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Blame it on the ease, blame it on procrastination, some may even blame it on the allure, cliche gifting is a crass guilty pleasure that’s hard to quit—sorry mom! But quit, we shall! Forget the bouquet of flowers, the scented candles, the intoxicating perfumes, and the shameless pajama sets. Express your gratitude to the maternal figures in your life with a gift that mirrors their brilliance: jewelry, of course. Sure, jewelry seems like another unfailing scapegoat for the hapless gifter. The lineup of familiar suspects tend to be a diamond tennis bracelet, a pair of gold hoops, and a bracelet with a never-ending cluster of charms. However, this cliche is not without merit.
The gift of jewelry is a gift of a lifetime that can be passed down through generations and can accrue sentimental value that outweighs the price—however hefty that may be. Thus, we propose a more dramatic approach when shopping for Mother’s Day gems: whimsical pieces that echo the multifaceted role of motherhood. Whether that be a starry burst of diamonds in the form of a ring, a pair of drop earrings featuring a cadence of bulbous stones, or a riviera necklace curated with of an eclectic array of materials, these outlandish pieces make for modern heirlooms your mother will be sure to cherish.
A beautiful piece of jewelry can serve as a reminder of gratitude and love during the other 364 days a year that mothers are hard at work—albeit this time in a very stylish fashion. To quote the American jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, “youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all,” and so does jewelry, if you’re stumped on what to get mom this holiday. Shop our guide to whimsical, modern heirlooms that are far from cliche below:
With wisdom beyond his years, 27-year-old Emmanuel Tarpin has been taking the world of fine jewelry by storm. He sculpts and molds metals into delicate, organic forms, clear here with this Tourmaline orchid earrings with diamonds made from aluminum.
To buy: $55,000; emmanueltarpin.com
Catherine Servel, photographer and founder of De Cosmi, has a knack for mixing unexpected materials in her work. This interpretation of the classic ras-du-cou necklace features a sequence of natural pearls, waning in size, punctuated by a pink, textured silk bow.
To buy: $5,800; decosmi.com
Bibi Van der Velden
Bibi van der Velden isn’t just a designer, she’s an engineer. This versatile pair of earrings features baroque pearl baubles that can clip onto the animal motif studs.
To Buy: $12,382; bibivandervelden.com
Forgo cliche bands, nameplates, and charm bracelets, and opt for something unexpected for mom. Take this ring by French jeweler Sylvie Corbelin in the shape of an eye that features a radiant Santa Maria Aquamarine stone.
To buy: $80,000; justoneeye.com
London-based designer Anabela Chan imbues fantasy and theater into all of her dreamy creations. This pair of butterfly, floral drop earrings gives any outfit a bit of magic.
To buy: $2,000; modaoperandi.com
For those mothers who prefer to wear their luxury silently, Carolina Bucci’s slide ring is the perfect fit. This woven ring was informed by techniques from atavistic Florentine textile looms and features delicate strands of 18-karat rose gold and blush-colored silks to replicate the plush quality of a knit.
To buy: $1,200; net-a-porter.com
What better symbol for love than a heart. Chopard’s mother-of-pearl Happy Heart earrings are a sleek update on the classic motif.
To buy: $3,220; net-a-porter.com
Inspired by travels to the desert of White Sands in New Mexico, Marlo Laz echoes the hues of the desert with a rim of brilliant-cut diamonds that enclose the faceted aquamarine centerstone.
To buy: $7,300; net-a-porter.com
To those mothers in your life that are a bit more on the unconventional side, try these hand-cast blush earrings by Kimberly McDonald. The juxtaposing geode and brown diamonds make for a gift that’s sure to be cherished.
To buy: $15,125; net-a-porter.com
Who says a muted color palette is boring? These graphic, Art Deco-inspired earrings by Selim Mouzannar are the perfect choice for a night out.
To buy: $15,930; net-a-porter.com
Jeweler Charles de Viel Castel sources organic stones from beaches around the world for his diamond-adorned creations. Worn on its own or layered with other necklaces, this pendant necklace is something glamorous for mom to wear every day.
To buy: $2,784; matchesfashion.com
Sophie Bille Brahe
A mother herself, Danish designer Sophie Bille Brahe was inspired to use pearls when gifted a pearl necklace after the birth of her son and has found herself using them ever since. This pair of earrings from her Botticelli collection is the perfect gift for new moms.
To buy: $2,360; net-a-porter.com
Monica Rich Kosann
Though a strand of pearls may seem a bit dated, don’t count this precious stone out when shopping for mom. Look no further than to portrait photographer turned jeweler Monica Rich Kosann for a modern interpretation with this freshwater pearl, crescent moon necklace.
To buy: $5,250; modaoperandi.com
Larkspur & Hawk
While floral and heart motifs dominate the market, Larkspur & Hawk offers a refreshing take on Mother’s Day jewelry with these 14-karat gold Torpedo Fish earrings. The body is composed of spiny oyster shell, while the gills and tail are adorned with rubies and orange sapphires.
To buy: $4,750; net-a-porter.com
Give mom a piece of jewelry that’s as eclectic as she is. These multilayer Victorian drop earrings by Grainne Morton are a statement piece that'll give her some extra attention—not that she needs it.
To buy: $1,290; modaoperandi.com
No need to sacrifice form for function. Mom can have it all with this moonstone cocktail ring from Buccellati that opens up to reveal a hidden watch face with diamond numbers—truly a gift that keeps on giving.
To buy: $74,000; buccellati.com
Give mom a gift she can enjoy and wear all year long. Unlike an actual bouquet, these flora drop earrings from Irene Neuwirth’s Lily of Valley collection are always in season.
To buy: $21,960; matchesfashion.com