I write mostly to help men understand how to buy diamonds for women, and for women to understand how to get value from the diamonds they wear. But, let’s be honest, the whole reason why the diamond industry even exists is due to the emotional significance and romance that diamonds as a symbol represent to men and women. Especially women.
Women are beautiful creatures; young and old, large or small, tall or short, dark or light. For milliennia woman have been the aesthetically pleasing sex whereas men are valued for their ability to protect, provide, and support. Women raise children, are the energetic base to a household, manage full time careers, keep families together, and essentially provide the emotional glue that is vital to any society.
Men realize a woman’s worth and enjoy gift giving and making her feel special; with women particularly enjoying ornamentation and indulgence. Throughout the ages we have regularly adorned ourselves with quality textiles, scented perfumes, extravagent oils for skin and hair, and make-up to accentuate our soft feminine features of big round eyes and soft voluptuous lips. Jewelry is an extension to our personality, a way for us to express ourselves according to our mood, our power, or our social group. We are very particular about what jewelry we like and what we don’t immediately connect with. Jewelry is important to us because it is an extension of ourselves and an affirmation of who we are.
A woman wears her tears like jewelry. ~Author Unknown
This is not to say that we are overly materialistic, however there is a clear division of what jewelry means to a woman vs. a man. Let it be clear that material objects do not hold the essence of a woman (or a man for that matter), but as physical creatures we express ourselves in physical ways and these are the manifestations of our inner being.
Chances are if you are looking to purchase jewelry for a woman there is a significant reason why. Whether it is for your partner, mother, sister, daugther, or friend, buying jewelry for a woman follows the same process. First, you must understand what kind of jewelry your intended likes and prefers. You can glean this information either through paying attention and being aware of what jewelry she currently wears, or what she has mentioned while watching TV ads, perusing magazines, or commenting on from friends or family.
The jewel, which is so well adapted to a woman’s adornment, is a combination of the riches of nature and art; it is concentrated brilliancy, the quintessence of light…. In the bowels of the earth, in the deserted channels of exhausted torrents, in the gloomy depths of the mineral world, stars are concealed that rival in their beauty those of the firmament. The fresh spendours of dawn, the sun’s incandescent rays, the magnificent sunsets, the brilliant colours of the rainbow, all are found enclosed in a morsel of pure carbon or in the centre of a stone…. uniting as though urged by the secret instinct of the beautiful, to compose prismatic forms of astonishing regularity… ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875
If you don’t know what kind of jewelry your lady prefers, then why are you buying her jewelry? As mentioned before, jewelry is highly symbolic to a woman and she’ll wear it with pride only if it means something to her. It must have some symbolic value in order for her to wear it regularly.
3 Cardinal Sins Men Make:
Men are especially guilty of committing various cardinal sins when it comes to buying jewelry. Please keep the following in mind:
Do NOT choose jewelry that YOU like – choose jewelry that SHE likes!
I’m not sure why men think that if they like something and because they chose it, that automatically defaults for the woman to like it too. I’ve read countless forums and different articles where women lament behind the scenes about their engagement ring or birthday gift. The conversation is always the same, “I feel guilty that he spent so much on this and I hate it!’ or, “I wish I loved it, but I just don’t! Help!”, or, “Should I tell him the truth that it’s just not my style? Would that be ungrateful?”
The responses are usually 50/50 with some woman saying the recipient should always be grateful that they were gifted a piece of jewelry despite the fact that they hate it, vs. the other half saying to just be honest and tell him the truth. Whether or not you keep it to yourself or tell him how you feel falls largely on the nature of your relationship and the financial impact of the gift. If that someone is close to you and the item is pricey then I’m afraid I fall into the latter category of being honest and telling him how I feel.
For one, I’d rather my significant other or close family member be happy with something that I gifted them and would feel confident enough to tell me otherwise. Second, as jewelry is so personal, and if the item is of significant importance like an engagement ring that you wear everyday and spend a lot of cash on, then it really boggles my mind why women would subjugate themselves by not just telling their truth in a gentle but honest way. At the end of the day, who is the one that is supposed to wear the jewelry? Wouldn’t you as a gift giver prefer that the individual actually like it?
Clasp my love around your neck,
Wear my heart on your finger.
My soul will be your pendant:
I live to adorn you —
You’re the precious one.
~Grey E. Livingston, “Genuine Adoration”
Do NOT choose just ANYTHING to fill the space: holiday requirement, sentiment, or social obligation
Men are smart and they know women like to receive jewelry particularly for Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s, Anniversary’s, or life achievements like graduation, job promotion, new baby, etc. These are all wonderful and appropriate occasions to give a woman jewelry. However, because men don’t wear jewelry to the extent that women do, they sometimes cannot understand or appreciate the time and/or effort that is required to find the perfect gift. This sometimes leads to making a last minute choice that fills the space but really offers no emotional investment. When a woman is given something with this energetic intention she feels it; either consciously or unconsciously. Again, we could fall in the same argument as above and either keep it and say thank you or tell the giver that it isn’t your style. Depending on the relationship or the monetary value, the woman may just accept it and leave it at that. However, you’ll always know the truth – just see if she ever wears it again and/or how often.
Do NOT choose what you’d like HER to wear!
Sometimes men want to show their love and status by investing in a huge diamond engagement ring, however their significant other has specifically told them that they want something small. These guys mean well and their intentions are good, but they are still only thinking of themselves and not their significant other. Always remember, that if you are gifting jewelry to anyone, it must be about that person and that person only. Try to take your ego, personality, and preferences out of the equation. The gift is a symbol of how well you know this person, how much you love this person, and how much you would take pride in knowing that she will wear it as a symbolic representation of all the above.
5 Tips Towards Choosing The Perfect Jewelry/Engagement Ring
Now that you know what not to do, how do you go about choosing a great jewelry gift for your lady?
- Well, an obvious option is to simply ask her – though this is rarely done. Perhaps asking what she likes falls within the same category as asking for directions or reading the instruction manual, but men seem to have an aversion to doing things the easy way. Nevertheless, it is a fool proof way to ensure that your jewelry choice is perfect. So how do you go about asking? Well, you can be as casual or direct about it as you like. Most women would love the opportunity to enlighten you on her style or favorite designer. Some women know exactly what they want while others aren’t so picky. If you ask you’ll know for certain what she will like and she will appreciate that you made the effort to find out. Win/win.
- If you are too shy to ask or really need to keep your gift a surprise – like an engagement ring, then another option would be to ask her best friends or close family to ask on your behalf. This sometimes works better as women tend to talk to each other about personal style and fashion with each other. Asking her best friend to find out what ring she likes or what she had in mind is a great way to investigate her preferences.
- Another option is to simply take her shopping. You could go out for dinner and then casually go window shopping. You may even want to make a prior appointment so that the jeweler is expecting the both of you. You can then enjoy the experience of choosing a perfect piece of jewelry together. This idea works well for birthdays or other occasions outside of an engagement or anniversary.
- If you really want to propose marriage, AND keep it a secret, AND have no clue of what kind of ring she’ll like, then your safest approach is to research what kind of diamond will be set as the center stone and purchase it in a temporary ring setting. This is actually a really great option, as the diamond is the most significant cost factor and something that you can keep hidden from her while still allowing her to choose the style of the engagement ring. Proposing with the diamond is romantic and shows you care about her feelings as well as put forth the effort to research and purchase the perfect center stone for her ring.
- Finally, sometimes families have heirloom rings or stones that are handed down to the next generation. If you are lucky enough to have an antique ring in your family that you want to use as your engagement ring – great! Woman are emotional creatures. We love lineage, heritage, and the passing down of family values and stories. When I was gifted my late Grandmother’s 18k gold wedding band I was profoundly moved. The symbolic representation of this ring surpasses all of the jewelry I currently own with exception to my own wedding and engagement ring. Thus, gifting a woman an heirloom piece of jewelry will always go well – even it if isn’t her style or preference. In these instances, be willing to compromise and be creative. If the woman loves the sentiment but wishes to make slight changes to the heirloom piece to make it hers be willing to accommodate this request. This doesn’t devalue the jewelry, but rather intensifies it as it has been given to a new owner and they are adding their love and appreciation to the piece. In other instances, the jewelry may fit the woman’s personality perfectly and no alterations are necessary. Whatever the circumstance, gifting someone an heirloom piece with deep significance will move most any woman to tears. Try it and see!
Hopefully my views here aren’t interpreted as mocking men in their jewelry choices or stereotyping woman into materialistic gold diggers. It is simply an honest look at the sexes, how they think, operate, and hold to expectations. Our social mores are ingrained within each of us based on our culture, age, and sex. If we are to be honest with one another, let’s start with the sentiment of love and gift giving. At the end of the day, if you love someone and they gift you jewelry no matter if you like it or not, there is always the powerful and very true sentiment of ‘It’s the thought that counts‘. While that is in itself very sweet, wouldn’t it be sweeter if your choice was exactly what the recipient wanted?
Hey.You Want Ideal Cut Diamonds?
You've got it.
Join ODBA's Diamond Deal Friday and get handpicked diamonds every week from me to you.
No consultation required. Subscribe now!