updated 2/12/2004 7:29:04 PM ET 2004-02-13T00:29:04

A dozen roses? A Hallmark card? Maybe a nice dinner out and a DVD back at your place? Puh-lease. Though such fluttery little touches might get you noticed on Valentine's Day, rest assured they aren't going to get you anything else. No, to spark some real romance with your sweetie, girlfriend, wife or lover on Valentine's or any other day, it's best to remember those two eternal if all-too-recent truths: Money talks and diamonds will get her heart pounding like a jackhammer.

Actually, for anyone on the receiving end of a big-ticket Valentine's Day gift of gems or jewelry, now is a great time to be romanced. As highest-end jewelry retailers come off of one of their strongest Christmas seasons ever, jewelry designers are responding with a flourish of creativity that have earlobes, necklines and ring fingers sparkling like they haven't in years.

"We're seeing a lot of very expensive jewelry and tremendous creativity by designers at the top end of the market," says Nancy Robey, Group Brand Director of the Couture Jewelry Collection & Conference, a trade show dedicated to the cream of the couture jewelry industry. "There's a lot of optimism out there, and as customers are prepared to spend on jewelry, retailers and designers are looking for the next trend and taking their cues not only from fashion, but the red carpet."

Among the current developments in top-of-the-line jewelry is an emphasis on color, with the tremendous popularity of yellow and pink diamonds (the latter, thanks to the size of the notorious engagement ring that actor Ben Affleck gave his former fiancée Jennifer Lopez), contrasting blacks and whites, which takes its design cues from last year's Best Picture Academy Award winner Chicago, and '60s-era signatures like oranges, greens and big geometric gold chains.

Striking cuts are being used to enhance the brilliance of stones and set gleams in the eyes of buyers, such as emerald-shape diamonds with additional facets, antique-looking briolette-cuts on chandelier earrings and drippy necklaces, modified square-shaped cushion-cuts, and unique branded-cuts by diamond manufacturers, such as rounded cento-cuts, which enhance the dazzling brightness of the stones. And as jewelry designers keep their eyes on current fashion, expect to see a lot of chunkier pieces coming down the pike, including very large pins, broaches and even the glimmering heavyweight cocktail rings of days gone by.

"These bolder looks will be wonderful, taking us back to the glory days of Park Avenue designer David Webb and the substantial pieces worn by 'ladies who lunch' back when they were the focal point of fashion and style," says Robey. Of course, along with the emphasis on the high-end, rest assured there will also be plenty of the above available at more affordable price points with semi-precious stones such as citrine, tanzanite and pink sapphires with diamond accenting. "They'll still be expensive, just less expensive," notes Robey.

For your Valentine's Day-romancing pleasure, we've polished up a selection of 11 of some of the most dazzling, beautiful and--most importantly--expensive pieces of jewelry your heart-felt money can buy. They range in price from around $1 million to "price upon request," and we've found them in everything from wristwatches to necklaces to rings. Best of all, they're all available right now.

© 2012


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 3.79%
$30K home equity loan FICO 4.99%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.69%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.83%
Cash Back Cards 17.80%
Rewards Cards 17.18%