In honour of the birth of Royal baby Archie “Harry’s Son”, here’s my expert guide to the best birth gifts!
Like a glittering promise, the lure of diamonds and other jewels keep the spirits up during 40 long weeks of swollen boobs and other extremities, the indignity of elastic waist bands and the tedious drudgery of no alcohol.
Forget having the baby finally cradled in your arms, the best prize is flashing that all important trophy! When the baby finally comes it brings years of bother, wet-wipes and laundry. So, what will keep the sense of satisfaction and achievement, the pride of a job well done, glowing in your heart? A push present, of course, a decent one.
Where to start the wish list? Forget lists compiled by writers who’ve never been closer to a nappy eruption or a leaking nipple than to the Moon, I’m here to help with my short list of durable, practical yet glamourous push presents, all of which have been personally road tested over the course of two decades by my own most critical and exacting of professional standards, and the worst that two sons can do, and have come through with flying colours.
BEST JEWELLERY PUSH PRESENTS
The top of the list is an eternity ring. This is the classic gift given at the birth of a first child. Since time immemorial the circle shape of a ring has symbolised completeness, fulfilment and harmony, so we can all aim high. Apart from such lofty wishes, a really well-made, sturdy eternity ring, one that has proper threads or channels into which the diamonds are set, and plenty of metal to protect the stones from glancing blows will survive the rigours of daily wear for a lifetime (think of the thousands of times you’ll be slamming car doors and folding pushchairs). Those dainty micro-set diamond rings that are around may look like cobweb threads of fairy dew, but in effect that’s exactly what they are. I supply rings that are built to last, like this classic gipsy band, below, or a thread-set version below that, with no diamonds set at vulnerable points underneath the band. Prices start from £1,500.
2. Another great jewellery push present is a pair of diamond earrings – classic brilliant studs or my special drops on sleeper hoops, shown below. The last thing you’ll manage is much time dressing or sleeping, so a pair of earrings you don’t need to take off at night is perfect. I originally designed myself the pair I wear every day, they are simple and classic, go with anything, the drops have a sexy movement for elegance but don’t dangle so much that they can be snatched off by tiny fists, they are shower and swimming pool proof, and I can also attest to their ability to withstand all other activities, including skiing, sailing and rock climbing now that my boys are grown up.
Classic earstuds are a more standard alternative; for comfort, I always “fit” earring posts to ladies when I sell my diamond stud earrings, by carefully trimming the length of the post so it is just long enough but not too long, because lengthy earstud posts literally stick into your skull when your head is on your pillow. No one wants that, ouch….
A pair of diamonds of top commercial quality and of a decent size of 0.50 (half a carat) each will cost from £4,000, and a pair of 0.75 carat (around three quarters of a carat) each will cost from £9,000. The ones shown here on Jessica are 1.25 carats each and are a pair of old antique cut diamonds she inherited.
3. The final item on my list of best jewellery push presents is a self-winding mechanical automatic watch on a metal bracelet – for the next decade or more, your life will now be scheduled by nap, feeding, baby yoga and play school times, so a lovely watch is one major purchase you can justify.
Invest in a classic for style and ideally one with a sprinkling of diamonds so you get a kick out of checking the time, it will glam you up instantly on rare nights out – Rolex is my daywear brand for its tank-like solidness, Cartier’s Tank designs are stylish and recognisable and the quality of both brands is good enough.
I’ve begun to rate Chaumet for ladies watches - the maison matches stylish cases with horological know-how: the movements are Swiss made and assembled by their own in-house workshop in Nyon. The Liens Lumiere steel and rose gold model, with delicate mother of pearl dial, embellished with diamonds, is glam yet functional, and is my current object of desire. I love the subtle design details such as the outline of Place Vendome, the maison’s home, chiselled into the dial, which fires fleeting daydreams of gay Paris, from £10,000.
So that’s my shortlist of best jewellery push presents. What you want is a sizeable, bullet proof, waterproof, go anywhere, wear with anything medal of honour, with contours that won’t gouge either you or your offspring, which is flush to the skin and doesn’t dangle or get in the way.
So that rules out: chunky rings or ones with high settings, bangles, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, dangly earrings, and any gem that isn’t good in hot, soapy water: pearls, emeralds, opals, for instance, and watches with leather straps or that are not waterproof.
Take your pick from one of these three, anything else would just be wasted, consigned to the jewellery case and unworn for a decade or two until the little darling has grown out of its tendency to snatch or grab at anything fragile and precious, or cake it in food, digested or otherwise!
6 May 2019