How The Heart Got Its Shape
Most of us know that heart emoji is not the true shape of a human heart. This fact doesn’t remove our obsession with this shape. And apparently we have been obsessed with heart shapes since the end of the Dark Ages, around the 16th, 17th century. Jewelers during that time created pieces that looked more like pears than hearts, but that didn’t deter the symbol of true love. Kings and commoners alike were giving these heart-shaped treasures to their loves as the ultimate expression of love. We explore the history as well as showcase today’s heart jewelry in this guide of the best collection of heart jewelry online.
Diamond Heart Necklaces
Heart Jewelry: Rings
When I think of heart jewelry I picture a ring. That may be due to my first boyfriend giving me a Claddagh ring when we started dating. I didn’t know the name or the history of the little ring with a heart and a crown held by two hands. I just thought it was beautiful and a good reflection of our relationship at that time.
Created around the 17th century, the Irish Claddagh ring
I learned later that the ring has a symbolic meaning: the hands signify friendship, the crown loyalty, and the heart means love. The original Claddagh ring was created by a fisherman by the name of Richard Joyce. He was planning on marrying the love of his life when he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith in the 17th century. While in captivity he learned how to make jewelry and this is where he crafted this ring to give to his beloved.
Worn on the left hand with the heart turned inwards symbolizes the two have never separated
When he finished his servitude he returned to his village to find the woman he loved so many years ago. To his surprise, she was never married. This is when he presented her with his ring and hence a tradition was born.
Heart Ring Collection
The Claddagh ring, in essence, is where the tradition began where the soon to be groom presents his love with a ring. This engagement ring is worn by the soon to be bride on her left hand. This tradition of a marriage proposal is still practiced today, many with rings in heart-shaped motifs.
Heart Jewelry: Necklaces
It goes without saying that heart jewelry has a sentimental element that you don’t find in other jewelry shapes. The heart signifies life because no human can live without one. It represents love as early expressions of love presented heart-shaped rings to their beloved. These rings were usually inscribed with poetry.
During the 18th century, lockets became popular. The receiver would store a picture of a loved one in the locket. This was especially true if the loved one was deceased. It was how they shared the memory of the person they loved. Double heart necklaces were popular as well, meaning their hearts were intertwined for a lifetime. Today, heart necklaces are still popular due to what they represent. Whether it is a son gifting his mom a heart necklace for mother’s day or a boyfriend gifting his girl an infinity heart necklace for Valentine’s day, one thing is clear. That the heart means love.
Heart Jewelry: Bracelets
Heart bracelets are a great gift for a daughter, a mom, a sister, a wife, or any special lady in your life. Great gift for your bridesmaids if you are getting married and want to thank your bridal party for their time and support.
The earliest traces of when bracelets were created was 7000 years ago, were small tree branches and grass blades were the materials they were made from. These primal bracelets were worn by people from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China. After the stone ages, around 1400 B.C, bracelets were made from metals such as silver and gold.
Shells and gemstones started to appear on many jewelry pieces during the dark ages. Queens and Pharaoh’s alike wore jewels adorned with precious gems like emeralds and diamonds. Prior to the middle ages (A.D 476) bracelets were also a very popular accessory for a male. Roman soldiers wore golden cuffs around their arms as a part of their uniform. Owing bracelets were a symbol of wealth and status, no matter the gender.
Men stopped wearing bracelets from the middle ages until around the 2oth century. As jewelry became mass-produced, bracelets became popular again amongst men.
Today, there is so much variety when it comes to jewelry. It can dress up any outfit and express any attitude the wearer is trying to convey. This form of expression has been with us throughout history. Ways to express our feelings using symbols, especially feelings of love, can be easily done with heart jewelry.
What does the heart symbol mean to you? Subscribe today and get special deals on jewelry.