Privilege Blog

A Valentine’s Day Present For You From Blue Nile

This post is presented in collaboration with Blue Nile

Although my culture of origin tends towards the bland, or occasionally astringent, we do carry a sweet spot well hidden in our hearts. Witness, for example, our love for dogs.

Or, in my case, a distinct fondness for heart-shaped jewelry. Not as heart-warming, but there you have it. I try to make up for my materialism in other ways. When I was young I lost at least three heirloom hearts, two stickpins and a gold and yellow guilloché enamel locket. By the way, if any of you have both family jewelry and teenaged daughters, don’t believe your girls when they say they will take good care of what they borrow. They mean to, but their brain just isn’t ready. You’re welcome.

And here on the blog I’ve celebrated past Valentine’s Days with odes to “Amore” rings and heart-shaped sapphires and emeralds. So this year, how fitting to give away something of type from Blue Nile?

Now, they do offer hearts of the diamond variety of course. The pendants, pavé,



and open.


The heart-shaped diamond ring. Totally sentimental, almost gaudy and I love it. (The diamonds come both bigger and smaller, by the way.)

They have bracelets with heart tags too, not my style per se, but classic.

But for you today we have something slightly different. A teeny pavé, garnet heart, on a rose gold chain.


Here’s my philosophy on teeny jewelry for women in midlife. I don’t hold with the tenet that we’ve got to wear bigger and bigger as we age. The artisan pieces that look spectacular on some people make other of us look like clowns. I mean me.

But I do think you want to choose small jewelry that is Visibly Small.


Look how little. And pretty. It’s barely the width of my little fingernail. The rose gold adds just enough edge.


So, as is our tradition, if you’d like this piece, for yourself, or, say, that teenaged daughter who grew up, tell us a story. I’ve already told my Valentine’s Day story, here. Yours can be sad, funny, about your kid forgetting the entire packet of Star Wars “Vade Er Be My Valentine?”(s) on the kitchen counter. Doesn’t matter. You guys always do a good job.

Be sure to let me know in the comments if you want to tell a story but don’t want to enter the giveaway. I will draw the winner next Wednesday, February 3rd. Thanks in advance for sharing your lives.


Links generate commissions

47 Responses

  1. I was named Valentine because my parents were married on Valentine’s Day. Then my husband and I got married on that day, too!

  2. In our beyond-poor student days, my boyfriend gave me some tea lights, a set of simple, beautiful candleholders (which I have to this day) to place them in, and a key to his apartment. This year will mark our 20th wedding anniversary.

  3. Okay.. here goes. I am the romantic one in my marriage. If I want romance I have to make it happen. Hubby is a great cook, ventures out on frigid mornings to start my car for me, made my packed lunch every day that I worked to the envy of many of my female colleagues, carries the big pack on canoe trips etc etc… but he’s not romantic. So I’m the one who makes a fuss on Valentines Day. Most weekday nights in the winter he’d be either coaching a team at his school, or playing hockey himself. So I was always home before he was for many years. I’d set the stage for our Valentines dinner. One year he arrived home to a darkened house, the living room was lit with candles, the floor in front of the fire strewn with pillows, and I was waiting in my lacy black teddy. He was so shocked he actually giggled.
    The next year on Valentines night he was playing hockey again. As they made their way to the parking lot he sighed with faux drama and said to his longtime buddy…”Guess I’ll arrive home and the house will be dark, Suz will be lying in wait, ready to pounce on me.” His buddy snorted and replied…”When I get home if the house is dark it means nobody’s home.”

  4. I met my husband when he was a impoverished graduate student–and then he was an impoverished law student. Our first Valentine’s Day together (we had been dating less than three months) he made a handmade Valentine for me. He used whatever paper goods he had–and I was smitten. We have been together for 42 years now (married for almost 40 of those years) and every Valentine’s Day he still makes a handmade Valentine’s card for me. I don’t want a gift of fancy jewelry from him on that day or even a dinner out at a fine restaurant. I look forward to his heartfelt thoughts and the card he makes himself.

    All that being said, I would love to be the owner of the Blue Nile tiny heart necklace.

  5. I wish I had a spectacular Valentine’s Day story to share, but that Blue Nile necklace brings back so many memories.

    I inherited several of my maternal grandmother’s jewelry pieces, one of which was a little pin comprised of tiny garnets just like that piece. Unfortunately, several of the garnets fell out over time, so it no longer can be worn. Another cherished pin was stolen from my blazer when I had it resting on the back of my chair my freshman year at Penn, so you’re absolutely right about not letting teenagers borrow your good pieces!

    I inherited my love of monogramming and “tasteful” jewelry from Grandma Leah, even though she died a month before I was born. And I was named after her too. I only have sons, but I hope some day to have a daughter-in-law or granddaughter to pass those old pieces on to. That Blue Nile necklace would be a special bonus item that I would be happy to wear in the meantime! :)

  6. I don’t think that jewelry has to be big.
    I must (out of the competition) admit that I don’t have any Valentine’s story to tell (poor me!).
    Valentine’s Day and all the customs around it simply didn’t exist here until end of last century! No cards,expectations,disappointments….nada!
    We had 8th of March -Women’s day,like a surrogate,with flowers,chocolates ….but it was less romantic!

  7. My husband and I are still working on ways of making Valentine’s Day special, or, indeed, whether we even should; my birthday is the next week, and we already spend plenty of time together, cook together, see shows together.

    Three years ago we decided to spend a very low key day together, and ended up on one of our best dates ever. We went into Manhattan to buy each other bedroom slippers in the afternoon. Slippers were found! They are fluffy and wonderful, still by our bedside. Then we wandered into a fancy hotel restaurant, completely prepared to be turned away, and were seated right away and ate an amazing meal. After dinner we swung by a friend’s burlesque performance to say hello, got tickets at the door, great seats, and saw a fantastic show.

    We’ve tried a number of planned Valentine’s Day dates since then (I don’t recommend the couples chocolate massage), but this year we’re just going to relax at home, and maybe take a walk and buy oven mitts together.

  8. My husband is extremely thoughtful, and over the years has gifted me with jewelry on Valentine’s Day. Usually sapphires (my birthstone) or pearls. All beautiful. We no longer exchange presents on Valentine’s Day. Instead we hide cards for each other all around the house. All are funny except for one that is heartfelt. It’s a fun if silly tradition for us and we love finding these little surprises. Which reminds me, I need to go card shopping!

  9. I lost my FATHERS Gold BABY ring at school……………..I WAS DEVASTATED!WE even had the janitor take the drain apart!NEVER TO BE FOUND AGAIN!He was born in 1922…………….

  10. My sweetest valentine story involves my father. I had gotten divorced the year before, so when Valentine’s Day rolled around he sent to my office the most beautiful plant. He said that he didn’t want me to feel bad when others in the office got flowers from their husbands/boyfriends and I didn’t get any. He has been gone 17 years and I still miss him so much!

  11. This is not a Valentine’s story, but I still think it is fun to share. I was born on New Year’s Day, y son was born on Christmas Day and his father was born on Valentine’s Day. We always have fun celebrating those special days and we each feel that the day belongs to us alone.

  12. I have two Valentine’s day presents that I treasure – one is a hammer, given me by a man who clearly had given me and my life serious consideration and had developed long-term intentions, and the other is a small three-dimensional heart-shaped ornament colored a beautiful brushed red, given me by a man who said he was giving me his heart (turns out this was true).

  13. My husband and I don’t especially like going out on Valentine’s Day so we agree to ignore it, and I thought I didn’t have any appropriate stories until I read Sharon Martin’s comment above. My father loved Fannie May chocolate-covered cherries, and when I was younger I did too. (They’re still not bad!) He used to send each of his daughters a box on Valentine’s Day. In honor of him for many years I sent each of our sons a box of their favorite Fannie May candy each Valentine’s Day. Now that you remind me, I might have to do that again.
    I am not usually much for small or heart-shaped jewelry, but that necklace looks just right.

  14. IN my twenties I was once set up on a blind date with a really lovely guy that my boss and her boyfriend had known since middle school. When Valentines Day came around he called her for help as he’d never had occasion to send flowers to anyone before. I received a beautiful arrangement and remain, nearly thirty years later the only girl he’s ever sent flowers to. My boss wound up married to her boyfriend. They were our maid of honor and best man.

  15. I once sorted through four or five boxes of those obnoxious little candy sugar hearts with words stamped on them to weed out all the particularly stupid phrases and end up with one box full of the ones I’d actually say at that point in the still-forming relationship, more or less.

    And… I think he just ate them by the handful. :-)

    We eventually ended up married anyway.

  16. Scenes from a Marriage

    When, at last, auditions ended
    parts were cast and roles assigned.
    By the time the vows were taken
    expectations had declined.

    She replaced the silk with sweatshirts
    He drank beer instead of wine,
    They had tired of pretending
    Both agreed that it was fine.

    Sometimes laundry went unfolded,
    furniture was thick with dust.
    They had made accommodations
    Every happy couple must.

    When the garden went unweeded
    when he failed to take out trash
    they hung in there, through the hard times
    long on love, though short on cash.

    Through the years of strife and struggle,
    obstacles they couldn’t plan
    they held fast, to face the future-
    each the other’s biggest fan.

    Leading man and leading lady
    both had heard the casting call.
    Their romantic comedy
    became the envy of us all.

    But yes, I do fold the laundry and he does take out the trash…there are other accommodations – 50 years, it is inevitable!

  17. What a lovely necklace!

    Ah, yes, a story for the giveaway…

    Not about Valentine day, though – about my wedding. I got married in a very simple dark grey dress, with garnet jewellery: small earrings, a pendant, and a pin – all in silver with garnets. I still think, today, 20 years later, that the combination of garnet, silver, and the dark grey silk of the dress was lovely. Dark hair, minimal makeup, retro heels. As for the full set – it was 20 years ago, I believe jewellery sets were en vogue then, well, at least for a bride…

    I tried to gift the garnet pendant to my daughter (yes, yes, the forgetful teenager, but the piece is lovely and I no longer wear it, so why not?), but silver does not become her, and the pendant was too large for her taste. She would look fabulous in the giveaway garnet heart, though! And she has a prom coming…

  18. No Valentine story, but more caution for mothers of teenagers: went out of town with husband, came back to find lovely grey cashmere sweater balled up in laundry basket. Turns out youngest daughter went looking for a sweatshirt type of top to wear to hang out in. Found my sweater and thought “hey, this is cozy”. We still laugh about it to this day. Cashmere is replaceable, daughters are not.

    I do not wish to be in the contest, I have too much jewelry and my daughters don’t like gold. Lovely piece, however.

  19. He’s sent sporadic flowers to my work on Valentine’s Day but the most romantic gesture of all happened before I’d even met him. He pointed me out to his buddies as I was walking through the crowded college cafeteria and said, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry.” And he did.

  20. Oh my 14 year old daughter would love that wee necklace.

    My valentines memories are from my dad. He always bought little heart shaped boxes of chocolates for us kids, and a big heart shaped box for mom. It was supermarket chocolate. No matter, we loved it.

    Now my husband and I do the same for our kids.

    One year when I was around the age my daughter is now, my mom got in on the valentines gifting act and got presents for us. I’m not sure what prompted that. If I recall correctly my younger sisters got little stuffed animals. I, the oldest, received a blue bud vase with a single rose in it. I thought I’d die from the elegance! The bus vase is long gone but I will never forget it.

  21. The first year my husband and I were dating we lived in different states. We met online before online dating was a thing… But I knew I wanted to do more for him than just send him an email for Valentine’s Day.

    I busted out my art supplies and decorated an old box with Valentines stickers and hearts. It was like I was in second grade all over again. I stuffed it full of Valentines and candy (Star Wars with Sweet tarts, for authenticity’s sake) and mailed it off, fretting about it. Was it too quirky? Too mushy into the first year of the relationship?

    14 years later I am happy to report he still has it! We were unpacking and I came across it among other treasures he had. “You kept it?!” “Of course.” I love that guy.

  22. After my mother passed, I found a small Valentine heart in her belongings. Inside the heart were the sweetest little bits of souvenirs from her and my father’s last trip to Florida. (He passed 28 years ago, three days after they had returned from that trip to Florida.)

  23. Hi Lisa,
    I have many fond memories of Valentine’s Day. My mom always gave us small special gifts or treats on Valentine’s day, a tradition that I continue with my children. My father always got my mom a Valentine’s gift, and quite often it was jewelry. It was usually not to my taste but my mom was always so happy. I was just thinking about the upcoming Valentine’s day and wearing my mom’s open heart gold pinky ring. Since my parents have been deceased for many years, I find the ring a special token of remembrance every year.
    Have a great weekend!

  24. I spent a magical Valentine’s at a rustic, romantic cottage on the lake with a new love (who would later break my heart big time – ah, what is university without some major heartbreaks?).

    No electricity – just a fire in the wood stove, a bottle of something and dancing by candlelight to scratchy old music on the antique gramophone while moonlight reflected on the lake through the huge windows. Tres romantique, n’est ce pas?

    In the morning, I woke up early and stuck tiny little heart stickers all over his chest and arms – he was enchanted, and for the moment, in love.

  25. Here is a story, as I think it is a lovely prize and as Gollum says” Me wants it”……….I never ever buy myself jewelry so if I won something it would truly be a wow moment. Here goes:

    After a few (3 or 4) tries at having a baby, I had pretty much settled on the no answer. I had sufferd early miscarriages enough to where I was ready to quit. But I finally found a doctor- a woman Doc- who helped me by listening to me at how painful this all was, my time running out, etc…..Nothing against men, but my previous Drs were men who gave me a lockerroom smack and said to just dust off and go again. My new Dr “D”- heard me and did a few tests, etc and listened to me. A simple fix was in order, and behold- I had a baby on VALENTINES day! Now beat that!!!

  26. One of my favorite stories was witnessing a young boy purchasing his Mother a heart shaped box of valentines and counting out his spare change at our local Apothecary shop. That melted my heart.
    It’s important to me as a Mother that my children appreciate love, be loved and share love. As a wife, I believe we try to share love and set an example. Not always easy but a little affection goes such a long way.

  27. I haven’t celebrated many Valentine’s Days. I do have a distinct memory of one — my boyfriend and I were living together, officially, for the first time. We were renting a converted garage from a somewhat evil landlord. We had a cat, strictly forbidden in the lease.

    On Valentine’s Day, sleeping in late, we heard a knock on the door. We were absolutely certain it was the landlord, coming to evict us, or at least tell us we had to get rid of our cat and our backyard composter. Like any smart young uns would, we pretended not to be home.

    Eventually the knocking stopped. We crept to the door and peeked out. No eviction notice. Instead, a gift basket in red cellophane — a present from my aunt, whose childrens’ school does a Valentine’s fundraiser every year. Big sigh of relief. We feasted on truffles for breakfast, and laughed at our own pessimism. And found a better place to live by the time summer rolled around.

  28. I haven’t celebrated many Valentine’s Days. I do have a distinct memory of one — my boyfriend and I were living together, officially, for the first time. We were renting a converted garage from a somewhat evil landlord. We had a cat, strictly forbidden in the lease.

    On Valentine’s Day, sleeping in late, we heard a knock on the door. We were absolutely certain it was the landlord, coming to evict us, or at least tell us we had to get rid of our cat and our backyard composter. Like any smart young uns would, we pretended not to be home.

    Eventually the knocking stopped. We crept to the door and peeked out. No eviction notice. Instead, a gift basket in red cellophane — a present from my aunt, whose children’s school does a Valentine’s fundraiser every year. Big sigh of relief. We feasted on truffles for breakfast, and laughed at our own pessimism. And found a better place to live by the time summer rolled around.

  29. I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day – not exactly sure why, but I’m guessing it’s because it feels “forced”, and perhaps a bit too much like a Hallmark holiday?
    I too have a soft spot though for heart shaped images of all kinds, and that necklace is beautiful. Love rose gold and the garnets. Please don’t enter me in the giveaway, but someone will be lucky to get it.

  30. No Valentine’s Day story. We’ve never celebrated it. I always think of it as a “Hallmark” holiday for some reason. I totally agree about the size of jewelry. Some larger things I can get away with, most overpower me. Don’t enter me, but they are very pretty.

  31. Lovely, lovely. If I am selected I would request you gift the necklace to the first person who enters after me. The world is in dire need of more love of both neighbors and strangers.

  32. My best Valentine’s story is probably trying to explain to people that yes, I was excited to be taken to see the Lego movie by my husband when it came out in theatres.
    We’re an odd but well-matched couple of nerds.

  33. My Valentine story is less about romantic love and more about the love that lifts me everyday. Let me tell you a bit about myself- I am smart, my clothes are beautiful, I am an expert writer, an amazing artist, I am never a day over seventeen, and I ALWAYS smell good because…..I am a kindergarten teacher. In February, we give words and images to the feelings that permeate our classroom. We talk about love and what it looks like and how we express it, we talk about friendship and give concrete examples of how we are good friends, we learn to draw hearts, and make “Hug-To-Do Lists,” and we do it all in red, pink, white, and yellow (because, you know, there are always a few!). On Valentine’s Day, we always have a little celebration and exchange Valentines. These Valentines come in many forms. There are the ones you remember with Barbie and Batman, and others with pixie stix and blow pops attached. Many of the children I work with come from many difficult backgrounds and there are always those who come empty-handed to our celebrations. Of course, I have extra boxes of Valentines on hand, but there are always a few that just want something different. That’s when I break out the pencils that can write “I Love You” and the erasers that can take away our friend’s mistakes, there are the hugs, the high fives, the baggies of snowflakes that are each individual like our friends (by the time they are baggies of water nobody cares), and individualized secret handshakes. No matter what each child gives, it is received with the same enthusiasm, excitement, and love. That is the thing about five year olds. No matter what the shape of the love they receive, the love they give is pure and constant. Valentine’s Day is one more example of this. Everybody always assumes that I decided to teach kindergarten later in life for the children. But, I do it for me. The garnet heart is the perfect expression of all of the little hearts I nurture everyday. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story and the wonderful writing and ideas I enjoy while reading both your posts and the comments from your fabulous readers.

  34. I know the day is for romance but when I was growing up my father gave each of us a beautiful box of candy for Valentine’s Day. Whenever my husband of 44 years gives me a Valentine gift I think of my first love, my daddy.

  35. I hated Valentine’s Day as a successful independent woman, who at the age of 45 was resolutely single. One year I went with girlfriends to drink silly cocktails at a posh hotel inLondon…. Then there was the year I spent much money one a beautiful piece of filet steak to eat with my BFF…. And then I met my love, and we married a year ago. Valentine’s is intimate, to be spent together, with silly inexpensive gifts (no red roses) thankful that we found each other, and that life ahead is about we not me. Xxx

  36. My son gave out his first valentine, or really I did for him, when he was two, to my best friend’s daughter. The picture of the two of them together on the settee, him frowning, and her looking away in her pink top with a heart, is one I cherish. The mom and I were unlikely friends; we met when I had a newborn and she had just had a miscarriage. Over the next year, she had a baby and I miscarried, in one of life’s mysterious ways of bonding and comforting us. I want my son to love her daughter, because I love my friend, and needed her in a lonely time.

  37. My daily jewelry is the ruby pendant my husband gave me one Valentine’s day years ago. He got it at a dept. store’s jewelry counter on sale. Making the best of his small budget, he looked in turn at each of the pendants they had in stock under a jeweler’s loupe & picked the one with the clearest rubies & the diamond accent with the fewest inclusions (as he tells it, some of the diamonds looked like “dirty dishwater”). I feel for the poor salesperson as my husband sat there comparing the stones, but I appreciate the care he took. If I were the lucky winner of the beautiful garnet heart pendant, I’d wear it with my ruby heart.

  38. I’m a January birthday girl who got garnets (our birthstone) as a teenager – and kept them all. Still wear one of them, a pear-shaped pendant in old gold. It would actually look great worn with this one.

    My favorite adult Valentine’s Day was over a decade ago.

    I’d had, over the course of a couple of years, several episodes of severe & rapid dehydration, generally triggered by vigorous exercise in the heat. (Which, in Texas, means having to park at the end of the parking lot in August …)

    We never do big things on Valentine’s, preferring to go to favorite spots on other nights when they aren’t crowded with people stressed out by spending a ton of money to have A PERFECT TIME. So, the year in question, I hit the gym for a quick workout and we planned to get pizza. It was leaving the house, true, but who goes for pizza for Valentine’s, we thought.

    While I’d been exercising regularly, and fairly strenuously, that night I grabbed a magazine and simply walked on the treadmill while reading, indoors, which was about as low-impact and non-strenuous as it could get. It felt more like stretching my legs than exercise.

    Nonetheless, midway through dinner, I realized that it was happening again, and I needed to go to the emergency room. IMMEDIATELY.

    My wonderful husband does not handle medical emergencies well. We raced to the closest ER, and he screeched to a halt in the far corner of the parking lot, rather than dropping me at the door. He was beyond flustered. He yelled at me TO JUST GO INSIDE.

    We spent the night in the ER with me hooked up to an IV and EKG while more dramatic emergencies unfolded around us, like heart attacks and strokes. I was unbearably anxious, however, because I had been told that the more times I had events like this, the worse it would be for my heart, as each episode weakens it.

    After a couple of gunshot victims came in and my blood pressure leveled off, a nurse said I could go home, although I think they would have kept me longer if they hadn’t needed the space.

    It took me 8 years to get back on a treadmill! But, it was my last attack. Never got a diagnosis for what caused it. I prefer staying home on Valentine’s now, no matter what. Easier on everyone!

  39. I have been reading your blog for some time now, but have only now been drawn to comment.

    My husband and I never celebrated Valentine’s Day in a big way, yet the “holiday” was always recognized. Always flowers for me. A silly card. Chocolate kisses. Yes, we were the cliché… very corny, but completely heartfelt. Tragically, my husband passed away two years ago. Suddenly. Age 56.

    On the first Valentine’s Day without him, though it was obviously just another day, I dreaded yet another reason to mourn my loss. I worked from home that day, not wanting my emotions to get the best of me in a public place. And then the doorbell started to ring… Flowers from my sons, both away at college. Flowers from my college roommates from various corners of the country, clearly BFF’s for life. Flowers from my 80 year old parents. The house was filled, and I felt loved. And isn’t that what Valentine’s day is really all about?

  40. Valentine’s Day is not our holiday. My husband is not the romantic type, and I have a far better tradition. Since Valentine’s day typically is close to President’s day weekend, the holiday interferes with my Spa Weekend.

    Each year the ladies of my family get together to go to the Spa. We started the tradition for my grandmother’s 75th birthday. She has passed, but the tradition remains. I spend the weekend with women who inspire me and my husband is happy for me to get away and enjoy my time. This is my first Spa Weekend with a small child. This Valentine’s Day weekend he is giving me the best gift– a weekend away!

  41. My favorite valentines weren’t from a guy, but rather from my mother. When I was in middle school, she made me a lip-shaped one, covered in red glitter. She continued to mail me homemade Valentine’s day cards even when I was in college. Of course, my wonderful fiance gets me cards and flowers now for every Valentine’s day, but I treasure those childhood cards just as much, if not more.

  42. I’m pretty minimal with jewelry but I have a soft spot for heart jewelry. Growing up my mom always had a special Valentine’s Day dinner and would give the kids a little present. One year I received a silver heart bracelet from Hallmark and so began my love of heart jewelry.

  43. It’s a little known fact that St Valentine is buried in a chapel on Whitefriar St in Dublin. On February 14th all human life goes there and writes notes of love found, love lost and love wished for. I visited many times as a student and remember it every year at this time. I’m not religious but the vulnerability in that church was powerful. I suppose I love that St Valentine lets us be vulnerable, hopeful and uncynical. I’d wear that little gem as a symbol of all our pure openness to love.

  44. My darling – but not romantic – husband always buys me flowers for Valentine’s Day. I appreciate it – of course! But a part of me wishes for something with a little more thought behind it. Have never told him that, though, which is I guess my present to him?

    But I also know that if – like the previous poster Elyssa – that day ever comes where I don’t have him, I will miss the flowers greatly…

  45. I see Valentine’s day as a symbol of love and a day to share with your loved one. For me Valentine without Jewelries might just seem different. By the way, I really love that first Blue nile silver heart necklace. Thanks a lot for the share.


Comments are closed.