A Guide to Buying Jewellery for Children
Children’s jewellery is an increasingly popular gift and it’s not difficult to see why. Whether it’s a silver bracelet to celebrate a youngster’s Christening or a gold ring or pendant for birthdays or Christmas gifts, jewellery provides a fantastic token to mark the big milestones in a child’s life.
In this guide, Hatton Jewellers’ expert team share their knowledge to help you find the perfect piece of children’s jewellery to present as a gift. We’ll cover the options available to you when buying gold jewellery for youngsters, as well as looking at sizing, safety considerations and how to care for pieces so they can potentially be passed on for generations.
The History of Children’s Jewellery
From symbols of superstitious belief to showing social status, children have worn jewellery throughout the years for many reasons. The children’s jewellery we know today has of course completely transformed from the necklaces and bracelets made from materials such as shells, pebbles, feathers and leather in ancient times.
During certain points in history babies were presented with a simple necklace and bracelet at birth, somewhat similar to the babies’ gold bracelets that are often bought and gifted today. Parents sometimes believed that certain pieces of jewellery had the power to protect their children by warding off evil and preventing sickness.
In Victorian times, many babies wore a silver or gold bangle, often with a personalised engraving. These pieces of jewellery generally became family heirlooms and can sometimes be found on display in museums. The tradition of gifting and passing on beautiful pieces of children’s jewellery continues on to this day.
How to Choose Children’s Jewellery
From costume jewellery to valuable keepsake items, children’s jewellery can make the perfect gift or memento for a special occasion. There are several options on the market that are perfect for children, however it does of course depend on the child’s age. So how do you choose the perfect piece of children’s jewellery?
For religious events like Christening gifts, you should consider the meaning and relevance to the occasion; tradition is an integral part of choosing a piece of children’s jewellery for an occasion like this. Christening presents are often items of value that can be kept as an investment for the child’s future. With tradition in mind, a christening bracelet such as a gold baby bangle could make the perfect gift.
Birthdays are a great excuse to choose something that is more unique and personal. Charm bracelets, lockets and birthstone jewellery are all meaningful, but a little more personal and thoughtful to the individual child. For boys, a simple chain or children’s gold belcher bracelet is a great option.
The Most Appropriate Jewellery for Children
When buying your child or a friend's child a piece of jewellery, you should consider the most appropriate jewellery items for children. It’s important to choose jewellery that has been specifically designed for children in order to ensure it is as safe for them as possible:
- Stud earrings are great for children who have their ears pierced. Choose a solid gold stud earring if possible, as it’s unlikely youngsters will have an allergic reaction to the metal.
- A simple chain necklace is an option for both girls and boys and is great for everyday wear.
- Children’s bangles and bracelets are ideal for babies and small children.
What to Consider When Buying Children’s Jewellery
From the style of jewellery to being aware of how to choose a piece that’s safe for children, there are several factors to consider when buying jewellery for babies and youngsters. When buying kids’ jewellery sets as a gift, being fully educated about the different options available is essential.
Children can react to certain metals, especially when they sweat. Therefore it’s important to stick to pure metals such as gold. For children who are extremely sensitive, it could be a good idea to choose a hypoallergenic option, helping reduce the risk of a reaction.
Size and Comfort
Children are always playing and moving around. Therefore it is important you check the size you need for your child’s jewellery before purchasing it, making sure it won't be too tight or uncomfortable. Choose jewellery that can be worn easily and won’t get caught during play.
Jewellery that is specifically designed for young children is the best option, as it has been designed with their safety in mind. This could take into account the metal used in the jewellery as well as other factors such as the clasp mechanism.
Length of Chain
If you’re buying a gold chain for very young children, make sure that you identify and select the most appropriate length. If you’re unsure which chain length to choose for your child, speak to your jeweller who will be able to advise you depending on the age and size of your baby.
Different Types of Children’s Bracelets & Bangles
If you’re planning on purchasing some children’s jewellery it’s a good idea to know the designs and styles of bracelets available in order to make the best decision. Each type of bracelet has a different fit, so it’s important to consider which type your child is likely to find most comfortable as well as the overall look of the bracelet.
ID bracelets are a popular choice when it comes to children’s jewellery, as it’s a unique style and can be engraved with your child’s name. Personal and memorable, it’s a great gift idea for kids.
Chain Link Bracelets
Chain link bracelets are crafted using connected links for styles such as a babies’ gold belcher bracelet. They can be made from a variety of metals depending on the chosen style and are more flexible, so kids' gold chains are often more comfortable and easy-wearing.
Gold bangles for kids are often made in a circular shape and feature a slip-on or hinged design. They are most commonly a simple design, but can also be engraved or adorned with diamonds or gemstones.
Customised bracelets make a great option for a gift. It means you can choose your design, metal and size, creating a one-of-a-kind piece specifically designed for your chosen child.
How to Size Children’s Jewellery
Sizing is an extremely important aspect of children's jewellery as they may be unable to tell you if it is too big, small or uncomfortable. If it’s too big, it is also more likely that your child’s gold ring, chain or bracelet will be lost easily.
Children’s Bracelet Sizing
Try to measure your child’s wrist before purchasing a children's bracelet. Using a piece of string or ribbon is a great way to find a comfortable fit. Try to allow an extra 1-2cm depending on the length and style to make sure it isn’t too tight or uncomfortable.
Children’s Bangle Sizing
If you’re considering buying an expanding bangle, ensure you take into account that the hand is typically larger than the wrist. You want to make sure you can get the bangle over your child’s hand with ease.
Children’s Ring Sizing
Use a piece of paper to wrap around your child’s finger to check the circumference of the ring they will require. If they are in between measurements, it’s a good idea to size up instead of down when it comes to rings.
The Best Earrings For Children
There are several factors to consider when buying earrings for babies and children - most importantly the child’s safety and comfort. Screw back earrings are often the safest choice as the earring simply screws into the precut hole. As they do not endlessly screw on, you don’t have to worry about putting the earring screw on too tight. They are also harder for a baby or toddler to remove which greatly reduces the choking hazard and risk.
Safety stud earrings are also similar to the screw back style. You need to push a round, flat backing onto the earring post until you hear a click. The earring will then be secure on your baby's ear. Butterfly back earrings are one of the safest and most popular types of earrings for babies and children.
Children’s Jewellery Safety Tips
Your child may want to wear their jewellery all the time, however it is important to think about their safety when it comes to gifting jewellery. That’s why we’ve come up with some tips to keep your children safe while wearing jewellery:
- Jewellery with small parts such as beads isn’t suitable for very young children and babies
- Jewellery is not a toy and should not be worn if it is likely to get caught while playing
- Children’s jewellery should not be worn for excessive periods of time or whilst sleeping
- Earrings should be cleaned frequently to avoid the risk of infection
- Never allow children to put jewellery in or near their mouth
- Jewellery may need to be replaced as children grow to avoid it becoming too tight
How to Care for Children’s Jewellery
As with any jewellery, in order to keep it in the best possible condition, it’s important to care for it correctly. This includes thinking about storage, cleaning and taking care while the jewellery is being worn. Visit our blog for more information on cleaning gold jewellery.
Storing Children’s Jewellery
Ideally you should store each piece in its own box or compartment. If your kid’s gold bracelet came in its own case, that is likely to be the best storage option to keep it safe and in good condition. For jewellery that did not come with a case, a fabric-lined box is another great option. It is also a good idea to make sure it’s stored somewhere dry and out of direct sunlight.
Cleaning Children’s Jewellery
To keep your child’s gold or silver jewellery clean:
- Mix a small amount of washing up liquid into a cup or bowl of warm (not hot) water.
- Place your child's jewellery in the soapy water and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes to loosen any dirt or grime on the metal or around the gem settings.
- Do not use abrasive materials when cleaning jewellery as this could cause scratching.
- Gently clean the piece with a kids’ soft bristled toothbrush, being sure to get in all the places dirt could gather.
- Rinse and then dry and polish with a soft lint-free cloth.
If in any doubt about the best way to clean individual pieces, get in touch with a trusted jeweller for advice and ask whether they recommend a cleaner.
Caring for Children’s Jewellery
Ensuring that your child is taking care whilst wearing their jewellery is essential to help keep it in good condition. Therefore, if they are playing outside or at a park, it is best to remove the jewellery to avoid it getting caught or damaged.
Alongside this, making sure that you remove the jewellery before bathing or showering your child will prevent the jewellery from becoming dull from exposure to bubble bath, shampoo or conditioner.
Children’s jewellery has been around for centuries and remains a great gift. Whether you’re looking to buy children’s jewellery as a sentimental gift or for day-to-day wear, the experts at Hatton Jewellers have plenty of advice to share.
For more of our articles check out the Hatton Jewellers blog.