Non-Cheesy Jewelry Gifts Every Girl *Actually* Wants For Valentine's Day
February 14th rolls around and whether you’re single, hitched, or fastidiously swiping right, left, and right again, you can't avoid thinking about the fact that indeed, it's Valentine’s Day. Sure, there's excitement in dressing for a romantic date or a girls night out, but if you equate the holiday with a superfluous amount of pink and red hearts, ultra-gooey greeting cards, and over-the-top pre-fixe menus you aren't alone. In the gift department, if you equally dread a teddy bear or confoundingly strappy lingerie, there's a very chic alternative. Fashion insiders know, non-cheesy Valentine's Day jewelry is the ideal gift. Pieces that feel cool and modern from stackable rings to layerable pendants and unconventional earrings all feel intimate and romantic.
Sure, gifting jewelry can be risky if you don't know her taste — everyone knows the struggle of shopping for style-driven types with a very specific aesthetic. But there's no need to feel discouraged by overly thematic baubles or mislead by the idea that most jewelry collections are too expensive to gift from.
To guide you on the best jewelry gifts for the gal on your Valentine’s Day shopping list — and prove that not all cool and modern jewelry gifts have to cost a fortune — 22 jewelry designers ranging from affordable to fine are doling out advice for the season. Not only will you land on a jewelry gift she loves (or hey, you if you're celebrating the night solo), but there's no cheese in sight. Happy V-day!
Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn, Co-Founders of AUrate
"The current trend in jewelry is celebrating the individual, the 'you'," says Ezzahraoui. "I love our new birthstone and zodiac collections as a gift to your friend, your significant other, or yourself. Each piece is unique yet versatile and powerful making it all about you and the good energy that should surround you." In agreement, Kahn says "people want to set their own story and make their own look, not follow the herd," recommending a piece from AUrate's letter collection, especially as a gift between mother's and daughters. "This way you can always carry your baby or mother with you."
Jennie Yoon, Founder of KINN
"While minimal jewelry is great for every day, finding pieces that can be layered and add texture and complexity to a growing collection is what makes for a great gift," says Yoon. "No matter who it’s for, jewelry should be classic so they last for years to come."
Nadine McCarthy Kahane, Founder and CEO of Stone And Strand
"Personalized pieces always make a meaningful gift and are just that much more special for someone to open," says McCarthy Kahane. "While personalization through engraving and initials are a staple in everyone's jewelry rotation, our latest collaboration [with Emily Oberg], The Numbers Game, sets lucky numbers in a sleek, modern finish, offering a trendy update that compliments the more expected personalized pieces you already own."
Lizzie Mandler, Designer
"I think jewelry for Valentine’s Day is only tacky when it's either highly trend driven or very 'Valentine’s Day'-themed. Instead, look for things that she'll have forever, things you can see her wearing every day," says Mandler, recommending wardrobe staples like a pair of huggies, hoops, or diamond studs for a gift between couples. "I think layerable pieces or mix-and-match studs are always best for close friends — this price point allows you to buy two if you want to have a matching set for yourself."
Shelley Sanders, Founder & Creative Director of The Last Line
"When I think of Valentine’s Day jewelry I think of updated classics or high-end, dream versions of nostalgic pieces I’ve always loved," says Sanders. "I think of pieces I’ll always have, always wear, and that will never go out of style."
Jessie Andrews Founder & CEO of Bagatiba
When it comes to a trend-forward jewelry gift, Andrews says bold but lightweight statement earrings and hoops are continuing to rule the jewelry market, noting her Mini Hollow Hoops as a best seller. "We also love pendent necklaces inspired by vintage jewelry," she says. Her biggest tip? "Definitely choose a necklace or earring when gift giving so you don’t have to guess their ring or wrist size."
Justine Lancon, Creative Director of Mejuri
"Gifting for Valentine's Day should be light and fun," says Lancon. "Our Zodiac necklaces are often gifted for a Galentine's celebration, so you and your friends can wear your same-but-different signs together."
Amanda Assad, Founder and Creative Director of MOUNSER
"The perfect piece for a gift between lovers is our iconic Solar Hoop," says Assad. "It’s a lightweight composition of delicate elements making it easy to wear while bringing glamour to any look.” For an under-$100 gift that's especially great for friends, the designer recommends her Breaker Single Hoop Earring featuring a sculptural freshwater pearl drop. For more of an unexpected look, Assad says her Pagoda Earrings are sure to please.
Katherine Kim, Designer of KatKim
"For couples, a matching band is always a great option as a gift," says Kim. "Our Promise Band embraces your story and is a sparkly reminder of your love." If you have a fine jewelry budget and are shopping for an elegant and modern mother-daughter gift, the designer recommends her Mommy+Me Ring. "It's a meaningful piece you can cherish for a lifetime and pass down to generations to come.”
Michelle Bar, Founder & Designer of Barbela
"I think there is something very beautiful and romantic about pearls that fits perfectly within the mood of Valentine's Day," says Bar. "A lot of couture houses are playing around with large misshaped pearls, but I love our Pearl Bailey Lariat as a more wearable alternative — it has a really elegant shape that compliments the neckline." Between friends, the designer recommends gemstone earrings as a fun (and more affordable) way to add color to everyday outfits.
Jess Hannah Revesz, Founder and Designer of J.Hannah
"The perfect Valentine's gift is symbolic or personal," says Revesz. "Our Duo Form Ring has two interlocking bands — simple and romantic. Engraved pieces also make for a special and considered gift, like our signet rings. If you don't know their ring size you can go with an engraved pendant or locket."
Stephanie Wynne Lalin, Co-Founder of Jemma Wynne
"We're loving the idea of earrings as a Valentine's Day gift this year, be it between friends, mothers and daughters, or for your significant other," says Wynne Lalin. "There is so much personalization now around stacking up the ear, so we know a little stud, a pair of huggies, or our favorite triple-row ear cuff will be the perfect gift!"
Nicole Trunfio, Founder of ERTH Jewelry
"When giving the gift of fine jewelry, solid gold is special and much more sentimental,” says Trunfio, whose new ‘5 Phases of Love’ collection launches today. "It can be kept forever and passed down for generations." The designer is also fond of jewelry gifts with a story, especially for Valentine’s Day. “Passing that down over generations is really cool. I still have rings from my grandmother — I cherish those and their stories of where they have come from more than anything."
Caitlin Mociun, Founder of Mociun
"A pretty, delicate necklace is a great Valentine's Day gift because it's thoughtful but also practical – it's something a woman can wear every day and layer with other pieces," says Mociun, who recommends unique designs with one-off gemstones like purple diamonds and bicolor sapphires or interesting cuts of white diamonds. “Single stud earrings are also fun and make great gifts because you can create a mismatched pair that feels personal.”
Sophie Ratner, Designer
"I recently designed these Love Locks inspired by the Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris. They’re a great couples gift without being too Hallmark and each can be custom-engraved with memorable dates, messages, or initials," says Ratner. "For moms and daughters, I prefer pieces that feature the same theme but are not matchy-matchy like our best-selling Large Five Diamond Drop Hoops and Three Diamond Bar Studs. Both earrings play on the same silhouette and are super wearable."
Cindy Hsu Zell, Founder and Designer of WKNDLA
To Wknd LA designer, Cindy Hsu Zell, jewelry is a great way to commemorate a friendship, especially on Valentine’s Day. "I met two women at a show in San Francisco who were celebrating ten years of friendship. They each got a pair of Hara Stud Earrings to commemorate the occasion and were headed out to get matching tattoos."
Sofia Ajram, Designer of Sofia Zakia
"Whether for a significant other or friend, designer Sofia Ajram of Sofia Zakia jewelry says that pearls and vintage-inspired details are big for 2019 as well astrological pieces from delicate earrings to star sign pendants. "Close friends are hard to come by, so investing in something more sophisticated is a great option", says Ajram. For mothers, the designer recommends a piece that is "une petite pensée", French for something small and sweet such as a dainty necklace or stackable ring. "A dreamy heirloom piece to gift to mom would be my hand-engraved Cygnus necklace — a little crest for your family unit."
Cynthia Sakai, Designer and Founder of Vita Fede
"I think the best gifts always have a personal element, I love the idea of wearing a friend’s initial in one ear and yours in the other," says Sakai. "They can be worn alone or layered with earrings and other droplets — you have the ability to curate something completely unique and meaningful."
Yoshinobu Kataoka, Designer of Kataoka
"We are seeing customizable jewelry gaining popularity and still very relevant," says Kataoka. "The more options offered to personalize your piece of jewelry and make it uniquely your own, the better. Customers are willing to spend more money knowing it’s essentially one-of-a-kind." Among the designer's top gifting recommends are delicate pendants, threader earrings, gemstone studs, and dainty rings.
Jacquie Aiche, Designer
"Share your love this season with an adornment that’s just as special as it is beautiful. Charms add a personal touch that will always be close to the heart," says Aiche. If you're not into a classic bracelet look, chain necklaces and earrings are a fresh way to rock charms.
Zahava Ryzman, Designer of Sarah Chloe
When riffing on the theme of love, Sarah Chloe designer, Zahava Ryzman says her Heart.Beat collection is a best seller. "A trend we’re seeing is an interest in pieces that are beautiful and that send a subtle message of love. Too overt and it veers corny."
Emily Goldstein, Founder and Designer of EF Collection
"This year, I'm giving my mom a custom jewelry box with her initials that she can use for traveling," says Goldstein. "This is a perfect gift that won't break the bank but is still special and thoughtful."