Jewelry in My 40’s

Kate Winslet (aged 45) in a pair of David Morris chandelier earrings at the London premiere of Divergent. The earrings feature a pair of emeralds totaling 8.94ct and 8.67ct surrounded by brilliant and pear-cut diamonds. (Image Source: The Jewelry Editor)

As a woman in her forties who had a later start on some of her life goals, I don’t own a ton of fine jewelry. I live vicariously through my beloved PriceScopers and my dear friends and family. I have spent many years learning about jewelry and studying it because I love it so.  I do have a seven-year-old daughter who has already started asking for jewelry for holidays and her birthday, because she has grown up with me constantly window shopping, and she loves it. When she gets a bit older, we will start really working on my collection with the intention of her inheriting them in the future. I would love for her and me to pick things out together, it will hopefully carry even more love with it for her.


Close up of Angelina Jolie, slightly smiling. Sheer black top, hair up, diamond teardrop earrings, nude lip, heavy eye makeup

Angelina Jolie (aged 45) in diamond teardrop earrings(Image Source: Image no available)

Many of my friends in my age range have largely moved into the empty-nester place or are near to it.  Some of my friends are jewelers or work for jewelers and have incredible pieces of jewelry of all kinds, practical to Avant-Garde. I am lucky to be surrounded (if even virtually) by women of exquisite taste and standards. My friend Cindy is not only also in her forties but is a talented jeweler who does everything from design, sourcing, to benchwork and finishing. She has an incredible collection, I am just going to share a couple that she made for herself. Cindy sent me these images to share.


Two-part statement earrings in 18k yellow gold with rutilated quartz and natural rose Zircon.
Two-part statement earrings in 18k yellow gold with rutilated quartz and natural rose Zircon. Contemporary, made by Cindy Westfall.


Necklace of oxidized Sterling silver with 18k yellow gold accents.
Necklace of oxidized Sterling silver with 18k yellow gold accents, with a moss agate (cut by Robert Laible of Contemporary Metals Studio) and a color change Umba Valley sapphire. Contemporary. Made by Cindy Westfall.

One of the benefits of being above forty, to me, is that my contemporaries know their style. We are much more aware of our taste and are seemingly a bit more willing to flex on what we love. I have friends who own incredible fine jewelry, yet more often wear their favorite glass bead dangle earrings. I also have friends who scrimped and saved and finally got the piece of high-end jewelry they wanted, and they are absolutely going to get every wear they can out of it.


Leslie Mann in Irene Neuwirth pink opal, pearl and gold earrings.

Leslie Mann (aged 48) in Irene Neuwirth pink opal, pearl, and gold earrings.

My own constantly worn wedding set is not one that would typically be a JotW. My engagement ring is a cathedral setting with invisibly set princess diamonds to appear as a three-stone. I wanted the most bang for our buck when we were getting married, and I wanted a LOT of light return. I do not take it off unless I absolutely must, and because it is not as high-end, I feel safer being able to wear it the way that I want to. It reminds me of love, and my family, and makes me smile every time I look at it. Isn’t that the goal?

I do LOVE an upgrade, as we all know! I will be starting over on my upgrade set, as this old beat-up beauty is never leaving me. My daughter gets to help, and she feels special and involved. Jewelry can tell so many stories and evoke so many emotions, that’s why it is so magical.



1) Custom, custom, custom

Applying sentiment to your jewelry is lovely, and creating custom pieces to share parts of your life experience is awesome. When it is eventually passed on to family or friends, they will keep that story with it.

2) Expanding your collection

You likely have most of the basics covered, so you can really aim your jewelry spending at fun, fine, funky, and/or fabulous! If it makes you feel good, it is a great piece. We all love some big ol’ glorious bling, but you may also want something totally different to add to your wardrobe, I encourage embracing your uniqueness!

3) You don’t need to compete. You may just be starting out on your jewelry collection, or you may have amassed a fortune worth of sparkle. No matter what, enjoy what you have! I rock a basic strand of nice pearls as my most common “dress it up” piece. I have had this strand for years, and I love it. Pearls get better with age and wear, just like I do 😉.

4) If you want to invest in a serious collection, this is a great time to start. You still have a lot of time to upgrade the pieces that you get and put money into them in portions that you can afford.

Wear what you want.  Wear what makes you feel good. I can’t say that I feel like I am in my forties but at 42, I know that I am the answer to life, the universe, and everything…and that helps ease my mind.

As for my own looks, I have my pearls and many pairs of fun, funky eyeglasses to change up my looks. I hope that as I age I can really lean into the more unique pieces because I LOVE classics but I want something that is me in a bracelet.

I really want to see what you are loving in your forties! Click the comments button below to share your jewelry with us.

Written by Kayti Kawachi

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