With the growing trend in body piercings amongst children inevitably comes the demand for attractive fashion jewellery. Children are inherently competitive and always want to make a bigger and better statement than their friends, or at the very least, match them. Even boys as young as five are now adding diamond ear studs to their birthday or Christmas wish list!
Whether or not this trend should be encouraged, there is no doubt that it must be acknowledged.
It is, of course, entirely up to the parents to set the boundaries but childrens fashion jewellery seems to be here to stay and will continue to tempt children from a very young age.
Birthstone rings are very popular ways to introduce children to the beauties of gemstones and it is possible to begin with pretty imitation gemstones, replacing these with the real thing once you are sure a child can take care of her valuables. Clear or rose quartz can replace diamonds and rubies (for April and July birthdays); spinals or zircons resemble sapphires for September birthdays while peridot comes in vibrant green, like emeralds for those special May children.
Whilst substituting a spinal or quartz crystal for a diamond to test your five year old sons interest in precious stones may be acceptable, it will not be for more discerning older children. Additionally, because childrens fashion jewellery is, of necessity smaller than adult versions, the cost will reflect the price and for purists and discriminating children, imitations will simply not do.
For older children, to mark a special milestone in their lives, there is nothing more appropriate than an item of jewellery crafted from a precious metal and incorporating a precious gemstone. As a fashion item this needs to be as edgy as possible and as an investment for the future, it needs to be the highest quality affordable. When it comes to buying precious metals and gemstones, it is therefore always important to buy the best you can manage, not merely for their investment value, but because their beauty will be enhanced accordingly, providing you do your homework beforehand.
This means knowing the 4 Cs of precious stone quality: how well the stone is cut to reflect light and brilliance; its colour, shade or intensity; its carat or standard weight and its clarity or purity. A knowledgeable adult should always be present when a child is choosing precious stone fashion jewellery, to guide them into making the right decision.