BEIRUT: Valentine’s Day is no doubt a jewelers’ holiday as they cash in on material proclamations of true love in the form of diamonds and heart-shaped pendants.
Many couples – and unfortunate exes – will attest, however, that jewelry is one of the hardest things to get right. One woman’s diamond dream is another’s gaudy nightmare. Women of Beirut have weighed in on what they see as the perfect gift.
If there was one general rule: Keep it simple, cupid.
Tip No. 1: Practical pieces
Many young women who spoke to The Daily Star said Valentine’s Day didn’t need to be fraught with pressure; in terms of jewelry, it’s all about practicality.
“I like simple jewelry, nothing too ostentatious,” said Lea Hedary, a 27-year-old project manager at a consultancy firm.
Hedary said she preferred “small necklaces with small diamonds, not a big chunky gold necklace that I can’t wear anywhere.”
Also a fan of emerald stones, she said that it was important she be able to wear her jewelry to everyday outings as well as during the evening.
Tip No. 2:
On Valentine’s Day, in particular, any old piece of jewelry won’t do.
“I like something that has sentimental value,” Hedary said, citing a recent gift she had purchased for her friend’s birthday: a charm bracelet clad with trinkets, which she said was a spot-on reflection of her character.
“I want something that represents who I am, like a necklace carved with a quote, girls like this stuff,” she said.
Tip 3: Simple designs
and small stones
Reem Naamani, a 22-year-old gym and English instructor, echoed Hedary’s interest in the understated: “very simple, the simplest possible.”
Her ideal gift would be a Champagne-colored metal necklace with ruby stones. A fan of earrings and headpieces, she said she disliked exaggerated gestures of love, which usually come in the form of expensive jewelry.
Naamani said that from what she had seen, men were more likely to give simple jewelry. If a woman’s unsatisfied, it’s usually because she wanted more flamboyant pieces.
“Sometimes women like more exaggerated jewelry, thinking the more expensive, the better,” said Naamani, who has been in a two-year relationship with her boyfriend.
But not her, she explained: “It’s all about simplicity for me.”
“I love rings a lot and delicate pendants,” said Reine Habchi, a 25-year-old who is engaged to be married.
She told The Daily Star that buying jewelry could be more conflict-free than people thought.
Habchi’s tastes include precious stones, particularly rubies, and yellow gold over white gold; however, she is not a fan of bracelets.
Like most women her age, she likes simple, uncomplicated jewelry, she said.
Tip No. 4: Nothing Valentine’s Day themed
Much of the jewelry on display for Valentine’s Day has a habit of coming in the form of red heart-shaped lockets, something many men tend to go for.
But for Sima Ghaddar, a 21-year-old intern, heart-shaped paraphernalia was “the last thing” she would want:
“It’s too obvious, too cliché.”
Ghaddar said her ideal present would include a soft gold-chain necklace with a pearl for a pendant.
“The necklace can’t be too long or too short,” she said. “I like it very simple, minimalist.”
Tip No. 5: Play it safe with rings
A ring lover, Ghaddar said she enjoyed gold-plated sets of rings, not too different from the typical wedding band.
“Nothing too extravagant or bulging, and nothing too out there,” she said. “The more personal, all the better.”
But for older, married women who are Valentine’s veterans, tastes can be a little more complicated. Guilene Haber, who has been married for over 11 years and is a mother of two young boys, said rings were her favorite accessory, adding that she preferred unique cuts to classic ones.
“I especially like white and [yellow] gold together so that it can go with everything,” she said.
Haber said she also liked smaller, more personal trinkets over jewelry made of real gold.
Tip No. 6: Diamonds for special occasions
Haber said she liked something special occasionally, like a diamond-clad necklace, albeit preferring a less extravagant cut.
Roula Safar, a teacher and mother of four, was more enthusiastic about the clear, sparkly gems.
“Diamonds!” she answered without hesitation.
A fan of both necklaces and rings, she told The Daily Star that she loved receiving diamond jewelry for Valentine’s Day, but the unofficial holiday had grown to be “like any other weekend” for her and her husband.
“He usually tells me to go pick out my gift,” she said with a hearty laugh. “He’s afraid of buying me something precious that I won’t like.”
No matter how long a couple has been together, men might still not understand their loved one’s jewelry taste. And in those cases, the best thing is for the woman to make it known and save them both from disappointment later.
“They would know if girls would drop hints,” Hedary said with a laugh. “To be fair though, a lot of guys, when they really care about a girl, they know what to get.”