1) There are no rules when it comes to jewellery... Jewellery is an expression of your individual personality, your status and your taste. It is so unique and personal that it should be used to complete your look. Don't feel restricted by old fashioned rules like not being allowed to wear gold and silver together. There's a lot of psychology that goes into buying a piece of jewellery and the most important factor is that you feel comfortable wearing it - that does mean you may not always want the biggest diamond ring if you don't feel safe wearing it!
2) Jewellery has long been thought of as the ultimate gift but what if you don't like it? There is nothing worse than having a beautiful necklace sitting in its box because you don't want to wear it. Gift givers must always keep a receipt and understand that jewellery is very difficult to buy as it's so personal. Receivers must always speak up and gently explain why they want to return/exchange the jewellery.
3) Ah, the political minefield that is the engagement ring... It isn't true that men should spend three months' worth of salary on a ring for their partner, it's all individual how much you choose to spend. I've seen men sweating in front of me because they're so nervous of choosing the wrong thing. Interestingly it shouldn't be all about what the woman wants, if you are going to spend thousands of pounds on a piece of jewellery that you're going to see every day, you should both love it. Of course if you want to be very modern go ring shopping together and make it a special occasion.
4) The idea of a push present is an American tradition. There are many occasions when jewellery should be given as a gift and the birth of your first child should be one however the term 'push present' is an Americanised phrase that shouldn't be used in England. You can also expect a piece of jewellery when you get engaged, married, your wedding anniversaries, special birthdays and even graduation ceremonies.
5) Pearls have long been seen as the jewellery choice of Sloanes. It's no surprise that there's a stereotype of only older women wearing these precious gems. Queen Elizabeth I started the British love affair of pearls and still today pearls are featured throughout the crown jewels. There are of course ways to keep pearls modern but a big no-no in my opinion is wearing a string of pearls to a black tie event. They should only be worn in the daytime, as for me, diamonds are for the evening.
6) Like your clothes wardrobe you should have jewellery staples. Start with a pair of simple diamond studs or a single diamond pendant. These can be worn every day, but are also suitable for a night out. If you have an engagement ring you could choose something to complement it. Single diamond jewellery is timeless and can be used with more elaborated pieces.
7) Don't overdo it for a black tie event. This is something I like to call the 'Virgin Mary in a Spanish Church' syndrome where people completely over-do it with their jewellery and wear too much. As Coco Chanel famously said; 'before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off,' and this has never been truer. You only have to look at the red carpet to see that celebrities are keeping things simple and only wearing one piece of statement jewellery - either a long pendant necklace with stud earrings or a cuff bracelet with no rings.
8) Adapt your jewellery to the shape and size of your face and body. If you are short and have a wider frame choose something simple and elegant like a long pendant necklace to accentuate your height. If you have an oval shaped face make sure you keep the designs of earrings in proportion. Avoid long, slender earrings and instead echo the oval face with hoops and tear-drop earrings.
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