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Bring a sparkle to a loved one's eyes.

JEWELLERY is always high on a woman's Christmas list, after all, didn't Marilyn Monroe purr huskily that "diamonds are a girl's best friend"?

It's amazing how a pair of earrings, a simple bracelet or necklace can transform that little black dress into an outfit which oozes sophistication and sexiness.

As well as looking stunning, making the wearer feeling a million dollars, an item of jewellery will increase in value over the years as a family heirloom, which is why it makes a perfect Christmas gift.

It has to be the real thing of course. Just watch your loved one's eyes light up when you present him or her with their favourite indulgence, jewellery made of gold, other precious metals and gems.

But if you're not sure what to buy, here are a few hints.

The trend today is towards light coloured jewellery. Platinum rings with a matt finish and sleek, contemporary lines are very chic. Cheaper alternatives are white gold and silver which look just as elegant.

Simplicity and style are the epitome of contemporary designs. Plain broad bands look great with a bit of sparkle on the side - studded with diamonds and gems.

Full of whirling movement, diamonds have appeared throughout history as magical symbols and icons of strength, royalty and wealth. However, the true power and mystery of diamonds is the way they make a woman feel.

White diamonds are crisp and brilliant and always turn heads. The buzz word is solitaire . To select the best diamond for your budget, remember the four Cs - carat, cut, colour and clarity.

For something special, a cross, embellished with diamonds is guaranteed to delight. And the subtle sheen of a pearl is beyond compare.

Rubies, emeralds, opals, sapphires and other precious gems have been prized for thousands of years for their rich, vibrant hues which still fascinate today. These vivacious gems are dramatically beautiful and eye-catching.

The type of gem you go for depends on your budget and taste - generally speaking, rubies, diamonds and emeralds are the most expensive options but there has been a revival of semi-precious stones such as aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, peridot, blue topaz and green tourmaline.

A nice idea is to choose a pendant, ring or earrings adorned with your loved one's birthstone (see left).

But the pleasure of wearing jewels is not exclusive to women. Men are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for at Christmas, so why not visit a jewellers for inspiration?

Bracelets, necklaces and rings will go down a treat and a good watch or a pair of cufflinks will always be appreciated.

For a personal touch, why not present someone with a gift which is totally unique?

You can commission a handcrafted, one-off piece at many jewellers these days with the added bonus that it will be designed to fit.

Whatever you choose, a gift of jewellery will certainly add a bit of sparkle to your Christmas!

Birthstones

January - garnet or rose quarter February - amethyst or onyx March - aquamarine or bloodstone April - diamond or rock crystal May - emerald or chrysoprase June - alexadrite or moonstone or pearl July - ruby or carmelion August - peridot or sardonyx September - sapphire or lapis October - opal or tourmaline November - topaz or citrine December - zircon or turquoise

CAPTION(S):

SPARKLING FORM: Don't forget the man in your life - although it's doubtful you'll be able to afford jewellery like David Beckham wears
COPYRIGHT 2001 MGN Ltd.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 23, 2001
Words:561
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