There are many stories and legends that support the custom of giving gifts, including jewelry, to loved ones on Valentine’s Day.
The rosy-cheeked cherub we know as Cupid comes from Greek mythology where the flighty character was known as the son of Venus, the goddess of love, and Mars, the god of war. Said to carry two arrows — one sharp and tipped with gold to fill its target with uncontrollable desire, the other blunt to cause the desire to flee — Cupid set various plots in motion. Over time, gifts of gold came to symbolize feelings of love…or lust.
St. Valentine was a priest who fell in love with a young woman and only expressed his feelings in notes, always signed, “From Your Valentine.” As the legend evolved over time, it became a custom for lovers to exchanges notes and small gifts, such as flowers, sweets, and eventually jewelry, on the 14th of February.
Although traditional gifting continued, public opinion began to change in the affluent 1920’s – flowers wilt, candy is eaten, and cards are lost or stored away. Yet a piece of jewelry is a lasting reminder that can last a lifetime. Gifts of jewelry are now as popular as ever – among the receivers and the givers!