#1 - Prismacolor Premier Pencils
When you get a chance, sneak into your special someone's craft room and have a look at the brand of pencil they're currently using. Are they marked:
If you're seeing any other brand and I do mean ANY OTHER BRAND, please do that poor soul a favor and upgrade them to an artist quality colored pencil.
There's a lot of horse puckey floating around on the internet right now about how great cheapo brands like Crayola pencils are.
If that were true, you'd see artists using them every day.
But they don't. You will never walk into any artist studio and find them doing serious work with dime store pencils.
Student grade pencils are for coloring maps in geography class. Not for doing colored pencil art on regular basis.
Show your person that you love them by getting them some decent pencils. Even if they never do more than color in coloring books, your colored pencil lover will feel the quality difference as they color. There simply is no substitution for decent pencils.
Of the three brands I mentioned above, I think Prismacolor Premier pencils are the best for beginners. The Premier Soft Core style is a professional grade pencil but they're not going to break your budget.
I worked with a set of 24 pencils for years (in fact, my art school admissions portfolio was created with that small set) and while I replaced the colors as they ran out, I simply didn't have access at the time to a larger color selection. And guess what? It didn't kill me and I never felt stuck or trapped by the 24 color limitation. Now-a-days the pencils are a little cheaper and a lot of colorers think they need to own all 150 colors before they start. That's a bunch of hooey. This set of 72 isn't every color Prismacolor makes but it's a great selection and contains all of my most used colors.
Warning if you're about to do more research on the internet: Prismacolor has detractors who seem rather vocal lately. And I won't lie, I do think there is a valid quality control issue with Prismas. As a result, I have moved to a pencil brand that has a more consistent quality- but that's because I use colored pencils every single day for professional purposes.
But for beginners? I never, never, never start anyone on anything but Prismacolors. Quality issues aside, they're still a better than average pencil and the price isn't painful. Let your person get the feel of Prismas before spending more on to a more expensive brand.