In different countries and amongst many cultures, precious metal items such as coins and jewellery are given to a child at birth. In Victorian times a silver rattle with an ivory teething ring would have made a special gift for a child of the nobility or upper middle classes, but is not a gift that would be considered suitable today. A babys christening is another occasion in which it is traditional to give jewellery and christening bangles, usually in sterling silver, still make very popular gifts.
More often than not these little treasures will be put away by the parent for many years. In recent decades, however, there has been a growing trend for baby fashion jewellery and although some people are horrified at the sight of a baby with piercings, this is becoming a more common sight in the west where there is no cultural demand for such adornments.
Parental whims apart, little girls usually love dressing up and trying on jewellery from an early age. Very young children will usually be happy with colourful plastic pretend-jewellery when dressing up, even for special occasions. However there are those occasional extra-special occasions, which call for something rather more precious. When the little princess is asked to be a bridesmaid or flower girl, a stylish piece of jewellery may well be called for. This might be the time to bring out her christening bangle and perhaps add to it with a locket.
Sterling silver is perhaps the best choice for younger children. It is relatively affordable, compared to gold or platinum, and looks particularly attractive on children. An engraved silver locket will be something a child can treasure in years to come, and should it get lost, it will not be impossible to replace.
Losing jewellery is possibly the biggest fear when it comes to giving expensive jewellery items to children. Waiting until a child is slightly older before bestowing precious metals on them makes good sense. After all it is unfair to give a child a gift and then forbid him or her to use it or wear it.
As soon as a child is old enough to appreciate the value of things and take responsibility for expensive items, a gift of gold or platinum fashion jewellery will not only make them the envy of their friends, but will provide them with an investment for the future as precious metals hold their value well if ever financial need prevails over sentimentality.