Valentine’s Day: we all know about it, and many of us celebrate it on February 14th every year, but have you ever wondered how this important date on the calendar came to be? We did a little digging and found some surprising details. For us, the most interesting part is why Valentine’s Day is tied so closely to the gift of jewelry. Read on and we’ll tell you more!
Valentine’s Day takes its name from St. Valentine, who was a third century clergyman who was said to be buried on the 14th February, but the date really became known in Roman times when this Saint’s name came to be associated with a festival called Lupercalia, which was held in mid-February to celebrate fertility and the coming of spring. No romantic or passionate connotations here. That came much later: it was not until the Middle Ages that the holiday became associated with romantic love.
In the United States, Valentine’s Day first became popular in the 18th century when European settlers brought the tradition with them to the colonies. However, it was not widely celebrated until the 19th century, when it began to take on a more commercialized form. It wasn’t until the early part of the 20th century that Valentine’s Day became the consumer holiday it is known as today and the practice of the exchange of gifts between romantically involved couples took off. (Interestingly, this coincided with the rise of greeting card companies and flower shops.)
The practice of giving “gifts” started in the 18th century when people began to exchange love letters in which they professed their undying love and shared their most intimate thoughts with those who had captured their hearts. The practice of sending these love letters still persists today, although on a much lesser scale, but has been taken over by the practice of giving actual gifts. In the 19th century, flowers, especially red roses, became the token for expressing one’s love towards another. In the early 20th century, chocolates and other candy were added to the list of appropriate Valentine’s Day gifts, and finally, in the 1920’s, gifts of jewelry, such as lockets and watches, became popular. All of these items are still regularly exchanged between lovers on February 14th, but it is the gift of jewelry that seems to have really stuck. Perhaps this is because jewelry, which is something to be cherished over lifetimes, is seen as a symbol of a couple’s lasting love and commitment.
This is where we come in. Valentine’s Day is one of our favorite days of the year and we make a big deal of it! Our jewelry cases are brimming with fantastic Valentine’s Day gift ideas for any taste and any budget. From traditional heart-shaped jewelry and classic diamond stud earrings or pendants, to more modern funky pieces, we can help you find a gift that matches your special someone’s unique personality. And it’s not only the ladies who benefit from this tradition of jewelry gift-giving! Guys also enjoy receiving the gift of jewelry. Timepieces are still the most popular gift for the guys, but aren’t the only kind of male-inspired pieces we offer. Come in and check out our line of men’s jewelry and we’ll help you find the perfect gift for that perfect guy!
Valentine’s Day has a long and rich history, with roots that can be traced back to ancient Rome. In the United States, it has evolved over time to become a holiday that is primarily associated with romantic love, celebrated by couples through the exchange of gifts, amongst them, gifts of jewelry. We’re your one-stop shop for everything Valentine’s so come in and see us soon!