For Valentine’s Day, would be cupids will likely attempt to send pulses racing with jewelry that’s red or shaped like a heart.

"In most jewelry stores, including ours, the heart is by far the most prominent design, not just for Valentine’s Day but year round," says Jo Ellen Qualls, vice president and store manager of Tiffany Co. in South Coast Plaza. "People love hearts, and I think they always will."

One of the most famous is the often copied open heart designed by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany. The simple heart, which appears to float on a chain, has become a classic.

"Elsa designed it in 1976, and it’s still the best selling heart in our company. At one time it was the most worn piece of jewelry in the world," Qualls says. "It’s still our No. 1 best selling single item at Tiffany."

One reason for the open heart’s success: It comes in gold or silver and in six different sizes, from a dainty mini heart of sterling ($40) to a large gold heart on a 36 inch chain ($1,595).

"The simplicity and purity of the design appeals to people," Qualls says.

Italian jeweler Bvlgari, which recently opened a store in South Coast Plaza, has sleek, heart shaped earrings of gold and a variety of semiprecious stones, including a pure turquoise pair ($2,900), purple amethyst ($5,500) and green tourmaline ($6,900).

Watches with hearts or with red bands are also hot this time of year. Tourneau in South Coast Plaza has everything from Cartier’s "Diablo" style watch with a pave diamond bezel and a red crocodile band ($16,700) to Tourneau’s casual "Safari" style with a red lizard band ($225). Perhaps the most elaborate of the jeweler’s romantic watches is Baum Mercier’s timepiece with a red crocodile band, a diamond bezel and pave diamond bows, and a cabachon ruby center to mark the 6 and 12 o’clock hours.

Tourneau often sells watches by the pair for Valentine’s Day. Many come in his and hers versions.

One can find Valentine’s jewelry at all prices. Apropos in Fashion Island Newport Beach offers assorted cupids and hearts, including heart earrings paved in red crystals for $78, engraved silver heart lockets ($75 to $110) and two tone sterling and brass hearts with cupid faces ($38).