This Valentine’s Day avoid looking like you’ve just Googled “jewellery” and bought the first thing on whichever women’s magazine list came up first by reading BURO.’s guide to the common clichés and how to sidestep them
When it comes to upping the romance ante, no one does it better than Kanye West. Say what you like about the man, but he gives good gift. From a Hermès Birkin customised by US artist George Condo to a vintage Cartier necklace on which he had etched a picture of their home and the words of text he’d sent to Kim outlining all her amazing achievements, including “married with four kids / Get people out of jail / Cover of Vogue”, he is the master of the thoughtful present. We might not all have the amount of readies Mr West seems to have in his bank account, but you can still take a leaf out of his book this Valentine’s Day by ditching the jewellery clichés and getting a little more personal. Here’s some ones to avoid and the best ways to avoid them.
They are perennial popular but most of them verge into the realms of twee; resembling the hearts drawn by schoolgirls over their i’s in place of dots. So, if you’re looking for something that looks like a heart but isn’t a cliché then then this pendant from British jeweller Hannah Martin is perfect. Its concentric flutes appear to form a reminiscent shape, but it’s certainly not obvious. And it’s inspired by Soviet brutalist architecture - there’s nothing traditionally romantic about that.
Without naming names, you know what we’re talking about here. Run-of-the-mill, cookie-cutter bracelets loaded with cute kittens, hearts that say: “I love you” and flowers. Totally unsuited to a grown woman, or at any rate a woman some sort of aesthetic sense.
Thankfully Annoushka has teamed up with The Vampire’s Wife – aka Susie Cave, wife of Nick Cave - to offer an alternative. Every charm is inspired by a Nick Cave song from the blood-tipped fangs for Release the Bats to a tiny rose for his duet with Kylie Minogue, Wild Rose. Dark but deliciously romantic.
We all love a diamond, but tiny “I need a loupe to see them” diamond studs just aren’t worth anyone’s time or money. If you want to declare your love with something to put on her lobes, then Dior has just the thing. From its “Oui” collection, these earrings are fun, flirty, contain the requisite diamonds and spell out your feelings in French. Because we all know when it comes to the language of love, the French make everything sound better.
If you are planning to propose don't do the obvious thing and buy a pre-designed ring. Vashi, the ethical fine-jewellery service, has everything you need to create your own bespoke piece. You can either go in-store or use their online ring builder where you can customise everything from the setting to the stone size at the click of a mouse and while still in your pants. Vashi can even deliver it to you in 24 hours should this proposal be an impromptu thing.
Did you not get the memo? Pearls have been transformed from staid, “match with a twinset” staples to statement gems with which designers are getting experimental.
With a couple of exceptions, no one knows pearls and how to play with them as well as Tasaki. A household name in Japan and China, and now with a UK store on Bond Street, Tasaki is renowned for its experimental and, in some cases, incredibly decadent pearl and precious stone creations. This gradated necklace keeps things simple but with flashes of gold adding a touch of sunshine to these moonlit gems.
OK so not technically jewellery but still a tired Valentine’s Day trope. But what if the flowers are made from some of the best diamonds the Earth can provide and turned into an exquisite jewellery watch like this one from Graff? That’s not cliched at all.