Silver and Gold (and Diamonds): A Fine Jewelry Shopping Guide

What's sparkling on holiday wish lists this year, and where to buy that bling.

The holidays are a time of sparkle, often quite literally.

While Eartha Kitt sang about wanting something from Tiffany under her holiday tree, we may not have them in the neighborhood, but we do have plenty of fine jewelry shops to visit for that perfect present - be it for a Christmas engagement or simply just because.

"Christmas is the biggest engagement season," says Michael Agnello of Michael Agnello Jewelers, adding, "I hope the pattern sticks."

His shop has been around for 37 years, so he should know. Plus, they opened their diamond engagement showroom a year ago, to better accommodate customers during their ring-buying experience.

Quality remains king when it comes down to buying an engagement ring, Agnello adds.

Platinum, 14-karat and 18-karat are the norm, and diamonds lead the pack. In their showroom they have 1,000 styles of engagement ring, so clearly there is a wealth of options, but "cushion rings are on fire," he says.

Solitaires, he says, not so much. "In 37 years I've sold seven solitaire (rings)," Agnello adds. "Solitaires get one question: How big?"

Another hot item for the holidays are earrings.

"(They're) huge for Christmas. You can never go wrong with diamond studs," Agnello says. "(Earrings are) like a tie to a man."

With the price of gold being so high, Agnello says that they're doing brisk business with sterling silver and semi-precious gemstone pieces. They have some very popular Honora pieces, made of pearls and silver.

"They're breathtaking and reasonable," he adds. They'll also have holiday specials.

The charms have it for Armando & Son's Jewelry.

They sell plenty of other jewelry, from engagement rings to watches, but Alexander Apess says their Chamilia charm bracelets tend to be their bread and butter.

Whether one is looking for a starter bracelet -- or earring or necklace -- or charms to add to a piece of jewelry, these do very well at their shop, Apess says. That they're made of silver makes them affordable but ensures they'll last, and with such a broad variety of charms available, they easily make for a unique piece of jewelry. "Some women have several bracelets," he says.

Where to buy fine jewelry in St. Clair Shores:

Armando & Son's Jewelry
23413 Greater Mack, St. Clair Shores

Michael Agnello Jewelers
31500 Harper, St. Clair Shores

Maloof Jewelry & Gifts
28525 Harper, St. Clair Shores

Nick's Jewelry
21905 Greater Mack, St. Clair Shores

Treasure Trove
(At Ardmore Park Place)
26717 Little Mack, St. Clair Shores


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