Beautiful and eye-catching jewelry collections are not just for the rich and famous. More and more of us are coming to consider our choice of jewelry as important as our clothes. The right jewelry can make or break an outfit — and more than this — it can have real sentimental value.
Curating your jewelry collection is something you should take your time over, selecting pieces for purpose whether this is practical daywear or for special occasions. Your collection is a lifetime investment that you can enjoy every day and perhaps even hand down to your children or a loved one when the time is right.
The world's most inspiring jewelry collections can be found in many households from royalty like Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to famous actresses like Elizabeth Taylor, and while your collection may not rival these impressive hauls, it can be something you treasure for life.
Where to Begin: Starting your Jewelry Collection
Whether you're starting from scratch or building a jewelry collection around some key pieces you already own, here are some steps to help you create something you love now and into the future.
1. Define Your Personal Style
A good jewelry collection should complement your personal style and the things you like to wear — whether that be minimalist, quirky and eclectic, or vintage. If you're not sure, look at your current wardrobe, focusing on the pieces you really love and get a sense of what you're most drawn to from a visual sense.
2. Choose Your Precious Metals
While mixing metals is perfectly acceptable, most people usually have a preference when it comes to precious metals. You might prefer the way warmer metals like yellow gold or rose gold look against your skin tone, or you may lean towards the cooler feel of platinum or silver.
Each metal has its own unique characteristics in terms of its look, durability and value. Platinum is extremely dense and durable, and will never fade or change color. It is a good choice for those who want pieces that will last a lifetime and beyond. If you like the look of platinum but want something more budget-friendly, silver is a great option.
Gold has varying degrees of hardness depending on the carat purity, so check first that whatever piece of jewelry you are looking at will suit your lifestyle.
Although there are no hard and fast rules, there are some general thoughts on which metals are best suited to certain skin tones. Platinum and silver are a great choice for those with a fair complexion because it looks bright and fresh. Yellow gold is stunning on those with an olive complexion, medium skin tone and darker skin.
Rose gold jewelry has become increasingly popular in recent years because of its whimsical and romantic look. This is a great choice for medium to darker skin tones. The best way to determine which metal you prefer is to simply try various pieces on and get a feel for what suits you best.
3. Create a Base Collection of Classic Jewelry Pieces
You cannot go wrong with a classic, timeless look. It is the perfect base for any jewelry collection which allows you to incorporate a wide range of different pieces. Classic pieces may include understated pendants, earrings and bangles, which are ideal for the workplace, as well as larger, more elegant pieces incorporating stones, diamonds and a little more sparkle for special occasions. A classic collection embraces simplicity and traditional cuts and designs which offer elegant style.
What you include in your jewelry collection is entirely your choice, but if you're looking to curate a classic range of beautiful pieces, there are some staples that you can wear every day.
- Diamond stud or small drop earrings
- Solitaire necklaces
- Fine bangles and tennis bracelets
- Bridal jewelry including engagement rings and wedding rings
- Stackable rings
Of course, this list isn't exhaustive, but they are all beautiful, classic pieces which can be coordinated with a range of outfits for a range of occasions.
4. Invest in Some Statement Jewelry
Combining a classic look with a few statement pieces is the most effective way of giving your jewelry collection a vibrant and eye-catching twist. Statement jewelry pieces are a chance to truly show off your personal style. Long pendants and jewel-encrusted bangles and bracelets sparkle and add interest to any outfit. Your statement pieces are a chance to celebrate you and your individuality.
Some statement jewelry pieces to consider are:
- Ornate, oversized and encrusted necklaces
- Wide cuffs and stacked bejeweled bracelets
- Cocktail rings featuring sparkling gemstones
- Over-sized earrings which draw attention to the neck
5. Consider Bridal Jewelry
If you are married, engaged or plan to marry in the future, it's worth considering how your bridal jewelry will fit into the rest of your collection to create a coherent look. Though worn daily, wedding rings are amongst the most important pieces of jewelry we'll ever choose (or have chosen for us). They are bound to hold a special place within your collection alongside your engagement ring, and this may also be true of any additional wedding jewelry you chose for your big day, such as necklaces, bracelets or earrings to compliment your dress.
6. Add Some Meaningful and Personalized Pieces
Every jewelry collection will have some special pieces, whether they are gifts or pieces you've chosen for yourself for a special occasion. These pieces will remain at the heart of your collection and could form a theme or style which you build the rest of your collection around.
Birthstone jewelry is particularly meaningful and can be a lot more interesting and intricate than simple one-stone rings or pendants. Of course, simplicity can be beautiful but if you're looking for something a little different, birthstone jewelry has become a lot more varied so there's scope to find something meaningful for your birth month that's a little different.
Creating your own jewelry is also a fantastic way of ensuring your collection is completely unique. Looking at online jewelry retailers you will find options to design your own diamond rings, pendants, earrings and many other pieces too. Creating a piece with your exact specifications in mind gives it additional importance and it's also a wonderful gift idea.
7. Try Not to Be Led by Trends
It is very easy to be led by the latest trends when starting your jewelry collection, and while some trends may suit your personal style, following the latest fashions is unlikely to lead to a timeless collection you can wear and enjoy always. A few trend-led accent pieces make a great addition to your collection, but if you focus too much on these, you may end up feeling like you have to start your collection all over again if you grow tired of that look.
8. Take Your Time
The beauty of curating a collection is that you don't have to budget significantly in one go; you can take time to set aside cash for individual purchase and special pieces, while also ensuring you have the staples in place to enjoy regularly. Taking your time over your collection means you can select more valuable designer jewelry pieces, as well as those everyday favorites.
Diamonds in Your Jewelry Collection
No jewelry collection would be complete without some diamonds. Of course, they come at a premium, but you can build up your diamond collection over time and incorporate them in a number of different ways. Some popular diamond pieces include:
A Classic Diamond Pendant
Simple, sparkling and utterly stunning, diamond pendants combine perfectly with classic gold, platinum, or silver chains. What's more, if you have a favorite chain, you could invest in a range of different diamond pendants and use your trusted chain with each for a change of look.
Diamond Stud Earrings
Diamond stud earrings are understated and elegant, adding sparkle and shine to any outfit you pair them with. Medium-sized studs with small stones can be just as eye-catching as larger diamonds and can be more practical for everyday wear.
Diamond rings may be something you wear every day or only on incredibly special occasions. Dependent on the size and cut of the diamond, they may not be the best choice for everyday wear but smaller and simpler designs may be ideal for daily wear.
A Note on Choosing Diamonds
Choosing a good diamond is something you will learn as you begin to curate your jewelry collection. Understanding diamond quality is key to ensuring you get a good stone for your investment and we always recommend keeping in mind the 4Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. These factors will affect not only the look and sparkle of your diamond but also the value.
Other important factors to consider are the shape of the diamond. You may have personal preferences or choose a diamond based on the shape because that's what drew you to that particular stone in the first place.
Finally, keep in mind certification. Good diamond retailers and jewelers like Blue Nile will always provide diamond grading reports and certification with their diamond jewelry, giving you peace of mind about the quality you have invested in.
How to Wear Your Jewelry Collection
Wearing pieces from your collection will depend on the occasion. For the office, some people stick to the rule of three, which usually means your wedding or engagement ring, a pair of earrings and either your watch, a bracelet or another piece of your choosing. Of course, this is just a rule of thumb — you should do what feels right for you.
Choosing your jewelry by the time of day can be another good method. Day wardrobes are usually for keeping it simple, so you could opt for plain gold jewelry or your preferred precious metal. Choose smaller and simpler diamond pieces, saving your bold and bright stones for special occasions. When the evening arrives and you plan to go out, then bring out those statement pieces.
Consider each piece an example for a different occasion and enjoy wearing them all for different special events, that's the beauty of a curated jewelry collection, you really do have a piece for every occasion.
Caring for Your Jewelry Collection
Jewelry crafted from precious metals, diamonds and gemstones is designed to last a lifetime, but it does need caring for and cleaning to keep it in the best condition. Clean jewelry using a gentle jewelry cleaning solution, a soft brush and a polishing cloth. Keep a similar cloth in your jewelry box so you can remove moisture and makeup from any pieces after wearing.
When travelling, ensure your jewelry is stored securely and treat it as you would treat cash of the same value. Valuable jewelry should be kept on your person at all times and locked away in a provided safe when you're staying away from home. Also, consider insuring your jewelry if your collection begins to amass value and your current home insurance policy doesn't cover it.
A Lifelong Investment to Enjoy
Over time, your jewelry collection may rise or fall in value and depending on how many pieces you have, and the quality of them; it may be something you can pass down through the family in the future. While this is probably not the main reason for your jewelry collection, it can be interesting to keep an eye on diamond prices and consider how your collection could be a wonderful gift to your children or other family members in the future.
Before this though, make sure you enjoy it as much as possible and ensure even the most extravagant and luxurious of pieces are worn at least once. As they say — Don't save things for a special occasion. Every day of your life is a special occasion!