The Dos and Don'ts of Buying Jewelry for Your Significant Other

It's tricky business, but knowing what to look for makes the process a whole lot easier.

Buying jewelry for your lady can be a stressful occasion. I should know – I founded a jewelry brand, and have seen the struggle myself with my two brothers, and husband. They ask other women to come to the rescue with advice, and even then they're not sure.

But here's the thing: you don't have to rely on enlisted help to ace a jewelry gift. You've just got to know what to focus on, what to avoid, and most importantly, what your lady likes.

To make the process a little bit easier, and to put the fun back into buying baubles, here are some pointers. Keep them in mind whenever you're gifting something shiny and need to be pointed in the right direction.

Do Care About Quality

This is critical. Just as is the case with your significant other, it’s not all about the outside. Make sure you figure what the jewelry in question is made of. Pay attention to:

  • The material. Is it brass, silver, gold, or something else entirely? If it's a precious metal, is it pure or plated (a lesser-quality metal covered with a higher quality one)?

  • The stones, if applicable. Ask about the cut and clarity – there are all kinds of rating scales that will give you a good idea of a given stone's quality. And don’t forget to check the source, to make sure your jewelry was made fairly and doesn’t include blood diamonds. Nobody likes that.

Our jewelry at AUrate, for example, is all "fine", which means it’s either silver or gold, and our diamonds are S1 quality, which means they have a high degree of clarity and only minuscule "inclusions" that you need a microscope to see. Any jeweler worth his or her salt should be able to tell you similar info about anything you buy.

Don't Get Discouraged by Your Budget

Fine jewelry is not as expensive as you might think – you can get something nice for less under $100. So don’t think it’s out of your league.

Stick to silver if you need to reign it in, or if you simply haven’t been dating for that long. If you want something more luxe, go with gold that's at least 14K – or move up to 18K, which uses a higher percentage of gold in the alloy, if you've got a bigger budget.

Do Pay Attention to Color

This is an easy one to get right: all you need to do is check out what color jewelry your lady wears now.

If all she wears is yellow gold, then this isn’t the time to take a risk and get her white gold. Women can be quite specific with their tastes (or distastes) for certain colors – the same way you might prefer your EDC gear to be all black, for example. In the event that your lady mixes and matches – a rose gold earring here, a yellow gold ring there – you’re lucky and you can get her any color.

Don't Buy a Non-Engagement Ring

If she might be expecting a proposal, this is a bad idea. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s just plain awkward.

If you're planning on proposing soon – or if she thinks you might be – just stick to a bracelet, necklace or earrings. Keep the ring for the big day.

Do Steal Her Style

Women’s fashion senses usually translate into their taste in jewelry. If your girl dresses in the latest trends and is a big fan of forward-thinking brands, go for something bold, like an ear cuff or a large statement piece. If she has a more classic or understated style, stick to something more simple.

Don't Get Anything That's Final Sale

At the end of the day, despite all this terrific advice, you might just have gotten the wrong piece, or she might prefer something different. No big deal – just always make sure you can return or exchange your item. It’s good insurance to have, just in case.

See? Not so hard. With those easy-to-follow pointers, you should be in a good place to buy with confidence. The rest of the relationship, though, is all up to you.

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