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Follow Katherine as she details her designs, jewelry making processes and general life adventures on the KMS Designs blog.

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How to buy jewelry for a gift

I know people like to buy jewelry for a gifts. Ladies always seem to enjoy having a new piece of jewelry to wear! I am happy to say that a lot of my jewelry gets bought for gifts. I wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences with customers to help them make the best decisions for purchasing jewelry for someone else.

1. Get to know as much about your recipient as possible (discreetly if you can).

  • Does the wearer have any allergies? The one I see most often is to "nickel silver" (which isn't really silver at all).
  • What does your gift recipient normally wear? If she normally only wears earrings, now is not the time to get her a bracelet.
  • Can you find out appropriate sizes of her current jewelry collection? Is there a particular chain length she likes? Find a ruler and measure the length of her pieces in her jewelry box.
  • Does she actually have pierced ears? I've seen people get wire/post earrings for women that they're not even sure have pierced ears!
2. Earrings and necklaces are generally better choices than rings and bracelets if you don't much about your recipient.
  • Earrings and necklaces are generally closer to a "one size fits all" types of pieces. Bracelets and rings require knowing more about the recipient's exact size.
3. What color (if applicable) would the recipient like?
  • People make the mistake of "Well, she always wears blue, so I'm going to get her something red." Wrong! She wears blue because she LIKES blue. It's always a good choice to get someone more of what they like.
4. Is my recipient going to care for her jewelry completely or would something easier to care for be in order?
  • Does your jewelry gift recipient have the time and knowledge on how to care for their jewelry?
  • Can she keep the piece clean and maintained properly? Sterling silver pieces in humid climates (Florida especially!) will tarnish very quickly if not cared for and stored properly.
  • Are you considering an "everyday wear" type piece or is this something that is considered a "special occasion" piece?
5. Always ask the person or store you are buying from what their return and exchange policy is.
  • Can the recipient return or exchange the piece if she doesn't like it? I typically offer a 14 day return policy and a 30 day exchange policy on my pieces.
  • Can you get a gift receipt? I am happy to offer a gift receipt. This is important in cases such as Christmas where the purchaser may be buying the piece several weeks in advance of the holiday.
  • If you have questions or concerns about the returns or exchange policy, always ask! I am always happy to work with customers if they let me know up front what the concerns are. For example, if some is buying a Valentine's Day gift in mid January, I am happy to extend the return period until after February 14 to let the recipient have time to decide if she likes the piece.
6. Ask what the warranty is on the jewelry considered for purchase.
  • Ask for instructions on how to care for the piece. I cannot stress how important this is! Unfortunately, I have had to repair several pieces I have made for customers because they weren't careful with wearing and cleaning the piece. If you aren't sure about your piece, have a professional give advice on how to clean and care for your jewelry.
  • Ask for directions on how to return the piece to the artist/store for repair if necessary. Any good store should have the ability to repair your jewelry or recommend you to a reliable person for repair

 

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