(for the purpose of this blog, the assumption is that the recipient identifies as female)

Christmas is fast approaching and there's no doubt that jewellery is a fabulous gift. However, over many years of selling jewellery I have observed that for every individual who knows exactly what their partner wants, what suits and what she's happy with, there are many more who appear dazed, confused and daunted. So if you want to buy jewellery but don't know where to start, what to choose or are concerned you're going to get it wrong, here's a few stress-busting hints and tips!

Is her jewellery collection in one area lacking, in other words, lots of accessories for work but not much for special occasions or evening wear? If you're not sure then something to cover all bases could be a practical solution. These may be designs that are neutral in colour and more simplistic or geometric in shape. Evening-wear is usually more elaborate either in substance and/or design. 

2. Look at what she normally wears. Does she dress more casual or formal? Is she bold or delicate. Let's not get personal - I'm referring to character and dress sense not dress size! Outgoing, vivacious types tend to lean towards more ostentatious pieces of large stones, elaborate designs or vibrant colours while more contemplative, serene individuals tend to go for more delicate, uncomplicated pieces. 

3. Listen to her! Cast your mind back to when you've been out shopping with her. Has she commented on something that caught her attention or complimented someone on a necklace they were wearing? Go out window shopping with her in advance of your gift buying and be aware of what she's drawn to. Women are very good (and often very obvious) with their hints - take note!  

5. Is there a favourite item she just loves and wears all the time? Try looking for a matching item, for example, matching earrings or bracelet. Remember, this may involve commissioning a piece so don't leave it too late in the day to request this. It may take me just a few minutes to sell something but it probably took hours or days to make!

4. Make it speak for you. Tell her why you bought her that particular design. "I thought it would suit you because you always look nice in blue" or "I got this because it was hand made and therefore special". This speaks volumes. It tells her that you put some thought into what you bought and that it wasn't purchased by default or through exasperation but because it resonated with you. 

6. Show her you did your research. Find out about the piece, some information on where the stones are from or how the piece was made. If you commission a piece It carries a great deal of meaning to tell her that you had it made especially for her!

7. Don't be afraid. Buying jewellery, even if it isn't perfectly her is still more perfect than something impersonal or even inappropriate. At the risk of being stereotypical and making generalisations, DIY tools and ironing boards are not usually well received!

8. It doesn't take a scientific study to show that jewellery will far out last flowers and chocolates. Yes, it may be more expensive but it's pretty much forever and with that comes the memory of both giving it and receiving it.  

9. About returns! Let her know that the most important thing is that she is happy and so let her know you won't be hurt if she wants to exchange it. Unless it's been commissioned or personalised there's unlikely to be a problem with exchange for equal value. 

10. Don't be afraid to ask. If you want your gift to be a complete surprise and don't want to ask her outright what she specifically wants, ask a friend or family member who knows her well. You can also ask the seller who will be more than happy to advise and, personally speaking, you will get honest advice based on the information you give, not advice based on the price ticket attached. Happy satisfied customers are loyal customers and, from a sellers point of view, this makes good business sense too!

Finally, if you happen to be a woman reading this and you would like to receive jewellery for Christmas, take the initiative and forward the link!