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Anna G. Larson, Published February 13 2014

Just in time to 'be mine': Tips to choose a perfect gift

Fargo - Grownups say “I love you” with more than glitter and glue.

Americans plan to spend $133.91 on Valentine’s Day, and about one-fifth of those people will buy their loved one something sparkly, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey.

Men are the biggest spenders, averaging $108.38, compared with women, who’ll spend $49.41 on their special someone.

A bulk of Valentine’s Day shopping happens a week to a few days before the holiday and the day of, according to local jewelry retailers.

If you haven’t picked out something special for your Valentine yet, we’ve got you covered with classic, eclectic and handcrafted, jewelry at a variety of price points.

And don’t worry, you can take all the credit.

10 tips for buying jewelry>/strong>

- Know your loved one’s style and preferences.

“Think of what they would like, and try to leave your personal opinion out of it,” says Aaron Wimmer, a sales and marketing professional at Wimmer’s Diamonds here. “Jewelry is such a personal thing.”

Ashley Morken, who owns Unglued Market with her husband, Justin, says she prefers handmade jewelry, and her husband knows that.

“If he chose something on his own from here or maybe Zandbroz that was locally made or had a story with it … that, I love,” she says.

E Take stock of what they already have.

“Look in their jewelry box. You can get a sense of style based on that,” Wimmer says.

Maybe your Valentine already owns diamond stud earrings, so a necklace would be more appropriate, he says.

- Men will appreciate jewelry, too.

“It’s an opportunity for women to surprise their husbands (or boyfriends). We sell quite a few watches,” says Todd Salmon, of Royal Jewelers in downtown Fargo.

Tag Heuer and Tissot watches start at $300, and they’re quality brands that most people recognize, Salmon says.

Wimmer’s watches are made specifically for the local stores and start at $150.

“They’re a great quality since you’re not paying for a brand name,” Wimmer says.

Cufflinks, tie clips/pins and simple bracelets and necklaces are other stylish options for men.

- Put some effort into it (even when you’re short on time).

“I think with Valentine’s Day, it’s about showing that you put some thought into it,” Morken says.

Salmon says the holiday is about doing something special for someone you love, no matter how little or how much money you spend.

“You have to decide, when you’re going into a jewelry store, what it is you’re after and what you really want to give,” he says. “I think it’s more about giving from the heart.”

- When in doubt, choose white gold.

Three-quarters of women prefer white gold jewelry, but yellow gold is becoming trendier, Wimmer says.

- Stick with classics.

Heart-themed jewelry is popular, and if that’s your Valentine’s style, go for it, Wimmer says.

Otherwise, stick to timeless pieces like diamond pendants and simple stud earrings that can be worn year-round.

If you’re shopping for a woman, Sofia Wacksman, Vice President of Trend for Kohl’s Department Stores, recommends purchasing jewelry that’ll add to her wardrobe.

“I think the key to building a great wardrobe is buying her pieces you know she will love in the future and not just wear once or twice,” she says.

- It’s OK if they want to exchange it.

“As soon as they open it, you should be able to tell instantly if they like it,” Wimmer says. “You want them to love it and enjoy it. There’s always the opportunity to swap it out.”

Kathryn Olson, a sales associate at Wimmer’s, adds, “Don’t feel bad if they don’t like it. That’s why there are so many different styles of jewelry.”

- With diamonds, quality relates to price.

A pair of one-tenth carat total weight diamond earrings starts at $189 at Wimmer’s.

People usually buy a third-carat total weight to start (Wimmer calls them a “cute, decent” size).

- Think of a way to present the gift.

Showing up with a gift at your Valentine’s workplace or having the gift waiting at the dinner table injects even more surprise into the holiday, Wimmer says.

- Treat yourself.

No Valentine this year? Buy yourself something special to celebrate you.

Wimmer and Olson see people buying themselves everything from fashion jewelry to $6,000 diamond earrings.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525

Valentine’s Day by the numbers

- 54 percent of Americans will celebrate Valentine’s Day with their loved ones this year

- $17.3 billion, the total amount Americans will spend on the holiday

- $133.91, the amount the average person will spend

- 48.7 percent of people will buy candy

- 37.3 percent will give flowers

- 51.2 percent will send a card

- 19 percent will give their Valentine jewelry

- 15.8 percent will give their Valentine clothing

- 14 percent will give gift cards

- $3.9 billion, the amount Americans will spend on jewelry for Valentine’s Day

- 37 percent of people will celebrate with an evening out

- $108.38, the amount men will spend on their significant other

- $49.41, the amount women will spend on their Valentine

- 59.4 percent of people will show their appreciation of family members on Valentine’s Day; 21.7 percent for friends; 20.4 percent for teachers; 12.1 percent for colleagues; and 19.4 percent for pets.

Source: National Retail Federation

The Four Cs of Diamonds

FARGO – The 4Cs of diamond quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, according to the Gemological Institute of America.

Diamond color, clarity, cut and carat weight compose the 4Cs.

The Gemological Institute of America also has a free 4Cs app available on iTunes.

Color: A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue and consequently, a higher value.

Color is graded from D to Z, with D being colorless.

Clarity: Diamonds are ranked from “flawless” to “included.”

While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value.

Many inclusions and blemishes are too tiny to be seen by anyone other than a trained diamond grader.

Cut: A diamond’s cut doesn’t refer to its shape but rather how well its facets interact with light.

Cut is ranked from excellent to poor.

Carat weight: Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs.

Diamond price increases with carat weight because larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable.

However, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values depending on the three other factors of the diamond 4Cs.

Source: Gemological Institute of America