You need to know a few things before you walk into a jewelry store to buy that certain something for a certain someone.
Step 1: Know what she likes Make a few mental notes of her taste in jewelry before you go shopping. Does she wear mostly gold or silver? Large pieces or small?
TIP: If you see her flipping through a magazine, ask her if she likes any of the jewelry in the ads.
Step 2: Consider what she might like Consider an addition to her collection—like pearl earrings to match a necklace she loves, or a bracelet to complement the birthstone ring she rarely takes off. Also note what she's missing—she may have a ton of earrings, but only two necklaces.
Step 3: Go for quality, not quantity Choose quality over quantity. It’s better to get one small, good piece of jewelry than a cheap large piece or matching set.
TIP: 'Good' jewelry doesn’t have to be extravagant. A well-made piece of costume jewelry, or a bauble from an up-and-coming designer, is often a better choice than a precious gem you need a magnifying glass to see.
Step 4: But don’t go overboard Don’t go overboard. If you’ve been dating for less than six months, or the relationship isn’t all that serious—on your part, anyway—don’t get anything that looks like it should be kept in a bank vault.
Step 5: Gauge the message Think of the message you may send unwittingly: Pearls stand for purity, sapphires signal friendship, and rubies represent sexual passion. Diamonds, of course, stand for eternal love.
TIP: If the future of the romance is uncertain for either of you, avoid diamonds. Even in something frivolous like a tennis bracelet, they scream commitment.
Step 6: Pick a style for her Think about what style is flattering for her face and neck. V-shape necklaces look good on women with heart-shaped faces, while long drop earrings elongate a square face. Chokers look best on long necks, and Y-shape necklaces favor women with short necks. Delicate earrings and necklaces are a better choice for petite women than large, jangly jewels.
Step 7: Size matters Have at least a vague idea of her wrist and ring size. If you’re clueless, err on the side of too large so she doesn’t suffer the embarrassment of a ring that won’t move past her knuckle or a bracelet that cuts off her circulation.
TIP: Avoid rings in general unless you're prepared to propose, or you're already married. You don't want her to glimpse a ring box, only to discover you're not going down on one knee.
Step 8: Don’t forget watches Don’t rule out a watch, which is as much an accessory as a timepiece to many women. Plus, it’s the perfect solution when you want to give jewelry without giving jewelry, if you catch our drift.