5 Exceptionally Bad Valentine’s Day Gifts

You don’t HAVE to get your valentine a lovely piece of jewelry – although it’s obviously the best choice and you’d be silly not to. Really.

But if you stubbornly refuse to take my sage advice, at least promise me you will never, ever give one of these gifts.
Unless your goal is to make them your ex-valentine:

A string instead of a ring? Good luck with that!

A gym membership is rarely a good gift idea. For Valentine’s Day it’s a horribly bad one.

Nothing says “Run for the hills!” quite like this hoodie for two!

“Darling…about that halitosis!”

Love means never having to arrange your own funeral 🙁









Soooo, what’s a clueless Valentine’s Day gift giver to do? Here’s some ideas…


Anatomy of a “proper” name necklace

The storied “classic” name necklace traces it’s history back to the 70’s, where it was a staple of many young ladies.

In the 80’s and 90’s we manufactured our nameplates for many jewelers in the NY City area. They became a huge hit with fashion conscious teens & twenty-somethings in New York and New Jersey, and eventually our classic 14k gold script design found it’s way (via Patricia Field) onto the famous neck of Carrie Bradshaw!

While there are many jewelry companies making name necklaces these days, most are sad, flimsy imitations. We STILL make our classic 14k gold name necklaces the same way we did over 30 years ago, and we STILL think ours are the best!

Here is a handy visual presentation highlighting the superiority of our Classic Script Name Necklace.
As we didn’t want to embarrass our competitors by using an actual photo of their nameplate, we have used an artists representation:

*Full disclosure: we couldn’t afford to hire an artist so I drew it. I am not an artist.

The Story of the Cameo

While some specimens date back to the first century, the Cameo has had it’s greatest popularity during the Roman era, the Renaissance and the 19th century.

Necklace and set of five brooches – part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Made of shell and gold, they date back to about 1840 and were a gift of the Misses Cornelia and Susan Dehon in memory of Mrs. Sidney Brooks.

What exactly is a Cameo? Cameos are relief carvings, generally made from agate or various types of shells. Gem engravers carved each stone or shell by hand to create figures or scenes, which were raised up from their background.

Necklace with a cameo of Elizabeth I made of gold, silver, diamond, emerald, pearl and agate and dating to about 1890, England

Originally commissioned and owned by the wealthy elite, during the 19th century the cameo moved from the realm of the wealthy cabinet collector to a wider audience. Increased wealth among the European middle class and increased travel meant a demand for souvenirs, especially from trips to Italy. The shell cameo industry in Italy thus increased in size to meet demand.

Cameo with the Wedding of Cupid and Psyche or an initiation rite made of layered onyx and dated to mid to late first century BCE, Greece

Cameo Bracelet depicting the Hunt brothers, by William Morris Hunt, made of gold and shell around 1840, America

In the earliest part of the 20th century, the cameo peaked.
At the time, the image of a woman wearing a choker was an extremely popular figure portrayed in cameos, so popular that it saturated the market and fell out of favor.

As chokers became mass-produced, and with the advent of the machine-carved cameo, the quality also suffered.

Lately, cameo’s have made something of a comeback, with modern jewelry designers expanding on the imagery and themes of classic cameos to create stunning new pieces:

Amedeo’s “Gioia” double finger ring with hand-carved cornelian cameos set in rose rhodium-plated sterling silver and featuring tsavorite and blue and rose sapphires

(Info via National Jeweler)

Beyond the ‘Classic” Name Ring

The classic 14k Gold Name Ring has been around for decades, and like any time-honored jewelry style it’s still going strong:

However, like any tradition, there are those who like to break the rules a bit and venture a little left of center:

All lower-case curved mini script name ring

Custom 3-Initials w/Diamond hearts

1MM Script Wire Name Ring

14K Gold Double Name Ring

7MM Script Relief Name Band

What’s your story?
Personalized Name Rings

Jewelry for Kids – the South Florida perspective

So, jewelry for kids? I’m not talking colorful costume trinkets or ring pops, but genuine 14k gold jewelry designed for little ones.
Is it too much too soon?Blog-Baby MrT

Living in South Florida for the past 25 years my opinion might be a little skewed, as a little baby bling – especially the omnipresent baby ID bracelet – is kind of a mainstay down here.

Blog-Baby Brac1Blog-Baby Brac2Blog-Baby Brac4Blog-Baby brac3

Some feel like it’s just another thing for a little one to chew on, but the reality is that once they get used to wearing a little bracelet or necklace there are more interesting things out there for them to get their teeth on.

And generally they’re only going to be wearing their swag when it’s dress-up or family outing time.

Blog-baby dress up

The bracelets can be (and usually are) left on pretty much all the time, but necklaces and especially rings (choking hazard!) should be for supervised wear only.

Are there little ones in your life that could use some adornment?
Say no more…

Family Bracelets – a 30+ year jewelry tradition!

Yep, we have been making our fabulous Family Bracelets right here in South Florida for over 30 years!FAMILY RULES2So how are these beauties created?

We start by injecting wax into rubber molds for each letter/block:

molds block exampleThe individual wax models are then cast into 14K Yellow or White Gold or Sterling Silver:


The letters/blocks are then hand-polished and assembled/soldered together.


It’s a very labor-intensive process, but we think you’ll agree the finished product is well worth the effort 🙂

Let us create one for you TODAY

Custom engraving for everyone!

Custom engraving on jewelry has come a long way. Engraving on metals used to be exclusively done by hand, with tools like these:old school Gravers2349
by dudes who looked like this:old school engraversOnly rich people could afford these custom engraved baubles.
And only rich people would use the term ‘bauble’.

Now, thanks to computer technology, custom engraving is available to all!

Drop us an email and let us know what we can create for YOU!!

More exceptionally bad Father’s Day Gifts – 2016

As a dad, I am automatically an expert on all things Father’s Day related. That’s just how it works.

While I have never personally received any of the following gifts for Father’s Day, I feel it is my duty to help the less-enlightened avoid this reaction from Dad on Father’s Day:

Here we go…

The UroClub, is basically a fake golf club specifically designed to allow dad to ‘relieve’ himself on the course without finding an actual bathroom. Privacy towel included. Not creepy at all…



The Shakoolie is basically a beer cozy meant to keep Dad’s beer icy cold – in the shower.
Because nothing says “We love you dad” more than a gift that also says “We think you may be an alcoholic.”




Gag gifts meant to subtly remind dad that he’s not the guy he used to be are never a good idea. He knows he’s going bald…no need to rub it in!

Inflatable Toupee

Inflatable Toupee


And then there’s the completely impractical gift for the ‘man who has everything’. An $89 Personalized Leather Six-Pack Holder may SEEM like a good gift. It is not.

Leather Six-Pack Holder

Leather Six-Pack Holder


Finally, taking two different things dad likes to do and combining them into one gift may sound like a good idea – in reality it can lead to something like this:

Potty Putter

Potty Putter


We can do better, people! Here’s a few suggestions – dad will thank you.

See more Personalized Jewelry Ideas for Dad HERE

Not your Grandmas Mother’s Jewelry…or something like that

We love grandmas!
They are sassy, give great hugs, and often the queens of keeping it real.

But, their fashion sense can be…questionable:

It might be too late for grandma, but there’s still hope for mom…


Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th.

Just mentioning that in passing…

Emoji jewelry – wear your feelings

Simple emoticons have been around for years, but it’s the rise of smartphones and social media that have really brought them into the mainstream. They’re used everywhere; from text messages to Instagram hashtags to Tweets. However, what each character means is often subject to debate.

Here are some of the commonly accepted meanings of popular emoji:



Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes and Smiling Face are the two most commonly used emoticons. They simply denote happiness or positivity.
If you’re the passive-aggressive type, they may also be used following an insult or criticism to remove some of the sting.

Smiling Face With Sunglasses


Smiling Face With Sunglasses is used to show coolness. Because nothing is cooler than a smiley face wearing a pair of shades!

Winking Face


Winking Face shows that the message was sent with humorous intent. Any message that accompanies a Winking Face should not be taken too seriously. Riiiiiight!!

Kissing Faces


Kissing Face and Face Throwing A Kiss are all used to show romance or affection. Face Throwing A Kiss is possibly more romantic due to the small red heart. The other can also be used to show innocent whistling.

Smiling Face With Heart-Shaped Eyes


Smiling Face With Heart-Shaped Eyes shows love, adoration, or gratitude. It can be used towards a person, place, or thing.

Now, thanks to Jane Basch Designs, you can literally WEAR your emotions!
Fabulous Emoji Necklaces are now available at PersonalizedBoutique.com in Sterling Silver and 14K Gold.

Use coupon code JBD20 to receive 20% OFF all Jane Basch Jewelry!