Natural pearls are very beautiful, rare and expensive, which is why there is a huge market for faux pearls. It is recommended that you make your purchase from a reputable jewellery store which can vouch for the pearls. Depending on your budget, you can also ask for faux pearls if you don't want to shell out for originals.
A good way to recognize a first-rate pearl bracelet is to remember that original pearls are made in oysters while artificial pearls are made of mollusks. Faux pearls tend to look too flat as compared to originals and you can identify the fake ones due to the material used in them.
When it comes to designs, pearl bracelets don't have a whole lot of variety. However, you can usually select the number of strings and sizes of pearls used in a bracelet. Stick with what suits your budget because the price will ultimately depend on the number of pearls used.
If you are not sure about the preferences of the person for whom you want to buy the bracelet, you can pick any of the round pearls with high or medium lustre, good uniformity and minimal surface spotting. You can select any pearl bracelet from the Akoya variety as well as they are considered classics.
Since its Valentine's Day, you might want to get a special box for your bracelet and have it wrapped up in an appropriate paper. You should also get a small card and pen a special note for your loved one to make the gift even more special.