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Choosing Jewelry for an 18th Birthday

Turning 18 presents the chance to gift a piece of fine jewelry that will commemorate the occasion for years to come.

While every birthday is special, 18 holds significance apart from any other: it marks the day the celebrant enters legal adulthood. What’s more, it often coincides with graduation from high school and moving out of the parental nest.

By 18, young women — and men — have passed into a stage where they’ll appreciate and care for a piece of fine jewelry. You won’t need to worry about them outgrowing it or losing it (though you might still worry a little — you’re still a parent). This all presents the perfect opportunity to give a gift that will symbolize the occasion for years to come.

Celebrating a woman turning 18

Unlike with earlier birthdays, the newly minted adult in your life will appreciate a piece of jewelry she can treasure throughout adulthood. Use these ideas as inspiration for choosing a meaningful and lasting gift, all the while keeping in mind her unique taste and style.

Honor her birth month: special birthstone piece

An unfussy pair of sparkling stud earrings, a solitaire birthstone necklace or even a simple, elegant birthstone ring would be fitting and treasured for years to come.

Give a first: a first diamond

Diamonds aren’t just for engagement rings. A sophisticated set of diamond stud earrings is a perfect starter for your young woman’s go-to jewelry wardrobe. (Read on for other timeless essentials.)

Stay simple: stud earrings, bracelet, pendant necklace

A woman’s jewelry wardrobe is full of classic, highly appreciated pieces that will fit just about any budget. Beyond highly desirable diamond stud earrings, consider simple stud earrings (either all metal or with a different gemstone), a slim bracelet or an elegant pendant necklace. Choose gold, silver or platinum depending on the recipient’s style — and your pocketbook.

Give meaning: charm bracelet, affirmation necklace

If your new adult has a cherished charm bracelet from childhood, why not add a significant charm — an airplane for a soon-to-be-traveler, a treble clef for a burgeoning musician or simply an “18” charm — to mark this special occasion and bring the bracelet to completion. Charm bracelets not her thing but she still loves gifts with a message? Consider an affirmation necklace with a saying such as “believe,” “dream” or “live.”

Go bold: the conversation starter

Is your birthday girl full of whimsy and does she like to make a splash? Give her a piece of jewelry that will bring any outfit to life. A big gemstone ring or statement-making necklace will certainly spark conversation — in a good way — as she sets out on her own.

Don’t forget to celebrate a boy entering manhood

Jewelry is a bit tougher to choose for boys, but entering manhood deserves a special marker. Watches are always a great bet, and by the time your young man is entering adulthood he’s ready for one with some weight. Look at our Watch Buying Guide for pointers on finding the perfect piece for the occasion. Once you have some ideas, check out the great watch selections at Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry.


Whatever jewelry you choose to commemorate your new adult’s milestone birthday, it will certainly reflect the importance of the occasion and your joy at being a part of it.

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