Christmas has come and gone and hopefully the ladies in your life were all delighted with their gifts, but don't let your guard down just yet, as Valentine's Day is quickly approaching.

Every year on February 14th, lovers exchange gifts, chocolates, cards or flowers with their special “valentine.” The origins of this world-wide phenomenon dates all the way back to a Roman fertility celebration called Lupercalia and later it gained its name from the Christian Martyr Saint Valentine, who was brutally killed by Emperor Claudius. Beyond this, the rest of the story is hard to distinguish between fact and fiction.

One thing is certain, Valentine's Day is a day of romance and love. I often see men wait until the last possible moment the buy their wives and girlfriends a present, sometimes just on the way home from work (flowers from the local garage sound familiar?), and while I am sure the ladies in question consider this better than nothing, with a little extra forethought you can secure significantly more brownie points.

So what do you buy that special someone for Valentine's Day? Well first let’s cover the classics and how you can make them just a little more original.

Flowers - red roses are a popular option for a gift, and can be bought as a single rose or a large bouquet. It one of the old favourites, but if you want it to be memorable, be sure to do it differently. How about white roses with just one red in the middle, or a beautiful bouquet that matches the décor of her bedroom, or maybe a plant which will last for years instead of a day or two.

Chocolate - who doesn't love chocolate? Right now you will be knee deep in Valentine’s Chocolates in every shop. However, think before you go down this route. 90% of women are to some extent watching their weight AND it’s only 6 weeks since the excesses of Christmas and all those New Year’s resolutions. So before you buy chocolates, think about whether she’s on a diet (or even just “being sensible”). She won’t thank you for the temptation if she is. If she isn’t or you are determined to go down the chocolate route, then make sure you know what she likes. Me. I can’t stand chocolates; all those overly sweet fillings. The way to my heart is a bar of Green & Blacks Original Milk or some Hotel Chocolat Chocolate coated almonds. If she’s a milk girl, she probably doesn’t like Dark, and very few women like White (that’s a boy thing). So, do a little research and make sure you get it right.

Sexy lingerie – Danger Danger!!! This is a high risk one. Firstly, does she actually like and wear that kind of lingerie or are you buying it for you? And secondly, do you actually have any idea what size she is. Get this one wrong and you could end up in the dog house. If she’s all about the scraps of lace and you riffle through her drawers (so to speak) and get the sizes of things she already owns, go for it. If not, I would recommend avoiding this minefield.

A Card - Wow, you really went out on this one, huh? Greeting cards are something that you buy your grandma on her birthday, not for the woman you love on Valentine's Day (unless it’s hilarious and accompanied by a fabulous gift, then it’s a bonus). Women, can be a huge pain in the ass. We over analyse and we read things into actions where there was nothing to read. Petrol station flowers and a card from the local Tesco is likely to be interpreted as “I know you expect something, so here you go, but I couldn’t care less”. It is perfectly acceptable to do nothing at all other than wish her Happy Valentine’s Day and tell her you love her. Better that, than something that looked like you just dashed in and grabbed something to get her off your back.

Balloons and Cuddly Toys. Cute when you’re 15, probably not the best option after that.

And then we come to Jewellery. Now obviously we have a vested interested in recommending the silver jewellery route, but there are some sound reasons why it’s worth considering (and some pitfalls to avoid just like the rest). Firstly, silver jewellery, if taken care of properly, can last more than a lifetime. It won’t wither and it has zero calories. It is something that will be appreciated and loved and it can be worn repeatedly and serve as a reminder of the love and effort you put into the gift. It is a product of skilled labour, and it shows that you took the time to purchase a high-quality, hand-made gift. It doesn’t have to be super expensive (this is Valentine’s Day, not a wedding anniversary). You can pick up good quality charms, earrings, rings and pendants from as little as £50 and it will make an impact.

Make sure you buy from a reputable supplier. Make sure it’s hallmarked sterling silver. Try and get the size right so you don’t have the hassle of returns and exchanges and if possible make sure it comes in a pretty box. Beyond that, it is pretty much guaranteed to be a success.

Corazon Latino’s Silver Jewellery comes in wide range of beautiful pieces ranging from £50 to £500. It’s all handmade in limited quantities by artisans we have worked with for year, and it comes in beautiful boxes with option gift wrapping if you want to go the extra mile. So if you want to make her Valentine’s Day, give us a try and we’ll make sure you earn maximum browning points. Last orders for Valentine’s Day 4pm Thursday 11th Feb.

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