Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Buying Jewellery for Children

chain lengthsIf you are going to buy ‘junk’ or costume jewellery for children, then you can stop reading now.

This article is all about the why’s and how’s of buying quality jewellery for children that they can love to wear for the rest of their lives.

Parents and grandparents often wish to purchase a gift for the youngsters to celebrate a very special occasion. Birthdays and christenings are the two most common events where an extra-special present is chosen.

Solid gold or sterling silver jewellery will last a lifetime.

Gold filled or gold plated chains are fine if you are only going to wear them once to a costume party. They are not something you will cherish for life.

Wouldn’t you wish that jewellery given for such an important event could be cherished and worn for the rest of their lives? Of course you would!

number 3 in Circle Charm (chr-3145)-335You may be wondering how a bracelet or necklace for a young girl is going to fit her when she’s grown up. After all, a necklace for a young child might only be 30cm or 35cm long, hardly suitable for a grown woman. A 40cm necklace is a ‘choker’ for most women and when choosing a gold necklace chain to sit high on the chest, 45cm or 50cm is a fairly typical length for an adult.

You could purchase a necklace made for a child, so that it fits now, but what happens as time passes? You would have to find a jeweller who could either find matching links to add in, or who could make extra links by hand if they weren’t available. That’s starting to look like it could get expensive.

Maybe you could purchase a longer chain that would be just the right length in 10 or 15 years? Not a bad idea, if you don’t want them to be able to wear it until they have ‘grown up’ and they have forgotten why it was bought in the first place while it sat in the drawer under their socks for so many years.

There has to be a better answer!

Of course there is, and we would like to share it with you. We have made many necklaces and bracelets for our customers, especially sized for the child to wear today.

We ask that they supply us with two sizes. The first is the length that suits the child today. You can be very tricky if it is a secret present, and we tell you how below!

The second is the length they will need as an adult. You can usually get a pretty good idea of what size will be needed from looking at the mother. What suits her will likely be a good match for her child when she has grown. If there is any doubt, add an extra 5cm for a necklace and 3cm for a bracelet. It’s is always better to have too much, than too little for a jeweller to work with.

We make the bracelet or necklace at the first length and supply the difference between the two lengths as loose chain. As the child grows, this extra chain can easily be added by a jeweller and it will match perfectly.

Why can’t I just buy more chain later?

Well, you could. But is it going to match? When chains are made by machines, a silver or gold wire is fed in from a spool and it gets cut to length, bent into a link and loops through the previous link to form a very long chain. Each link is then soldered closed, and the chain is cut into lengths for necklaces or bracelets and has the clasps fitted. After this the finished chain is polished. Tada, a brand new necklace or bracelet.

The machines that make these chains generally can be set up to make a range of different sizes. This means that two chains of the same style, made in a different batches are likely to be slightly different to each other. The individual links could be slightly longer or shorter, or wider or narrower. Normally the difference will be small, but it may be noticeable.

What is much more noticeable is when the alloy used to produce the gold wire is varied. More copper will make the gold appear redder, less copper will make the chain brassier. In any case the links in two pieces of chain are more likely not to be the same exact colour than a perfect match.

(We have another article about the colours of gold you may wish to read.)

So how do I keep it a secret?

Even small children are pretty clever and most will quickly work out that if you measure their wrist, it is probably for a bracelet, bangle or watch.

So we have to be cleverer! If you were to use a tape measure to get their neck size, the length of their arms, around the wrist and their chest measurement and wrote them all down, you would have all the information you need for both necklaces and bracelets.

If you like to play tricks on the kids, then you could explain you are going to knit them a jumper or make them a new jacket. Either way, it’s unlikely they will be suspecting they are being measured for a beautiful new gold bracelet.

So what size should I buy?

We have a more detailed article on our website that helps when deciding how to choose the right size for bracelets, bangles, necklaces and charm bracelets. Should you still have questions, our staff would be pleased to explain them for you.


Buying Jewellery for Children

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