Since the beginning of time, parents and friends have adorned babies with jewelry for a variety of reasons. At first, these pieces may have been created from wood, bone, feathers, stone or shells, but as the centuries rolled on, baby and children's jewelry was made of precious metals and stones. The reasons for adorning their babies with jewelry changed over the centuries, from a display of wealth, to show his or her caste, or place in society to reasons we adorn our children today: to show our love for them and a desire to have them looking their best.
In more recent times, for example, Victorian times, gold was mainly used in baby jewelry, particularly baby bracelets and baby brooches, and these were often set with gemstones such as rubies, garnets or sapphires. The jewelry was frequently engraved with the word "Baby" or the child's date of birth or Christian name. As machines took over a lot of handicrafts, pieces were made in larger quantities and were less personalized. During the 20th century for example, gold in baby and children's jewelry was still popular but there was less engraving.
Today, personalizing jewelry for both adults and children, has become popular again. Children's ID bracelets have renewed popularity. But times were changing and the cost of gold was going through the roof. Slowly, sterling silver became known and accepted. In the past ten years, most baby and children's jewelry is made of sterling silver. The reasons are obvious: cost mainly, but also as a beautiful, viable alternative to gold. The popularity of sterling silver has soared and at least 50% of all jewelry sold, is sterling silver.
Sterling silver needs little attention to maintain a beautiful shine. Over the years, you may need to use a jeweler's cloth on sterling silver, but no more so than gold pieces. Some items need no maintenance at all. For example those items that are Rhodium plated or Platinum plated or, a newer invention, plated in e-shine (and other brand names.) These coatings protect the silver from tiny dents and scratches. It's these dents and scratches which dull the shine, even if they aren't visible to the naked eye.
Babies and children these days, acquire quite a collection of jewelry especially in their early years. Why? Because they look adorable in it, and they love it, It's just as important to an outfit as the right shoes to match the dress, for example. More often than not, her children's bracelet, or necklace or earrings, will be of sterling silver, sometimes set with cz stones in place of gemstones. They look every bit as beautiful as kids' jewelry in centuries gone by, but much less expensive - hence why the gift of baby jewelry or children's jewelry is as popular as it is.