There’s no better way to show your appreciation and love for someone than through jewelry. But, have you ever wondered to yourself: Where did this custom start? Have people been giving each other jewelry pieces for a long time, or is it a relatively new phenomenon? As the best jewelers in Denver, we make it our business to know the ins and outs of all things jewelry and the jewelry business–from its history, to the intricacies of diamonds and gemstones, and everything in between.
Let’s look at the history of gifting jewelry and the symbolism of it all.
Gifting Jewelry Through the Ages
The Early Beginnings of Gifting
Ancient and prehistoric cultures used colored pebbles, bones, shells and feathers to make less sparkly but more durable pieces of bling. Hunters wore teeth, horn, claws and bones to bring luck to the next day’s hunt.
These tangible creations brought the intangible qualities of self-esteem, a sense of belonging and identity. For instance, the necklaces worn by hunters represented courage and prowess. Early societies donned amulets to ward off bad luck and illness.
Gifting these items brought safety over long journeys. They promised fertility, wealth and love to newly wed couples, and luck and fortune to a new baby. Archeological finds suggest jewelry as a gift may go back 25,000 years.
These early pieces were functional, not decorative or purely fashionable. Pins and brooches held clothing together as clasps. Rings and pendants symbolized identification, rank and authority. They also acted as early seals.
The Growth of Jewelry as a Gift
The introduction of metalworking and sophisticated materials produced decorative pieces. The gifting of jewelry became associated with class and fashion. It also represented human connection for example, wedding rings symbolized commitment.
The Soul of Modern Gifting, According to the Best Jewelers in Denver
Unfortunately, much of the special quality of gifting jewelry has been lost in the modern age. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that today, most people opt for fail-safe gift card instead of a meaningful piece of jewelry. Going with the gift card option removes the risk of buying the wrong gift or of financial loss, but it also means that the gift is more transactional and, ultimately, less meaningful.
We must work to reconnect to each other by giving a gift of jewelry that will last a lifetime. If you’re unsure of where to start, don’t worry. They don’t call us the best jewelers in Denver for nothing.
Below, we’ve unpacked all of the different types of jewelry piece gifts, what they meant in the past, and what they can mean now.
Early rings symbolized devotion, eternity, fidelity or a deity. For men, rings were a symbol of power and came with legal authority when adorned with a seal. Today, as the best jewelers in Denver, we’ll tell you what they mean: they represent a bond. An alliance. A commitment.
The wedding ring’s unending circle represents eternal love. Its position on the fourth finger of the left hand comes from the belief that a vein in this finger leads to the wearer’s heart.
Like the ring finger, the placement of rings sends a message. For instance, rings on the index finger indicate high status. This finger is ideal for class rings or other symbols of accomplishment.
Through the ages, necklaces flaunted social position, counted prayers and converted to money for travelers. Amulets gave spiritual and magical protection against evil spirits. Some of this symbolism survives today.
A necklace on a woman draws attention to her femininity, elegance and charm. For men, the symbolism is fashion related. A man wearing a necklace indicates he is trendy and interested in good looks.
Necklaces as gifts come with emotional value. Mothers pass them down to daughters. Fathers gift them to their girls. A son might present one to his mom on Mother’s Day. The gifter and occasion become part of the meaning behind the piece.
Bracelets hold personal items, like charms, identify medical conditions and signify support of a cause like breast cancer awareness or religious affiliation. Meaning comes from the style and color selection of each bracelet.
- Charm Bracelet: The charms or shapes placed around this bracelet represent the wearer. For instance, an anchor may represent a love of the sea and a faithful, loyal character.
- Beaded Bracelet: Color and materials bring specific energies or luck to the beaded bracelet wearer. For example, purple beads symbolize creativity. They clear the mind and calm stress.
- Gemstone Bracelet: Using birthstones or gemstones with particular meanings represents the wearer’s character and makes a beautiful personal keepsake.
Gifting Bling for Every Occasion
Match a piece of jewelry with a meaningful gemstone and the perfect occasion for a gift that others will cherish for years to come. Need some ideas to get started? Well, as the best jewelers in Denver, we’re more than qualified to chat about the occasions in which it’s appropriate to gift bling to your loved ones.
Wedding anniversaries are a popular time to gift jewelry. Tradition associates yearly anniversaries with certain gemstones. Give mother-of-pearl earrings on a first anniversary or an opal ring on your fourteenth.
The beauty of birthstones makes birthday gift giving simple. Pick a piece of jewelry in your significant other’s birthstone, and wrap it up. A watch with inset diamonds makes a timeless April birthday gift. A sapphire ring encourages honesty of September celebrants.
Jewelry brings meaning to Christmas, Easter, even the first day of spring. Family birthstone rings make for a beautiful and traditional Mother’s Day gift. Earrings studded with the grandchildren’s birthstones give grandma something meaningful to wear.
First communions, confirmations and baptisms call for sentiment. Meaningful jewelry answers the call. The cross necklace began as a gift to converts. It continues as a meaningful symbol of faith today. A crown ring or tree of life necklace also offers deep significance.
Commemorating life’s milestones and successes helps us remember them. Gemstone baby feet charms offer a beautiful remembrance for new moms. A family charm dangling on a graduate’s bracelet reminds her of home as she heads off to college.
Saying What You Mean With Jewelry
Beyond the type of jewelry, stones and occasion, the act of gifting itself instills meaning. In our opinion, quality jewelry can send three messages:
- “I am in this for the long haul.” Quality jewelry (rather than the costume version) shows commitment. Cost is not important. Quality is. According to eHarmony, guys who ‘just don’t care’ usually will not spend money on jewelry for their girl.”
- “I see and understand you.” Pieces which are unique or personally meaningful deepen relationships. These types of jewelry purchases require you to pay attention to the wants, needs and uniquenesses of the recipient. Everyone longs to be understood — well-chosen jewelry sends that message.
- “I have feelings for you.” Taking the time to pick the perfect necklace or bracelet requires an investment of creativity, time and energy. Your willingness to expend these resources on another human being sends a powerful message about his or her worth.
The Best Jewelers in Denver Can Help You Give the Perfect Gift
Mark’s Diamonds’ team is renowned for being the best jeweler in Denver. We offers unique pieces of jewelry which send just the right message to your loved ones. And, our experts help you choose the perfect gift, no matter the occasion. Visit us today.