Valentine's Day, celebrated annually on February 14th, has been a time for expressing love and affection for centuries. One popular way to do so is through the giving of jewelry.
The tradition of giving jewelry for Valentine's Day dates back to ancient Rome. During the celebration of Lupercalia, men would randomly draw the names of women from a box and be paired with them for the duration of the festival. Couples would often exchange gifts, including jewelry, as symbols of their affection for one another.
During the third century, the emperor of Rome who needed more men to enlist in the armies, believed unmarried men fought better than married ones. He banned weddings and engagements. A Christian priest, Valentine, performed these ceremonies in secret. When the emperor discovered this, he ordered Valentine beheaded on February 14th. The Catholic Church later recognized Valentine as a saint, and he became the patron saint of love and affection.
So what led to this brutal act becoming the holiday we know and love today, and what role does jewelry play as one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts?
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the tradition of exchanging love letters on Valentine's Day became popular, and by the 17th century, Valentine's Day had evolved into a day of romance, with couples exchanging gifts, flowers, and sweet nothings. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the holiday became even more commercialized, with the rise of mass-produced greeting cards and gifts, including jewelry and chocolates.
Today, giving jewelry on Valentine's Day is still a popular tradition, with couples choosing to exchange necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other pieces to symbolize their love. Amid roses (that eventually wilt) and chocolate (that eventually gets eaten), jewelry as a Valentine’s Day gift is the perfect choice!
Shop our curated collection of jewelry for Valentine's Day below and give her something beautiful, timeless and full of meaning.