The right piece of jewellery can mean so much more than just decoration. Consider an heirloom piece this Christmas for a loved one, or to treat yourself!
I have the unique pleasure of sharing a name with my mother. I say unique because it's usually met with a "No way" when people find out, as if it's a tradition that hasn't been kept us as much in recent years.
We're known as Eva Senior and Eva Junior in the family. But my mother didn't just give me her first name. We also share the same middle name, and Confirmation name, just to confuse things even further.
Sharing a name with a family member comes with its hang-ups: I never get to open my own post when it arrives through the door; flying together is a logistical nightmare – there was that one long-haul flight we didn't get to sit together for seven hours because they thought one of us had checked in twice; and there is A LOT of running up and down stairs when you think you're being called urgently, but it's the other Eva they're looking for.
Chupi Sweetman, founder of Chupi jewellery. Photo: Chupi
But there is something special about sharing a name with my ma. I like to think I'm the favourite – the youngest of seven children, and one of six girls, who was special enough to be named after her. My sisters and brother of course tell me she just ran out of names by the time it came to number seven.
And I share something else with her too, although this one wasn't necessarily her choice. My late Granda Tom, her father, bought her an identity necklace for Christmas more than 40 years ago. It's 9 carat gold, and reads 'Eva' in attached writing. I don't know how much it cost, or where he bought it from. But I know I love it with all my heart, like I did him, and I've been stealing it ever since I was old enough to dip my hands into my ma's jewellery box.
It's a bit like Trigger's sweeping brush in Only Fools and Horses, which had 17 new heads and 14 new handles. The Eva necklace has had at least two new chains over the years. But the ID pendant has remained the same, and is probably the reason I still sign my name in identical attached writing despite me not writing in this style for anything else.
Give the gift of jewellery this Christmas to put a smile on a loved one's face. Photo: Chupi
It's been up the vacuum, down the toilet, and around our necks more times than I can count. And despite one of us wearing it almost daily, it still shines and glistens like it's brand new.
Maybe it's the sentimental value because it came from my Granda, or maybe it's because it's something unique that my ma and I can only share together, without my sisters or brother getting a look in. Unlike the house that will be split between seven of us, the Eva necklace will be left to me, she's already grimly told me. But it's my favourite Christmas present of all time, even if it was never actually intended for me.
Here are some Irish-made jewellery gift ideas from Chupi to make a loved one in your life smile this Christmas, and who knows, they could end up being family heirlooms.
Solid Gold One In A Trillion, Morganite & Diamond Ring, €3,779
Make someone's whole year with this exquisite diamond ring from Chupi's Solid Gold Collection, available to ship now in time for Christmas. This cut is available in different colours, but this morganite gemstone is a classic shade that will never go out of fashion. Ideal as an engagement ring, or perfect for that investment piece you display at special occasions.
Solid Gold Hope And Magic Ring Classic Diamond, €789
Stand out from the crowd with this unique 14k solid gold Hawthorn tree twig ring. These sparkling gems will remind you to remember why you started and that everything you want is waiting for you. A gorgeous sentimental gift for someone who needs reminding that they got this!
Solid Gold Initial Letter Maxi Diamond Disc Necklace, One Disc, €429
I've mentioned how much my own ID necklace means to me, and I can see this ornate initial pendant meaning just as much to one lucky gal this Christmas. Whether you're wearing your own initial, or the initial of someone close to you, this solid gold offering is a delicately pretty reminder of your loved ones.
Solid Gold Worth Your Weight in Gold 1990 Stag Coin Necklace, €359
What a fabulous nostalgic gift for those of us unlucky to be old enough to remember the Irish stag on a punt! This would make a wonderfully thoughtful gift for someone celebrating a milestone birthday or occasion this Christmas, to remind them they are worth their weight in gold. This particular piece is cast from an original Irish stag pound coin Chupi found in her grandmother’s sewing box.
Solid Gold You Are My Heart Ring, €269
Let them know how much you love them with this subtle heart-shaped ring. Sometimes it's nice to say it face-to-face, but it's even nicer to say it with jewellery!
Silver We Are All Made Of Stars Necklace, €139
This is a really thoughtful gift for anyone in tune with their aura. The constellations are composed of tiny dots on a circular flat disc, some bigger and some smaller to mark the bigger and smaller stars, with no words just a secret sign that only few can read. You could purchase two: one with your own star sign and the other with your partner's to deliver a special personalised message this Christmas.
Solid Gold Lucky Star Birthstone Stud Earrings, €299
The first thing most of us do when browsing jewellery is seek out our birthstone. Chupi has catered for the sentimental among us with these stunning stud earrings. A beautiful gift to give to a mum with their child's birthstone, or a lovely gift to yourself!
Solid White Gold Always Remember Signet Ring, €489
Wear something that is truly yours with Chupi's personalised Always Remember collection. This signet ring is ready to become your future heirloom, whether you choose your monogram or a combination of yours and your favourite person’s initials to be hand engraved. Engraving will take around 4-5 weeks, for a personalised gift you will treasure forever.
Solid Gold Little Lion Heart Coin Necklace, €399
This little lion pendant is a reminder to be brave and fight for what you believe in. It would make the ideal gift for anyone who has had a tough year, or needs reminding of how strong they are. Christmas can be a tough time for many as they reflect on the year gone by, but this Little Lion Heart will serve as a reminder that they should never give up the fight.
Solid Gold Queen of Hearts, Round Half Carat Grey Diamond Halo Ring, €2,879
This dazzling 1920s-style ring is a popular engagement ring, but we think it would look good on any occasion. Besides, you don't need an excuse to put a ring on your own finger. The twig band is cast in substantial solid 14k gold from a beautiful Hawthorn twig found by Chupi in Co Wicklow. Let it serve as a constant reminder of that special significant moment in your life: to you, from you!
Love Heart Ring in Silver, €129
Perhaps one of the most signature pieces of Chupi jewellery, the Love Heart Ring is a classic cut that is always a conversation-starter. It would make the ideal stocking filler, and would get you major brownie points Christmas morning. It also comes in solid gold.
For all of these Christmas gift ideas, and more, see Chupi's Christmas Shop online here. The Solid Gold Collection is ready to ship now.