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Holiday Gift Guide: For the man looking to give jewelry this Christmas

It can be the most arduous kind of shopping for any man, buying jewelry for a woman. So we asked the experts—some of Manila’s most trusted jewelers—to give us a range of options, along with a few useful nuggets of wisdom
Ces Oreña-Drilon | Dec 03 2018

What do women want for Christmas? The all-season secret wish of most women is jewelry.

ANCX polled three jewelers known for their quality pieces and unique designs and they couldn’t agree more. Paul Syjuco of Aum by Paul Syjuco says, “Women really, secretly, want to be gifted with jewelry. Who wouldn’t want to receive such a gift? It’s such a grand, romantic gesture.”

Paul Syjuco

Janina Dizon of Janina for Jul Dizon says receiving jewelry “will always leave a lasting memory. A woman might be given bags, shoes as gifts, but nowhere will you remember the specific event as when the present is jewelry.”

Janina Dizon

The size or cost isn’t all that matters too, says Nicole Whisenhunt of Whisenhunt, “because whatever it is, big or small, when women receive jewelry they know there’s always meaning to it. Therefore they feel special.

Nicole Whisenhunt

We asked each jeweler to give tips on how to buy jewelry for the lady in your life, to make your Christmas shopping a painless one (though maybe not for your wallet). We also asked them to choose pieces for three categories, the first one for a modest budget of up to PhP 20,000, the second category for a more generous budget of up to PhP 100,000, and the third where money is no object.

Here are their tips and choice pieces:

1. What is the most basic advice you can give a man gifting his partner with jewelry?

“Get something that your partner would wear and enjoy regardless of value. Whether a classic or contemporary piece, more enjoyment and satisfaction will come from wearing it than being kept in a vault.”—Paul Syjuco 

“To run with his heart and not with his head! Jewelry is a commemorative statement gift.”—Janina Dizon

“Know what she likes, but on the other hand know that there’s not a single woman that I have come across that isn’t flattered to receive jewelry.”—Nicole

For the modest spender (up to PhP 20000). Click on the image below for slideshow

Mango pendant in white sapphires and ivory enamel on silver by Janina Dizon.

Pair transformer earrings with amethyst pear shapes with white sapphires on pink sliver by Janina Dizon. 

Pair rose quartz earrings in bezel set in pink silver by Janina Dizon.

Silver with blue enamel citrine blue topaz and amethyst slider in pink silver with stingray strap black 40mm by Janina Dizon. 

Diamond ear cuff by Paul Syjuco.

Jadeite barrel ring with sapphire cabochons in gold by Paul Syjuco.

Nicole Whisenhunt coral earrings.

Nicole Whisenhunt citrine bar ring.

2. Should he be practical and buy investment pieces or should he be whimsical? 

“I get a lot of inquiries from men; and when it comes to discussing things like certificates and specifications, being men, they will get stuck with the details. Given that he is purchasing something for a partner, it’s best to base on the personality and taste of the person. Design for me will always come first and the types and qualities of stones used will follow to adjust for value. Investment pieces can be whimsical, these two factors are independent of each other and can very much work together. But if for strictly investment I would suggest getting the best quality single piece of natural diamond in your range.”—Paul Syjuco

“It really depends on his financial means. Generally, my male clients are very generous. They set a price range and usually exceed it when they finally find a piece that resonates with them. Make sure that you choose a gift with her style in mind and not what you would want her to wear. After all, she is the one to enjoy and appreciate it for the years to come.”—Janina Dizon

“I advice a man to give something special. Go with the investment pieces or the best that he can give her. Let the ladies choose what whimsical pieces they prefer.”—Nicole Whisenhunt 

For the generous spender (up to PhP 100,000). Click on the image below for slideshow

Golden south sea pearl and diamond pave stud earrings by Paul Syjuco. 

Deco butterfly earrings with diamonds in gold by Paul Syjuco. 

Deco bee earring in diamonds and sapphires by Paul Syjuco. 

Diamond wire bangle in rose and white gold by Paul Syjuco. 

Mobius ring in diamond by Paul Syjuco. 

Earrings of Mother of pearl buddha with diamonds 0.50 and amethyst 10 cts and tsavorite earrings on 18k pink gold by Janina Dizon. 

Pair dangling tourmaline pink cabochon earrings 2.93 cts, pink tourmaline facetted 1.03 cts and cognac diamonds 0.77 cts in 18k pink gold by Janina Dizon. 

Ring with 0.57 white sapphires with 10 multicolored freshwater pearls in black silver by Janina Dizon. 

Ring with pink opal 18 cts with peridot 10.25 white sapphires 0.85 and enamel in pink silver by Janina Dizon. 

Pin ruby and brown diamonds and rubies ribbon style in antique silver by Janina Dizon. 

Necklace with 15 strands aquamarine amethyst with 6 rose quartz and 2.02 cts pink sapphires bars in pink silver by Janina Dizon. 

Tennis necklace with diamonds 20.65 cts in 18k white gold by Janina Dizon. 

Art Deco inspired diamond pave earrings with rose cut white sapphires in gold by Paul Syjuco.  

Mandarin garnet and yellow beryl front and back drop earrings in gold by Paul Syjuco. 

Art Deco key pendants in gold with diamonds by Paul Syjuco.  

Garnet earrings by Nicole Whisenhunt 

Garnet, sapphires, diamonds, citrine, & an antique pearl pendant hanging on a south sea pearl necklace by Nicole Whisenhunt

3. What does a gift of jewelry mean to a woman? 
“Jewelry will always be art, adornment and expression pieces. More than the value of materials used it is always the milestone or memory or the person associated with it that makes it priceless. It fulfills the deep and innate desire of identity or expressing one's identity. The giving of jewelry these days is also becoming more uncommon (aside from the one-off engagement ring) and so, again, it would appear to be such a grand and romantic gesture for a woman.”—Paul Syjuco  

“I believe that to receive jewelry as a gift is the ultimate expression of love. It is a very personal process and most usually one of the most valuable purchases a man would make.”—Janina Dizon   

“Jewelry means meaningful love, commitment, and acknowledging that their partner is very special to them. Jewelry is a symbolic object with value. It is usually given to mark milestones or occasions & because jewelry is very precious and will last forever, it is a gift to symbolize a special moment. Jewelry makes memories tangible.”—Nicole Whisenhunt 

4. Choosing jewelry can become overwheling for a man. What tips would you give?
“It’s always good to do your own research but if you feel overwhelmed, consult a trusted jewelry professional to help you narrow down choices. It would also help to describe the person to be gifted and her sense of style or aesthetics. Color preferences can also work. This tiny bit of effort can yield exponential returns. Think of it as an investment in your relationship.”—Paul Syjuco

“Go to a trusted jeweller with an exchange policy just in case she decides on something else. (It does happen!)  Seek her friends' and family's advice for suggestions. They most usually know what she would want to add in her collection. Lastly, give with all your heart and expect nothing in return.”—Janina Dizon   

“Choose a piece or custom a piece with meaning—maybe a certain stone, look, or design that can be a shared story. Know your woman’s personality and style. Pay attention to any “hints” she will drop regarding the jewelry she likes and observe the kind of jewelry she wears. This will give you clearer direction on how to choose for her. Listen because she may already be telling you what pieces she needs or dreams to have.”—Nicole Whisenhunt

Where money is no object. Click on the image below for slideshow

G/VS GIA certified Ring with oval diamond 2.03 cts with square baguette diamonds 0.85ctsm round diamonds 0.06cts in 18k white gold by Janina Dizon.

Snake Necklace with diamonds in 18k white gold with two pcs 59.04cts kunzite pear shape and 2 cushion 0.13cts and diamonds 7.47cts by Janina Dizon.

One tennis necklace with 5cts diamonds in18k white gold by Janina Dizon. 

Brooch pin with oval dia 2.07cts D/VS2 green emerald 0.55cts rubies 0.28cts blue sapphire 0.82cts diamonds 0.73cts in 18k white gold by Janina Dizon.

Lace bangle with mixed diamonds 3 cts in 18k white gold corset style by Janina Dizon.

Earrings with dangling freshwater pearls and mixed pastel sapphires 7.77 and diamonds 1.64cts in 18k white gold by Janina Dizon. 

Emerald cut and round diamond deco ring by Paul Syjuco. 

Rose cut diamond rabbit earrings by Paul Syjuco.

Deco diamond pave earrings by Paul Syjuco.

Diamond fringe earrings by Paul Syjuco.

Contemporary diamond bangle by Paul Syjuco.

Colombian emerald drop earrings with white and black diamonds by Paul Syjuco.

Burmese ruby bib necklace by Paul Syjuco.

Round brilliant diamond earrings with white gold noose in pave of diamonds by Paul Syjuco.

Diamond cluster ring in white gold by Paul Syjuco.

Nicole Whisenhunt pearl diamond hanging earrings 

Nicole Whisenhunt emerald earrings 


Aum by Paul Syjuco
Peninsula Manila & Trinoma

Janina for Jul Dizon
Peninsula Manila

Nicole Whisenhunt
Powerplant Mall, Rockwell

Photographs by Paulo Valenzuela