Valentine's Day: Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift

Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and here at Secrète Fine Jewelry in Washington, DC, and Bethesda, MD, we love just about every celebration of love. The high holiday of romance, however, can be problematic when it comes to gift buying. Too often, Valentine’s Day is too commercialized, mass-produced, and cheap, making it an easy target for criticism or even cynicism. We believe it doesn’t have to be that way, so we’ve come up with easy tips for a meaningful Valentine’s Day celebration of love.


These beautiful oval Ceylon sapphire drop halo earrings were custom-designed at Secrète for a DC couple. They'd been planning the gift for a few years before we made it.

Tip No. 1: You don’t have to buy into commercial ideas of “romance.”

For most couples, the televised and advertised notions of what Valentine’s Day ought to be is a little limited. Don’t get us wrong; candlelight dinners at French restaurants, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, and long stemmed roses can be fun, but they don’t speak to every couple. These icons of the holiday for love became what they are because they symbolize luxury, thoughtfulness, and desire. So think about what seems thoughtful, special, and sweet in your book. You do you.

At Secrète, we’ve helped more athan one bewildered man find the perfect Valentine’s gift for his girlfriend. Most men are tempted to go for the cliche-- what might seem fancy or what looks like a Valentine. But if you’ve never seen your girlfriend or wife wear heart-shaped jewelry before, consider whether she might enjoy something else more. A simple pair of gold hoop earrings that she’ll be able to wear every day for decades will probably be a better choice for most women than all the pink teddy bears and fuzzy red knick-knacks in the world.


This super-sleek gray watch from the Junghans Max Bill Handaufzug line is all Bauhaus minimalism and precision engineering-- pretty much the opposite of a fuzzy heart-- but for a chic and stylish lady, this architectural beauty might be the best Valentine's Day gift ever.

Tip No. 2: Think about what will last.

We love celebrating unending love, especially on Valentine’s Day. Greeting cards and love songs celebrate the “always” and “forever” parts of love. So when it comes to choosing a gift for Valentine’s Day, it’s worth considering what will stand the test of time. It’s not hard to spend a small fortune at a florist for a gift that will die within days. It’s easy to spend hundreds at a fancy dinner that’s gone right away, and while we enjoy fine dining, the middle of February is hardly our favorite time to go out.

Jewelry, however, doesn’t wilt or expire. The sentiment of a well-chosen piece of jewelry will be a lasting reminder of your love and this part of your relationship forever. We see couples in their golden years still smiling sweetly as they brag on their beloved, “My husband gave me these earrings for Valentine’s Day in 1962,” or “This is the watch my wife gave me the year we were married, 45 years ago.” We know first-hand that these tokens of love are treasured for decades.


This simple pendant features a beautiful black Tahitian pearl and a fancy champagne in 18k white gold. Secrète Fine Jewelry hand-crafts each of these unique pieces to stand the test of time, in quality of craftsmanship and undeniable style.

Tip No. 3: Fine jewelry is accessible at many price-points.

Going to the jewelry store can give gift-shoppers a little bit of price-anxiety, but there’s no need to fear. Communicating with a trusted local jeweler about your budget, whether you’re in the $200 range, the $1000 range, or higher, can take some of the stress away. A good jeweler will be able to advise you about choices that maximize the potential of your budget, and buying fine jewelry, even when you’re on a tighter budget, is a good investment. For example, you can choose a pair of gold or white gold earrings that cost less than a dinner-and-a-movie date night, making them a smart investment.

Most jewelry stores like to showcase their higher-end pieces to spotlight the quality of their work, but there’s no expectation that everyone who walks into the store can buy the diamond necklace in the window or the regal sapphire ring spotlighted in the case. There will be affordable options for jewelry and watches to help you make an impressive gift and a wise financial choice.


These diamond and gold pave drop earrings by Secrète are timelessly gorgeous.

Tip No. 4: Don’t be “too cool” for Valentine’s Day.

If you’re in a relationship, it’s a good idea to celebrate your love. You might want to roll your eyes at the greeting cards, impossible restaurant reservations, and red-and-pink candies everywhere, and that’s fine-- some of it is decidedly uncool. But put your opinions about the greeting card industry, the “love-industrial-complex,” and the Christianization of pagan mating rituals aside for one reason: it’s far better to be happy and kind than it is to be right. That’s right. You can know that it’s just another day, that your love is worth celebrating all the time, that you don’t need to buy anything to prove your love. Yes, yes, yes. It’s also true that celebration is a part of joy, that generosity is a component of kindness, and that sometimes it feels really, really good to be sappy.


Secrète made this romantic two-stone bypass ring as a modern version of the "tu et moi" two stone pear-shape diamond and sapphire ring that Napoleon gave Josephine. This classic ring symbolizes the way two people fit together while maintaining their own identities. Sappy? Yes. Perfect? Yes. 

Need more guidance with your Valentine's Day gift? Contact us today by phone, via email, or in person at one of our stores, in DuPont Circle in Washington, DC, and the Wildwood Shopping Center in Bethesda, MD.