Giving children jewelry has long been a way to satisfy the need to find kids acceptable gifts. Presents of fine jewelry may help mark special occasions like graduations, certain birthdays or other events. There are some important considerations when buying children's jewelry and these should be weighed carefully.
There are a number of safety issues associated with children's jewelry. First among these may be age appropriateness. Children who might still mouth jewelry, and this isn’t limited to toddlers, shouldn’t have any types that present potential hazards. A charm, a locket or even a bead could easily become lodged in the throat if it breaks off and cause choking.
Another issue is considering the components of the jewelry. For a time, many inexpensive costume jewelry items for kids contained much higher than safe levels of lead, which when mouthed, exposed children to potentially dangerous amounts of lead. Though some states now limit the amount of lead that can be used in children's jewelry, labeling may not always be accurate.
Allergies should also be considered. Some kids are allergic to certain metals, particularly nickel, which is present in many low cost jewelry items. If parents note rash or discoloration of the skin when kids wear jewelry they should not allow kids to continue to wear the pieces that might be responsible.
Many people conclude that the best thing is to give more expensive fine children's jewelry. It’s important to choose jewelry that will survive the rigors of a child or teen’s life, and very fragile pieces may not hold up well when worn while kids are engaged in normal play. This might also suggest avoiding gemstones that are fairly soft because they may crack or break when kids are being active.
Most parents can assert that many children are prone to losing things. When buying expensive children's jewelry, it may be important to realize that pieces may be lost. One way to address this would be to have insurance that would cover cost of replacement.
Children with very expensive jewelry should also be advised not to wear it in certain settings where it might encourage theft. Schools are perhaps not the best place to wear exceptionally fine jewelry. Alternately, kids who receive fine jewelry, especially heirloom pieces, may need to understand that these are for use at a later point when they are grown up or only for use on special occasions.
Once parents or others have taken into account potential health hazards, breakage, and replacement issues, there are other things to consider when buying children’s jewelry. Chief among these may be what type to purchase. Here variation is just as extensive as that for adult jewelry. Rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches abound and each type may be appropriate under various circumstances. Sometimes families have traditions about when to give certain types. A beautiful watch might be offered as a graduation gift, or diamond earrings may be a traditional gift for a girl’s sixteenth birthday.
Children's jewelry should be age appropriate in more ways than one. In general, it is considered gauche for children to wear exceptionally large jewelry. Stones on jewelry can be of any type but usually shouldn’t be huge. As kids age into late teenagerhood, they may begin to wear styles that are similar to those worn by adults, but in most cases, very flashy jewelry is still less appropriate for young people, and simple, muted styles are preferred.