Diamonds are often thought of as reserved for popping the big question: “Will you marry me?” Yet diamond jewellery comes in many different forms. Many pieces of jewellery are simple and meant to one day lead up to that question.

In fact, holidays and birthdays allow you the opportunity to express how special someone is to you. And if you’re confident, doing it out of the blue can be special, too. Seeing someone you love open a box with a beautiful piece of jewellery in it, you might feel your heart stop, but there’s does, too.

A diamond doesn’t move a relationship forward on its own, but jewellery can express a desire to move the relationship forward to the next stage – whether that stage is meeting the family, moving in together. It can even say you’re not ready for marriage yet, but you will be one day. Jewellery doesn’t say something on its own, but it can help you express more fully the things that you decide to say.

Of course, how do you decide if it’s too much or too forward? Diamond jewellery doesn’t just come in rest-of-our-life level seriousness anymore. There are many fun and endearing pieces today that are designed to mark steps in a relationship. Many are playful, and many are simple – beautiful but understated.

Pendants

Pendants are remarkably good choices as a first diamond gift. It’s minimal and simple in nature – it won’t be too overbearing or create pressure. It can also go with just about any ensemble.

A heart pendant might be set with a single diamond or multiple. Go with what feels right to her style. More playful pendants might feature flowers, surreal designs, animals, musical notes – if she works with animals, choose one of these. If she’s a musician, choose a note. Get creative and keep it personal – the gift will be more appreciated.

Earrings

Diamond stud earrings are similarly versatile and low-pressure. They’re also a kind of understated highlight – both simple and fancy as the same time. Diamond drop earrings are a little dressier but some people like earrings that stand out a little more. If this isn’t a first-time gift, consider diamond hoops. These contain more diamonds, but look incredibly beautiful. They can be inlaid with a mix of gemstones as well.

Bracelets

A diamond bracelet might begin to get a little bit more serious. It’s less of a first-time gift, more of a spending-the-holidays together or birthday gift. Of course, you can go with a simpler cord with a diamond charm. This is a safe bet for someone a little more modern and on-the-go, though bracelets aren’t quite as versatile as pendants and earrings.

A diamond tennis bracelet is somewhat traditional, but in a warming and endearing gift.

The nice thing about a charm bracelet is that you can add to it as the years go by – it can become a tradition that expresses commitment. If you want to express that you’re committed, but you aren’t quite ready to take the full plunge yet, this is a good way to more fully express that feeling.

Be sure you wrap creatively. If it looks like a ring and she opens up to find earrings, she may be relieved and you can laugh about it – or she may be disappointed because she momentarily thought you were proposing. Keep this in mind and make sure the gift is delivered with a context and imagination.