Gifts for Grads

While proper sendoff gifts for young people on their journey to adulthood vary as much as the degrees they’ve secured, choosing a graduation gift needn’t be complicated. Giving fine jewelry sends a strong message—your accomplishment is worthy of note and has great value, like a karat gold keepsake. This is why gold remains a top choice among givers; it has lasting value, sends a positive message, and looks tasteful atop all types of professional dress.

Manufacturers have plenty of style recommendations for merchants beyond class rings. Those seeking some guidance should consider starting grads with the classics—diamond or pearl studs, gold hoop earrings, or stackable rings. “For young people who are just starting to build a jewelry collection, the basics are always appreciated,” observes Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development at ODI / Original Designs.

Lali Jewels

PeriLynn Glasner, design and marketing director at Lali Jewels, agrees. “You can’t go wrong with classic pearls or diamonds as well as something in the gemstone color of the grad’s school or birthstone,” she explains.

The classic diamond pendant, line bracelet, or ring are other go-to gifts. “These never go out of style,” she adds.

More timeless choices, some of which can certainly be budget friendly, involve “earrings or pendants as they eliminate the need to know a specific size,” notes Surbhi Jain, marketing director at Shefi Diamonds.

An option that Jain offers his clients? Baguette-cut gemstone and round diamond cross pendants from his company’s Majestic Gems offerings.

“They’re ideal for graduates and other occasions,” Surbhi says. Shefi’s styles are available in ruby, emerald, and sapphire in white and yellow gold—classic looks that will endure.

          ODI / Original Designs

Meanwhile, Royal Chain’s Phillip Gabriel Maroof, vice president of marketing and design, maintains that his most ordered grad gifts are “smaller gold pendants and thinner bracelet styles that are fashionable without breaking the bank.”

“This year, we encourage our retail clients to order more variety in gold earrings—don’t be afraid of bigger styles,” he says. “For 2024, Royal Chain is debuting Raindrop stud earrings as well as our Heart Tag rolo link chains.”

Heart tag bracelets and necklaces are an oft-worn style in karat gold or sterling silver as well as a look that is hard to miss in many a young woman’s personal collection.

Personalized pieces that mark a moment or accomplishment are also a good idea.

“For something more meaningful, consider pieces that represent achievement, a journey, or a bright future, like a compass with a sentimental message engraved on the back,” says Fletcher.

Her firm’s yellow gold compass pendant necklace makes a bold statement in yellow gold with diamond accents.

Shefi Diamonds

Other gifts that aid with organization and personal care are also available. For example, jewelry cleaning kits that combine two or more products designed to care for a variety of jewelry pieces can be optimal selections for women and men.

“Many of these young people will have received class rings or other jewelry gifts to celebrate their accomplishment (think watches and necklaces), so having the right products to clean these fine pieces is ideal,” says Heather Brown, vice president of content and editorial for The Kingswood Company.

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