Newswise — This Valentine’s Day, about one in five Americans plans to buy jewelry for their sweetheart, for a total of $4.8 billion in sales. This is the conclusion of the annual Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics on behalf of the National Retail Federation. The survey additionally concluded that men will spend nearly double what women plan to spend, and adults 25 to 34 will outspend other age groups. But is it necessary to spend so much money? Or can you impress your sweetheart with your smarts? Many giving jewelry this year may find that Forever Brilliant® moissanite may prove the “loveliest” gift of all—due to its intrinsic brightness, beauty, and very reasonable cost. Forever Brilliant® moissanite jewelry has been gaining popularity not only because of its outstanding beauty and quality, but also because of its sustainability—Charles & Colvard® moissanite is grown here in the US and runs at about one-tenth the price of diamond. Forever Brilliant gems are indistinguishable even by experts with the unaided eye when compared to diamond.

The amount predicted to be spent on jewelry far outstrips the total amount forecasted to be spent on candy ($1.7 billion), flowers ($2.1 billion), movies/restaurants ($3.6 billion), clothing ($2 billion), and gift cards ($1.5 billion). With jewelry clearly the biggest of the big-ticket items, some questions arise. What kinds of jewelry are most popular as Valentine’s Day presents? To what extent is price a factor among young people when choosing a Valentine’s Day gift, and what are some of the most economically sensible jewelry choices available?

Randy McCullough thinks often about questions like these. He is president and CEO of Charles & Colvard, the sole source of Classic Moissanite™ and Forever Brilliant®, The World’s Most Brilliant Gem®. His other notable industry positions have included being a National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame inductee; former chairman of the Diamond Council of America, a Committee Chairman of the Gemological Institute of America and a director of the Jewelers Summit Advisory Council; and president and Chief Executive Officer of Samuels Jewelers, Inc. In addition, he has served as president and Chief Executive Officer of Silverman’s Factory Jewelers, a jewelry manufacturer with retail jewelry stores; and A.A. Friedman Company, a privately held retail jewelry store chain that grew from 23 stores to 120 stores during his tenure.

Charles & Colvard is the world’s exclusive worldwide marketer and distributor of Forever Brilliant® moissanite. In 1893, chemist Henri Moissan was the first to study the gemstone, originally recovered from a meteorite crater. Over the past century, scientists have worked tirelessly to harness its brilliance and recreate its natural fire.

In its labs, Charles & Colvard’s gemologists begin by exposing silicon carbide to an enormous amount of heat and pressure. Each gemstone is then painstakingly polished to carefully calculated proportions until it achieves the high moissanite standard. The gemstones are then carefully sorted and graded, and the Charles & Colvard team makes sure each one meets its high standards for color, clarity and cut. Moissanite is unique, near-colorless gem, but with an added benefit: it costs a mere fraction of traditional gemstones. In addition to rings, couples can purchase moissanite necklaces, earrings, bracelets and even loose gems online and in selected stores.

On February 14, as millions of couples exchange gifts, those who receive Forever Brilliant® moissanite jewelry will get significantly more carat weight and the satisfaction of knowing their significant other made a very wise choice.