An Experts’ Guide to Gifting Jewelry

Photography courtesy of Elizabeth Locke of Elizabeth Locke Jewels and The Other Elizabeth.

For many, when an occasion to give a gift occurs, jewelry is one of the first options to come to mind. And for good reason—pretty, permanent, and personal, the right piece can make a statement and feel special for years to come. In anticipation of Mother’s Day, we asked three jewelry experts for advice on how to suss out the ideal piece to give to every mom in your life. Read on for thoughtful and practical recommendations on how to select everything from dainty necklaces to diamond bracelets and everything in between. 

FOR YOUR MOM // Insecure shoppers, take heart: mothers tend to be predisposed to like presents from their children. “She’s the easiest person to buy for because she even loved the homemade potholder you proudly presented to her when you were in grade school,” says Elizabeth Locke, jewelry designer at Elizabeth Locke Jewels in New York, New York, and The Other Elizabeth in Boyce, Virginia. While you can go in a variety of directions, Locke thinks a ring is a great choice because it’s always in the wearer’s line of vision. Additionally, it’s probably not a piece of jewelry she will buy for herself, but would definitely love to receive. Vivian Grimes, founder and CEO of Henri Noël Jewelry in Naples, Florida, agrees, and recommends her Diamond Stretch Eternity Band—a bold and powerful piece that looks great on its own, or stacked with multiple eternity bands she might already own. 

FOR YOUR GRANDMOTHER // If you’re on a hunt for a gift for your grandmother, Katya Ananieva, jeweler and owner of She’s Unique in Alexandria, Virginia, recommends going with easy-to-put-on styles, like cuff bracelets that can be slipped on and off or pieces with bigger clasps that are easy to manipulate. Another good option are necklaces with a 22” drop that are long enough to go over the head (you can make it extra special by adding personalization). Locke gravitates toward earrings as the perfect gift for matriarchs, especially if they are brightly colored or something her friends will immediately notice or comment on, giving her the opportunity to sing her grandchild’s praises. 

FOR YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW // This can be tricky territory, as your gift is a tangible manifestation of your appraisal of her taste, says Locke. Here, she prefers to be conservative with a gift like simple gold earrings. Grimes’s go-to in this category is a diamond bezel bracelet.It’s the perfect piece to wear alone if she is not a huge jewelry wearer or add to her wrist stack if she has many bracelets,” she says. “It’s classic and something that never goes out of style.” 

FOR A NEW MOM // That first Mother’s Day is a special one. Delicate necklaces seem to be a good choice, as they don’t get in the way with all that snuggling, and are an easy item to wear day and night. Grimes recommends a diamond and gold necklace like The Diamond Drop Station. Popular for push presents, the bezel-set diamonds are secure for the out-and-about routine of a new mom. Locke favors a short, fine-linked gold chain with a small pendant that somehow links to the new baby. For example, when Locke’s goddaughter gave birth to a daughter named Violet, she presented her with a violet-colored sapphire pendant. 

FOR YOUR SISTER // If you have a sibling who’s a mom, why not throw a little recognition her way? This gift-selecting process is often seamless, as Locke believes you can’t lose by purchasing something that you truly want for yourself. A sweet and timeless gift Grimes gravitates toward for is a diamond initial bracelet. It’s sweet and simple worn solo, or can be added to a wrist stack. 

FOR A FRIEND // This is a fun category, because you can take a few more risks with these gifts. If you know your friend’s style, Ananieva  likes to experiment with a curated earring gift—picking out a pair of huggies, hoops, a stud—to create a combination of smaller earrings that go well together. She also favors talisman-style necklaces with symbolism behind them. Meanwhile, both Locke and Grimes find classic gold hoops to be the perfect gift for a pal—and for special occasions, adding diamonds always makes a statement. 

TSG Tip 391 from Elizabeth Locke of Elizabeth Locke Jewels in New York, New York, and The Other Elizabeth in Boyce, Virginia; Vivian Grimes, founder and CEO of Henri Noël Jewelry in Naples, Florida; Katya Ananieva, jeweler and owner of She’s Unique in Alexandria, Virginia. Elizabeth Locke Jewels and The Other Elizabeth are featured in The Scout Guide Hunt Country. Henri Noël Jewelry is featured in The Scout Guide Naples. She’s Unique is featured in The Scout Guide Alexandria