This photo provided by Blue Nile shows a Blue Nile Studio French Pavé Asscher-Cut diamond eternity ring in platinum with a Bella Vaughan for Blue Nile Grandeur Cushion Halo diamond engagement ring in platinum. Shopping for... (Blue Nile via AP)

This photo provided by Blue Nile shows a Blue Nile Studio French Pavé Asscher-Cut diamond eternity ring in platinum with a Bella Vaughan for Blue Nile Grandeur Cushion Halo diamond engagement ring in platinum. Shopping for… (Blue Nile via AP)


NEW YORK (AP)—Shopping for jewelry for a loved one ahead of Valentine’s Day can be stressful. But learning some tricks should help anyone have an easier time finding the perfect gift. That means understanding a partner’s tastes, shopping at reputable jewelry stores and learning what the wording means in terms of how gemstones are graded.

And there’s plenty of opportunity to haggle for the best price.

“It is a big time to buy jewelry,” says Amanda Gizzi, a spokeswoman at the Jewelers of America, a trade association with more than 8,000 retail members. “There are some wonderful sales to be had. Look for the best pieces for your budget, but don’t be dazzled by the discounts.”

Above all, start researching with time to spare, figure out how much you want to spend, and shop to take advantage of post-holiday sales or limited-time Valentine’s Day deals.

The median price for a piece of jewelry is $350, excluding engagement rings and wedding bands, the trade group says. But there’s a wide range of jewelry sellers from Target to Tiffany. At Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club, which says its jewelry is priced at a 25 to 40 percent discount over other jewelry retailers, Valentine’s deals run from Jan. 25 to the holiday. Macy’s jewelry sale, which includes 60 percent off 14-carat and 18-carat gold jewelry, starts Jan. 29 and ends Feb. 9.

“You really do need to shop early if you are budget-minded,” said Benjamin Glaser, features editor at DealNews.com, an online deal comparison site.

Here are some tips:

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