Libertine Fine Jewelry Salon - Indian Wells CA

FOR MEN ONLY

Choosing The Gift of Jewelry

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.

The Occasion: When, Which, Why

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 complicated, really.

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 for.

The Mission: Finding Out What She Wants

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 other ideas:

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 your time.

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 you listening?

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 accents.

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 your choice:

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 it.

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 earful.

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.

Completing Your Mission: How to Buy Right

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).

Another Option: The Jewelry Genie©

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.

Finding a Jeweler

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.

Buying for Yourself

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 style.

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!