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Mother's Day jewelry tends to be conservative, but it's conservatism with a twist: bright, imaginative, but not ostentatious. Thus, colored stones traditionally play a starring role on Mother's Day - on rings, pendants and bracelets. Birthstones often come into play; so do inventive combinations of colors.

Today, the retro/classic look influences many Mother's Day designs. Probably the single most popular Mother's Day piece is the Mother's Ring, which traditionally bears colored stones in any number, representing the birthstones of each of Mom's children. Some families opt for variations of the traditional theme. You might choose stones in each child's favorite color, or stones that somehow represent the personality of each child. The fun of the Mother's Ring is in the design. We can show you various configurations, and give you an idea of how your favorite colored stones will work in different settings. If you're feeling ambitious, you and your jeweler can collaborate on a custom design that sets off the stones just right.

A delightful alternative to the Mother's Ring is a fashion ring, pendant or earrings set with a single colored stone - the wearer's birthstone perhaps, or any other stone that appeals - or several colored stones. Your stone selection will depend on the wearer's tastes, but vivid, eye-catching colors are usually appreciated on a piece of this sort. Some of our personal favorites are pink tourmaline, pink sapphire, aquamarine, blue topaz, citrine, amethyst and peridot.

If you have a large family - especially if the jewelry represents several generations - you might want to consider a bracelet or necklace, to make room for more stones. The design possibilities are limited only by your imagination, and your jeweler will be able to show you an almost endless array of colored stones - enough to represent each family member in a different way.

Charm bracelets are a possibility for a less formal look - and you can make them fancier with colored stones. You might add a charm for each child and grandchild, each adorned with a colored stone, or a charm representing each of the many phases of motherhood or mom's favorite hobbies. Whatever you choose, use your imagination and your sense of fun.