By Brecken Branstrator

Brecken HeadshotA few weeks ago, National Jeweler wrote about A. Jaffe’s new “Maps” collection, which is raising the bar on the idea of personalized jewelry by offering pieces that can be customized to depict a certain spot on the globe where something significant happened to the wearer.

I immediately was attracted to the product, and wanting to share it with our Facebook followers as well, posted it to our page that same day. To my surprise, a number of very supportive friends who have “liked” our page and follow our posts expressed the same feelings as me, unprompted, the next time I saw them.

We loved the idea of getting the piece made just for us. I’m sure this isn’t news to anyone, but most of my generation loves the option of being able to personalize and customize anything we own, and we generally love nostalgia and reminiscing as well, so this jewelry hit right on both of those points.


A. Jaffe’s new “Maps” collection offers necklaces, pendants and charms in 14-karat white and rose gold or sterling silver, speaking to the trend of personalization that is popular among today’s consumers.

What also was so interesting in discussing our personalized pieces is that I imagined and many of my friends said that rather than getting a necklace to mark a special occasion with a loved one, they wanted to mark something special for themselves. (Haven’t you heard? With changing public perception about marriage and personal preferences, more young people than ever before have never been married.)

For those of us living in New York City, getting our first apartment and starting that city life was a huge accomplishment.

The “big move” was what many of them told me they’d want to remember, marking the spot of their first or current apartment, which is exactly what I had in mind for myself. A few also mentioned the places they were from, giving a little love to their hometowns and backgrounds.

So if my friends and I are any indication, when it comes to targeting a younger, even self-purchasing crowd, finding some way to cater to that desire for unique, special products actually will make a difference.

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.