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Do I Need to Stick With Birthstone Jewelry When Buying a Birthday Present?

While you may think you’ve seen it all, there are options to please anyone celebrating a birthday — whether it’s a birthstone or other piece of jewelry.

In a nutshell, no, you don’t need to give birthstone jewelry to celebrate a birthday. But before dismissing the idea, ask yourself whether birthstone jewelry doesn’t excite you because the only piece you can think of belonged to your great-grandmother.

Birthstone jewelry encompasses much more these days. In fact, any jewelry — rings, pins, bracelets, earrings, pendants, necklaces — with the appropriate birthstone would be a good choice. The bigger the gem and the higher the level of design, the better. For example, a 3-carat aquamarine set in a white gold ring with diamond accents is a world away from the smallish ring you may remember.

Did you know each birthstone has a special meaning that may have a special connection for whoever wears it?

For a truly special birthstone gift, ask your jeweler for custom jewelry design advice. You’ll get guidance on selecting stones, metals and styles to create a one-of-a-kind birthday gift. And remember, each birthstone has a special color and meaning that may have a special connection for whoever wears it.

Birthstone alternatives

If you decide against a birthstone, you have many other jewelry options that will still make a personal statement of your affection or love for the recipient. Ask your jeweler for birthday jewelry gift advice and also consider these options:


A heart necklace, from a heart pendant to straightforward or stylized heart-shaped outlines in precious metals.

Hearts, again.

An offshoot of the heart theme with the Open Hearts jewelry collection designed by actress Jane Seymour.

It’s a secret.

Ask your jeweler to insert a small diamond or colored gemstone flush with the inside of a ring. It’s a secret that only you and the wearer will know.


If the recipient has a quality that impresses you, have it or find it engraved on a piece of jewelry, e.g., the word “caring” for a nurse, or “strength” for someone who survived emotional turmoil. A less-conspicuous option is to engrave the word or the person’s name or initials on the inside of a ring or on the backside of a pendant or pin.

Design star.

Ask if your jeweler can work with you to choose from a number of styles and then decide which gemstones and which metal the gift recipient would like.

Pair up.

Couple rings are a hybrid of the engraving and design-a-ring options, allowing you to customize a ring with the couple’s birthstones (or favorite gemstones) and, if desired, their engraved names.

Flip over.

For an alternative to a couple’s ring, choose an ambigram made up of both names, each of which can be viewed by turning the ambigram right side up or upside down.


Choose a charm bracelet, charm necklace or charm earrings, like PANDORA® or Charmed Memories®. This is a gift that keeps on giving because you can add charms or beads in future years (making gift giving a little easier). Make sure each charm holds a special meaning to the wearer.


Teens and preteens are prime candidates for necklaces that spell out their names or the initial of their first name.

Everyone accounted for.

If the recipient is a mother, traditional options include family and mother’s rings, with each family member or each child represented with his or her birthstone. This is a type of birthstone ring, but even someone who shies away from color gems may be touched by the fact that various family members are represented.

Whether you choose birthstone jewelry or personalize jewelry in another fashion, it’s a meaningful way to celebrate a special person’s birthday, regardless of whether you’re the spouse or partner, child or parent, aunt or uncle, grandparent or simply a good friend. The recipient will appreciate the gift as well as the giver.

Check out some of the great gifts at Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry.

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