A Quick and Easy Guide to Valentine's Day Jewellery Gifts
For the lover’s of love, Valentine's day is basically Christmas and birthday celebrations smushed into one! And, with our current climate, it's all the more important to connect with your partner and let them know how much you appreciate them, no matter if you are spending it closely or from afar.
Jewellery has always been a covert message and intimate gift between two lovers, and the plethora of stories and symbolism within antique jewellery therefore makes it a beautiful and timeless gift. This symbolism could be a wonderful secret shared between you and your partner, bringing you closer together in a world that is making us keep apart. On the other hand, if you are locked in together and the romance is slightly dwindling (we can’t blame you!), Jewellery is a beautiful way to ignite the fire once again.
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This year, we decided to keep it simple and draw upon our wealth of knowledge within the antique jewellery world. From lover’s knot links to classic lockets, this guide will hopefully steer you in the right direction to getting your partner a piece that they will cherish forever.
Lover’s Knot Chains
Knots are a quintessential symbol of love, strength and commitment. Dating back to antiquity, lover’s knots have been referenced in a range of literature like the Canterbury tales. Therefore, this is a piece of symbolism that has truly stood the test of time.
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Lover’s knot chains and bracelets are an inherently beautiful yet subtle way to show your partner just how much you cherish them. Very fashionable in the Victorian era, and often combined with elegant paperclip and trombone links, Lover’s knot pieces are the perfect harmony of being timeless and also of its time.
What is so lovely about antique lover’s knot chains is that the motif itself is consistent throughout, as you can see in our picture above! In fact, we could be so bold in interpreting this recurrence as emphasising JUST how important the person was and is. Not to mention, lover’s knot’s have beautiful textural quality, and are infinitely wearable to all occasions, so just like your relationship, it will stand the test of time AND trends!
Pearls are currently having a major moment in the fashion and jewellery world, but did you know that they are also a secret symbol of love? Deeply rooted in ancient mythology, Pearls are connected to Aphrodite, the ancient Greek Goddess of love, marriage and sensuality. In fact, an ancient Cypriot legend details that when Aphrodite came to the shore, Pearls were given to the Goddess by mortals.
Victorian 15ct Gold Pearl Locket, Source - Lillicoco
Pearls have adorned ancient Queens, Renaissance noblewomen, and Emperors since the dawn of time. And today, Pearls are equally as captivating. As illustrated in our June Birthstone guide, antique Pearls were interpreted as reflecting the person’s virtuous character but also tied them to higher powers. Antique Pearls are not only an eco-friendly choice and fashionable choice, but it is steeped in history. Through a piece of Pearl jewellery you are connecting yourself to a million other love stories in time, making them a classic choice for your partner.
Opals are the perfect compliment to Pearl jewellery, with the soft pastel tones a natural harmony. But, Opals are also a seductive stone. The fiery embers of Opals also symbolise passion, which if you are in the emotional throws of first love, Opals are the perfect gem to symbolise this honeymoon period.
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As detailed in our Gemstones for Anxiety blog, Rose Quartz is an uplifting gemstone connected to your heart chakra, so it’s perfect for boosting your self-esteem and nurturing your relationship with yourself. But also, as evident in its delightful blush hue, it's a natural choice for Valentine’s jewellery gifts.
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Rose Quartz is widely used within contemporary jewellery, but it's actually quite rare to find in antique jewellery which is why the pieces that we have are all the more special!
Plus, it's pretty nice on the eye too!
Diamonds (of course!)
It’s a pretty well-known fact that Diamonds are the ultimate luxurious gift to profess your love and devotion. Which is why they are easy, quick and don't require too much thought and overthinking.
For a present that they can wear straight away (and everyday after) you can never go wrong with Diamond pendant or a pair of Diamond earrings! For antique Diamonds, you have plenty to choose from, so you can get them something that it is a little more striking and not run-of-the-mill.
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Of course, it also doesn't need mentioning that Diamond rings are the go-to chic engagement ring. If you are thinking of getting an antique engagement ring, why not read our five reasons why you should purchase an antique or vintage engagement ring!
From twinkling rose cuts to bewitching old mine cuts, if you are thinking of Diamonds - you are in luck!
Steeped in history, Gate bracelets are a simple yet chic Victorian’s valentines gift that they will treasure forever. Literally, gate bracelets are designed to look just like the gates on English country estates. But, they are so much more than that! Gate bracelets were often designed with a lovely charming heart padlock at the centre, alluding to their romantic meaning and origins. The lover would have the key to the padlock, so really, its a 19th century version of the famous Cartier love bangle!
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The Gate bracelet is a wonderful example of Victorian romance and courtship. Plus, their sturdy, chunky appearance makes them a chic addition to your wardrobe, and we can just imagine them looking perfect with your crisp white shirt or favourite cosy knit.
Amethysts are one of those gemstones that are always infinitely wearable and full of meaning. From fighting inebriation to helping mental clarity, Amethysts represent a wide variety of different things. But, one of the most compelling historical myths about Amethyst is that is intertwined with love. Specifically the love of St Valentine - I think you can see where we are going with this!
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It was believed that St Valentine originally wore an Amethyst ring with a Cupid intaglio, the mythological cherub of love. This wouldn’t have been completely unusual, as in the Middle Ages, Amethyst was considered to be a cardinal gemstone and often adorned Bishop’s episcopal rings. That being said, it’s direct correlation with St Valentine is very fitting, and if you want to find a unique Valentine’s gift that honours tradition, then our antique Amethyst jewellery could be right up your street!
Perhaps an unusual and sassy choice, snake motifs are actually a traditional symbol of love! So much so, that Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a Ruby and Diamond snake engagement ring. Despite the Victorians having a generally orthodox approach to Christianity, it's surprising that snakes were viewed in a romantic way. Especially after the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, snakes have garnered deviant associations. In our opinion, we certainly prefer the former connection, plus how cool would it be to receive an antique snake piece that is steeped in romance?!
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The reason as to why snakes were symbolic of eternal love is uncertain, but this belief actually dates back to Ancient Rome, where they were also symbols of wisdom. I suppose that if you are well-versed in the ardours of love, you are likely to be quite wise too! In Ancient Egypt, snakes were also symbolic of prestige and divinity, and were often the motif of choice by Pharaohs and Emperors.
Antique 18ct Gold Diamond Snake Ring, Source - Lillicoco Sold
Due to Queen Victoria’s engagement ring, snake motifs were at the height of Victorian fashions in the 1840s, and it continued further into the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods a century later. Especially as archaeological digs intensified the desire for Archaeological revival jewellery. From Bulgari Serpenti bracelets to Cartier’s famous snake necklace, the snake continues to be a striking and powerful asset. Even today you can find a plethora of snake fashion jewellery. But, nothing captures the glamorous and romantic in depth meaning and significance quite like an antique snake piece.
It's easy to overthink every single jewellery piece you buy for your significant other, but we hope that this guide has helped steer you in direction that is full of meaning, history and story.