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More than an added sparkle or accessory, keepsake jewelry can have significant sentimental meaning to a person (or even an entire family). What makes jewelry so different from other keepsake gifts is its ability to keep family history alive, while also having the longevity to be passed down from one loved one to another.
As a family-owned business for over 100 years, to us this is one of the most important gifts you can give. It’s basically a gift of yourself and a representation of your family. Read on to find out how to pick the perfect piece to represent your family legacy, and shop our top 10 jewelry keepsakes recommended from our family to yours.
Things to consider when choosing keepsake jewelry gifts
Just like any item, when it comes to longevity -- quality matters. Meaning, this is not the time to cut costs or get thrifty. Just like the clothes on our back, or the furniture in our homes, picking out and investing in quality proves beneficial in the long run. You do want this to last for many generations to come, right?
There are four important takeaways to keep in mind when picking out your family’s signature jewelry keepsake:
The stone matters: Each gemstone is given a hardness rating, which measures how difficult it is to harm or destroy the stone. Typically the higher the stone’s rating, the more valuable the stone is. Each precious stone is rated out of 10 on a Mohs scale. When picking out a signature heirloom or keepsake piece, you want to try and stay as high on the Mohs scale as possible. Four of the toughest stones are: diamonds, rubies, sapphires and topaz. However, there are some exceptions. Soft stones like pearls make for lovely keepsakes (it’s just crucial to maintain proper care over the years).
Choose a strong metal: Just like gemstones, a strong and durable metal is also an important factor to keep in mind. Not only do these metals retain value, but they keep your item in place and properly secure over time. Some of the hardest metals include: silver, gold and platinum. Traditionally, the higher the k count on a gold piece, the more expensive it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most durable. While it might be more valuable, buying an 18k piece over a 14k piece for an heirloom may not be the best idea. The durability goes down when the count goes up (this has to do with the gold to alloy ratio). You’re likely better off (over time) with a 14k gold piece.
Personalization is key: Sentiment is a huge component of heirlooms and keepsakes. It tells future generations that they’re carrying with them a piece of their family history. Not to mention it sparks creativity and builds a unique component into your gift. Personalized jewelry gifts can be done through engravings, custom designs or specific stones (birthstones/zodiac/favorite colors).
Style needs to be timeless: Trends come and go, so it’s hard to say which jewelry decisions will stay or go out of style a hundred years from now. However, we can take a look into our past and see which pieces have retained style, value and inspiration for future styles and trends. Do your research and you can also make an appointment with a specialty trained jeweler to see what your best options are.
Becoming a part of your family’s history
Selecting the jeweler is just as crucial as selecting your piece when it comes to deciding on your heirloom and keepsake item. As we pride ourselves in not only quality stones, metals and designs, we pay special attention to our customers. This assures we help deliver the exact piece you, or your loved one, is asking for.
We would be honored for one of our jewelry pieces to become a part of your family’s history. To help with that, here we share our top 10 best keepsake jewelry gifts -- for the whole family.
Whether you’re gifting or passing down an item to a daughter, sister, daughter-in-law or granddaughter, we wanted to choose particular pieces that celebrate love and happiness, as well as style and class.
3-Stone Family Ring in 14k White Gold Combining the element of personalization through stone selection is a perfect way to assure your family heirloom is sentimental and cherished for years to come. For this particular piece, the ring features three round-shaped stones of your choice. We recommend adding the birthstones of the immediate family, or perhaps your family’s favorite color.
EFFY Onyx & Diamond Dangle Earrings in 14k Yellow Gold These yellow gold onyx and diamond drop earrings are timeless! We know this, because the earring’s particular style was comprised of learnings and inspirations found from all over the globe. If your family has a widespread family tree, with links all over the world - this is a perfect option for you. It draws in creativity from a mix of everywhere!
JK Crown Oval Blue Topaz and Diamond Ring in 14k White Gold As you may have noticed from our gemstone callout, the blue topaz is one of the strongest stones on the planet - making them a great choice for family heirlooms and keepsakes. This beautiful and bold ring is complemented with white diamonds (also a strong stone), to truly accent the massive topaz sitting in the middle. Simultaneously, the ring is set in 14k white gold, which is an extremely tough metal and can last for many generations.
Round Prong Set 1ctw Eternity Band in 18k White Gold Wedding bands are a wonderful keepsake to pass on from one member of the family to the next, especially if this ring was in the presence of true lasting love. While there are no rules, this ring could be given to a son or daughter to help keep the loving tradition alive in their own marriage.
Lab-Grown Diamond Flower Halo Pendant Passing down a growing flower halo pendant is one of the most beautiful ways to cherish a growing family and eternal love from one generation to the next. Symbolic, beautiful and rose gold, this is an excellent choice for a heirloom gift.
A grandfather or father passing down a particular special token to their sons or grandsons (or even nephews), is not only sentimental because of the item - but because of the exchange. Men sometimes face a void of emotional connection with other men in their families. Jewelry items and memorable metal tokens are a great reinforcement of love and admiration for a man.
Black Metal Pocket Watch with Mechanical Gunmetal and Rose Markers There’s something inherently nostalgic about a pocket watch. Whether it’s the traditional way of telling time without looking at a digital screen, or remembering a grandfather or father who made it a point to have one swinging from his waist side. What we love about this particular piece is the mechanical gunmetal and rose gold design all complemented with a black skeleton dial and matching rose gold markers.
JK Crown Men’s Diamond and Onyx White & Rose Gold Ring While the ring finger is saved for that special and romantic love, there’s nine others that can be reserved for a special family heirloom. A ring band is an endless loop, reassuring the circle of family and life. This JK Crown® design is set in 10k white and rose gold with black onyx and a singular diamond accent to finish the piece with class and signature.
There’s no greater love than one that is felt toward a child. Honest, pure and hopeful, it’s important to pass down a special item during this time in their lives to help build upon development, family values, and create a safe, loving space.
Love You To The Moon & Back Oval Locket in Sterling Silver As soon as a special bundle of love comes into your life, purchase an heirloom they can hold onto forever - and even gift to their children. This sterling silver locket features "I love you to the moon and back” quote sketched on the front, which is fitting for a child’s love. Along with this gift, schedule a newborn photoshoot with you and your child for a picture to put into the locket.
Mom & Child Pendant in 10K Yellow Gold This pendant makes a great gift for a new child or a mother who has just delivered. This mom and child pendant features white diamonds and is set in 10k yellow gold, but our favorite detail about this pendant is the beautiful depiction of a mother with her child - a true symbol of a mother’s love.
Lab-Grown Diamond Emerald-Cut Stud Earrings While our other heirloom pieces for children are focused around childbirth, these diamond earrings are a perfect keepsake to gift when coming of age. Whether their sweet sixteen, or pierced ears at thirteen, this set will teach your child responsibility all while showing a family of love and support.
How to preserve your heirloom jewelry?
While every stone and metal has a different procedure to keeping the piece of jewelry in tip-top shape (contact a local jeweler or make an appointment to see the best steps for your keepsake), there are basic principles to keep in mind when trying to preserve your piece.
When do you pass on heirloom jewelry?
The beauty of heirlooms is they’re 100 percent personal! You can pass along keepsakes whenever you or your family deem fit. Some examples of when jewelry is passed down include:
Why keepsake jewelry is so special
There’s no better way to honor and remember your family’s unique history than keepsake and heirloom gifts. They are personal, and because the gift of jewelry is special to you, it will be special to those you pass it along to. There also aren’t many heirloom and keepsake gifts you can actually wear to serve as a reminder of a loved one at all times. Wearing a piece of keepsake jewelry can ignite feelings of security, sentiment and nostalgia with just a glance, always reminding the person you gave it to just how special they are.
"What if I don’t have any heirloom pieces passed down to me?"
If you don’t have any pieces passed down to you, all the more reason to start the tradition and be the first to pass down an heirloom, right? Maybe it will become a sentimental tradition in the future. All legacies have to start somewhere, and keepsake jewelry will always have a story associated with it as it gets passed down. It’s a great way to preserve your family history and there’s no better time than now to start a tradition that will tell your story to future generations.
Are you ready to pick out a piece of keepsake jewelry now? Before you get started, it is important to know there are a few tricks to finding the perfect heirloom jewelry.
Whether reinstating old traditions or building new ones, keepsakes and heirlooms are wonderful tokens to help celebrate the past, present and future.