Looking for something big in size or price? The Miss-Lou has it

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; If it is not visions of sugarplums dancing in your head but perhaps something a little more extravagant, Natchez merchants are ready to fill those dreams.

Do a little scouting before making your list for the one most likely to buy a great gift for you. It will pay off.

For a few of their most spectacular gift ideas, Natchez merchants pulled out items such as jewelry, perfume, clothing, electronics and a few surprises as suggestions.

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Mary Flach, manager at Belk in the Natchez Mall, bubbled with ideas for shoppers looking for top-of-the-line gifts.

&8220;Of course there is nothing like our Waterford crystal,&8221; Flach said. That line comes in many shapes and forms, and Waterford is as beautiful as it is pricey.

For more personal gifts, Flach suggested Dooney & Bourke handbags for women and something from the Nautica line for men.

&8220;And we have gorgeous cashmere, an incredible gift, and it is priced right,&8221; she said.

Belk also has the top line of fragrances. &8220;The number one fragrance is Beautiful by Estee Lauder,&8221; she said. For men, there is the Dolce & Gabbana line.

In the children&8217;s department, Belk has &8220;a nice selection of better toys,&8221; she said.

At Robert Mims and Son Jewelers on Main Street, diamonds are popular among those looking for special gifts.

&8220;I&8217;ve already sold a $39,000 diamond ring,&8221; Ginger Mims said.

Custom orders are not out of the ordinary.

Shoppers find the look they prefer and Mims finds the perfect stone.

Shapes vary, as do sizes of stones. A recent special order featured a 1-carat round diamond in the center and 14 pave set diamonds on each side, placed in an 18-carat setting.

Anyone in the market for a special emerald cut diamond might want to check out the one available at Mims for $16,500.

Pearls are popular, too, Mims said, showing a two-strand necklace at $895.

Clint Davenport, assistant manager at Rex TV Appliance on John R. Junkin Drive, smiled broadly when asked to show the most extravagant gift one could buy at Rex.

&8220;No question. It&8217;s this Panasonic 58-inch Plasma TV,&8221; he said, showing the huge screen with a picture that appears almost life size.

The price? &8220;It&8217;s $5,000 but on sale for $4,399.&8221;

Fancy appliances also top the list for shoppers at Rex, including oversized Whirlpool front-loading washer and dryer on pedestals for about $2,400 altogether.

An Amana refrigerator with stainless steel finish is another prize at Rex. &8220;It&8217;s 18.3 cubic feet on top,&8221; Davenport said, showing off the features that include built-in icemaker and water tap. The fridge goes for $2,500.

Beth Sibio, manager at JC Penney in the Natchez Mall, said fine jewelry is among the most extravagant gifts at that store.

&8220;We have new selections coming in every day leading up to the holidays,&8221; she said. That includes diamonds and other stones as well as fine gold jewelry.

At Kmart, manager John Christopher said jewelry is one of his best-selling items among pricey gifts.

&8220;I would say, too, a flat-screen TV is a big gift. And the portable DVD is selling well. I guess the most extravagant gifts would be a very large TV or a piece of jewelry,&8221; Christopher said.