How many times have we all struggled to buy a present? Spent countless hours looking for inspiration and failed miserably.Â The age old present question â€œwhat can I buy for her that she wants?â€ has challenged us all over the years.Â Every man knows that itâ€™s virtually impossible to understand the mind of a woman or decipher their indecipherable clues.
How about a couple of our old favourites? Chocolates, the safe bet but not very inspired and they are gone in an instant. Flowers, also ok but they droop and die in a week or so. Women are always moved by a present that has been thought about and considered. Hence the phrase â€œItâ€™s the thought that countsâ€.
So what do women love? They love a gift that lasts and makes them feel special. They love a present that has been chosen with care and Thought. They love a gift that they can show off to their friends.
So what is this magical gift that fills her with joy and gets you bundles of brownie points to boot? Â The answer is quite simply, jewellery jewellery jewellery.
So, thatâ€™s the first part of the puzzle solved, the present. The next part is choosing the right piece [this is the â€œItâ€™s the thought that countsâ€ bit]. This has often been the sticking point and got a lot of us giving up and reaching for the flowers and chocolates. But now this can be a thing of the past.
Read on to discover the five simple easy to follow steps that should overcome the mysteries of choosing the right piece of beautiful jewellery for ever.
1. Which metal to choose
There are many metals that jewellery is made from, but only three to really consider here. They are Platinum, gold and Silver. Because these metals are relatively soft they are mixed with other metals to make them workable and more durable.
To show their purity they are stamped with marks. Platinum and silver is marked by 3 numbers to show how many parts per thousand they contain. Gold is marked either as above or with a K followed by one or two numbers that represent the percentage of purity. As a rule of thumb, the higher the purity, the higher the price.
Platinum is a rare silver coloured metal that carries a very high price tag but is more durable than gold. It normally comes in two grades 950 and 980.
Gold is as its name suggests is gold in colour and has been the main choice up until the last few years, but is now fast pricing itself out of the market as it has risen sharply in price over the last few years and can expect to pay Â£50 plus a gram for 9kt. Itâ€™s most common grades are 9k [37.5%purity] 18k [75%purity] and 22k [91.6%purity]. The one thing to note with gold is the higher the purity the lower the durability.
Silver is as the name suggests silver in colour with a beautiful shine and is more durable than gold. Â It has always been very popular and though its price is steadily rising it is still very affordable and is great value as it is around Â£4 a gram. The only two grades that you should consider for silver jewellery are 925 which is known as â€œsterling silverâ€ and 950. A great way to get the look of platinum or gold without the extra cost is to buy silver that has been overlaid with platinum or gold.
2. The piece of jewellery to select
This part involves you looking at the styles of jewellery and colours of the clothes she wears. If you select the same styles of jewellery that she already wears, you know she already likes it. And if pick the colours of the gemstones that are in the colours of her clothes you know they will match.
3. How to understand ring sizes and chain lengths
There are two different scales for ring sizes, one uses letters and the other numbers. Here are some of the popular sizes and their diameters in mm.
LÂ Â Â Â 5 Â½ 16.10mm
MÂ Â Â Â 6Â Â Â Â 16.51mm
NÂ Â Â Â 6 Â½ 16.92mm
OÂ Â Â Â 7Â Â Â Â 17.35mm
PÂ Â Â Â 7 Â½ 17.75mm [this is to give you an idea and actual sizes may vary]
Chains come in many different lengths. For bracelets the normal length is
7 Â½â€ [19cm] and for neck chains the usual length is 18â€ [46cm]. If you want a pendant to sit higher, then 16â€ [41cm] is a good length and is close on being a choker and if you want it to sit lower then 20â€, 22â€, 24â€ chains are available.
4. Which jewellery to choose
The five main jewellery items are pendants, earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets.
Pendants are the safest bet. They are sold with and without chains, but try and buy with a chain as it can be worn straight from the box. The chain that comes with it is normally chosen to look right with the pendant and match its design.
Earrings come in two main types, for pierced and non-pierced ears [just have a quick look to see if her ears are pierced or not]. Earrings for pierced ears generally come with three different types of fixings. Hook which just hooks into the piercing. Post that slides through the piercing and is fixed at the to the post and lever back which have a hook that passes through the ear and is secured to a hinged lever that folds up from the back of the earring.
Rings can be a mine field if you do not know her size , but this can be overcome by including a voucher you can make saying something like â€œyou include ring resizing as part of the giftâ€, just in case you get it wrong. A good local jeweller will resize most rings up or down 2 or 3 sizes for a small charge.
Necklaces come as one piece and will not allow you to change the chain.
Bracelets can sometimes need a little research as wrists vary in size and though the normal size for a bracelet is 7 Â½ â€œ there are smaller and larger sizes. If in doubt measure a bracelet she already owns.
5. High street or online jewellery Shop
The high street jewellery shop is normally more expensive than an online jewellery shop because they have much higher overheads but you do get the benefit of seeing the piece there and then.
The online jewellery shops often have a greater range to choose from with clearer details [gemstone sizes and origins, metal weight and if a chain is included] and good pictures to print off if you need to. They are open 24hrs a day and the bonus of delivery straight to your door.
Some quick final tips.
Look for a store that includes a presentation box in the price.
Gemstones that are translucent give a better sparkle than opaque.
Silver jewellery is great value at the moment.
If you really want to impress when choosing the gemstone then have a look at a birthstone chart to get the stone for her month of birth.