To understand the history of jewelry as a Valentine’s Day gift, you need to look at the history of the day itself, too. Because contrary to popular belief, the day of love wasn’t just invented by the greeting card and candy companies.
In fact, the history of Valentine’s Day is rooted in Pagan, Roman and Christian myth. The most widespread story is that of Roman Emperor Claudius II, who is said to have outlawed marriage because young, single men were better fighters for his army. As the legend goes, Valentine defied the law and presided over the marriages of young lovers anyway, only to be killed by Claudius II for his betrayal on February 14th. The Roman Catholic church made him a saint, and the rest is pretty much history.
It would take centuries for this celebration to turn into what it is today. In the 18th century, we began to see widespread letter exchanging between lovers, and a century later these were replaced by mass-produced cards with lace and ribbon. In the 19th century flowers were exchanged — the Victorians believing each flower held a different meaning. It was around this time that chocolate companies also began releasing boxes of chocolates to exchange as well, the boxes meant to be kept to store love notes and other tokens.
Surprisingly, jewelry — and diamonds specifically — as a Valentine’s Day gift are a very new idea. It started in the early 20th century with the De Beers jewelry company who began associating giving diamonds with the act of love. But it wasn’t until the 1980’s when we saw mass advertising of diamonds for Valentine’s Day. Despite only being a thirty-something-year tradition, today diamond jewelry remains a major player for Valentine’s Day spending.
Show Your Love Differently: One-of-a-Kind Jewelry
With Valentine’s Day becoming increasingly commercialized over the years, there’s a push by many to give up on the holiday altogether. Instead, we’d argue you should just go against the norm. Instead of playing into the mass-commercialization of diamonds for Valentine’s, be more creative. For your one-of-a-kind love, choose a one-of-a-kind piece.
What many people don’t realize is that you don’t need to be in the 1% to afford one-of-a-kind jewelry. Many fine jewelry companies create luxurious pieces within your budget, still featuring the best materials on the market and displaying exceptional and creative designs.
At GURHAN, much of our own creativity spurs out of our one-of-a-kind pieces. Gurhan himself expresses his love for the art of jewelry through these unique creations, often pairing ancient and antique tokens from his travels alongside his goldsmith and metalworking techniques. What’s more, Gurhan may even be inspired by a certain jewel — whether it is the cut or color — to create an entire piece of jewelry around it.
So with Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not search for a piece of jewelry just as extraordinary as your partner? Just as unique as your love for her? We hope something within our 24k gold or silver collections will pull at your own heartstrings and make this a unique and special Valentine’s Day for you both.