When to Give Jewelry in a Relationship

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A gift of fine jewelry can sometimes solidify the relationship or send your partner packing—it just depends on where you are in the relationship. For instance, unless you've had many talks about commitment, surprising your partner with an engagement ring—or even a ring that looks like one—within the first few months of dating probably isn't a good idea. Learn when it's appropriate to give fine jewelry and how much you should spend in proportion to your level of commitment.

  • 01 of 08

    Valentine's Day

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    If you've been dating for a year or longer—or are very committed in your relationship—fine jewelry is appropriate on Valentine's Day. Some great jewelry gift ideas include a gold or silver locket, a pair of diamond studs, or a simple gemstone necklace. However, if Valentine's Day happens to fall within the first few months of your relationship, it might be best to stick to a beautiful piece of costume jewelry rather than an expensive piece of fine jewelry. 

  • 02 of 08

    Christmas

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    Christmas can be a great time to give the gift of fine jewelry, especially if you and your loved one have spent multiple holidays together. If you're not super-serious yet, choose something like a pair of cufflinks for a man or a bracelet for a woman. For more serious relationships, a quality watch or diamond earrings are perfect gifts to place under the tree.

  • 03 of 08

    Birthday

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    Birthdays are the perfect time to give birthstone jewelry, which are items with stones or crystals that are traditionally associated with a specific month of birth. Springing for a real stone or crystal is always a nice gesture. However, it's also fine to save money by purchasing a synthetic stone if you haven't been together long. A popular option is a simple birthstone ring that your partner can wear for years to come—but, if your significant other was born in April, be aware of what a diamond ring might indicate.

  • 04 of 08

    Engagement

    woman showing off her engagement ring

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    When shopping for a traditional diamond engagement ring, first determine which shape your partner prefers. That will narrow down your choices before you look at the setting, metal, and other options. Furthermore, many people are opting for alternatives to the diamond engagement ring, including lockets and simple metal bands.

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  • 05 of 08

    Wedding Day

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    Although it's not an absolute must, it's customary for spouses to exchange small gifts on the day of their wedding, and jewelry is frequently involved. Often one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen will deliver these gifts just before the wedding, so the spouses don't see each other prior to their big reveal. 

    The gifts don't have to be anything outrageous, especially because a lot of money was likely spent on an engagement ring, wedding bands, and the wedding itself. A small necklace or cufflinks are great wedding gift options.

  • 06 of 08

    Anniversary

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    Anniversaries come in two forms: pre-wedding and post-wedding. If you're a couple that is committed but has no plans for marriage, use your anniversary as an opportunity to give a fine jewelry gift with some longevity. For instance, offer a ring or necklace in your partner's favorite color or style, which they can enjoy wearing for many occasions.

    If you're married, there's a traditional list of anniversary gifts for every year after your wedding. For example, you can opt to get your spouse the traditional gift of a wooden item on your fifth wedding anniversary. However, any anniversary is also a great time to give a piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime. 

  • 07 of 08

    New Baby

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    A gift for your pregnant partner has come to be known as a "push present." If this is your first baby together, a piece of fine jewelry is a great way to show how much your partner and the baby mean to you. Giving the new mom a piece of jewelry with the baby's birthstone is a popular option, and it's something the mother can pass down to her child when they get older. 

  • 08 of 08

    Anytime

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    A gift of fine jewelry is generally very sentimental. Even though it's mostly geared toward women, everyone has a specific taste in jewelry. In addition, fine jewelry is one of the most durable and lasting gifts you can give. Just be sure to take the following into account whenever you give jewelry in a relationship:

    • If you aren't mutually committed, opt for less-expensive jewelry.
    • Make sure the jewelry has sentimental value behind it, not just financial value.
    • Don't use jewelry as a means to apologize, and don't expect something in return.