Shopping guide offers tips for jewelry purchases

This is just one of the many engagement rings available at Ames Silversmithing.

Jolie Monroe

This Valentine’s Day, give your loved one a special gift that will last for years. Ames offers a wide variety of local options to find that perfect piece of bling.

Gifts for women include necklaces, rings and earrings, while men’s gifts include watches, cuff links and money clips. With all of the different options, keep these tips in mind while shopping for that special someone.

Jewelry doesn’t have to break the bank

Whether you’re looking to splurge or save, there are plenty of options that will satisfy your needs. Many jewelry stores have a wide range of products and prices to choose from,  and they can help pinpoint exactly what will work with your budget and plans.

“A quality piece doesn’t have to be big or expensive,” said Mike Gilger, of Gilger Designs in Ames.

Some stores even offer special discounts to help save even more. Riddle’s Jewelry General Manager Ryan McConnell explained that Riddle’s offers a 5 percent discount to ISU students, along with special sales throughout the Valentine’s Day season.

Consider unique pieces

A few jewelry stores in Ames offer custom pieces that will be sure to stand out.

“We have a lot of custom pieces, with thousands of stones to choose from,” said Gary Youngberg, of Ames Silversmithing.

Gilger explained that some of their best-selling items for Valentine’s Day are their custom pieces, which include their I-State and Campanile symbols that can be used for pendants, cuff links, pins and more.

Get the facts

When making your purchase, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the piece you’re buying.

“Shop for quality, she’s worth it,” Gilger said.

Knowing the components and origin of the jewelry can help you decide which one has the quality you’re looking for.

Feel safe in your selection

Many people are hesitant to make a jewelry purchase without knowing an exact size or what gemstone their loved one would want. Don’t let that hold you back — check with stores to see what their policy is on sizings and warranties.

Youngberg explained that he encourages gift buyers to give the gift, then bring it back to be resized if necessary.

“We offer free warranties and have an on-site goldsmith to do sizings within one or two days,” McConnell said.