In addition to our featured gift guides in which 12 expert jewelers are sharing their jewelry picks for this season and letting us in on their own holiday wish list, here is my advice on landing the jewelry of your dreams…

It’s that time of year when all my women friends tell me secretly what jewelry they want their husbands, boyfriends or significant others to purchase for them. I am supposed to discreetly pass this information along, by calling or emailing said husband, boyfriend or significant other, for the first time all year, to somehow nonchalantly, offer them my ‘expert’ advice. This is an enactment of how it not so subtly works after I make the first contact:

JOHN:  “I heard that Jenny called you to tell me what piece jewelry she wants for Christmas.”(STATEMENT, NO QUESTION MARK)

ME: “Well, I wouldn’t say that exactly … she kind of gave a wish list.”

JOHN: “Wait, she has more than one item?” (DEFINITELY A QUESTION)

ME: “No, no, it’s one. But she gave options.”

JOHN: (TRYING TO BE WITTY) “And if I decide to get her the a new tablet or the iPhone 7 instead?—she needs an upgrade!”

ME: “She will hit you over the head with one of those gadgets and if you are going to ‘upgrade’ anything you might want it to be a new pair of diamond hoops. (AND THEN I GO FOR IT.) “If you don’t comply, I can’t promise you that you will have a sex life, or those golf clubs you wanted for your birthday.”

JOHN: “Okay. Got it. No problem. Will definitely go with what you say!!”

Now that the cat is out of the proverbial bag about how it works, remember this for next year: we don’t have to come up with the master plan. There are a few simple rules to follow to help you get the gift of jewelry you want and not something that will wind up in the dark recesses of your jewelry box—only to see the light of day when you feel your guy is about to ask why you aren’t wearing the present he gave you last holiday season—the one he chose on his own for you.

1-ENLIST A FRIEND- Ever since I began writing about jewelry almost 20 years ago, my friends and faithful readers have asked for my help with not only holiday, but year round gifts. I suggest you do something similar and enlist a friend that knows your taste and style when it comes to jewelry for this holiday season. Your men will be happy for the help. Guys are attracted to bling, become intimated the minute they walk into a jewelry store and often select pieces that shine brighter than a Christmas tree when you might want just a little sparkle or color around your face. They will appreciate a mutual friend that they know and trust coming to their rescue and giving them tips about what you prefer. Some suggestions might be a pair of mismatched earrings such as Variance Objects day to night add-to earrings in polished rough gems or the painterly quality of the more elegant styles by Margery Hirschey.

Your friend can also help your guys curate a charm necklace that speaks to your ‘theme’ with heirloom charms they have been ‘told’ (based on your request) to sneak out of your keepsake box to mix with antique and vintage charms. Here are a few to drool over while you are considering the combinations: a love theme necklace at Alice Kwartler Antiques or a Renee Lewis multi charm, multi-message style with pendants and lockets that represent luck, love, and good fortune. For those who prefer a modern style, designer Monica Rich Kosann will also personalize one just for you. Guys will be glad that they have been part of the process of creating such a meaningful jewel that they will not only see you wearing, but also hear changling and dangling on you.

2-LEAVE THE STAPLES TO HIM (AND BUY THE TRENDS YOURSELF)—It has been my experience during Christmas’ past that men do not understand pieces like pretty and dainty gold safety pin earrings because they will not know they are gold or pretty. Nor do they understand the spike-y diamonds ear jackets that accent your lobes. They will see them and turn away from gently kissing your ear for fear that they will stab at their lips. As for the return or brooches, they will look down at them in a display case or in an online antique shop and it will bring back memories of their grannies, not their stylishly hip modern women. It might be wise to save some photos on your iPhone, and while showing them other shots of your kid scoring the goal at the hockey game, scroll through, say, a new pair of double gold and gem hoop earrings by Cathy Waterman, the two-tone metal and white sapphire styles by Alberian & Aulde or the single antique snake head diamond hoops at Bell & Bird. Guys will get a mental photo in their heads and feel almost relieved at having seen a piece of jewelry you are all excited about wearing (they also remember the many gifts they have never seen you in).

Samantha Knight diamond tennis bracelets stacked with her banglesFor basics with a new vibe—your might put an tennis bracelet in different cuts of diamonds or colors of gold on your wish list at your favorite jeweler –those by Samantha Knight jewelry that can stack easily with other pieces and retain their versatility.



3- A JEWEL OF A DIFFERENT COLOR– Men are attracted to color –although the hues that appeal to them might be those of their favorite sports team. If you are hankering for a new pieces of jewelry set with your favorite gemstone or those in this year’s new fashion hues, you might be able to lead your guy away from thinking in terms of touchdowns and slam dunks by wearing colors such as amethyst, ruby, pink sapphire or tourmaline in a scarf, gloves or another accessory—or more blatantly in a sexy camisole or chemise. Or if it’s the blues you are chasing, you are in luck; guys understand the varying hues of denim. Therefore, it will be easier to get them to related to lapis, turquoise or blue sapphire if you lead them in the direction. You might then be lucky enough to land the multiple pinkish/purple hues in Larkspur & Hawk riviere necklace or lapis pendant from L. Frank or these tonal earrings from Sharon Khazzam.

Karma El Khalil Love Choker

4-SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE-If you prefer jewelry with significance and sentiment, you might provide your guys with some subtle hints like cutting out the pieces you are interested in and leaving print outs or tear sheets from magazines up on your refrigerator or on your coffee table. The less subtle the better— and if you are coveting a piece like Karma El Khalil’s 18K gold LOVE choker in gothic diamond letters. This is something they will definitely understand or any other message jewelry that offer a word or a saying. Pyrrha’s pendants created from original wax seals pair romantic mottos and symbols together in gold or sterling s such as a motif of a winged heart, which reads Tout Pour Vous translated from French to “All For You”. The winged heart flying around the globe also means ‘”love that has no limits”.

Pyrrha sealing wax pendant

A. R. Ullmann Acrostic Victorian Love HeartSpeaking of hearts, these are no brainers for men—in my early years as an editor/writer, guys seemed to think that jewelry consisted of two items—a white gold pave diamond heart and diamond stud earrings. I even received my fair share of both in varying sizes. As I began to lead both my guy friends and my friend’s guys away and into other categories of jewelry, I was able to guide them to other types of more appealing hip, contemporary rough-hewn styles or more ornate antique hearts. Here are two recommendations for this year: You can  choose an acrostic heart locket pendant. They spell terms of endearment such as Regard, Dearest and Love with the first letter of each gemstone like the rings that were so popular during Georgian and Victorian times. A. R. Ullmann Antiques features a yellow and rose gold heart locket, which spells out ‘love’.

Karen Karch Captive Heart with opal centerKaren Karch’s contemporary Captive Heart pendant is edgy yet chic in black or gray diamond or more feminine set with an opal center.  This type of jewelry is not only meaningful but it might help your guys express what they are feeling. And for your less than subtle nudge in this direction, they will be eternally grateful.





5) LORD OF THE RINGS-If you aren’t married or engaged and your guy is not planning on it in the very near future, like say, for the holidays, forget any stacker or diamond ring that looks even remotely like an engagement or wedding style. Generally, rings are just not in men’s jewelry vocabulary unless they are planning to pop the question or already married. Friends or friendly jewelers suggesting rings to guys who are not ready to pop the question will cause them to break out into a cold sweat, turn a paler shade of white, and require a liter of water plus a few shots of scotch. They will flee the scene and you will wind up with a new-fangled technological gadget instead.

Anabel Higgins signet with turquoise surround

My advice to all of you who desire rings and are not hitched yet, think in terms of a pair of earrings, pendant or bracelet as this year’s gift and put a deposit on any ring you want for yourself. But, there is always an exception to the rule—if you are coveting a modern signet ring—large and engraveable like those by Anabel Higgins or Circa 1700 with diamonds or gemstones surrounding them you might have shot. Men like pieces that they can have personalized and this one is large enough for them to feel like they are purchasing you a pendant for your finger. And, they might even feel all proud and courageous that they have taken this leap of faith and that you will see it that way too.

These signets are also a great idea if you are married.


6) TAKE HIM SHOPPING –You only have a few weeks left, so it is time to take your men on an outing to your favorite jewelry store where the sales associates might have ‘their’ brand of beer on hand and the latest sports scores. Said sales associates should already be clued in on the pieces you crave- and as you peruse the cases, will have them ready for you to try on. This all has to be a fast maneuver. Men know why they are being dragged into a store with gemstones galore. They might be relieved by the insight this little journey has provided and the knowledge that purchasing you something you love and will wear is only a phone call and credit card number away. But, they will want to retrieve this info and a business card as quickly as possible so they can get back to their normal activities such as watching the game or puttering around with the new tools they bought on your way home.

Here’s hoping that you receive the gift of your dreams! And to ensure that you do– at, we still have more ideas from our jewelry expert retailers, antique dealers and shops who have plenty of epic jewels to share!