For many men, buying jewelry can be an exasperating experience, full
of doubt and second-guessing all wrapped up in stress. Will she like
it? Did I pay too much? Is it the right size? Where do I begin? Must
I go in that jewelry store with those salespeople?
If that sounds like you, you've come to the right place. Here are a
few tips to help you navigate the jewelry gift-giving experience with
less anxiety and, we hope, a calm sense of adventure and fun.
If you're not that way at all, congratulations but read on. We have
a few tips for you too.
Many women wish and hope for jewelry on certain occasions. The sentimental
woman may especially want jewelry on Mother's Day or Valentine's Day.
A lady captivated by her birthstone might enjoy receiving birthstone
jewelry on her birthday. A woman who relishes spontaneity and surprise
will be thrilled with jewelry that marks an important event such as
an anniversary, a promotion or a job well done (yes, even something as
mundane as entertaining the kids all weekend so Daddy can do his work
or relax in football heaven after a long week).
Whether or not it's a holiday or occasion, a well-chosen gift of jewelry
will stir the heart of any warm-blooded woman. That's because jewelry
is perceived as personal, symbolic and an indulgence no matter what you
choose to spend. Women love jewelry in large part because to them, it
is a special gift that expresses affection, appreciation and gratitude
for who they are and all they do. When you give the timeless gift of
jewelry, she'll know that you did some planning, that you were thinking
about her and you made the effort. That will ring her chimes. Not very
If you do the numbers, it's easy to see why it's a worthwhile investment
to spend time learning what her special jewelry occasions might be. Each
year, there's a birthday, an anniversary, December holidays, Valentine's
Day, Mother's Day and at least one other special occasion day. That's
a minimum of six potential jewelry-giving occasions every year! Invite
her to clue you in on her gift desires. She wants to tell you and you
need to know.
Giving a gift of jewelry is a powerful and lasting expression to capture
an unforgettable moment, a special time together or long-lasting memories.
The man who learns how to successfully shop for jewelry that's just right,
at the right time and for the right reason will have much to be happy
Knowing what to buy and where to find it may not be an easy task. Many
men engage the help of secret agents to find out what women want: best
friends, sisters, mothers and even the kids.
If that method works for you, you're doing all right. Here are a few
Pay attention: It may sound simple, but listen for
clues. Many women drop hints from whispers to loudspeaker volume about
what they like and what they want. Even if you're not in the mood to
buy jewelry when she brings it up or you're still focused on the new
car payment or the clubs you want, listen to what she's telling you.
The right time will come along − and she'll be tickled that you
heard her wish and remembered.
Find out what she likes: Instead of ducking out when
she ducks in to a jewelry store, take the plunge, even if you have to
feign torture. Handle it as a reconnaissance mission to find out what
she likes and doesn't like, wants or doesn't want. You can also use the
opportunity to find out her size, an important consideration not just
for rings but also for necklaces, bracelets and pearls. Don't trust your
memory: write it down or transfer the information to a personal file
on your computer or mobile device. Show patience or you may be wasting
Get personal: Jewelry is not only personal but it's
all about personal taste – her taste. That can be tough to figure
sometimes. What you may think is killer, she may find masculine or worse,
gaudy. What you may find delicate and feminine, she may view as fussy
or girlie jewelry. Don't be discouraged. Engage those manly brain cells
to get a sense for her personal style and how she wears jewelry. Remember
that just because she wears something all the time, it may not be because
it's her favorite. She may want a change or something else – are
Here are a few questions to help you decipher her jewelry style:
Gold: Does she seem to wear only white gold, yellow gold or
does she mix them up at will? Choose the type of metal she seems to wear
most, wants more of or likes best. Think twice about surprise gifts in
exotic metals such as rose gold, unless you know she likes it, wears
it well or has already given you the green light.
Earrings: Does she only seem to wear petite earrings or studs?
Is she a frisky type who enjoys wearing dangles or flashy earrings with
lots of movement? Does she shun posts in favor of hooks or vice versa?
Does she make comments about her lobes or how she looks in certain styles?
I'll bet she does. Listen up.
Necklaces: Many women don't like to wear necklaces. Is she
one of them? If she wears necklaces, what kind of look does she seem
to like? Small and dainty or bold and colorful? What about dangles, beads,
pearls, gemstones or diamonds? All of the above? You lucky guy!
Rings: These can be tricky, especially when you're dating or
living together but haven't had "the talk." If your situation
seems OK for ring giving, options abound. Use a method to find out her
ring size as some styles may not be easily sized up or down. Eternity
bands with diamonds that go all the way around can't, generally speaking,
be sized at all. Ask your jeweler for guidance about your choice or situation.
Rings with diamonds may carry a hefty dose of symbolism and, quite possibly,
expectations. If that's not what you want, think about a diamond ring
with smaller stones or one with more casual styling. Also, consider a
versatile gold ring for everyday wear or a birthstone ring. If she likes
to wear color, consider a cocktail ring in an expressive design or a
colored gemstone ring that suits her color palette, with or without diamond
If you think you don't know her color palette, you can figure it our
pretty easily. Look for outfits that make her look radiant and those
that make her look drab. Sure, styling is important but an outfit won't
look great unless it's in the right colors for her skin tone, eyes and
hair color. Observe, comment and ask. Let her tell you what colors she
thinks look best on her. Sometimes, she'll have it wrong. Tell her with
compliments when she's got it right.
If stones or color leave you cold, take a look at rings with interesting
gold work as an alternative. Jewelry artists are creating designs in
textured gold women enjoy for their beauty, individual style and wearability.
Give thought to her professional, social and personal situation to make
the right choice.
Bracelets: These pieces can be the trickiest of all. If you
know she's a bracelet wearer and have an idea of the type of bracelet
she likes, go for it. If not, ask yourself these questions to help guide
Does she have or want a tennis bracelet? Many women have a
diamond line bracelet, one of the most basic and wearable items in a
woman's jewelry wardrobe. Tennis bracelets are available in different
styles today and in stones other than diamonds. Harder gemstones make
good diamond tennis alternatives: think sapphire and ruby but stay away
from softer stones such as tanzanite, opals or pearls – unless
the price is right or that is indeed what she wants.
Does she like soft and flexible bracelets such as link chain or
does she prefer a bangle style? Sound impossible to fathom an
answer to this one? Try asking a few questions the next time you see
her wearing a bracelet. Ask her if it's comfortable – and then
just let her talk. Or, if she wears a tennis-style bracelet with diamonds
or colored stones, ask if she's ever lost a stone or whether the bracelet
ever gets caught on her clothing. Let her talk, take your notes. When
she wears a bangle, ask whether she's wearing it more these days. You
could very well find out what she'd love to be wearing instead or with
Unlike earrings and necklaces, bracelets and rings are jewelry pieces
the wearer actually gets to admire without using a mirror. Every time
she looks down at the perfect bracelet you gave her, she'll be happy
inside and wonder how on earth you knew.
Does she only ask for your help putting on a bracelet when you go
to a fancy event? If so, engage her with a few questions while
you're helping her. Ask whether she'd rather wear something she could
just slip on or snap-close herself. Inquire why she doesn't wear her
bracelet more often or to less formal affairs? She might give you an
It's not about you: Remember that when something catches your eye,
especially when you're shopping together and she doesn't seem as thrilled
with what you've picked out. You can ask her to try it on but stay focused
on her. Use the opportunity to see what she's looking at or lusting after – and
why. Better yet, have her show you two or three different types of pieces
she likes, for example, a ring, a necklace and a bracelet. Have her model
them for you and talk about them. Ask the jeweler to write down the style
numbers on a business card. There, now you've done your reconnaissance.
You make the choice, you make the call.
Watch for more tips about choosing other types of jewelry for that special
someone, coming soon.
By now, you have a good idea what you want to give her, what she likes
and what you want to spend. Now it's time to find the jewelry and the
jeweler who will sell it to you.
A successful investor once said, if you don't know jewelry, know
your jeweler. If you're fortunate enough to have a relationship
with a jeweler you know and trust, plan a visit to talk about your
fact-finding mission. Go alone if you plan a total surprise gift but
think about alternate scenarios two and three below:
Scenario One: You go to your jeweler alone to scope out choices
and prices. You choose the gift and keep your fingers crossed. This is
a good method to start with, but not a good choice if you're logging
more strikes than home runs. You might try:
Scenario Two: Your intended goes to the jeweler alone to scope
out choices and try things on in comfort. Perhaps you've given her some
guidelines about your budget or your threshold price. She chooses three
different pieces in three different price ranges, for example a gold
bracelet, a gemstone ring and a stylish necklace. The jeweler writes
down the style numbers on a business card (and hopefully, takes a few
notes of her own), which your intended can now give to you. Next, you
visit the jeweler to check out her choices. Whichever you now choose
will be a right choice and one that makes both of you happy.
Scenario Three: You visit the jeweler together, try pieces
on, talk and create your three-choice wish list. At that time or later,
you decide which selection is the right one for both of you (and maybe,
keep the other two choices in mind for another occasion).
Like most jewelers, we face gift-giving dilemmas at Libertine® every
day. Often the situation is complicated by the fact that the man is traveling
on business and his wife isn't with him. Despite these issues, we achieve
consistently high customer satisfaction rates. What's our secret? The
Jewelry Genie© − and it can be yours too.
Libertine's Jewelry Genie© is a portable, personalized information
card that stores an individual's preferences and measurements in one
place. This proprietary product is completed at the end of a fifty-minute
professional jewelry styling session with a gemologist. With the Jewelry
Genie©, you can eliminate guesswork and reduce returns or sizing
problems. Contact us about fee considerations
or to schedule a Jewelry Genie© consultation for that special person
in your life.
If you don't have a relationship with a jeweler or want to find a new
one, look for a jeweler who's trusted among similar-minded friends and
frequent jewelry-buying acquaintances. Ask coworkers, relatives or friends
who share your taste or lifestyle for a recommendation and remember to
ask what makes that jeweler special.
Seek out jewelers who have successfully completed training in gemology.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and American Gem Society (AGS)
are two organizations that confer diplomas for different levels of training.
One example of advanced training is the GIA's Graduate Gemologist (G.G.)
diploma. Other types of certificates are awarded for more basic coursework.
Find a jeweler through these institutions' alumni directories or ask
jewelers who've been recommended to you about their level of training.
Don't be shy about asking jewelers whose styles, prices, location, personality
or other factors appeal to you about their level of experience and training.
Do they keep up with their alumni association and what's happening in
the jewelry trade? Have they lived in your community for a long time
or are they new arrivals with a limited track record? How do they source
their jewelry? Are they committed to selling only conflict-free diamonds?
Do they accommodate exchanges or returns? Can they size rings or
arrange to have that done by an experienced or master jeweler? Asking
a few questions may provide enough of an indication for you to know whether
you want to do business with that person.
Men's jewelry is enjoying a revival. After years of ho-hum choices in
cufflinks and watches, today's jewelry for men is more exciting and edgier
than ever. Popular new metals such as tungsten and titanium give men
affordable alternatives to suit a man's lifestyle and comfort. Whether
your style is influenced by hip-hop, metrosexual chic or classic contemporary
looks, you'll find jewelry choices energized by fashions that give men
greater options to spice up their image or create a powerful signature
Find out more about tungsten, titanium and
other exotic metals under the Metals and Materials section
of the Jewelry Info tab.
* This Web site is gender-neutral. Women or men interested in this tab
are invited to print
out sections that pertain to their wishes for the
gift-givers in their lives. Good luck!
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