Love me tender. Love jewellery.

There are many good occasions to give jewellery, but Valentine’s Day is one of the best. Gold, diamonds and pearls have long expressed our heartfelt emotions. While rings still hold the greatest symbolism, perhaps something playful is called for on this traditional day of love. Fashion jewellery might also be well received: perhaps a bracelet with charms or a necklace with a heart-shaped pendant.

“You can always tell what kind of a person a man really thinks you are by the kind of earrings he gives you”, whispers Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn in the cult 1961 film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. This sentence from our pleasure-seeking heroine may sound a bit frivolous, but the underlying message still applies. Wouldn’t you welcome beautiful jewellery, chosen with you in mind? If the gift is also presented in a silk-lined box, then pearls, diamonds and sapphires really can constitute a sparkling declaration of love.

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 A girl’s best friend
Nobody’s disputing the high value many women place on jewellery – more than for men, these precious items express individuality and hold great sentimental value. There’s nothing more personal. So giving jewellery really is proof of your affections. What would be her favourite? What ring size do I need? It’s enough to bring you out in a cold sweat. Indeed, studies show that women prefer to choose earrings and bracelets for themselves, but love surprise gifts of rings or necklaces from a partner. Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to give quality jewellery, perhaps across a candlelit dinner table. Cut precious stones, set in real gold, may make someone’s heart beat faster. With pieces from jewellers Ernst Stein and Juchem, both from Idar-Oberstein, Germany’s gemstone centre, you might just find exactly the right stone to match the colour of your beloved’s eyes. Or you could simply give your heart. This rose gold chain by Sweet deluxe makes it pretty clear: a love heart can come with a chiming melody ball, or a feather that looks like love has wings. As you can see, good things come in threes.

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As you like it
There’s no shortage of ideas: jewellers, lifestyle magazines, marketing brochures, online shops and blogs. All give us year-round inspirations with shiny charms, extravagant designs and bling-bling rings for cocktail hour. Over half of shoppers look for inspirations by window shopping, or from friends and family. However, the number of jewellers’ websites has also almost doubled since 2010 with a diverse array of gift ideas to fulfil your loved one’s heart’s desire. For ever and ever: tastefully engraved jewellery is an evergreen success, making an object of desire even more personal. Young couples in particular like to say a special ‘I love you’ or mark their anniversary. Anyone who wants a more personal touch will find jewellery workshops where they can commission pieces to their own design, or even make them.

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Yes, I do!
Like clothing, jewellery is part of our system of nonverbal communication. It shows something of our social and cultural allegiances, and reveals a bit about the wearer as a person. Perhaps the loveliest example of a powerful statement you can make through jewellery is the wedding ring. Its symbolic value goes well beyond its material value, and this precious eternal circle – with no beginning and no end – will ideally be a lifelong companion.

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 For eternity 
Is there a place for paste in the world of jewellery? Such fashion accessories respond very strongly to trends. French fashion designer Coco Chanel was one of the first people to create ‘fake’ jewellery in the 1920s to accompany her collections. It was soon a roaring success. Couture jewellery is still a stylish way to upgrade your look quickly, and has nothing to do with cheap imitations. Yet because it tends to closely follow current trends, it’s more transient than fine jewellery – and therefore not the ideal gift for most special occasions. Our grandmothers told us gold was for eternity, and (as so often) they were right. Real jewellery handed down through the generations can tell a family story. Your necklace is from your great aunt, your mother’s pearl earrings were a gift on her wedding day. Emotional memories are associated with these fascinating and desirable items; costume jewellery just can’t match that. In terms of fine jewellery, the materials, craft and quality all come at a price. If you want to invest in the future – perhaps your future together – then precious metals and genuine gems are ideal. Authentic jewellery is a joy – and also tends to be better tolerated by people with skin allergies.