The St. Valentine's Day Gift Guide
While some have long written off Valentine’s Day as a commercial non-holiday pushing silly cards and sugary treats, the truth is, this ode to lovers has been around since at least the 5th century, when February 14th was officially declared St. Valentine’s Day.
So, who was St. Valentine, exactly? In fact, there were multiple saints throughout history, named either Valentine or Valentinus, each with associations to love and marriage. One popular legend is the third century Roman priest who married young couples in secret, after marriage was outlawed by Emperor Claudius II (he realized single men made far better soldiers.) Another says Valentine was a figure who helped Christians escape from punishing Roman prisons. And, once imprisoned himself, he sent a last letter to his love, appropriately signed, ‘from your Valentine.’
Another mid-February holiday can also be credited for the origins of Valentine's Day: Lupercalia. It was a Pagan festival celebrating fertility. Some even believe it may have been the reason Pope Gelasius decided to "re-brand" it as a Christian holiday, instead. Even after St. Valentine's Day came to be, it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the holiday further began to be associated with love, as it was believed in England and France that it was a good time to choose a partner, thanks to the beginning of bird mating season!
By the 17th century, Valentine’s greetings has become popularized, and by the next century it was common for people to exchange small tokens of love and friendship and handwritten notes. Thanks to the industrial revolution and cheaper postage rates, printed and mailed Valentines became a fun and beloved pastime by 1900.
Now, we look to Valentine’s Day as a beacon of buoyancy, love and romance, at the perfect midway point between end-of-year holiday celebrations and the cheerfulness and promise of Spring. It’s the perfect time to revel in the frivolity of beautiful words, flowers and yes—sparkling jewels! After all, life is too short not to enjoy silly cards and sugary treats.
A. 1.00 Carat Diamond Solitaire Pendant Necklace, £5495.
B. 1.60 Carat Yellow Sapphire and Diamond Ring, £2195.
C. Pearl and Diamond Earrings in 18ct Yellow Gold, £2295.
D. 4.00 Carat Amethyst and Rose-Cut Diamond Ring, £1095.
E. 1.50 Carat Pink Sapphire and Diamond Ring, £1606.50.
F. 1.50 Carat Pink Ceylon Sapphire and Diamond Ring, £3295.
G. 1.25 Carat Aquamarine and Diamond Necklace, £895.
H. 1.50 CTW Diamond Stud Earrings in 18ct White Gold, £4495.
I. 15 Carat Pink Sapphire and Diamond Cross Necklace, £2795.
J. Pearl and Diamond Drop Earrings in 14ct White Gold, £2150.
K. 18.68 Carat Rose Quartz, Sapphire and Diamond Ring, £2995.