Be Jeweled

You can’t buy love, but these legendary jewelers know the most beautiful and long-lasting ways to show it

Roses are red, and chocolate is sweet, but when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifting, nothing is as classic as a piece of fine jewelry. Choosing the right piece for someone is all about finding the right beautiful object to capture a personality, and no one understands that more than these four houses of fine jewels, which know how to create a magnificent experience for the giver and receiver both—even if they are one in the same.

Just because giving jewelry on Valentine’s Day is de rigueur doesn’t mean it’s staid or unoriginal, and neither are David Yurman’s designs. Yurman’s cultured past of tutelage under various sculptors and immersion in the Beatnik movement is captured in the intricate carvings and bohemian undertones of his designs, which have given him one of the widest age-ranges of buyers in the industry since he began his company in 1980. His signature bracelets and rings of cabled gold or silver with gemstones are eternal smart-buys, easily dressed up or dressed down and tailored to person via the stone color, while other collections, such as the Labyrinth, offer more complexity in their architecture. “Complex” is a ready word to describe Yurman’s wearers, but there’s certainly something for everyone, especially with his price-points that range from tens to ten-thousands. (Madison Ave. nr. 63rd St.)

Like Holly and Paul getting a Cracker-Jack ring engraved for $10 in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, if ever there was a place with limitless romance, it’s Tiffany’s & Co. Every year, it exhibits a special Valentine’s Day collection, which steers clear of cheesy with the likes of elegant pearl drop earrings and delicate linked necklaces with mounted diamonds, and seasonal heart designs are very discreet. The company’s clean, pared-down style is what has kept it so timeless, with many of its staple pieces hardly updated since it began in 1837, but wearers that like to wax modern should keep an eye on the rotating roster of collaborations with renowned designers such as Elsa Peretti. And for an extra dose of personalization? Take a page out of Audrey Hepburn’s book and get it engraved. (Fifth Ave. at 57th St.)

Bulgari may be a global lifestyle brand now with everything from an extensive fragrance collection to an ultra-luxe resort in Bali, but look back to its roots, and you’ll find that it all started with a small jewelry store in Greece. Its designs remain Greek and Italian in style, which is to say, very contemporary and very sophisticated—think diamond-encrusted geometric statement necklaces and fan-shaped patterns inlaid with black onyx and mother of pearl. The house is also famed for its history of watchmaking, and with watches increasingly being worn by women as bold pieces of jewelry rather than demure timepieces, look to Bulgari’s collection, which push the boundaries with things like spiral wrap-around bands of 18-carat gold and diamond- and emerald-encrusted snake heads that open up like mouths with the watch face inside for the most breathtaking—and useful—gift. (Madison Ave. at 59th St.)

Tiffany’s is to America what Cartier is to the France—the house that has always dictated and defined so much of the country’s taste in jewelry. Its emblematic panther speaks not only of Cartier’s proffered style, but also that of those who wear it: confident, elegant, and fierce. As such, Cartier’s Valentine’s Day collections never shy away from being elaborate with heavily encrusted heart designs and swoon-inducing large stones, but its Love bracelets—simple gold bands engraved with the house’s circular symbol—have become one of the jewelry world’s most popular signature pieces for being both understated and meaningful, symbolic of eternal commitment. (Fifth Ave. at 59th St.)