Valentine’s Day is the ultimate couples (or couples to-be) celebration, and naturally jewellery is high on the gift-list agenda.
Stocking jewellery that will sell and which is up-to-the-minute in design terms during this period is essential for any jeweller who wants to make a healthy profit as well as offering customers a range of options. But knowing which lines to buy in is not a simple task: from the type of metal to the design of the piece, appealing to the local audience through both popular traditional designs and more modern pieces is a tricky cocktail to mix.
While traditional heart-shaped jewellery designs may seem a bit of a Valentine’s cliché, this type of jewellery remains as popular as ever and you can fully expect it to be one of the top sellers in the build up to the day itself. Katie Nickell, creative director at Kit Heath, which specialises in sterling silver jewellery, says: “Our collection of hearts are a Valentine’s winner, our Lust Heart set is our most popular design with consumers and now this set is available in warming rose gold.” Lorraine Thomas, owner at Lido Collection, a jewellery designer which uses freshwater pearls and cubic zirconia, says: “Hearts still dominate and are the popular choice especially for the younger market.”
Stocking a range of different choices will be the key to winning any customers who do regard the heart as a cliche and want to try something else, so to cater for this part of the market, jewellery collections inspired by nature and animals are also popular this season. Malcolm Pink, managing director at Pranda UK, which sells the Blossom Copenhagen collection, believes that while hearts are ‘timeless’, animals designs are also increasingly popular: “Blossom Copenhagen uses a lot of themes from nature with birds and animals being a popular inspiration. Owls, doves, love birds, fawns and bears are top sellers.” Other designs such as roses and flowers are also a popular design choice.
Jewellery that leaves room for a bespoke, engraved message is also popular as a Valentine’s Day gift. Rickardo Antonio, founder and designer at Rickardo Antonio Jewellery, says: “I think that more bespoke items of jewellery sell particularly well; pieces like promise rings with special messages engraved gives a more unique and special feel, letting the wearer know that the item of jewellery was specially made for them.”
A priceless gift
Stocking the most expensive jewellery collections for Valentine gift collections will not work in the same way as having pricey bridal jewellery to upsell to customers. Valentine gifts are often more of a token than an investment or statement, and the younger generation in particular do not have huge amounts of money that they are comfortable to splash. Valentine’s, says Pink, is about it expressing feelings but not breaking the bank: “Gifting for Valentine’s is becoming more popular than ever but it is focused on silver and gold-plated silver, a gift to be proud of but not costing the earth.”
So, what type of metal?
Popular metals for valentines gift vary greatly according the local target audience of the retailer: young people will generally buy good quality designs at a relatively low price while an older audience will often go for a more expensive piece. Thomas says: “The youngsters are looking for an inexpensive token that looks impressive so CZ or crystal are the favoured choice, for the more mature it would be perhaps be a statement piece so pearls are a good choice as they are still very popular.”
Antonio, who makes love-heart bangles from sterling silver, believes that this type of metal offers a romantic gift but for a reasonably affordable price. He says: “These hand made bangles are made from sterling silver wire which is twisted numerous times to create a strong and flexible sterling silver rope which is then knotted into a heart shape using the overhand knot technique. each bangle is made from scratch by hand which makes every bangle unique to the wearer.” His bangles offer a range of plated tones which he believes is important for appealing to a wider audience.
Rose gold, more expensive than some of the other options, is also very popular at the minute and could add something different to the cabinet. Thomas says: “The demand for rose gold is also increasing so that may be the surprise option.”
Is it ever too early start stocking valentine’s jewellery?
The great news when it comes to stocking valentines jewellery you can never really be too early: while heart shaped designs will particularly kick off in the weeks before Valentine’s Day they are timeless classics that will be in demand all year-round for all types of events from birthdays to Christmas to Valentine’s Day. Other popular, yet more subtle, Valentine’s Day jewellery gifts will also be in demand all year-round.
However for those Valentine-specific designs, and to make sure there is enough stock in store, savvy jewellers will buy in their stock in December and January to make sure they have it ready for the busy run-up to the day itself. Nickell says: “Necklaces we would say are the most popular for Valentine’s as a gift and during December we do see an uplift in our classic designs, especially the hearts, so we always ensure we are stocked before Christmas, for January delivery. Retailers start to order in January for their Kit Heath displays so we see orders coming through in January, but with consumers we do see that last minute flurry.”