All too often, the latest trends in fashion and jewelry can wash over us like waves. We may end up missing out on the latest fads entirely before a new trend emerges – especially as we age. While most clothing will go out of style at some point, jewelry tends to hold its aesthetic value a bit longer – with some designs never going out of style.
Every little bit of the jewelry selection process can feel like a chore, but its symbolic statement of love and commitment makes it all worth it. As long as the commitment is real, you have nothing to fear. Ultimately, how you proceed is entirely up to you, but it does beg the question: do trends really matter when picking jewelry? We’ll cover some of the finer points to help you decide.
The Symbolism of Jewelry
Perhaps most importantly, we should first consider what jewelry signifies. Whether it’s a husband, mother or friend, jewelry is given to show affection and commitment. That message in and of itself is always first and foremost.
When you give the gift of jewelry, an honest and noble person recognizes it for that – they aren’t going to be inherently concerned with how many carats a ring has or what material(s) it uses. Nevertheless, the intent and/or level of affection that the giver has for the recipient can indirectly be signified by how much is spent and what type of jewelry is given.
From emerald diamond engagement rings to a pair of sapphire earrings, each piece is unique and hopefully signifies above all else that commitment – whether it follows current trends or not.
Trendy versus Timeless
When considering a gift in the form of jewelry, one big question you’ll want to ask is “do I go with a piece that will always be in style, or do I opt for the current trends?”. There are arguments for and against both choices.
For starters, some forms of jewelry can show their age over time. We don’t mean necessarily in the quality of the jewelry, but in the design itself. Some trends appear for a few years before fading to the dustbins of history, never to be seen again. A piece that was once considered “in” may sooner or later be seen as out-of-place or gaudy.
At the same time, more traditional forms of jewelry may suffer from the same problem. If you can’t tell whether a wedding ring is five or five hundred years old, that can sometimes be a good thing. The history of jewelry shows us that most designs sooner or later resurface. However, some forms of jewelry in this category can feel antiquated after some time – especially with changes in fashion.
Ultimately, it really depends on the style of the wearer: are they somebody who seeks to conform in all situations, or do they not mind rocking the boat of style when times change? The answer to this question will help guide your decision on whether or not to go with a timeless or trendy piece.
The Cost Factor
It is no secret that the jewelry business can be a profitable one, and many pieces enjoy a substantial mark-up when it comes to their true cost of production. Whether or not you opt for the latest trends in jewelry may end up not being a question of style, but rather of budget.
The latest designs in jewelry often break with recent traditions, featuring new elements and complex arrangements of metal and stones. In many cases, this can add to the cost of the jewelry when compared to more traditional rings, bracelets, watches and more.
Additionally, new trends in jewelry often mean that these elements are in high demand, which, you guessed it, results in higher prices. A style that might cost $1000 today could be half that price 10 years from now, despite no changes whatsoever to the quality of the materials. Such is life when wanting to jump on the latest trends in jewelry, fashion or anything else.
This isn’t to say that traditional forms of jewelry can’t be expensive, but more likely than not, you’re going to be paying a premium if you opt for the latest trends.
Likewise, many new forms of jewelry can be found for a fraction of the cost of more traditional designs – places such as Etsy offer contemporary jewelry that is handcrafted – and uses a variety of novel materials to create stunning accents for any occasion.
What You Wish to Say
Whether you’re buying a piece for yourself or a loved one, there is a certain symbolism in what the jewelry says about the wearer. For instance, a more timeless piece can indicate stability, resolve and old-fashioned values, whereas a trendy piece may send the message that you’re new, fresh and constantly changing.
An honest assessment of one’s personality can help answer the question of whether the latest trends should have an impact on your decision. An individual’s personality and tastes often go hand-in-hand. Anybody for whom you’re buying jewelry should be someone you already know and understand, so careful consideration of that person’s tastes and preferences will make the decision easier.
The Nature of the Relationship
Another important point to consider when deciding whether jewelry trends matter is to look at the nature of your relationship with that person.
A pretty ring for mom on Mother’s Day, for instance, may not be the occasion for one to worry about being the most hip or stylish – it is the thought that counts, after all. If the recipient of the gift is younger and will likely be wearing the item only on occasion, then you may wish to purchase something that adheres more closely to recent jewelry and fashion trends. If the gift is for a male, then opting for something that is stylish yet within the confines of what is considered acceptable male jewelry is yet another consideration to make.
Ultimately, whether the gift is for a friend, a family member or a lover can affect how much style and trendiness play a role. It does bear repeating, though: jewelry is symbolic and the thought behind the gift is what will feature most prominently in most people’s eyes.
The Frequency It’ll Be Worn
Different forms of jewelry have different purposes and occasions for use. For instance, a stylish pair of large, ornate earrings may be a gift that is only worn once in a while, whereas a new bracelet may be designed for daily use.
The latest trends often adhere to what is considered acceptable and practical in daily life, so the type of jewelry you’re giving can often determine how often it’ll be worn – and therefore how stylish or trendy it should be.
It probably wouldn’t be the best idea to buy somebody a Victorian-era necklace with the expectation that it’ll be worn every day. Likewise, a gift meant to be worn only on special occasions probably shouldn’t follow simple, traditional lines.
Generally speaking, the more in-line with current standards a piece of jewelry is – balancing for functionality or the lack thereof, of course – the more likely it is to be worn frequently.
Whether you opt for a trendy design or not, another key consideration you’ll want to make is whether the jewelry is appropriate over the long-term. As people age, their bodies change: ring sizes change quite frequently, as do wrist sizes and even whether people with pierced ears decide to maintain them.
The gift of jewelry – ideally – should be timeless. When giving somebody such a gift, you’ll want to consider whether the piece can be worn effectively by them for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, and as far as peeking into the future goes, you may also wish to consider whether such a gift will be passed down. For instance, an engagement ring might be used and/or worn by children or grandchildren. Will a relatively trendy piece today still be stylish 20, 30 or even 50 years from now?
As it is very important to consider the legacy of any jewelry gift, be sure to think about whether what you’re purchasing can be enjoyed by both the person and/or their descendants in the coming years and decades.
At the end of the day, do jewelry trends matter when selecting the ideal piece for a friend, family member or spouse? In many cases, absolutely. Whether a piece is stylish and relevant enough to be worn regularly is definitely a big factor in many people’s decisions regarding attire and style. However, many forms of jewelry out there truly are timeless and do not rely on the most current fads in the industry in order to be in demand or stylish.
Ultimately, there are many questions you need to ask before buying any piece of jewelry as a gift. The latest trends do matter and should be considered, but ultimately there are a number of questions to ask before you make any commitment.