Valentine’s Day is the opportunity to show the person you love just how much you care for them - and what better way than to give the gift of a beautiful piece of jewellery? Flowers may be beautiful and chocolates delicious, but jewellery will be loved and cherished for years after the last petal of a bouquet has fallen and the last truffle devoured. A carefully selected piece of jewellery – no matter what the price tag - will forever hold a special place in the heart of your Valentine.
The Origins of Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day traces its roots back to ancient Rome, where mid-February marked the celebration of ‘Lupercalia’, a Pagan fertility festival. The Christian Church then created a new celebration at this time dedicated to the Christian martyr, St. Valentine. Multiple legends surround St. Valentine and there may well have been several saints of the same name. The most popular legend suggests that he defied Emperor Claudius II's ban on marriages for young soldiers, performing secret unions. Imprisoned for his actions, St. Valentine reportedly sent the first Valentine's Day card, a love note to his jailer's daughter, signing it "From your Valentine."
The strong association of St. Valentine’s Day with love and romance really took hold in the 14th century when the poet Chaucer romantically linked it to the mating season of birds in ‘The Parliament of Foules”. Other writers such as Shakespeare and John Donne further cemented St. Valentine’s role as the patron of romantic love.
The tradition of sending cards seems to have started during the 18th century. These early Valentine’s cards were handmade featuring tokens of affection such as flowers, love knots and lines of poetry. Then in the Victorian era, with the advent of printing technology and a national postal system, the sending of mass produced Valentine’s greetings really took off. At a time when big displays of affection were frowned upon, this was an opportunity to express these romantic feelings more discretely!
Today, Valentine’s Day is a global celebration of love, marked by the exchange of cards, flowers and beautiful gifts. And while it might be easy to think of the day as purely a commercial enterprise, it’s fascinating historical journey steeped in legend and tales of love, mean that for many it is still a wonderful opportunity to treat the person they love.
Finding the right Valentine’s Day jewellery gift
The great thing about giving jewellery as a Valentine’s Day gift is that there really is a gift for every budget. Even if you cannot splash out on a diamond encrusted necklace, any lovingly selected piece of jewellery will be treasured, whatever the price tag. Jewellery of all kinds symbolises enduring love and commitment and serves as a tangible reminder of the shared journey and cherished moments between two individuals.
From dazzling diamonds to a simple silver heart, we’ve got ideas and inspiration to find the perfect piece that will leave your partner in no doubt as to just how much you love them!
The heart, the quintessential symbol of love, takes centre stage during Valentine's Day. The heart was believed by ancient civilisations to be the centre of emotions and the seat of the soul. The iconic heart shape gained popularity in Roman times but it wasn’t until the Medieval period that it gradually became associated with love. It became a recurring motif in Renaissance love poetry and its inclusion in playing cards further reinforced it as a symbol of love and passion. By the 20th century the heart icon had become widespread throughout popular culture and it is now commonly used in many different jewellery designs.
Heart shape jewellery is the perfect way to express your love and it can be as flamboyant or as discreet as you want. From a delicate pair of silver stud earrings to a ruby set pendant, heart shape jewellery is far from being a cliché.
Valentine’s necklaces are the perfect way to mark this romantic occasion as they sit close to the heart of your loved one and are a constant reminder of your commitment. You could opt for a little (or a lot) of sparkle to wow and lift the spirits of your soul mate. You might choose a necklace with interlocking rings to signify enduring love. Or perhaps you might go for a vibrant fiery red ruby with its association with romance and passion.
Lockets are another popular choice and have been cherished for centuries as sentimental keepsakes. Often containing small photographs or other mementos, or engraved with a meaningful date or initials, lockets symbolise the closeness and emotional connection between loved ones.
Diamonds are Forever
Diamonds, with their timeless beauty and enduring nature, symbolise a love that is strong, pure and everlasting. A pair of diamond studs is a classic design and can be worn with absolutely any style from jeans and jumper to formal evening wear. A diamond necklace never fails to win the heart of the recipient. And a diamond bracelet or bangle, with its continuous circle, symbolises love, unity and commitment.
Whatever the design, a gift of diamond jewellery is the perfect way of saying “You are precious and our love is forever”.
Say it with a Ring
Promise rings, engagement rings, eternity rings…. Giving a ring on Valentine’s Day holds profound symbolism, representing a timeless and enduring commitment. A ring, with its circular shape, signifies an unbroken bond and eternal love.
A promise ring is often understood to be an informal way of showing your commitment to a partner without a marriage necessarily being on the cards! Promise rings can be anything from a simple silver band to a bright and usual gemstone – it’s all about your style and personality.
Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days of the year on which to ‘pop the question’ and there is no day more romantic on which to declare your desire to stay with someone for all time. Engagement rings can be anything from a classic diamond solitaire to a more unusual design set with a coloured stone such as a fiery red ruby, a rich green emerald or a cool calm sapphire. Again the choice is very individual.
Eternity rings often feature a row of stones and are gifted between couples who have been together for a while and want to symbolise the constancy of their love and their ongoing journey together. Diamonds and coloured stones often feature in eternity rings.
Whatever the occasion, a ring gifted on Valentine’s Day becomes a constant and visible reminder of the deep connection between two individuals, a symbol of love that is meant to last.
Sustainable and Ethical
If your partner struggles with the commercialisation and throw-away culture surrounding a celebration like Valentine’s Day, what better gift to give than a sustainable item that could stay with them for a lifetime? Whether it is a piece crafted from recycled silver or Fairtrade gold, or that uses fully traceable gemstones, a sustainable and ethical piece of Fairtrade jewellery is the perfect way of showing how much you care.
Personalised Keepsake Jewellery
Let sentimentality lead the way for Valentine’s Day 2024 with a personalised item of jewellery that will become a cherished keepsake. Birthstone jewellery is an incredibly thoughtful gift as each stone is associated with specific qualities and is believed to bring good luck to the wearer. Modern couples often opt for an engraved piece of jewellery that tells their unique love story. From initials to coordinates of a significant location, personalised jewellery allows individuals to create a one-of-a-kind piece that encapsulates their relationship's special moments
Read our birthstone jewellery guide to find out more and discover which birthstone belongs to you and your loved ones.
Valentine’s Day Jewellery for Men
Don’t discount men's jewellery when thinking about what to gift your male partner for Valentine’s Day. There is a huge choice of great jewellery for men these days and the gift of jewellery holds as much meaning and symbolism as for men as it does for ladies.
Choose from stylish cufflinks, funky beaded and leather bracelets or a personally engraved dog tag to win his heart this Valentine’s.
How to make the right choice
Before you make your Valentine’s Day jewellery purchase, spend some time getting to know your partner’s style. Take a peek in their jewellery box. Make a note of the stones and metals that dominate and think about the aesthetic of their smart and casual outfits to get a feel for their style preferences.
Your time and consideration will immediately stand out when your loved one receives your gift and they will feel wonderful wearing it. Jewellery, with its timeless beauty and symbolic meanings, is the perfect and enduring expression of love and commitment.