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How To Build A Jewelry Collection

How To Build A Jewelry Collection

Have you ever wondered what should be included in a fine jewelry collection? While fads, what is trendy and what is “so now” is ever changing, think of these pieces of jewelry differently. These are pieces that will stand the test of time, are crafted out of precious metals for everyday wear and look amazing with any outfit, any occasion. Seriously! From sundresses in June to brunch with the girls, special occasions and everything in between, these are your go-to, must have, investment pieces that reflect your personal style. Far from this being a shopping list, we hope to inspire you to start curating your own jewelry collection.


  1. Signet Rings

Signet rings have been the quintessential luxury ring style for thousands of years. Yes thousands! They originated around 3500 BCE in ancient Egypt. This timeless piece is typically made out of yellow gold but you do you! Most signet rings can be special ordered in white gold or rose gold as well.

a yellow gold oval signet ring

This classic signet ring from Birks “Essentials” Collection is made in Italy out of 18K yellow gold. We think it’s the perfect size for everyday wear, yup even with Lululemon's while dropping the kiddo’s off at school!

Pro Tip: If you are going to engrave your initial or family crest onto a signet ring, we highly recommend searching out a hand engraver, as opposed to someone who does engraving. If done by machine, the engraving will be very superficial and after a short time start to fade and wear. Hand engraving is carefully carved into the metal by a skilled artisan. While it may be more costly and require a bit more research, it is well worth the effort in the long run (think passing the ring down to a child as an heirloom).


  1. A Cocktail Ring

There is nothing that screams “personal style” better than a thoughtfully chosen cocktail ring. We’ve dedicated an entire article to the subject, complete with some history and helpful tips on choosing one: What are Statement Rings and How to Choose Them.

A cocktail ring or also affectionately known as a statement piece, can be any oversized, bold bauble that makes you feel a bit cheeky. Envision a bright colored gemstone in your favorite hue, a diamond ring with a cluster vibe or even a chunky gold ring or silver band.

a yellow gold "bubble" style ring with various colored sapphires

That being said, a statement piece could also include a statement necklace! Perhaps a bold choker style necklace is more “you” than a cocktail ring, and that is absolutely fine. The key to this piece of jewelry is that it makes you glow and feel a little be more gorgeous.


  1. Pearl Earrings

Pearl earrings, be them simple studs or delicate drops give a timeless, heirloom vibe that can make you feel utterly feminine. We love pearl earrings with everything from a summer sundress to a little black dress, pair with literally every item of clothing as they are a neutral asset.

classic akoya pearl stud earrings

Akoya Pearl Studs, 7mm in diameter $295

If you are selecting pearl earrings, you will have to make the choice between Akoya cultured pearls or freshwater pearls. There is no right or wrong here, just a little education: Akoya cultured pearls typically have a bead nucleus inserted into the oyster and human intervention so they are more lustrous and uniform in shape. Freshwater pearls come from one giant clam and have far more irregularities in the nacre. I personally love freshwater pearls for all their glorious uniqueness and still consider them quality jewelry at an affordable price point.


  1. Gold Chain

Oh....gotta love me some gold chain! I just adore the versatility and shine of a solid gold chain. There are so many chain styles now as well! When I was a kid working in Dad’s jewelry store cleaning glass (I was an 80’s kid, what can I say!) I remember rows and rows of chain necklace on the walls. But they were the classic styles - rope, box, curb just in different gauges. Now we have singapore, razo, paperclip chains and so many more. This gives the perfect opportunity to layer layer layer gold jewelry!

a diamond necklace is layered with a gold necklace

From the Petale collection by Birks, a diamond pendant is layered with a complimentary all gold piece.  Matching diamond bracelet & gold bracelet.


  1. Tennis Bracelet

A tennis bracelet, also known as a diamond line bracelet, is truly an investment piece that will go the distance. Total carat weight may vary according to each individual style but if at all possible, shop for a tennis bracelet crafted out of 14K or 18K gold. When you hold the bracelet, it should feel heavy in your hand, like it has some weight. This would be a high-quality piece that will last. Depending on your personal style, you may want to consider a bangle style bracelet and many designers craft these in a diamond line style as well. Think outside of the box!

a diamond tennis bracelet in white gold

18K white gold Birks Rosee du Matin line bracelet, 1.05 total carat weight $6600


  1. Hoop Earrings

A simple pair of yellow gold hoop earrings will always be in style. The size may vary according to your personal style but no doubt this will be something you reach for on a day to day basis. When shopping for gold hoops, note how the closure works. The larger the hoop, the more flex the gold may have and you don’t want to inadvertently catch your earring and it flexes enough to come out of the clip and get lost.

Pro Tip: A jewelry box is well worth the investment to protect your precious jewelry collection! Most gold hoops are hollow so they are not heavy on the earlobe but this means they should be carefully stored so as to avoid them getting dented.


  1. Diamond Earrings

Diamond earrings are always a good idea. Diamond stud earrings are that piece that always fits and makes you feel your most sparkly. Diamond drops are that perfect piece that you wear to celebrations and other special occasions. And diamond hoop earrings can be an unexpected statement.

yellow gold diamond hoops from SimonG

Far left, 18K yellow gold hoops by Simon G  $3040

Far right, 18K yellow gold hoops by Simon G  $2470


  1. A Watch

At Perrara, we do not carry watches however, we can make some suggestions on choosing a quality time piece. If you prefer white metal, opt for stainless steel as this will have serious durability. Brands like Rolex, Tag Heuer, Cartier and Tissot are all Swiss made and will have the craftsmanship to last forever.


In Summary:

Adding new jewelry to my collection is one of my favorite things to do. Engagement rings and wedding bands are forever, but so can timeless jewelry essentials! The trick is to discover which suit your personal style and then make a purchase of high-quality pieces. These are the ones that will stand the test of time, endure all that your life will bring and possibly become heirlooms to pass down to loved ones. What a precious win-win!

With Love, Perrara

Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor

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