If you want to buy a special gift for a child – something different from the usual toys – why not consider a piece of fine jewellery? Even quite young children can enjoy wearing a beautifully crafted piece of jewellery and understand it is something to be treasured. Exactly what you choose will, of course, depend on the child's age, their personality and the occasion, but here are a few ideas:
A first gift
A baby's birth, a christening or naming ceremony, and baby's first birthday are all celebrations that can be marked with a gift of jewellery. Christening gifts are traditionally made of silver and many top jewellery designers use this precious metal for children's jewellery, although gold jewellery is also available if you prefer it.
Babies shouldn't wear necklaces, but a pretty bangle or a brooch that can be securely fastened to clothing makes a lovely finishing touch when they are dressed up for a special occasion.
The most important thing about jewellery for babies and toddlers is safety. Always choose pieces that have been specially designed for young children with no sharp edges or small charms or beads that are not firmly attached. It's also important to insist on high quality silver or gold as some cheap jewellery contains nickel and other alloy metals that can irritate delicate skin.
A personal gift
Older children appreciate a piece of jewellery that is uniquely theirs; something including their own name or initials perhaps, or with a symbol that has a special meaning for them. Girls like necklaces with lettered beads spelling out their name, and lockets holding a favourite photo. An identity bracelet with a boldly engraved name might be a more suitable gift for a boy, or a necklace in the colours of the football team he supports.
Birthday gifts for either sex could include the child's birthstone. And to mark a sporting achievement, or passing a music or dancing exam, look for a pendant featuring an athlete, a ballerina or a musical instrument.
A lasting gift
With a little care good quality jewellery should last a lifetime, but children's jewellery is often quickly outgrown. To prolong their usefulness choose adjustable bangles, bracelets and necklaces that can grow with their owner. When a piece of jewellery is too small it's worth seeking the advice of a skilled jeweller who might be able to suggest a way of re-sizing it.
Another popular idea is to give individual charms that can be added to a bracelet or necklace over the years. When a child-sized bracelet becomes too small, the charms can be transferred to an adult bracelet.
To view an exciting range of quality children's jewellery visit your local independent jewellery shop which will often stock unusual items not found in the High Street chains. If you need some help in choosing a suitable gift, the friendly and experienced staff will be happy to assist. To find out more check out online shopping tips .