BY REBECCA PALMER
BOUNTIFUL — Valentine’s Day is Thursday, Feb. 14 but local jewelers aren’t expecting a rush to their stores until this week, possibly not even until the day of the holiday arrives.
“Men are procrastinators,” said Dave Fadel, who own Fadel’s Fine Jewelry on Bountiful’s Main Street. “They don’t shop around as much. Women are different.”
Regardless, Valentine’s Day and Christmas remain some of the busiest times for jewelers, this despite the fact that prices for gold and silver have skyrocketed. Diamonds have also gotten more expensive, Fadel said.
He added that engagement jewelry is particularly popular around Valentine’s Day.
In February 2011, about 25,000 jewelry stores in the U.S. sold $2.27 billion in wedding jewelry, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Across town at the Gem Smith in the shopping center at 2600 South, owner Blaine Smith has seen an opposite trend: Not as many people come in for engagement jewelry this month as they do for Christmas, but personalized gifts with engravings and heart-shaped jewelry are especially popular in February. Silver and stainless steel have been hot sellers so far, he said.
“This year, it’s been kind of a little more fun,” he said.
Both shop owners sing the praises of giving jewelry as romantic gifts.
“Chocolate goes to her hips, flowers die and jewelry lasts forever,” Smith said.
Fadel, who has loved rocks С and then gemstones С all his life, said that one of the benefits of jewelry is that it can be passed down for generations.
“It keeps on giving,” he added. “They remember that person every time they look at it.”
Fadel has been in business in Bountiful for 27 years and credits much of the success of his business to returning customers and the friends they refer.
This week, Stephan Latkiewicz made the trek from Taylorsville to have his wife’s wedding jewelry cleaned for the holiday. He browsed the selection of new jewelry and chatted with Fadel while in the shop.
“It’s been awesome,” he said of Fadel’s service. “He takes care of everything for us.”
If you haven’t yet made your Valentine’s Day purchase, Smith recommends anything with diamonds, or perhaps pearls. With a smaller budget, he recommends stainless steel or trendy, chunky pieces.
Fadel recommends similar options, but if he gives his customers any advice, it’s not to go into debt for jewelry. Nevertheless, young couples today are buying bigger diamonds and more expensive jewelry than their parents did, perhaps because of a greater willingness to outspend their budgets, he said.
“That debt will go into their marriage,” Fadel said. “I’m not here to upsell them. I’m here to educate them and assist them with their purchase.”
In Davis County in 2010, there were 2,269 marriages, meaning that 7.4 percent of the population got married that year, according to the Utah Department of Health. That percentage is down from 2000, when 9.7 percent of the county population got married.