20 'worthy' jewelry gift ideas from artisans around the world

As we approach this holiday season, you may be on the look-out for some great gifts for the loved ones in your life. To help you with your search, we've handpicked a list of "worthy" jewelry gift ideas. What makes them worthy? First, they are from our very own Upworthy Market, a place to shop for great hand-crafted artisan gifts. At the Upworthy Market, every purchase you make directly supports artisans from around the world. It's a great place to buy interesting items and support the people who created them in the process—a win-win!

These gift ideas are also worthy because each one is a unique, beautiful piece of jewelry—like the Balinese cocktail pearl ring, or the stylish anklet or the millefiori blossom watch made of Murano glass from Venice. Whether you're looking for the perfect pair of earrings for your mom or cannot seem to figure out a quality gift for a friend, this list will help you find the right present for the jewelry lover in your life.

1. Oval Jade Ring

Evoking the ancient Maya, this beautiful and simple solitaire ring is crowned by an oval of apple green Guatemalan jade. This stunning accessory is designed by Zandra Lorena Sajbin, who crafts the ring with a band of sterling silver.

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2. Paradise Palms Necklace

A dreamy tropical paradise with untouched white sand beaches and crystalline lagoons is perfectly symbolized by the twin palms of this pendant necklace from Aoy of Thailand. Artisan crafted from sterling silver, the pendant shines with a high polish finish while the hints of dark oxidation enhance the palms' details. A ball chain with a spring-ring clasp completes the necklace.

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3. Elephant Hook Earrings

Petite elephants are carefully carved of smooth white cow bone by artisan Made Wardika of Bali. The pachyderms swing from sterling silver hooks.

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4. Wave Motif Band Ring

Featuring curving wave patterns, this nautical band ring is designed by Balinese artisan Asmara Putra. He crafts the ring of sterling silver bathed in 18 karat gold, given a high-polish finish.

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5. Twin Dolphin Necklaces

Sleek and agile, twin dolphins leap and play on this pendant necklace presented by Andi Rachmansyah in Bali. The pendant is hand-carved from smooth cow bone and centered on a black cotton cord of adjustable length.

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    6. Pearl Cocktail Ring

    Crowned by an orb of cultured pearl with soft, dyed-pink hues, this Balinese cocktail ring brings a sweet beauty wherever it goes. Designed by Buana, the band is handcrafted of sterling silver with jepun, or frangipani flowers that flank the pearl.

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    7. Flower Stud Earrings

    Hand-carved from bone, two jepun, otherwise known as frangipani flowers, adorn the ears. Balinese artisan Made Wardika creates these stud earrings, adorning the wearer on posts of sterling silver.

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    8. White Turtle Necklace

    A young turtle swims peacefully in cool waters in this unique hand-carved white pendant. Made Wardika of Bali presents this pendant carefully crafted from bone and hung on a dark brown leather cord. This pendant necklace features a sliding knot for adjustable length.

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    9. Kanji Sterling Silver Necklace

    Hanzi are characters used in Chinese writing. As early as the sixth century A.D., many of these characters began to be simplified and adopted into Japanese writing, where they're known as kanji, a term that is more widely used in the West. Artisans in Yiwu, China, create these pendants by using sterling silver and the lost-wax casting method. Each character emulates the sweeping brushstrokes of traditional calligraphy. Choose based on birth month, favorite color, or simply the symbol that resonates with you most.


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    10. Lotus Band Ring

    Realized in darkly oxidized relief, the image of a single lotus flower is featured on this band ring from Bali. Asmara Putra designed the ring, crafted of sterling silver.

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    11. Music Note Stud Earrings

    The sol key, also known as the G-clef, is masterfully designed into button earrings by Thai artisan Wadarat Supasirisuk. Perfect for the music aficionado, these clever post earrings are crafted in sterling silver with polished and oxidized finishes for contrast.

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    12. Toe Ring

    Depicted in low relief, three sterling elephants march around a silver band. Wadarat Supasirisuk presents this toe ring that shows the purposeful pachyderms in silhouette.

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    13. Infinity Stud Earrings

    Highly polished sterling silver takes the shape of the infinity symbol in these stud earrings from Wadarat Supasirisuk of Thailand. The petite earrings rest on sterling posts.

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    14. Lizard Totem Necklace

    Realistically carved by hand, a small lizard graces this unique artisan-crafted necklace. Made Wardika displays the Balinese reptile on a cord of dark brown leather.

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    15. Fish Stud Earrings

    Commemorating the Age of Aquarius as well as the return of Christ, these symbolic stud earrings are presented by Wadarat Supasirisuk. Thai artisans craft the earrings from sterling silver, featuring the simple and iconic image of a fish.

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      16. Dragon Pendant Necklace

      Framed by the image of a dragon biting its tail, the iconic symbol for the meditative mantra om is realized in high-polish sterling silver. Shivani Choudhary designed this bold and meditative Indian pendant necklace, which is crafted by local artisans.

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      17. Celestial Necklace

      Designed by Vivek Nathany in India, this necklace adds a celestial beauty to any wardrobe. This fantastic necklace circles the neck with two lengths of 22 karat gold-plated sterling silver cable chain; one chain is decorated with star charms while the other is centered by a majestic crescent moon pendant.

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      18. Elephant Charm Anklet

      Tiraphan Hasub crafts a stylish anklet, centering bright brass beads with colorful agate. Symbol of old Siam, an elephant graces this original design. Jingling bells form the clasp, and the anklet is adjustable in length.

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      19. Black Braid Bracelet

      Braided by hand, strands of black leather encircle the wrist in a bracelet for men. Chaloemphon adds ivory and dark brown beads carved of bone to this design. The length can be adjusted by sliding the knot along the cord.

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      20. Blossom Watch

      More than a dozen delicate slivers of Murano millefiori decorate the face of this gold-plated watch. Made in Murano, an island within Venice, Italy, that has been home to master glassmakers since the 13th century, millefiori are created by fusing multicolored glass canes, stretching them to the thinnest possible diameter, and then slicing them to reveal cross-sections that look like flower blossoms. The watch features a snakeskin-textured leather band.

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      Images courtesy of Letters of Love
      True

      When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

      Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

      Image courtesy of Letters of Love

      Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

      Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

      When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

      “I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

      In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


      Image courtesy of Letters of Love

      Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

      Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

      Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

      “I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

      Image courtesy of Letters of Love

      In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

      “There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

      Image courtesy of Letters of Love

      Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

      Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

      “The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

      Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

      Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

      “When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

      For more information visit Letters of Love.

      Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

      Freya from Maya Higa's YouTube video.

      Ever wonder what an ideal date for a lemur would be? Or a lizard’s favorite Disney princess?

      Thanks to one YouTube poster with a passion for animals and an endearing sense of humor, all questions shall be answered. Well, maybe not all questions. But at the very least, you’ll have eight minutes of insanely cute footage.

      In a series titled “Tiny Mic Interviews,” Maya Higa approaches little beasties with a microphone so small she has to hold it with just her thumb and forefinger. And yes, 99% of the animals try to eat it.

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      Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
      True

      The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

      The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

      Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

      To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

      Meet the first four winners:

      1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

      2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

      James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

      Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

      3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

      To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

      4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

      Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

      AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

      Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

      Cellist Cremaine Booker's performance of Faure's "Pavane" is as impressive as it is beautiful.

      Music might be the closest thing the world has to real magic. Music has the ability to transform any atmosphere in seconds, simply with the sounds of a few notes. It can be simple—one instrument playing single notes like raindrops—or a complex symphony of melodies and harmonies, swirling and crashing like waves from dozens of instruments. Certain rhythms can make us spontaneously dance and certain chord progressions can make us cry.

      Music is an art, a science, a language and a decidedly human endeavor. People have made music throughout history, in every culture on every continent. Over time, people have perfected the crafting of instruments and passed along the knowledge of how to play them, so every time we see someone playing music, we're seeing the history of humanity culminated in their craft. It's truly an amazing thing.

      The pandemic threw a wrench into seeing live musicians for a good chunk of time, and even now, live performances are limited. Thankfully, we have technology that makes it easier for musicians to collaborate and perform with one another virtually—and also makes it easier for people to create "group" performances all by themselves.

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      A round-up of delights from around the internet this week.

      Hey all!

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      That's right, Betty White left us a message of gratitude shortly before her passing. It's brief, but how lovely to see and hear her speak to her millions of fans one last time. Few celebrities are as universally beloved as Betty White was, and though we knew she couldn't live forever, it would have been fun to see her celebrate her 100th birthday. Now, at least, we get to experience her joy and warmth with a few last words.

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