Valentine’s Day: The Insiders Guide to Jewelry Buying in Chicago

February 8, 2011 7:00 AM

Helene Lucille

(credit: Helene Lucille)

Looking for the perfect gift for your Valentine? This guide will assist you in finding jewelry she’ll love within your budget. Don’t worry, we won’t tell that you had a little help.

Tips & Guidelines

1) Know your budget. How much do you want to spend?

2) Know her style. How would you describe her taste? Is she classic or conservative? Does she like more modern pieces? Perhaps edgy? This is a key factor to keep in mind, so both you and the designer or sales representative are successful in finding jewelry that will fit her personality.

3) It’s about quality, not quantity. More is not always better.

4) When purchasing diamonds, remember the four C’s: color, clarity, cut and carat size.

Now that you know the basics, here are a few ideas to get you started:

Price Friendly

Tiffany & Co.,
730 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 944-7500

Let’s start with the little blue box. The bag alone is enough to make a girl giddy. While the store features many beautiful items (I mean really, you name it they’ve got it. Engagement rings? Check. Handbags? Check.), many of their best options and price points are in their sterling silver collection. This Valentine’s Day, Tiffany’s has a few new LOVE-ly options. Choose from Paloma Picaso “Love and Kiss” discs, charms or rings, or a pick from the latest must-have Tiffany Keys. My personal favorite is the Tiffany Keys heart key charm with a pink sapphire in sterling silver ($200). It’s very feminine and absolutely adorable.


630 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 266-7440

Nothing says, “I love you” quite like Cartier’s Love Collection. The collection first launched in 1969, when designer Aldo Cipullo created a gold bangle bracelet inspired by a chastity belt. The catch? In order to clasp or take off the bracelet you need a screwdriver. Since then, the symbolic bracelet has become a coveted piece to women around the world. The bracelet is available in white gold, rose gold and yellow gold. If you want a little more flair, it’s also available with colored gems, diamond and enamel accents. My pick: the LOVE bracelet in yellow gold, it’s timeless and sophisticated ($4300).

Luxury at its Finest

103 E. Oak St., Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 604-1000

For the woman who has [almost] everything, Graff is number one on your list. Internationally known as “the most fabulous jewels in the world” you will find something unique to add to her collection, likely a fancy yellow diamond. Or, tell her “Be Mine” with the Pink & Blue heart shaped diamond crossover ring (pricing is available upon request).

Helene Lucille

(credit: Helene Lucille)

Custom Designs

Helene Lucille
Phone: (708) 870-8400

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind custom creations, Helene is your go-to gal. As a 20-year veteran in the jewelry industry with impeccable taste, she’ll design something that’s sure to dazzle you and your budget. Helene Lucille specializes in customized engagement rings and the repurposing of jewelry. She’ll take the jewelry you don’t wear and turn it into something you’ll love. Think of it as another way of “going green.” You’re recycling.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of her first collection slated to launch in Spring 2011.

Photo: Sapphire with diamond pave setting in platinum.

The Suburbs

Browning & Sons
46 S. Washington, Hinsdale, IL 60621
Phone: (630) 986-0880

Located in the center of downtown Hinsdale, Browning & Sons is a full-service, family-owned jeweler. Here you’ll find baubles from top designers such as A. Link & Co., Bez Ambar, David Yurman Marco Bicego and Soho. A personal favorite of mine, which I just so happened to get for Christmas this year, are the Soho enamel bangles (prices range $900 – $3500). They come in a variety of colors and metals, and can be worn with just about anything from jeans to dresses. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, also check out their Fredrique Constant “Heartbeat” watches.

Photo: Left: Heartbeat Watch with diamond accent and pink alligator band ($3850). Right: Heartbeat Watch “Love” plated rose gold with diamond accents ($2550).

Samantha McCarthy

Samantha McCarthy

Samantha McCarthy is an editor and freelance writer in downtown Chicago.

Check out more: Valentine’s Day In Chicago Guide