By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor
According to the National Retail Federation, among the estimated $19.6 billion Valentine’s Day consumer spending last year alone (courtesy of more than half of United States adults celebrating the occasion), $4.7 billion of that is earmarked specifically for the jewelry category. It’s clear that our collective adoration for adornments is serving the retail channel well, with this year’s holiday sales expected to impress just the same. With this in mind, but with so many stores from which to shop, below are a few noteworthy options in the space that are worthy of your sweetheart-driven spending spree.
Armitron Watches (www.Armitron.com)
Surprise and delight your loved one this Valentine’s Day with a stylish watch, perhaps a “his and her” set, from Armitron. The company offers a leading and certainly comprehensive line of fashionable and affordable dress, sport and outdoor adventure varieties for both men and women. For over 65 years, Armitron has been creating stylish watches for every personality type and every occasion, including Swarovski crystal and diamond-embellished styles, along with bracelet, leather strap, digital and solar-powered fitness options, among an array of others. I’m particularly fond of Armitron’s black dress watches like the Black Dress Bangle Watch with a shiny solitaire Diamond Accent for gals, and the Black IP Stainless Steel Analog Bracelet Watch for guys that are dramatic, sophisticated and work beautifully as a set. I also like their Stainless Steel Mesh Bracelet Watch options for both men and women that exude a simple elegance and can pair with nearly any outfit, day or night. Since pioneering many of the first affordable digital wristwatches, the company’s mission has remained to make fashionable and functional timepieces that are accessible to every person—and that nurture the spirit of individuality.
Talia Jewelry (www.MyTalia.com)
For some customized jewels, check out TALIA Jewelry. This company believes that style is a matter of individuality—a true celebration of a woman’s self-expression … and I couldn’t agree more. With a radically new approach to jewelry design, TALIA invites customers to co-create their own unique pendant and charm pieces, giving life to their personal style and beauty. Each TALIA Jewelry piece features an original, patented mechanism, so you can always easily change, rearrange and expand on your modular design and create unique combinations. Browse their collections, select the design you love, and then choose your favorite jewelry parts from a wide variety of options. Mix and match pieces to see what works best for you. Alternatively, you can opt for one of their ready-made kits with no work necessary. Either way, you can always reformat and change your TALIA Jewelry to best match your ever-changing needs and wants. All TALIA pieces are made from 925 sterling silver, are nickel-free and are plated with two layers of palladium and rhodium. Their jewelry is also hypoallergenic and provides lasting shine and durability. And, TALIA’s Rose Gold jewelry also features real gold plating. Each individual piece is reportedly subject to four different inspections at four different production stages to ensure it meets stringent quality standards.Photo Ownership/Copyright:TALIA Jewelry
Martina Vincenzo Fine Silver Jewelry (www.MartinaVincenzo.com)
For Valentines’ Day, while it’s quite common to gift chocolates and flowers to your significant other, jewelry offers a timeless gift opportunity that endures. Martina Vincenzo Fine Silver Jewelry embraces this notion, striving to not just sell products, but rather to build authentic moments. With its collections and pieces inspired by great women in history, like the hugely revered Princess Diana and the 18th Century mathematician Sophie Germain (who pursued her obsession with number theory and calculus), the company crafts premium 925 sterling silver items plated in rhodium and white 18-carat gold that celebrate these great ladies. From highly unique rings to earrings to necklaces, MartinaVincenzo.com offers many different styles for any occasion. I personally adore the “Tempo” necklace design that’s inspired by Louise Farrenc—a music composer praised as being ahead of her time. This is a modern and delicate, solid sterling silver two strings necklace that beautifully complements any outfit. Pair it with the “Moonlight” ring also inspired by Farrenc, which simply features a polished crescent moon, for a clean and refined fashion-forward look.
Photo Ownership/Copyright:Martina Vincenzo
Stauer Affordable Luxury Jewelry (www.Stauer.com)
As one of the largest direct retailers of luxury jewelry, watches and accessories in the United States, Stauer Jewelry offers rare and precious gemstones from around the world as well as unique American stones, Italian-made leather handbags and accessories and other items well-suited for your loved ones. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, Stauer suggests that it’s time to break away from traditional diamonds and experience beautiful gemstones, instead. A key recommendation among these is Amethyst—a meditative and calming gemstone said to work in the emotional, spiritual and physical planes to promote calm, balance and peace, and eliminate impatience. One gift-worthy example is the Stauer “Lusso” Necklace–a gorgeous and dramatic statement piece boasting 200 carats of genuine amethyst. It’s a true testament to the preciousness of the stone, and a great gift all the same. This impressive necklace features 25 polished amethyst cabochons (a polished, non-faceted gem) that’s hand-set on double-knotted jeweler’s thread. This stunning 18-inch necklace, with a 2-inch extender, secures with a gold-finished lobster clasp. Stauer’s Lusso Necklace is a beautiful option for dressing up for a night on the town, or going casual at the office or day trips.
Photo Ownership/Copyright:Stauer Jewelry
Gemstone Décor (www.OpulentLuxuries.com)
Valentine’s Day adornment gifts can extend far beyond body-worn baubles, to include remarkable décor items that suitably make the cut for this heart-driven holiday. One such purveyor, Opulent Luxuries, has seemingly raised the bar with custom décor pieces made exclusively from the finest semi-precious gemstones. The company uses stones, extracted throughout the globe, to hand-craft giftable artisan wares like vases, candlesticks, bowls, figurines, glassware, lighting, coasters and more—all designed by hand with perfect symmetry by the world’s most gifted craftsmen through an incredibly painstaking process. From liquor glasses fashioned in Amethyst, to candle sticks and vases crafted from Phantom Quartz and much in between, Opulent Luxuries has the ability to yield virtually any design imaginable for the most discerning consumers. There are even etched design options that are perfect for sports fans. The company employs a grading scale synonymous with diamonds with respect to cut, color and clarity to ensure only top-quality gemstones are utilized.Photo Ownership/Copyright:Opulent Luxuries LLC
As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority—a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online at www.TheLuxeList.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList and on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReviews.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***