The day my daughter was born, my mom brought an add-a-pearl necklace to the hospital. On the day of her wedding, I hope the necklace tells a story of all the people who have loved her over the course of her childhood.
From one mom to another, below are five tips to help you decide if an add-a-pearl necklace is a tradition you want to start with your family:
1. A pearl is the perfect default gift. Once your daughter has her starter necklace ($80-$110), she’ll need additional pearls to help the strand grow. Giving a pearl is a wonderful suggestion for friends and family who aren’t sure what to buy your little one. Every birthday and Christmas my ladies get a pearl from Grandma & Grandpa.
2. Pick a pearl size. If you check out starter necklaces online you’ll see a variety of pearl sizes. I would recommend sticking with 5mm or 6mm, both are lovely and easy to find. My two girls both have the classic 6mm size. I like the look and thought the necklace would fill faster!
3. Shop local. While you can find starter necklaces on Amazon, I’d recommend you find a local jeweler to make your purchase. This makes gift giving stress-free and easy for friends and family. Most jewelers will keep your child’s name on file along with the correct pearl size. They often throw in gift wrapping at no additional cost.
4. String pearl in clusters. Ask if your jeweler charges a fee for adding the pearls to your necklace. If they do, consider safely storing them and having them added as a cluster once a year. In the past, my local jeweler would charge $10 for adding 1-100 pearls. Each year around Thanksgiving I go in with the girls’ necklaces to have any pearls they’ve received over the year be added.
5. Beautiful at any stage. The necklace is pretty whether it has 3 or 13 pearls. We’ve started letting our girls (six & eight) wear their necklaces for special occasions. Last year the girls wore their necklaces to church on Christmas Eve. You could tell how grown-up they felt. It was very empowering. Consider letting your little one wear their necklace with supervision.
The minute you become a parent you realize a truth in Einstein’s statement:
Time is an illusion. — Albert Einstein
Over the course of the next two decades, it is my intention to track the course of the necklace in a simple scrapbook for her. Now, don’t get all “I’m not crafty” on me. No one is asking you to be Martha Stewart. It is three easy steps:
1. Take Photos. Every time my daughter gets a pearl I take a photo of her and the person presenting the gift.
2. Take Notes. Write the date, her age, and a short blurb about the occasion on a note card.
3. Get a Scrapbook or Photo Album. I would recommend you do something simple to ensure you follow through long-term. A photo album with slots for notes is sufficient.
Note to Tech Moms: You could also do this electronically by starting an ongoing Word doc with notes and a dedicated folder (or tag) on your computer to store pearl photos.
Below are a few of photo in my two girls’ add-a-pearl albums.
Here is a recent photo of the girls wearing their necklaces at a special school concert…
Yesterday my girls were babies, today they are full-fledged girls, tomorrow they’ll be women. I intend to enjoy the adventure.
If you have any questions about add-a-pearl necklaces, let me know. Let’s chat in the comments.
PS: This makes a great daddy-daughter present because it is an easy ongoing gift. Pin the idea for later…
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