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Heart of the Matter

Diamond heart pendants, for instance, are a traditional must-have Valentine's Day gift. Some of the countless varieties of popular designs include a trio of interlocking diamond- and ruby-accented hearts, an elongated heart slide on an omega-link chain and a finely engraved heart with a floral motif. But, whether the heart has diamonds, emeralds or rubies, is conservative or flashy, bold or dainty, this style is always a winner.

Heart lockets are another item in the what's old is what's new category. These timeless classics have enjoyed a major resurgence this year and are great gifts for mothers and grandmothers. Designed in a variety of sizes, heart lockets with diamond and ruby accents are a new favorite. Pictures of children or grandchildren inside make these gifts extra special.

Likewise for heart charms. A major resurgence in charm bracelets this year will make heart charms a top seller for Valentine's Day. Heart charms are available for bracelets as well as for earrings.The heart-shaped mother's rings - with or without diamond accents - is another favorite among mothers and grandmothers alike. The mother-and-child-as-one design is a big seller as a pendant, as well.

The simple heart shape is transformed when a jewelry designer interprets new designs of gold earrings and necklaces, heart-shaped birthstone pendants or rings, heart-shaped pearl pendants and white gold heart-motif bracelets. Technology has enabled manufacturers to create an exciting element in the heart jewelry category: heart-shaped diamonds, rubies and other gemstones. Perfected by computer-aided design, heart-shaped stones help to create jewelry that reflects the ultimate in romance. A heart-shaped diamond solitaire pendant can be a simple, yet elegant, gift for any loved one.

For many singles, the ultimate Valentine's Day gift is a magical, romantic proposal followed by an engagement ring with a heart-shaped center diamond. Engagements have soared in the aftermath of 9/11 - with many singles re-evaluating their lives and finding that they are, in fact, ready to commit to tying the knot.