Personalized jewelry, gifts mark special times

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Monday, April 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

This trend is strictly individual.

“Personalized jewelry is fun because it's truly one-of-a-kind, made specifically to celebrate who you are and what's important to you,” says Claudia Montez, owner and founder of Isabelle Grace Jewelry. “It's a beautiful way to keep those that own your heart close to you and commemorate special birth or anniversary dates. Life's accomplishments can be proudly carried with you wherever you go and passed down to family members as a treasured keepsake.”

Montez says, as far back as she can remember, girls were wearing ID bracelets with their name on them, so the concept of personalized jewelry has been around a long time. However, she says, its popularity has grown significantly.

“We're seeing not only girls and teenagers hopping on this trend, but moms who love wearing their kids' names, initials or birth dates, and now, even men and dads,” Montez says. “It's no surprise, then, that we're now seeing initials on electronic accessories, such as cell phone and tablet cases.”

A personalized gift, because it's tailored to the recipient, celebrates the special relationship between two individuals, says Amy Myers, vice president of creative services at Things Remembered.

She says it goes back to the adage, “It's the thought that counts.”

When people receive a gift, they care about the sentiment that went into it, Myers says.

Personalization doesn't need to be limited to jewelry, Myers says. Items such as drinkware sets are perfect for engaged couples.

Things Remembered's iEngrave technology allows for handwritten messages. “Helping our customers capture handwritten memories has been extraordinary,” Myers says. “We've given brides-to-be the opportunity to see their new signature for the first time on engraved keepsakes and helped children give extra-special gifts to their parents and grandparents. We even helped a family preserve the memory of their mother with a musical angel figurine, engraved with her signature.”

A company called Initial Reaction has made a strong comeback in the last few years with the introduction of the hand-cut monogram collection, says company president Diane Mirabile. Each necklace, earring or ring is hand-carved from sterling silver and customized with a monogram or name.

Carrie Bradshaw, star character of the HBO series “Sex and the City” played by Sarah Jessica Parker, helped revive the popularity of the name necklace, Mirabile says.

“Many celebrities have been seen wearing these pieces,” she says. “Carrie helped attract the 20- to 30-(year-old) crowd, and the 30- and 40-year-olds remember wearing a smaller version of the name plates or necklaces when they were younger. Many of our customers over 50 remember either owning a pin in this style or seeing someone they knew wearing it.”

The art of hand engraving started as a decorative technique around the 5th century B.C., Tracy Weigand, Tiffany & Co. director says. It provided a way to adorn metal objects with pictures, and later, when formal alphabets were developed, to commemorate special dates and immortalize philosophical statements.

“Personalized jewelry is still a popular way to give a gift with an extra-special meaning,” Weigand says.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7889.

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