Collecting Jewelry for Beginners: the Complete Guide

Building up a jewelry collection is great fun because jewelry is so personal to the individual. However, if you’re buying high-quality pieces, they are an Building up a jewelry collection is great fun because jewelry is so personal to the individual. However, if you’re buying high-quality pieces, they are an investment as well as a fashion accessory. The following is a list of key pieces that every collection should contain and advice on the best styles to choose.

A Solid Gold Chain

No jewelry collection should be without a few solid gold chains. Not only are neck chains excellent bases to display meaningful pendants and medallions, such as crosses and initials, but they are also beautiful pieces of jewelry in their own right. To create a comprehensive collection and to give yourself as many options as possible when you’re planning an outfit, invest in a variety of different styles, lengths, widths, and colors. You should also aim to collect a few essential chain styles such as Figaro, Cuban link, curb, Franco, and rope chains. 

There are many ways you can make your neck chains stand out, such as choosing thicker links or chains encrusted with diamonds, but it’s best to start with a classic chain and incorporate more unusual pieces as you build your collection. The ideal gold chain for men to start with is a 2-3 mm thick 20” long yellow gold chain that sits at the mid-chest. Women should opt for a 1.5-2.5 mm thick 18” length yellow gold chain, also called princess length. Of course, these sizes may vary depending on the individual.

A Luxury Watch

There is nothing more sophisticated than wearing a luxury timepiece made by a renowned watchmaker such as Rolex or Audemars Piguet. Like any other type of jewelry, there are many styles of watches available, and it’s exciting to play with details like diamond bezels and colored dials to find a look that suits you and expresses who you are.

When buying your first watch, rather than focussing on minor details, concentrate on finding a brand whose style you connect with. Are you drawn to Rolex’s iconically cool shape? Perhaps you prefer the Cartier’s timeless delicacy? Investigate high-end brands whose pieces won’t depreciate. As a jewelry collector, you may have pieces in different tones of gold. To ensure your jewelry doesn’t clash with your watch’s metal bracelet, opt for a two-tone shade for your everyday watch.

Stud Earrings

Whether they are plain gold, diamond, or even pearls, a pair of stud earrings finish any look off to perfection. Because of their relatively small size, studs are often less expensive than other forms of jewelry, so they are an excellent opportunity for collectors who are just starting out to add some diamonds to their jewelry box.

Their lower price tag also means that they are fairly accessible, and it’s likely that you will be able to afford more than one pair. Take advantage of their affordability and select quirky designs that suit your personality.

A Tennis Bracelet

Tennis bracelets are an ideal way for both men and women to introduce some sparkle into their wardrobes. The minimal design makes for a classy alternative to link chain or bangle bracelets. Because of the number of diamonds on the average tennis bracelet, they are pricier than link bracelets; however, they are an excellent investment and never go out of style.

It’s recommended for male jewelry collectors to opt for a thicker bracelet, while women prefer finer models. Besides the type of metal and the diamonds’ cut, the way the diamonds are set is a significant design feature. From two- and three-pronged diamonds to bezel-set diamonds, there are many subtle differences that you can choose from to make sure your tennis bracelet is truly you.

Statement Pendant Necklace

Wearing a pendant is a wonderful way to express your personality and make your neck chain stand out. Pendants can be incredibly personal pieces that represent an individual’s religious beliefs, family, or identity. They are a fantastic opportunity to have some fun with your fashion and spice up your jewelry box.

When you’re shopping for a pendant, you must consider the chain—or chains—it will be paired with. The length, color, and thickness of the chain must be suitable for the pendant’s length, weight, color, and bail. If you want to wear it with your existing chains, take them with you when shopping for your pendant. 


When men dress for a formal occasion, they typically have fewer options in terms of garment style than women, so many use accessories and jewelry to convey their sense of style. Cufflinks can be very playful while also appropriate for the occasion. Stick with either white or yellow gold, as they are timeless and go with everything. Cufflinks come in a wide variety of shapes and can even be engraved with a text or image of your choice to personalize them.

Signet Ring

Signet rings have been popular pieces of jewelry for hundreds of years, and they are still loved today. In the old days, they were used as an alternative to signatures, so they were highly personal, but these days people wear theirs with all kinds of designs. If you haven’t got a family crest, you could have your gold signet ring engraved with your initials or have it set with precious gems. You could even leave it plain for a minimal look, which looks especially striking with an unusually shaped ring, such as a hexagon.

Start Your Fine Jewelry Collection Today

When building a comprehensive jewelry collection, try to remember that quality matters more than quantity. It’s better to spend more on a single piece that will hold its value than splurging on several low-quality pieces.

When buying antique pieces, always focus on the quality and purity of the gems and metals instead of the brands. However, fine jewelry house brands such as Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Cartier tend to hold their value well. Now that you’re armed with the basic knowledge to begin your collection, get creative, and have fun accessorizing.