For millennia, jewelry has represented everything from a woman’s status to warding off the evil eye to what she must have to complete an ensemble of jeans and t-shirt. Whether it’s her own wedding or lunch with the girls, here are four pieces of jewelry every woman should own:
There are many kinds of earrings, and ideally a woman should own a pair of each type, whether she has pierced ears or not. However, women who do have pierced ears can indulge in stud earrings that may feature a single diamond or a single pearl. Some sport a larger, faceted gemstone surrounded by smaller ones. Women who don’t have pierced ears can wear button earrings with clips and screw-on findings. Hoop earrings can be modest or eyecatching. Chandeliers are rarely modest, but ones made out of filigreed precious metal and studded with gemstones can be sophisticated. Other types of earrings are simple drop earrings made of swirls of gold or silverplate or clusters of diamonds or other precious or semiprecious stones.
Every woman should have at least one pearl necklace, even if the pearls are not quite real. Faux pearls, by the way, are often hollow glass beads filled with wax, or solid glass beads. Some look surprisingly like the real thing. One way to tell the difference is by running the strand against one’s teeth, if the shop owner will allow this! Real pearls feel rough. The buyer should avoid faux pearls made of plastic, as these hang badly.
Pearl necklaces can be bought with elegantly graduated pearls, or pearls that are all of one size. They can be single or multiple strands, and range in length from the dog collar to the rope, which is over 40 inches long and can be worn in decorative knots or loops.
Bracelets range from the slender, diamond-studded tennis bracelet to clunky, fun bracelets made of bakelite to charm bracelets. Indeed, some of the first bracelets held charms or amulets! There are also the rigid bangle, which can be made of everything from precious metal to plastic to glass, bracelets made of interlocking gemstones, crystals or precious metals and cuff bracelets made of hammered metal. Wood should not be shunned, as wooden bracelets are often intricately carved and even fragrant if they are made of an aromatic wood like sandalwood. A woman should have a collection of bracelets for casual, formal and sportswear.
Even in the era of the smartphone, there’s something classy about wearing a beautiful wristwatch. The band can be made of good quality leather or plastic or platinum and gold with tiny white diamonds around the watch face. Again, a watch for casual wear and a watch for formal occasions is ideal.