Rooted in traditions that span the course of history, personalized jewelry makes for the ultimate timeless gift. Take, for example, engraved signet rings that trace back to Mesopotamia or gold nameplate necklaces popular long before Carrie Bradshaw’s “Carrie” necklace, serving as an emblem of the Black community in 1980s New York.
Given the influx of direct-to-consumer ethical jewelry brands that have popped up in recent years, as well as a simultaneous resurgence in initial necklaces and zodiac pendants, it’s now possible to shop for a personalized keepsake from the comfort of your couch in your pajamas with Netflix playing in the background.
If you’re after a personalized jewelry gift for yourself or a loved one, we realize that the search can be dizzying. From heirlooms that have been reimagined with modern flair to fun costume pieces, we’ve rounded up the chicest options out there. And because jewelry should be enjoyed by everyone, we’ve included every price point, from super-affordable finds to fantasy pieces by Mateo, Givenchy, Jennifer Fisher, and more.
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Sculpted Heart Pendant
Sculptural yet sleek, this pendant from sisters-founded line Agmes falls into the camp of abstract statement pieces, one of Fashion Week 2020’s most notable jewelry trends. The necklace can be worn long or as a choker, and engravings in cursive of up to 20 characters can be requested through the brand’s site. A sterling silver option is also available.
OPRAH’S FAVORITE THINGS
Gold-Filled Initial Ring
Chari Cuthbert’s eponymous fine jewelry brand famously created the Vote necklace Michelle Obama wore when she delivered her powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention. Earning the honor of being one of Oprah’s Favorite Things this year, this gold-filled ring is dripping in minimalist appeal.
Serafina Mini Cursive Nameplate Necklace
Born in the Black community in the 80s, nameplate necklaces never left, though their resurgence in the fashion world these last few years has been vast. If you’ve long coveted having your own (or want to gift one to a loved one), this gold vermeil option is a failsafe choice at this price point.
Silver Gemini Zodiac Ring
Does she use the Co–Star app? If so, an astrology-inspired piece will spark joy. We have more zodiac options later in this list, but it’s worth noting that Mejuri’s star sign constellation rings constantly sell out fast.
Gold Bar Bracelet
Worn by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, jewelry brand Missoma offers some of the most customizable complimentary engraving options out there for its best-selling gold vermeil bar bracelet. For no extra fee, shoppers can have the front and back engraved with up to 20 characters from a selection of five different fonts.
Petite Signet Ring
The history of signet rings goes far back—think Mesopotamia circa 3500 B.C., the Byzantine Empire, and King Tut (just to list a few references). If you’re after a personalized signet ring for current times, L.A.-based Kinn Studio makes 14-karat gold pieces designed to last a lifetime, and its engraving options are notably flexible. Shoppers can request a different font and even add extra letters.
Editor’s note: I love this brand’s smallest signet ring, pictured here, as a pinky ring, but sizes three through eight are available if you’re after something different.
Initials Diamond, Quartz & 14-Karat Gold Ring
Behold the ultimate compliment magnet of initial jewelry. Demonstrating Mateo founder Matthew Harris’s affinity for innovative silhouettes, the ring features a diamond letter nestled beneath crystal quartz, which is adorned by an array of shimmery diamonds.
Collier Year of The Tiger 24-Karat Gold-Plated Necklace
In celebration of the Chinese zodiac, industry favorite brand Alighieri created its 12 Modern Heirlooms collection, complete with gold-plated pendants honoring each of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle.
There are cuffs, and then there’s Jennifer Fisher’s Essential Cuff, which is in a league of its own when it comes to timelessly glam customizable jewelry. The 14-karat gold cuff can be engraved with up to six characters to represent a meaningful date or series of three separate monograms.
Aries Zodiac Brass Coin Necklace
French ready-to-wear brand Maje makes surprisingly affordable jewelry, which includes this line of Zodiac coin pendant necklaces available this season.
Editor’s note: Brass versions are also available, although I’m partial to how this variation features birthstone details and brings a subtle pop of color.
Lion Zodiac Necklace
The latest iteration of Givenchy’s oversized zodiac jewelry (first introduced by Clare Waight Keller in fall 2018) includes charm pendants that double as works of art. Here, a piece certainly befitting any Leo.
Birthstone Gold Multi-Stone Earring
Colorful jewelry has been another one of FW20’s biggest jewelry trends. For the gal with multiple ear piercings, gift a fun stud that features her birthstone and a small sparkly diamond. Note that these are sold individually.
14-Karat Gold Birthstone Ring No. 3
Add a subtle pop of color to her stacking ring game with a 14-karat gold birthstone ring. This style is from Brooklyn-based jeweler Shahla Karimi’s label, which makes all of its jewelry by hand in NYC with recycled sterling silver and gold, and conflict-free stones.
Siren Shore Pendant Charm
British retailer Monica Vinader’s site gives customers the option of uploading their own doodle to have engraved on a variety of pendant charms. The possibilities here are endless, but for a guaranteed sentimental gift, commission a drawing from the recipient’s kids.
Editor’s note: This image is a mock-up of a recent doodle I drew during lockdown.
Pearly Initial Necklace
For the gal who can’t get enough pearl jewelry (*raises both hands*), this pearl initial necklace is a reimagined classic that looks lovely when layered with other dainty confections or worn on its own.
Double White Diamonds Mini Letter Charm Pendant
Women-founded jewelry brand AUrate’s dainty creations stand out not only for their beauty, but for being sustainably made from 100 percent recycled gold in NYC. The brand offers single-letter pendant necklaces, as well as double-initial pieces where you can opt to have one initial in solid 14-karat gold and another in either black or white diamonds.
Editor’s note: I’m partial to this variation for being glamorous while subtle.
Kenna Birthstone Pearl Necklace
L.A.-based designer Khadijah Fulton’s jewelry is influenced by midcentury architecture, minimalist art and sculpture, and ancient goldsmithing. This Baroque pearl necklace (available in every birthstone variation) from Fulton’s label, White/Space Jewelry, makes for a sophisticated yet unfussy statement piece. A smaller version that lends itself to everyday wear is also available.
Minimalist Stacking Ring
Boasting more than 100,000 reviews (no exaggeration), the Etsy seller behind these minimalist stacking rings is consistently praised for her responsiveness and quick delivery. Silver and gold plated finishes are available as well.
Editor’s note: At this price point, I love the idea of writing out a birth year or special date.
Single Diamond Initial Earring
Small but impactful, this single diamond initial earring will add a personalized shine to her earring game.
Custom Morse Code Bracelet
For $24, this customizable Etsy find (from a seller who boasts 15,000+ sales and counting) is a steal. Shoppers can choose to have any name or word spelled out in Morse code, plus they can customize the color of the beads. What makes this an especially fun gift is that the message will be known only to you and the recipient.
Diamond and Black Enamel Letter Pendant
The Last Line
Another sleek charm option, this find can be gifted as a small letter pendant on its own or as a pair (as to represent her initials or to represent her children’s names, if she has any)—just a few of the thoughtful possibilities here.
Engravable Diamond Band
This Mejuri best seller is certain to become one of the most special rings in her stack as shoppers can opt for a complimentary inner engraving up to 24 characters long.
18-Karat Yellow Gold Blue Karma Petite Medallion Charm
If a sentimental charm necklace is already in the picture, add a modern medallion pendant to the mix. Foundrae’s 18-karat offerings are rooted in symbolism and meaning. This timeless blue option, for example, represents karma.
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