christmas gift
December 7, 2005 8:59 PM   Subscribe

How and where to buy a jewelry for my girlfriend?

I want to give my girl friend(26yrs old) of 3years a jewerly for a chrstmas...
Generally I am a savvy gadget buyer through online...
But for the life of me, I can't figure what would be a good gift for her... I am think some kind of pendent or wrist band.... She is a designer and knows what is just a bad everyday jewerly or what is special... I want to give her something special and not cheeze bad cut of jewerly...
But I have never been interested nor bought a jewerly before... I was looking at a weekly ad from newspaper and saw heart shaped diamond stubbed gold thing... is that good? I am hoping to see spend $200 or less... I know i can't buy anything awsome with the budget... but I rather give her a small yet valueable thing than something that is big and obvisoly to person like her that is cheeze..... help and let me know where i can get one...
posted by curiousleo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (43 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think this mostly depends on her tastes, which we can't really anticipate.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:08 PM on December 7, 2005

Are there any nice stores that sell, for lack of a better term, objets d'art? I mean stores like People's Pottery, which sells pottery (of course), but also nice boxes, and lots of very attractive jewelry.

If you're looking to buy her precious gems or precious metals, then you're right that $200 won't buy much. But you can find some very nice handmade jewelry that simply is a nice design with a good combination of colors. To figure out what to buy, look at the jewelry she has now: How big is it? Are the colors bold or subtle? Look at the clothes she wears when she wears nice jewelry, whether it's to work or out to eat, or whatever: What colors does she like to wear? Pay attention, and you'll have a better time finding something that will go well with what she has.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:10 PM on December 7, 2005

Sorry--I meant to ask if there are any nice stores like that near you.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:11 PM on December 7, 2005

Etsy has an okay jewelry selection, and it's handmade stuff.
posted by JackarypQQ at 9:24 PM on December 7, 2005

I would stick to silver jewlery with semi-precious or no stones (unless she hates silver and never wears it), either a necklace or a bracelet. If a necklace I'd get a fairly plain chain of medium length (not a choker) with a shaped silver pendant if you can decide on one or a shorter ornate chain, with larger, chunkier intricate links or maybe even inlaid links. I have several pieces like this that I bought in Mexico and they're lovely. You can't go far wrong with silver.
posted by fshgrl at 9:31 PM on December 7, 2005

If she'd like handmade things, you could try There is a wide range of quality of craftsmanship (craftspersonship? ew), but there are a lot of really cute artsy things. But of course, it does depend on her tastes -- would she find something to be "special" and valuable if it were unique and lovingly crafted, or shiny and lovingly paid for by you?

On preview: curse you, JackarypQQ!
posted by librarina at 9:33 PM on December 7, 2005

Metafilter's own bluishorange (Alison) sells her hand made jewelry at I like beads. One of a kind pieces, good prices. You should take a look.
posted by justgary at 9:34 PM on December 7, 2005

How'bout this?

Girls go crazy for Tiffany's, it's very well designed, simple and $175.
posted by null terminated at 9:36 PM on December 7, 2005

Deborah Wilson carves incredible pendants
posted by hortense at 9:38 PM on December 7, 2005

(I've bought one myself for my ex. It went over extremely well and looks great in person)
posted by null terminated at 9:38 PM on December 7, 2005

I love Tiffany. The people who work there are pretty helpful (they helped my clueless dad pick out really nice jewlry for my birthday) and they have a number of affordable pieces. I like the Elsa Peretti collection myself. I'd stay away from the "open heart" because that's very common now. If she's religious the "eternal cross" is nice. The letter pendants are really cute, I have the "a" although some of the other letters are weird looking.

(For reference, I'm 22, female, fairly hip, I'm not a big jewelry person but I like it when it's classy but not obnoxious.)
posted by radioamy at 10:14 PM on December 7, 2005

Along the lines of what null terminated and radioamy suggested, there's a really nice, plain yet snazzy necklace at Tiffany's here. I'm tempted to get it for my girlfriend...
posted by johnsmith415 at 10:15 PM on December 7, 2005

Not to start trouble, but if you're looking for expensive jewelry just remember with tiffany you're also paying for the name. I bought an engagement ring a few years ago and the same quality ring at one store was significantly higher at tiffany.

In other words, for the same amount of money, you get more elsewhere. However, it doesn't come in a blue box that says tiffany on it. So in the end, it's about what's important to your girlfriend. And if the name tiffany makes he heart jump, you're gonna pay extra for it.
posted by justgary at 10:50 PM on December 7, 2005

i really find you get more for your money with independent jewelry designers. rena tom is my favorite jewelry designer and has great pieces under $200. a bit more pricey, but lovely, is laurice curran. still more expensive, but gorgeous, jeanine payer.
posted by judith at 11:16 PM on December 7, 2005

Could any girl resist a silver earthworm bracelet? It's stylish, unusual, and good for the garden.
posted by Sallyfur at 11:21 PM on December 7, 2005

I am a 26 year old lady and this is what I want for Christmas. Under a hundred bucks, and stylie too.
posted by slimslowslider at 11:43 PM on December 7, 2005

If you can't figure out what jewelry's good for her then buy something else. It's gonna say a lot about how much you understand her and interpret her style, not too mention say a whole heap about your own personal taste. Get it wrong and it could be problematic.
posted by brautigan at 1:12 AM on December 8, 2005

I don't know where you are, but I'd recommend hitting a weekend arts/crafts market. They are all over the place this time of year. You can find her something really unique and help out a starving artist. Note - I'm one of those artists, though I don't make jewelry (most people make jewelry). A friend of mine does and has some cool pendants that remind me of the ones slimslowslider linked to.
posted by princelyfox at 2:37 AM on December 8, 2005

Jewelry taste is so particular, it's impossible for us to predict if she'd like a heart shaped diamond stubbed gold thing [I would say this would be for sort of an old fashioned, girly girl], or hand-crafted silver jewelry with semi-precious stones [probably for someone kind of hip, alternative], Tiffany jewelry [somebody classy or name-conscious maybe], or anything else. The heart shaped diamond stubbed gold thing sounds terrible to me - too sappy - but that could just be me.

So... I agree with the suggestion that you look through her jewelry to get a feel for what type of jewelry she likes. You definitely want to know: (1) silver or gold, (2) types of jewelry - some women won't wear rings, some love them, many love necklaces, but not everyone, some wear the same earrings every day, others love to vary their earrings... (3) size of ring, if you're going that route, (4) types of stones - precious, semi-precious, etc. You could even take pictures while she's out, and bring them with you wherever you shop. Also, can you ask her mother, sister, girlfriends? They probably have an excellent idea not only of what kind of jewelry she likes, but maybe even where she likes to get it.

As for where... I recommend going to an actual store, where you can see the jewelry in person. There are lots of little independent jewelry stores, specializing in different kinds of jewelry. Even a decent mall probably has several different kinds of jewelry stores.

One caveat - I've always worn gold with precious stones, mostly because that's what my parents have given me, and I'm not particularly into jewelry so haven't bought it for myself. My boyfriend, however, has given me several beautiful, hand-crafted silver & semi-precious stone necklaces and earrings [his mother helped him shop], and I have loved them even more than what I would have chosen for myself.

Oh, also, a nice box & good wrapping - essential, because unless it's Tiffany's, it's hard to tell whether jewelry is really something nice, or crap, and the box will make it seem special.

Good luck!
posted by Amizu at 5:11 AM on December 8, 2005

I don't mean to hype Tiffany's so much. It's just that the brand name was thrown out there....
posted by Amizu at 5:12 AM on December 8, 2005

Does she wear any type of jewelry now, even cheap/costumey sort of stuff? Earrings, necklaces, rings? Look at what she currently wears and try to riff on that style. The biggest thing to determine is whether she likes gold or silver. Silver is safer, I think, but some women still like to wear gold. I think it would be a good bet to take a look at whatever jewelry and accessories she currently wears and try to use that to pick your style, then find something reasonable at a reputable jewelry store like Tiffany's. I'm 28 and I love the necklace that slimslowslider posted. You should check that store out, too.
posted by pazazygeek at 5:35 AM on December 8, 2005

I've had really good luck going to antique stores and buying old jewelry. I've gotten a few Art Nouveau and Art Deco things that knocked people out.
posted by atchafalaya at 5:40 AM on December 8, 2005

I generally get stuff at department stores, and my technique is based on the assumption that in the jewelry section, the items are arranged by I go to the earring cabinet (or the necklace cabinet, or whichever one is closest) and find the cheapest part. I then move up the display case until I see an item that is priced closest to the amount of money I am going to spend. I then point at it and say "give me that".

In and out, 5 minutes.
posted by stupidcomputernickname at 6:21 AM on December 8, 2005

I'm in your girlfriend's demographic and a designer to boot.

Here's some jewelry I've been wanting to receive: blush necklace, grass necklace, athena necklace, sea bamboo necklace, sea bamboo cuff, wood cuff, prim cuff, peridot ring, sunflower brooch, pearl studs, black pearl studs, golden horn twist cuff, small ruler ring, birdies necklace, green bonsai earrings, pearl peyote earrings, chrysanthemum earrings, shearer necklace, chrysanthemum pendant, cherry blossom necklace, deco poppy necklace, asymmetrical hummingbird necklace, black marquis ring, tuxedo ring, chlorine necklace, ruler bracelet, bubble tag necklace.

Other suggestions:
  1. Buy from an independent designer. She's a designer herself and will appreciate the gesture, if not the aesthetic.
  2. Buy vintage from a pawn shop. Strange pieces from days gone by are rare conversation starters.
  3. Buy four $50 pieces as opposed to one $200 piece. It'll be more exciting for her to open more gifts, and you have a greater chance of seeing her wear your purchases as everyday jewelry is a personal thing that she'd likely have to buy for herself.
  4. Consider the jewelry she already owns, let that lead you down the path. If need be, drag her onto the bed with her jewelry box for show-and-tell. Tell her that you're curious about her trinkets and ask her about the stories behind each.
  5. Don't overlook earrings, so long as she has pierced ears. If she's quirky, think about getting her a vintage brooch.
  6. Visit museum gift shops in your area, especially local art museums. They're often a good source for unique jewelry at affordable prices.
  7. Buy her a gift certificate for the whole $200 to a local jewelry designer who will create something custom for her. Turn this into a process you both can share in, with meetings followed by romantic lunches. Creating something from nothing will give her an opportunity to speak her tastes.
You're on the right track. Oh, how I wish my dearest boy would clue in to this lesson.
posted by cior at 6:22 AM on December 8, 2005

For something different, I recommend Superhero Designs. When I graduated from law school, my then-boyfriend got me one of the necklaces along with earings.

Every single time I wear it, even three years later, someone comments on how neat and different it is, and asks where it came from.

I've always worn silver and gold, but this was a nice change of pace.
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:25 AM on December 8, 2005

This site offers jewelry that is probably WAY too kitschy, but I figured I'd mention it because I love it all and maybe it will be useful.
posted by pazazygeek at 6:31 AM on December 8, 2005

I recommend getting the worst, tackiest thing possible and putting it in a gift box. Then, get her reaction and after a short time let her off the hook- put a gift cert to a nice jeweler in under the tissue paper. Jewelry is a personal taste item and I think women like that you will let them choose it themselves. But go shopping together under the pretense that you want to look at stuff and get to know her style so in the future you can pick something out you know she will like. I'm giving my girl a airplane ticket (which is symbolic because she's a loner who loves to travel, but won't force herself to do it because of "us"- so it is a great gift) but putting it in a traditional flip-open ring box and I'm going to get down on one knee and give it to her to freak her out... inside, tho, no ring. just the plane ticket folded up.
posted by pissfactory at 7:05 AM on December 8, 2005

Am I the only person on earth who thinks most of Tiffany's jewelry is kind of strange-looking?

Wherever you buy your item, be sure that she can exchange it at a later date--just in case.
posted by Lycaste at 7:14 AM on December 8, 2005

Some of Cior's choices are gorgeous and affordable. Cherry Blossom Necklace and Large Deco Poppy Necklace are especially lovely to me. If there's an artsy shopping area, find an artisan jeweler. If your sweetie has a best friend, seek advice for shopping ideas, but do not reveal the budget. If you want to get something traditional and not artsy, get diamond studs (earrings). There are sales at all jewelers at Christmas, and you can ask them for their best price. Online stores, like and have competitive prices for jewelry.
posted by theora55 at 7:27 AM on December 8, 2005

OK, this is going to seem like a strange suggestion, but hear me out: Costco. (in store; I'd recommend against buying jewelry online.)

If money were no object, I would say Tiffany & Co. is a good choice, but the sad truth is that most Tiffany is extremely overpriced and somewhat generic, and they sell their lower-end wares on their name alone. Mall jewelry stores mostly sell crap.

If you want something truly special, go to a jewelry designer (email me for the name of the designer who did my wife's engagement ring and both of our bands; she does amazing work and I'd recommend her very highly), but custom-designed jewelry is generally not in the $200 range.

In my experience, the best place for high-quality (and somewhat less generic) jewelry at a reasonable price really is Costco. If you have a membership or a friend with a membership, check out what they have.
posted by JMOZ at 7:35 AM on December 8, 2005

Can't recommend James Avery Craftsman enough.
posted by mumeishi at 7:35 AM on December 8, 2005

Best answer: I'm a 26 year old designer who wants a less-than $200 piece of jewlery for Christmas, but I hadn't picked anything out yet. If I could give a "Best Answer" to slimslowslider, I would. That stuff is awesome! Thank you thank you thank you.

I sympathize with your plight; I put my husband in this same spot last year, and it did not go well. When a woman says, "Buy me jewelry," what she is really saying is, "Buy me something precious that a) expresses how beautiful you think I am b) shows me how unique and wonderful I am in your eyes c) I can wear all the time to remind me of you and d) suits my particular tastes and looks great with 99% of my wardrobe." This is an impossible task! And yet we want it anyway.

A heart-shaped anything, or a classic piece from Tiffany's, does not say any of the above. It says, "I don't understand women's jewelry, so I bought you this safe thing that the jewelry industry told me every woman is supposed to like." Blah. Go with one of the great unique, hand-crafted picks listed, not the generic out-of-the-glass-case stuff. Even if it's not exactly what she wants, the fact that you put so much effort into picking out something special will make her love it. Also, if you can tell her, "I picked the green pendent because it matches your eyes, " or "I got the poppy design because of those red flowers I bought you on our first date," it will give you over-the-top super extraordianry guy status.
posted by junkbox at 7:52 AM on December 8, 2005

Best answer: cior is my new best friend. She has some beautiful suggestions.

I'm 33, way into jewelry and don't give a hoot about Tiffany.

Some suggestions:

Pieces of a Girl: Tell designer Lizzy Carter about your girlfriend and she will create a custom piece for you. She'll also include a story card that explains why she chose the materials she did for the piece. Very romantic, if you ask me. The readymade stuff in her fall collection is quite nice too.

Ananda Khalsa: miniature paintings mounted under crystal in silver settings. I love the autumn maple necklace.

Pagliei has oodles of beautiful stuff, particularly in the Gigi collection.

Zealandia: The pieces here are quite elaborate, so it's not for everyone. Most use fossilized walrus tusk,which is excavated by Eskimos living on St. Lawrence Island. Anyhow...

Wendy Mink is on my Christmas list this year.

Finally, if you want something completely insane, check out Anne Gericke.
posted by Sully6 at 8:17 AM on December 8, 2005 [1 favorite]

Oh my dog, Sully6, Ananda Khalsa and Wendy Mink just took my cake.
posted by cior at 8:31 AM on December 8, 2005

A meta comment about buying jewelry as a gift - I'm paranoid about purchasing wearable objects for someone and not matching their taste. It's an awful feeling to receive a heartfelt, time-invested, thought-invested wearable gift and just _not liking it_ for whatever reason. Then you feel these twinges of obligation to put it on occasionally.

What if as your gift you offered to take her out to pick the piece together? You could make it a romantic afternoon with a meal at a lovely restaurant, maybe a nice walk in a scenic area, and then a visit to the jewelry shop together. And I agree with junkbox, above - making comments like "I think this one matches your eyes" or "These earrings would look so regal on you" would be excellent. Plus it would help you both to interact and not be just you accompanying her on a shopping trip - it's a gift from you, so even if she makes the final choice, it's right for you to put thought and input into it as well.
posted by cadge at 9:21 AM on December 8, 2005

You should really go with Tiffany's. The box itself will get you to third base.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:58 AM on December 8, 2005

You should really go with Tiffany's. The box itself will get you to third base.

um. no.
posted by judith at 10:59 AM on December 8, 2005

Since you haven't picked exactly what you want to get yet ("some kind of pendent or wrist band"), I thought I'd offer my two cents on that end. A pendant is something that others will see more than she does unless it's a on a rather long chain. A wrist band or bracelet, on the other hand (ha, bad pun!), is something she'll see every time she looks down while going about her daily business. The only caveat is that since you mention she is a designer, something big and dangly may interfere with Getting Work Done. So if you go this route, make sure it is something flexible that will fit fairly close to her wrist.
posted by ilsa at 11:03 AM on December 8, 2005

Additionally, antique jewelry can be very beautiful, and the designs are timeless, unlike a lot of hippie bead trinkets.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:15 AM on December 8, 2005

As far as the independant jeweler front (heya cior), try Novica. It's a National Geographic organization presenting various goods from independant artists around the world( India, Bali, Thailand).

Most of the jewelry I've bought for my GF has been from here, she loves every piece. I even think the boxes the item comes in are unique for each piece. I've gotten postcards from the artists themselves of their country.

The prices are decent, you could go all out for a high dollar item. Or break it down in to smaller items very easily.
posted by mnology at 11:23 AM on December 8, 2005

Sully6! wow. thanks for the links. absolutely beautiful.
posted by honeyx at 12:06 PM on December 8, 2005

Best answer: Oh my god... this has been the absolute best and largest feed back i ever got.... thank you alll.
eventhough i only gave few "best answer"thing... i think every one of you's answers are great... I wish I can post more questions than once a week... but...

I appreciate you all and have awsome holiday...

I haven't look through all the gift ideas.. but i am almost getting tearly eyes reading these great heartwarming feedbacks...

my gal and i aren't going too well in last few weeks.. and i hope i can re-capture her heart again.....somehow...
posted by curiousleo at 1:28 PM on December 8, 2005

Let us know how it goes. Good luck :-)
posted by null terminated at 2:32 AM on December 9, 2005

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