Not that anyone's ever given me jewelry for Valentine's Day, but if you're looking for something special to give someone special, here are a few cute, non-smarmy pieces for men and women that I've come across recently through various websites and vendors.
1. A watch is a classic, practical gift for your girlfriend. And giving her a watch that's actually on-trend will speak volumes about your diversity of interests (you don't have to tell her you got the idea from me!). Chunky, wide watches are popular and won't be going out of style anytime soon. But with a smaller wristband than a man's watch as well as chic, feminine touches, this gift means she's ready to dress up a casual outfit or even pair it with a dress. OP ART - Hearts at Tokyobay.com for $75.
2. Popping out a ring box on V-Day might give her the wrong idea, but you should be safe with a bracelet box. Especially if it contains this lovely, delicate Triple Birds Bracelet by Gorjana at Shopbop, which is an affordable $54. (Ladies: Don't forget your single gal pals! Gorjana also has a range of friendship jewelry that I would be touched beyond belief to receive from a friend.)
3. Another gift that strays from the convention of heart pendants and diamonds is this scented pendant by Joya Studio. Inside the 'Ancient Sphere' is a solid perfume that slowly releases over time, encouraged by the nearness of her body heat as she wears it. Two presents in one, she's sure to think of you each time she dons it and catches a trace of the Potion (lavender, lotus blossom and bergamot); $80.
1. Who says diamonds are just a girl's best friend? These 1ct black diamonds, set against sterling silver, give the TDW Black Diamond Ring a masculine edge that I find quite appealing. It's only $155.99 right now at Overstock.com.
2. I ran into Meister Watches at a trade show recently and fell in love. Naturally, I wanted one for myself, but since they are actually men's watches (not just men's-style, which are so popular for the ladies lately), I've thus far refrained. I guess the boys can have something special just for them--this time. Though they look extremely fashionable and high-end, my favorite, the CHIEF102RB, is only $250.
3. I don't know too many guys who wear cuff links or tie pins (...not without irony, at least). But I do know a ton of guys with old, beat-up wallets. Change up his money-holding ways with a smart-looking money clip, which you can have engraved with his name or a personal message from you to him. It's a nicely priced $19 at FineandDandyShop.com, where you can also buy him a pen, flask, fob chain or various assorted accessories to go with it. Plus, you should patronize its owner, Matt Fox, who is a charming man making his way in the e-commerce world and deserves your support. For the record: No, "buy me things" is not a V-Day appropriate message, honey. Maybe for St. Patty's Day, which is a little more focused on the green.
P.S. Manhattanites: This week I dined at Candela, Candela at 5th St. & 2nd Ave. It's a very cozy, intimate setting with great service and tasty, affordable food. Although, I'm biased toward anywhere that give you complimentary bread & dip and can stay on top of refilling a water glass--what can I say, I'm easy to please. Although this Cuban-Italian dinner (yes, you read that right, there are two menus) might not be the one over which to propose, it's probably a good bet for your romantic date night.