Jewelry for Children: A Sparkling Childhood

A Diva Darling. (Image Source: Pinterest)

Jewelry for children is a topic that not everyone is on board with. There are a lot of pros and cons to giving children “real” jewelry. Jewelry means so much to us, and for some of us, that started when we were tiny. Jewelry lets us feel seen, it was deliciously fancy and things kept for special times always innately make you feel special.

 

SHARING SOME OF MY JEWELRY JOURNEY

When I was a little girl, for each birthday my Grandparents would give me a new piece of jewelry with a ruby in it, it is my birthstone. Sometimes it was a letter K filled with diamond chips.  I loved them; they were my only “real” jewelry in my little jewelry box. I was gifted my Mother’s cross necklace that she wore as a young woman, but it fell off my neck in a public pool. It was a stark lesson in giving children jewelry that is sized and intended for adults. I remember how sad she was when she realized that it was gone, and I felt terrible.

little girl with a hair clip in her curls. She is in profile in a pink shirt and holding out a string of pearls that she is looking down at. There is a curtained window behind her.
Not me, but it could have been. I was fascinated with pearls, still am.

By the time my grandfather was nearing the end of his life and had dementia, he gave me garnets instead of rubies. He, honestly thought that was my birthstone because it was a red one and that was what he could recall. I loved those garnets because I knew that he was trying, he was grasping for his connections to his family. It was sad, but also beautiful, his love for me was evident though he could no longer spell my name and forgot the correct stone. He knew that he bought a red stone for his girl every year. I have a fondness now for garnets and rubies because jewelry is a love language for me (and many PriceScopers too).

 

When children receive jewelry, it is usually marking an event, sometimes even their birth. There are incredibly beautiful rattles for babies and even high-end silver bubble wands. Tiffany & Co. even carry a baby “piggy” bank that looks like a tin can, in silver. Lockets that make them feel like they are carrying a beautiful secret. That is a far cry from the tiny rubies and diamond chips that I got as a child, but the intent is similar. Something precious for a precious child who is important.

greyscale image of elderly man in glasses holding a baby in a jumper
By this time I had my first necklace that had a tiny gold heart with an itty bitty ruby suspended in it.

 

On a patterned background grey and white) with a gold heart with a K inscribed on it. A tiny gold charm, and a round gold locket. and a necklace centerpiece with rubies and opals
A couple pieces of my childhood jewelry that my mother recently sent me pictures of.

As my mother learned the hard way, giving children jewelry comes with a risk. The risk is lessened when what you are purchasing is intended, made, and sized for a child. That comes, however, with the drawback that it will no longer fit when they are adults. If you have a jewelry-loving child like I was and like my daughter is, it carries a lot of meaning. I learned from the mistakes of my forbears and the jewelry that my seven-year-old receives is not high-end. She wants to play rough and tumble in diamond clip-on earrings (her ears are not yet pierced). Yes, she asked for diamond earrings for her fifth birthday, because the girl knows what she likes.

greyscale image of 1 year old Queen Elizabeth II in a chair and a white dress with a necklace. She has blonde curls
Queen Elizabeth II at age one. (Image Source: Town & Country)

Jewelry that is important, meaningful, and makes a child feel special is what really hits the mark. I think that there is some truly lovely jewelry that is intended for little ones these days, and that you can feel a little safer about their wearing. Jewelry can carry so much love and sentiment, children see their adult relatives gifting jewelry to the people that they love, and they want to feel that too. They are often as pleased with costume jewelry, don’t think you need to break the bank for a jewelry-loving tiny person.

 

SOME GREAT REASONS TO GIVE A CHILD REAL JEWELRY:

  1. Holidays/Birthdays/Birth: I think that this is the most common reason. In many cultures, it is commonplace for a child to receive extravagant gifts to mark these occasions, including tiny little pieces of jewelry meant to fit them.
  2. Weddings: When their parents get married (to each other, or re-married) the children like to feel like they are involved in the event. It is the mark of a major shift in their lives, as well, and a great way to make them feel included.
  3. Fancy Dress Events: When a little one gets to wear their first pair of clacky shoes and a beautiful outfit that makes them feel like a movie star, adding a piece of jewelry that they can keep remembering the event is a great touch. They feel “grown-up” and beautiful when they get to wear their jewelry that is not made of plastic. Don’t get me wrong, they often feel lovely in plastic jewelry too. 😊
  4. Religious and/or Cultural Milestones: Many children receive a piece of jewelry to commemorate a milestone reached within their culture or religion. They are often meant as a form of protection, a reminder that the child is being watched over and is loved.
greyscale image of a young future Queen, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
A beautiful young future Queen, Elizabeth Bowes- Lyon. (Image Source: Daily Express)

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT JEWELRY FOR CHILDREN

  1. Know their allergies, or be prepared to watch diligently to see if one is present.
  2. Don’t get adult jewelry for children but if you can’t help it, there are many lines of amazing jewelry that is intended for children with their safety in mind.
  3. Know the risks, they could lose it or break it, and being prepared to accept that is a hurdle.

A FEW PIECES I LOVE:

 

a small silver locket on a delicate chain
Children’s Round Floral Locket Pendant from Blue Nile

 

Children's Freshwater Cultured Pearl Earrings
Children’s Freshwater Cultured Pearl Earrings from Blue Nile

 

In ancient times, it was not at all uncommon to have children, even babies, and toddlers in jewelry. Whether you do or don’t get behind giving jewelry to kids, it was fun wax philosophical about it for a bit and let some of the memories of my sparkly childhood return. My jewelry is at my parents where it has been returned for safekeeping since I have a tiny jewelry lover of my own and I will give it to her when she is a little older.

Do you give your kids jewelry? Do they love it, or even wear yours? We’d love to see some pics of the next PriceScope generations! We don’t need to see their beautiful faces if that makes you uncomfortable! I may snap a pic of my darling child in some of her bling to share.

Written by Kayti Kawachi

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