether you should buy Aunt Martha those gold earrings she's mentioned once or twice. 

Given that you've only met Aunt Martha on one Thanksgiving and Easter, it's best for someone else who knows her better to buy that gift. 

Chances are, she won't have the same type of gift for you. Just because you're family doesn't mean you have to give her gift jewelry. In this case, it's best not to. 

Final Thoughts

Jewelry is great for some occasions like Christmas, Valentine's, Mother's Day, or a best friend's wedding! And not so great for others -- a first date or a co-workers retirement party. 

Remember to ask yourself - how long have you known this person? What's your relationship like? And whether they'd hug you after opening the gift or react with an uncomfortable, forced smile.  

Using this guide, we're confident you'll be able to handle any potential jewelry-giving situation! 

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