Sotheby’s Frank Everett talks brooches, right-hand rings, and how to find an exceptional gift for your valentine. Take a look!
Frank Everett has helped countless clients find the perfect piece of jewellery for their beloved—and he understands the challenges. Questions and hesitations often abound—hearts or no hearts? Ring or bracelet? Diamond or ruby? Having worked previously for Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, and Harry Winston, Everett is no stranger to the dilemmas of gifting jewellery.
What advice do you give someone looking for a great piece of jewellery to gift on Valentine Day?
My advice, especially when it comes to Valentine’s Day: Keep it personal.
Even clients that I’ve known who have the greatest collections—we’re talking major pieces of jewelry—tend to give something a bit smaller and more thoughtful for Valentine’s Day. It’s not about just giving another gift but about paying attention to her style. Don’t give her a heart if she’s a modern-dressing girl that just wears Jil Sander.
What is your take on heart-shaped jewellery?
I’ve been working in jewellery for many years, and I’ve worked in the retail world for years, as well, so I can tell you there’s a percentage of the public that is only considering heart-shaped things and heart motifs—but there’s no reason to be limited to that.
But, there are certain heart motifs and things that I just love. We had a wonderful early-20th-century Cartier pendant for sale through Sotheby’s last year that I thought was the ultimate Valentine’s Day jewel. It was from about 1900 and had hearts, arrows, rubies, and diamonds, and it’s a very, very special piece.
So if hearts aren’t the right look, what do you recommend?
If you’re not into hearts, consider red and pink stones, like coral. There are beautiful vintage coral pieces out there from all the great makers, especially from the ’60s and ’70s.
What’s another piece from this sale that says “Valentine” to you?
There’s a beautiful vintage diamond ring with a little frame of tiny calibré cut rubies around it. That ring) would be my other go-to for a Valentine’s Day gift. It’s a great, classic-looking Valentine’s gift that isn’t heart-shaped, and it’s clearly not an engagement ring. It’s more of an early-20th-century dinner ring; it’s elongated, and it has that frame of calibrating cut rubies, so it’s more of a decorative fashion look that you would wear on the right hand.
What do you think makes the best gift—necklaces, earrings, rings, or bracelets?
When it comes to necklaces or earrings, you only see them in the mirror in the morning when you put them on. But a bracelet is a great, thoughtful gift because you get to look at it all day long. When you’re working and when you’re on the phone, you can see your hand, and you’ll be reminded of the person that gave it to you.
What do you advise gift givers who are overwhelmed by their choices?
Whenever I work with men, especially those that are trying to find the right gift and are torn between a couple of things, I always point out to them: “Tell her that you struggled with the choice. Tell her, ‘Oh gosh, I couldn’t decide. I was just so torn.’” Who wouldn’t like to hear that you took time out of your day and put effort into it? That’s thoughtful.
Gold and diamond bracelet, by Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co.