Lest you put too much stock in a British survey mentioned in the U.K.’s Daily Mail and referenced by Rob Bates in a recent blog post, take heart: Women DO prefer jewelry as Valentine’s Day gifts—or at least American women do.
The February 2013 issue of InStyle magazine reports that when asked, “Which gift makes your heart race?” women’s top response was “sparkly jewelry.” That response tied at 35 percent with “A romantic dinner.” Twenty-five percent chose “an album full of our pics.” Only 5 percent of women responded “a tried-and-true token of affection (who wouldn’t like candy, perfume, or roses?).” The sparkly jewelry used to illustrate the blurb is a crystal and gold-plated necklace from R.J. Graziano.
The February 2013 issue of Glamour similarly notes, “What’s better than chocolates and roses? A statement necklace you’ll love forever. Even Cupid can’t beat that!” The necklace highlighted is a brass chain with glass accents from Lulu Frost, created in collaboration with the magazine at a lower price point than usual. Glamour suggests: “Snap it up fast—or drop major hints to someone who loves you.”
Should crystal and glass stones not do the trick, look no further than the February 2013 issue of Elle magazine, which relates the history of Esther Howland, a 20-year-old Mount Holyoke grad who in 1848 offered the first ready-made Valentine’s gifts and became known as the “Mother of the American Valentine.” The magazine features a David Yurman 18k gold chain to which is affixed a 32 ct. heart-shaped rubellite. Elle reports that “the piece is proof of what Howland discovered more than a century and a half ago: A store-bought valentine can still set your heart aflutter.”
As for the British survey, it needs to be considered in context. It found that 87 percent of women “prefer thoughtful romantic gestures compared to expensive gifts” for Valentine’s Day in a survey conducted by the British Heart Foundation as it launched its annual Love Notes fundraising campaign. The survey emphasizes that a donation as small as 1 pound, for which one could post a romantic message in a shop window, helps the organization continue its life-saving work. That 13 percent of women could resist the obviously desired survey answer is surprising.
The purchase of jewelry personally selected with one’s beloved in mind is by any standard a thoughtful romantic gesture. To the recipient, that gift of jewelry is a beautiful reminder of one’s Valentine long past Valentine’s Day.