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Buying Jewelry for Your Girlfriend: A Helpful Guide

Buying jewelry for your girlfriend can feel a little bit like defusing a bomb, at least the first time you do it. What does she like? What is she expecting from you? What does this piece of jewelry say? Is that what you mean it to say? All these things may be running through your mind, and you feel like you’re in a scene from The Hurt Locker as you browse through jewelry. You don’t have to be a bomb tech to buy jewelry, luckily. You just have to know the basics. Read on for our helpful tips on how to buy jewelry for your girlfriend.

Determine the Occasion

This is a big one up front. The occasion can mean as much as the jewelry, and you want to make sure the occasion and the jewelry match. Unlike wedding anniversaries, where there’s a specific type of gift for every anniversary, dating is a little more nebulous.

Want to give your girlfriend a simple piece of everyday jewelry just to do it? Awesome – love it. That same piece of everyday jewelry may not play as well on your fifth anniversary. Obviously, there’s a bit of subjectivity here, so adjust accordingly based on what you know your girlfriend likes and expects from you.

Start Small…

… Especially if this is the first time you’re buying her jewelry. We respect the courage if you want to take a big swing on the first piece you buy her. However, you may want to start with something a little simpler upfront. Maybe a bracelet or a dainty necklace.

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Either way, make sure you buy something reasonably priced, especially when you’re starting out. Why? Well, besides financial responsibility, there’s also a weight to receiving an expensive gift. If your girlfriend doesn’t love what you got her, she’s still (hopefully) going to be gracious and thank you for it. However, who really wants to feel like they have to wear something they don’t like because someone spent a whole paycheck on it? Rein it in there, Mr. Monopoly.

Start with What She Already Has

And by this, we don’t mean buy her the exact thing she has already. That would be amusing from a third-party perspective, but we doubt either of you will be laughing. What we mean here is look at what she already wears and buy something similar. Does she wear a lot of simple gold pieces? We bet she’ll like another simple gold piece. As you continue to date for longer, you can expand your purchases and try new things, but it’s best to play the hits upfront.

Another reason to start with what she has is that it’s probably what looks good on her. Not every piece of jewelry looks good on everyone, so you want to know how to shop with that in mind.

Don’t Overspend

For several reasons, don’t overspend. First of all, that’s financially imprudent at best. Don’t go into debt unnecessarily. Yes, you love her, and you want to get her nice things. That’s admirable, and we’re happy to hear it. However, poor financial choices in gift-giving also impart a burden onto the person receiving the gift. Would you feel comfortable knowing someone spent way too much on a gift for you and put themselves in a hole? Probably not.

You also just don’t have to overspend. You have plenty of great choices in affordable price ranges. The days of spending thousands on a piece of jewelry because you’re pressured into it by advertisers? Those are over.

Jewelry for Your Girlfriend

Don’t Buy a Ring (Unless You Want to)

Okay, let’s break this down. Here’s what we aren’t saying: don’t buy a ring ever. There are definitely occasions, even besides proposals, where it’s fine to do so. What we are saying is that you want to be very deliberate in doing so. If she’s expecting a proposal and you go, “Look at this neat ring I got you,” and go in for a high five, it’s going to go poorly. Are you going to do that? Hopefully not, but just in case.

So, when can you buy a ring besides proposals? Well, if it’s a time you clearly aren’t proposing. That’s kind of vague, but you have to feel it out. If you’re sure she’s not expecting a proposal, you can get her a ring. It’s still a bit of a dangerous game to play.

The safer bet for non-proposal rings is getting her a promise ring. It’s not an engagement ring, of course, but it still symbolizes the next step in your relationship. Do clearly elaborate on what the ring means, though, so no one is confused.

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When in Doubt, Ask

You may not want to do this upfront. Early in the relationship that can seem like it ruins the spark and the surprise and all that. However, if you’ve been together a while and you want to make sure you’re getting her something she likes, there’s no harm in asking if there’s anything she’s had her eye on lately.

As long as you buy her something you think she’ll like and you spend a reasonable amount on it, you should be good. Start small and build from there. You’ll be great!


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