This happens every year. Somehow Valentine’s Day comes roaring out of nowhere and you’re like a deer caught in headlights trying to figure out what you can get your significant other. Sure, you could make her dinner and buy her a card, but you need a gift. A thing in a box ideally. And you need it in 48 hours. Us too!
If you keep a couple of key concepts in mind, you can hit this one out of the park. Here’s some strategy that will guide your gift seeking. In other words, four easy steps.
1) Listen to Her
Women speak. You should listen. Does she say she avoids big, showy jewelry? If so, you can play it safe and look for “classics” like diamond-stud earrings, a simple bracelet, or a modest necklace. At online shops like Blue Nile, you can either head straight to existing pieces (see screen below showing all the ring shapes and styles available)… or go to a “Build Your Own” landing page to create a totally custom piece.
Is she totally into romantic comedies? Mushy stuff? Consider a heart. Does she wear “statement” pieces that scream look-at-me? Then you need to give her something that won’t get lost in the glamour of her ensembles…maybe large hoop earrings (toe rings anyone?). And if she’s got an edge to her personality — she’s not like other girls, you think — then you should stay away from icons of sweetness (hearts, smiles, love knots) and consider vintage jewelry, which is one of a kind, just like her.
In the “Build Your Own Rings” section (see below), you can start with any shape (round, princess, asscher, etc.), select your price and carat range, and then click to see how cut, color and clarity options affect price (lower or higher). You won’t find this kind of selection or immediate gratification if you walk into a shop; there’s no way they could house inventory this flexible.
2) Check Out What She Already Wears
Everyone has go-to pieces. Maybe you don a watch or baseball cap or chain. Take a moment to look at what she’s wearing and identify what her signature pieces are. If she LOVES her hoop earrings, don’t get her more of them. She already has that. And don’t get her something that will compete with those earrings either unless you’re prepared to suggest an upgrade. Try, instead, rings or bracelets, keeping in mind that the fundamental “styles” of jewelry include chunky vs thin, and can feature diamonds, pearls, or gemstones other than diamonds (like emeralds). Yes, you could even try to match her eyes (consider sapphires or topaz). (We’re assuming you’re smart enough to have taken notice of her eye color and committed it to memory by now. That’s not a question you want to hesitate on, should she ever ask you.)
3) Use This Valentine’s Day Gift as a Prelude to More Important Purchases
Since a diamond is classic, significant and rarely ostentatious on its own, you could decide on what kind of diamond jewelry you want to give her — ring, necklace, bracelet, pendant — and see how she reacts to the diamond centerpiece. If she likes the cut/clarity/color but mentions she normally prefers platinum to white gold bands, then voila: You know what kind of setting to get her when you propose. Ask her what she thinks of the diamond. Does she like a round one? Would she have equally enjoyed a halo or three across? Your Valentine’s Day gift becomes a talking point and guinea pig for future gifting.
4) Match Something She Already Owns
If she just loves what you got her, first, congratulations. Well done. But more important, you can get her a matching bracelet or necklace with the same kind of stone — same cut, color, clarity, and carats when it’s time to propose (or get serious at least). How awesome would that be? She’ll have bling to knock ‘em dead. If you don’t know what she owns, consider birthstone jewelry; there’s a good chance someone in her life has given her a piece that maps to her birthday.
If, after all this, you’re still stuck on what to get her, consider the “Top 10 Valentine’s Day Gifts” list at Blue Nile, which includes everything above and more.