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Baby and Children's Jewellery - the last 100 years

Jennifer Gregory baby bangles , baby earrings


History tells us that babies and children were adorned with a form of jewellery many centuries ago.  But in the last two centuries, children's jewellery has become more like today's children's jewellery, made from precious metals and precious gems and pearls and given for similar reasons as gifts of children's jewellery are given today.

Early last century the very lucky babies and children of well-to-do families wore gold brooches, bracelets and necklaces.  Sometimes a tiny garnet or other gemstone would be embedded into the piece.  Baby bracelets were gold chain, with an ornate clasp and often a safety chain.  They often had an ID plate which was intricately engraved.   Occasionally baby bangles were worn.  Sometimes the baby bangle featured a flattened area similar to an ID plate, which could be engraved with the word "Baby" or engraved in a floral pattern.   A gold neck chain with a cross or again, a gemstone was occasionally seen on special occasions such as baby's christening day or at weddings.  Children were sometimes given a gold brooch for a birthday gift or for Christmas.

Silver wasn't seen nearly as often as today. 

Over the last century, as people in Western countries became more affluent, baby and children's bracelets and necklaces became more popular as gifts.

In the 1950s to 1980s baby brooches were popular, still usually in gold, but occasionally in silver.  Again, they were generally engraved in a floral pattern and with the word "Baby."

Today baby and children's jewellery is often made of silver because the price of gold has become prohibitive and because pf the rise in popularity of silver.  These days, many prefer silver on their babies and children as well as their own jewellery.

These days babies and children receive gifts of jewellery from parents, aunties, Godparents, grandparents and friends for many different occasions, starting from their birth, their Christening or Baptism, their birthdays, Christmases and special occasions throughout childhood.  Many own jewellery boxes and have a collection of baby and children's bracelets, brooches, bangles, necklaces, anklets, and rings which rivals their mother's collection!


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