Is there a holiday more filled with expectation and desire than Valentine’s Day?
Whatever stage of romance you’re in, from newly enamored to longtime lovers, we have a suggestion for jewelry that will make your significant other swoon. (And if an engagement ring IS going to be the thing, we’ve got that, too.)
Is her style bold and elegant? This flagship store resembles a jewel box, with gleaming display cases lined in deep purple velvet known as “LAGOS black.” The jewelry, designed by internationally recognized, locally-based Steven Lagos, pairs equally well with jeans or a gown. What to choose? Perhaps the drama of a Black Caviar bracelet with dollop of diamonds. A new twist on the signature LAGOS silver beading, the Black Caviar collection is made of a scratch-proof ceramic that’s dark, lustrous, and perfect for the woman who loves ebony shades in her wardrobe. (Translation: all of us.) Or select a sweet memento to commemorate your visit: LAGOS’ Heart of Philadelphia pendant, which captures iconic landmarks in a subtly artistic way. Look closely to decipher architectural elements from City Hall, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Independence Hall. 1735 Walnut St., 215.567.0770
If a magical mix of urban and rustic would entice your lover, seek out Angela Monaco’s Concrete Polish collection at this Northern Liberties shop. Minerals and metal mix in organic shapes both rugged and beautiful. In the spirit of the holiday consider options embellished with garnets—not just for the red color, but because the crystal’s properties are said to inspire love, passion and attraction. Garnets glow in the eyes of the gold-plated Enchanted Fox ring, are embedded in Feather Spear post earrings and dangle at the tip of a Key To The Unknown pendant. Each design is handcrafted in the back workroom, then produced locally with close attention to environmental concerns and use of reclaimed precious metals whenever possible. 819 N. 2nd St., 267.606.6082
If timepieces make your man’s heart tick faster, hurry him to this Rittenhouse Square show room. Founded 100 years ago, the stillindependent, family company offers one of the most extensive collections of new and luxury pre-owned Swiss timepieces on the East Coast. Imagine a candy store for collectors, with polished wood paneling reflecting row upon shining row of watches by Jaeger-LeCoultre, Breitling, Vacheron Constantin and more. 1521 Walnut St., 215.546.6505
Owners Anna Bario and Page Neal founded their company on the tenets of environmental responsibility, ethical sourcing and marriage equality. Not surprisingly, gender-neutral wedding bands are a big part of their business. Silver and bronze collections mix minimalist designs with hand-hammered textures to produce pieces with unisex appeal, while fine jewelry features unusual gemstone combinations in simple yet stunning shapes. Build your own limited-edition cluster ring of fair-mined gold with opal, raspberry sapphire and Paraiba tourmaline, or consider the brand new Opal Cluster Ring. 700 S. 6th St., 215.454.2164
Those ready to pop the question can go straight to sparkle central: Philadelphia’s historic Jewelers Row. America’s oldest diamond district, this two-block area is packed with hundreds of family-owned shops offering exceptional prices. A favorite of my own family is Jeffrey Debs Jeweler Gemologist (128 S. 8th St.). When second generation owner Jeff took the helm a few years ago, the store name was updated as well as the interior, which now boasts exposed brick walls, contemporary lighting and gallery display cases. What didn’t change: the commitment to value, honesty and no-pressure service. When choosing a diamond, it’s all about the 4Cs: Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat weight. At Debs, there’s clarity in your purchase as well. A certified gemologist, Jeff can demystify why one stone costs $100 while another costs 100 times that. His top diamond-buying tip? Purchase in person. A diamond is best chosen live, not online, so that you can truly assess its quality and sparkle.
That’s wise advice for all of these selections. After all, whether it’s a delicate earring, funky pendant, coveted watch, lustrous bracelet or dazzling diamond ring, your loved one deserves the very best bling.