By Brecken Branstrator
I found this blog assignment daunting at first.

Just like Senior Editor Hannah Connorton, who published her ideal Christmas gift list on Tuesday, I thought selecting jewelry gifts for friends and family if money was no object was going to be a nearly impossible. Could I really narrow down all the jewelry options in a day to find that one special piece for all of them?

Yet when I finally sat down and started thinking about their personalities and style preferences, I could almost instantly come up with a particular style or idea of what I thought would suit them and go from there.

I love that jewelry has the ability to reflect someone’s character in that way, and I loved the challenge of finding pieces that I thought would suit the most important people in my life. Here’s what I would give them for the holidays if I had my way.


My best friend/roommate and I have pretty similar taste in jewelry, preferring unique pieces and trendier designs, but more than anything she loves Southwest-inspired pieces, especially turquoise. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect turquoise piece for her, especially when I take my yearly trips to the gem shows in Tucson, which is why I chose these Amali earrings featuring turquoise and woven blue diamonds set in 18-karat gold.


My mom shares my affinity for color in all things--that must be where I get it from--so I definitely think she would rock an amazing pair of gemstone earrings. Being that she also is the biggest fan of opal, I chose these black opal, sapphire and diamond earrings in 18-karat gold and black rhodium from Sutra.


I’ve always thought my father was a pretty sharp-dressed man. He loves any chance to don a sports coat and has never been afraid to wear a great colored button-down or dress shirt. I remember him and my brother, who was young at the time, walking into church on Sundays side-by-side sporting matching suspenders. When I was home in North Carolina over Thanksgiving, he had recently discovered Panerai watches and was talking about how much he liked them; I’d love to get the Panerai Luminor 1950 and the Panerai Luminor Base for both him and my brother.


My little sister has a more understated taste in jewelry. She likes streamlined, classic pieces that she can wear again and again with multiple outfits. I like to see her in long pendants because they go so well with the types of clothing she wears, so something like Tanya Farah’s 18-karat gold large pear-shaped blue sapphire pendant with diamonds would be perfect for her.


My oldest sister always has been a fan of hoops, and there are a lot of great updated options in the market right now that put a spin on the classic shape. But, since she doesn’t do large colored stones that often, I’ve selected instead a pair of earrings that are subtle but still modern and classy. These are Jacquie Aiche’s diamond bezel hoops in 14-karat rose gold.

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