New Page 1

Buying Valentine's Jewelry 101: Dasha Boutique Offers 5 Do's and Don'ts


                When it comes to buying jewelry for a loved one on Valentine's Day – be her a romantic partner, lifelong friend or blood relative – there is always a message we are trying to send; and plenty we are trying to avoid. Cathy Pitts, founder of Dasha Boutique, which offers custom, handcrafted jewelry, gives us the crash course.


1.       Send the Message that You Know Her, Inside & Out

DO: Stick with what she likes. When it comes to jewelry, girls are creatures of habit. And no matter how beautiful the piece you select, you are not likely to change that. So if she wears a pair of plain gold hoop earrings almost every day, get her another pair of gold hoop earrings that have a slightly different look – hammered to provide some texture, or oval versus circular. If she adorns herself with large stone necklaces or bracelets, keep in mind that chunky and fun, not thin and delicate, is her style. In the end, this may not be the gift that transforms her accessory wardrobe, but it will be a gift that demonstrates how well you know her. Plus, she'll actually wear it.

DON'T: Mix Metals. If all of her bracelets are gold, take the hint! Even if she is a little more willing to stray from the norm than our typical Valentine described above, she will have no jewelry to match your gift if you completely ignore her signature metal. If she has a variety of gold, silver, platinum, etc. try to choose the metal based on another piece of jewelry she owns that she could potentially wear with your gift.


2.       Send the Message of Sentimentality

DO: Personalize it. From inscriptions to gemstone choices, charms to metal options, there are plenty of ways to communicate the notion that this is a gift specifically from you, specifically for her. This is where your role in her life really makes a difference. For instance, parents should consider buying a piece made with their daughter's birthstone – a poignant reminder of the beginning of their relationship. Friends can avoid the "friendship jewelry" cliché by purchasing two similar pieces that differ according to personal styles and/or characteristics. Perhaps a topaz stone to match her blue eyes and an emerald to match your green ones; or a single chain to complement her classy style and a layered one to agree with your modern look.

DON'T: Inscribe it if you don't mean it. As the boyfriend (or girlfriend, for that matter) don't let romance cloud your commitment-phobic head. Inscribing something you don't mean will only give her ammo later if things don't work out. Plus, we believe she should have the option of wearing the jewelry post-breakup, sans depressing reminders.


3.       Send the Message of Femininity

DO: Buy raw diamonds instead of refined ones. Girls love diamonds – that is an irrefutable fact. But if your mind or your wallet is not ready to commit, we suggest a happy alternative – Raw Diamond beads. These unrefined versions of the female's favorite stone are a fun, still-fancy option that comes in either black or white/clear. She'll love the fact that it's a diamond, and you won't be caught sending any mixed messages.

DON'T: Buy her a raw diamond engagement ring. If you're looking for an alternative to the norm, we suggest garnet, jade, sapphire or another striking, colored stone.


4.       Send the Message of Quality

DO: Research quality and prices. When it comes to gold and silver, Dasha Boutique offers a few different options, including Sterling silver, Gold and Goldfill. Sterling silver is actually a combination of about 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. Since pure silver is an incredibly soft material, Sterling is the norm when it comes to jewelry and other solids. Hill Tribe silver, which contains 95%- 99% silver, is rarer and softer, but can be another option for rings and charms. Hill Tribe tends to be more expensive and requires special storage to maintain the shape, but it does not tarnish as easily as Sterling.

Gold is also made with a variety of alloy purities that are measured in Karats (K). Pure gold (24K) is too soft for jewelry and so the most common levels are 18K, 14K or 10K. One of the best varieties in terms of quality and price is "Goldfill." Goldfill is real gold on top of Sterling Silver, a quality metal combination that is as durable and aesthetically beautiful as any gold ally, yet offered at a lower price. Whether Gold, Goldfill or Sterling, be aware that all jewelry requires some basic care to keep it looking its best. Visit for specific care advice and be sure to tell your girl what she's wearing.

DON'T: Confuse Gold-plated with Goldfill. As opposed to Goldfill (described above), gold-plated is usually used for costume jewelry and will wear off quickly.


5.       Send the Message that You Care

                DO: Acknowledge the holiday. This is Valentine's Day, folks! Offer up an open target to Cupid and go the full nine yards: Wrap the gift box in pretty paper, stick a red bow on top and buy her a card, in which you can explain the significance of the jewelry. Did you know that each gemstone has a personal history to explain its name, its astrological significance and mythological powers? A few minutes of research will give you enough to fill the card with fun facts – and more than enough to fill her heart with appreciation.

                DON'T: Screw up the signature on the card. If you and she are in a relationship that has yet to say that famous four letter word out-loud, don't write it down. Believe us that she and her friends will read into that signature for more hours than you sleep each night. If you are teetering on the edge, we recommend signing "