It’s Valentine’s Day, a day for lovers, and a pretty sweet day for jewelers, too.
At The Jewelers of Las Vegas at 2400 Western Ave., the holiday of love means a rush of customers, all looking for the perfect gift for someone special.
“It’s a good busy two or three days and it doesn’t drag like a Christmas, for a full month,” owner Mordechai Yerushalmi said.
Sales increase 50 percent at the store during the Valentine’s Day rush.
In February 2012, U.S. jewelry stores sold $2.66 billion in merchandise, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The 2013 Valentine’s Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight for the National Retail Federation showed only a slight increase in expected sales. The average person planned to spend $130.97, up from $126.03 in 2012. Total spending will reach $18.6 billion.
An expected 19.7 percent of shoppers will buy jewelry, spending more than $4.4 billion on diamonds, gold and silver.
“Consumers continue to shop and conduct product research in advance of making purchases in order to find the best pricing on products,” said Rojeh Avanesian, vice president of marketing and analytics of PriceGrabber.com. “We expect this trend to continue as shoppers hit the stores and go online to make their Valentine’s Day gift purchases this year.”
Russell Shor, a senior industry analyst with the Gemological Institute of America, said most jewelry sales for the special day won’t be megadiamonds in the 5-karat range. No, most of the sales will be centered on heart-shaped gemstones surrounded by small diamonds that cost “a few hundred bucks.”
Shor said green gemstones will be popular this year, with many affordable options being available. Fine-jewelry stores can expect sales of green tourmaline, peridot and malachite.
At The Jewelers of Las Vegas, Yerushalmi said many more men come in to buy jewelry for women than women do for men around Valentine’s Day.
“Men wait for the last minute,” Yerushalmi said. “You’re going to see them on Valentine’s Day or the day before Valentine’s Day.”
Men also spend more than women do on Valentine’s Day. The average male will spend $175.61 while women will spend $88.78, according to the BIGinsight survey.
“A lot of people get engaged on Valentine’s, so it’s a big boost for engagement and diamond rings,” Yerushalmi said.
He noted that solitaire diamonds with a halo setting are popular, but the most popular cuts are brilliant round and princess. If you’re unsure of what your partner would like in terms of a setting, purchasing a loose diamond is always an option. Then, you both can go and decide on mounting later together.
The Gemological Institute also recommends having the diamond, whether set or not, appraised and insured.
Customers at The Jewelers this week included a man purchasing jewelry for his wife’s present, a woman buying a watch for her man and Walter Skochenko buying something for his special love.
Skochenko knew his love for 32 years, in between both of their marriages and divorces. They’re together now, after all that time.
“They always kept that flame going for the past 32 years,” Yerushalmi said.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at lcarroll@reviewjournal. com or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.