Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Personally, September is a big month for me and by big I mean expensive. Within September my wedding anniversary, my son’s birthday one of my sister’s birthdays (I also have about three first cousins born in September and all (with the exception of my anniversary) fall between the 18th and 23rd. It’s a squeeze.
This year we’re on anniversary number 3 and a quick google search tells me that the gift for this year should be leather. It symbolises the ever forming structure of the relationship whilst acknowledging that it’s still delicate. A designer leather belt is the first gift idea that comes to mind. He already has quite a few from the notable European Fashion houses, Gucci, Hermes, Salvatore Ferragamo...so a bag maybe (ok I may be thinking about myself here as he isn’t much one for bags). He has a bag (singular), more of a hold-all actually, but with the world on a mutual travel ban (to varying degrees) and a new baby, travelling hasn’t been the priority it once was for us.
Well that’s about as creative I can get without thinking about jewellery. Belt or Bag.
Oh and my husband isn’t massively into jewellery. I know, I know, he’s married to a jewellery designer/ jewellery brand founder and he doesn’t like jewellery so what can I get him? Probably jewellery haha, or food. He likes food.
Thinking outside of the box, and being sickeningly sentimental for a moment, I could design him a new wedding band. His current bland is as low key as it gets. A jet black matte tungsten band. It’s plain. It’s black. He loves it. Like REALLY loves it. He’s so proud of his choice. I’m happy he’s happy. However, I wouldn’t mind if he loved gemstones as much as I do. Say I decide that the cutest thing ever would be to design and make a new wedding band (or at least a ring) for every anniversary, maybe in keeping with the annual gift theme (so leather in this instance). It would have to be black, or at best a very very dark shade of gunmetal grey otherwise the likelihood of him actually wearing it is slim. As in “aaaw thanks babe”, *tries it on for size and then puts it back in the box immediately* kind of slim.
Ok, so, leather, come on the journey with me...how about another jet black tungsten band, but with a leather trim in the middle, like a, erm, belt...sounds lovely, I could source some leather locally, right here in Ghana, find a beautiful grain (my inner developing vegan in screaming by the way) and err yeah, put the leather around the middle of the ring. Done...ok not done. He’d have to take the ring off whenever he washes his hands so as not to damage my meticulously selected leather trim.
New idea! Leather-less ring, but presented in a leather jewellery case! I could find an artisan to custom make a jewellery case just for him, just for rings, maybe enough space for 10 years worth and every year he can add his anniversary ring for that year. Super cute! That is so cute. My inner vegan is screaming that the leather should be vegan by the way. We’ll think about it some more. Ok now we have a beautiful vegan leather jewellery box, I’m considering whether it’s impolite or at least against prevailing superstitions to gift a jewellery box without jewellery in it. You know, in a similar way that you’re supposed to put money in a purse / wallet if the gift is a purse or wallet? Please tell me you’ve heard of this superstition!?!
This is a lot of brain power for one gift, I still have five to go (I’ll only cover three in this post).
Well. Maybe it doesn’t matter that he won’t wear the jewellery and if my reasoning works, then I can tick off another present idea. Maybe the jewellery can stand as a personal museum collection. Stay with me...he can wear his matte black tungsten wedding band and then have a new piece every year that marks our anniversary with sentiment but it stays in its box like a collectors item. Each piece will have our wedding date and the date of our anniversary and perhaps each piece will be unique. Maybe black diamonds one year, deep blue sapphires another year, 22ct gold one year and platinum the next. Personally I love the idea and hey he can pass it on to our son one day. It’s jewellery for someone that doesn’t like jewellery.
Ok moving on to our son. He’s going to be a year this September. Before I continue, which camp do you sit in? Party for a one year old, or no party for a one year old. I just assumed that everyone is pro birthday party (bar religious or cultural differences). However, I’ve learned that a lot of parents, and parents to be take the view that there really isn’t a point because the kid won’t remember. Which, is a fair point. I’m in the pro party camp by the way, always pro (with appropriate health, safety and COVID-19 measures in place). I’m especially pro party for no reason, like just because it’s a Tuesday and I’m alive and well. That’s reason enough for me. Now that doesn’t mean I want all these random parties at MY house by the way because although I’m very pro entertaining I’m not that pro cleaning. I mean I’m pro cleanliness and sanitation I just don’t want to be the person spending my whole day sanitising. I could think of many many other things I’d rather be doing.
Ok I went down a small rabbit hole there talking about parties and cleaning.
So what does a jewellery designer mum get for her son for his first birthday? The same thing as his dad is getting for our anniversary. I mean he has lots of toys, so why not think ahead and start a birthday trend. September is an awesome month for birthstones because the official gem is a sapphire. Why is that awesome? Because, much like diamonds (hey December babies you lucky things), sapphires come in a kaleidoscope of colours. They’re also pretty hard-wearing which makes them super versatile... I love morganite but putting it in a ring meant to be work every day is tricky, as in, I wouldn’t advise it because they’re not very high up on the MOHs scale and so are prone to scratching, cracking, breaking etc. Not at all what you want for jewellery sitting on your hands.
For my son, I’ll take a slightly different approach. I don’t know what his taste is in jewellery yet so I may just buy him the gemstone, again one for every year until he’s old enough and responsible enough to either appreciate the collection, or design a piece or pieces featuring the sapphires that can wear or sell or keep as part of his portfolio. It’s about as practical as my creative jewellery brain will let me get without meandering into boring town.
Now! Designing for my sister is easy and fun. Not because she’s a woman who really loves jewellery but because she’s one of the small number of clients that thinks about building a collection so much that she has a dedicated folder on file with me...so neither of us forgets what’s in the queue. For information, my other sister doesn’t...she’s more into tattoos than piercings / jewellery.
Number one in my sister’s queue is an anklet. I designed a charm bracelet a couple of years ago. She saw the sketch and immediately messaged to ask if I could convert it to an anklet. Of course! For your information, the average anklet length is 9.5 inches, which is about 2 inches longer than the average bracelet length so without too much trouble, a bracelet design is pretty easy to convert to an anklet design. I’m starting her out with a figaro chain (one of her favourite chain styles) and an “A” initial charm. As and when she desires she can add additional charms and if in a few years, anklets aren’t her thing (she’s in her very early 20s...hey tastes change), we can remove a few links, and we’re back to having a charm bracelet.
all images sourced from Unsplash.com