Saying “I love you” with gems and gold

Saying “I love you” with gems and gold

The romance of jewelry shows a diamond heart on a bed of red roses

Many of life’s romantic memories are tied to jewelry—the first “serious” relationship gift, engagement ring, wedding band, new baby gift. Even the body part the jewelry adorns is significant—the ring finger supposedly goes straight to the heart, while a pendant lies next to the heart. Here are some popular motifs that show the romance of jewelry.

Hearts: Devotion and enduring love

Hearts as a symbol of love gained popularity in the 15th and 16th centuries. During Napoleon’s time, hearts were even created with gemstones that were acrostics, spelling out a message: D(iamond), E(merald), A(methyst), R(uby), E(merald), S(apphire), T(opaz).

  • Open heart: An open heart can signify opening the pendant receiver’s heart, meaning they receive the giver’s love and affection.
  • Double hearts: These signify the never-ending love and unbreakable union of two people. 
  • Heart lock and key: Giving someone the key to your heart means you’re expressing your commitment and trust in that person. 
A series of heart pendants

Flowers: The language of love

When you think of flowers representing love, the rose tops the list, followed by pansies, sunflowers, and orchids. Flowers in jewelry hit a peak with the Art Nouveau movement (late 1800s to early 1900s). It focused on nature, including flowers, dragonflies, and butterflies.

jewelry representing flowers

Lockets: Keeping a loved one close to your heart

Similar to heart jewelry, heart-shaped lockets symbolize love and romance. They’ve been around for centuries—originally they were used to hold perfume or potion and then evolved into the current use of holding pictures of a loved one. King Edward VIII gave Wallis Simpson a Cartier-designed heart charm that opened to show the inscription, “The heart has its reasons.”

A group of lockets

Lovers’ knots: A centuries’ old tradition

Knots have a long history of symbolizing love. The Vikings and early Celts had a “handfasting” ritual, which tied the couple’s hands together to show their commitment. (That’s where the phrase “tying the knot” comes from!) And sailors would weave love knot bracelets to give to their loved ones. Lovers’ knots represent the entwined, unbreakable, and eternal connection between a couple.

A gold lover's knot pendant

You can’t put a price tag on love, but with an appraisal, you can put one on your jewelry. Don’t forget to have new (and old) valuables appraised to make sure you can insure them properly. Contact me at (617) 304-0174 or at And remember, the true romance of jewelry is the piece that’s given to you by your loved one—spouse, partner, child parent, grandparent.

Romantically yours, Aimee

About Aimee Berrent

Aimee M. Berrent is the owner of A Matter of Brilliance and a GIA Graduate Gemologist. She offers appraisal services such as jewelry appraisals, diamond appraisals, and estate appraisals within Massachusetts and all over the East Coast.
Aimee has over 25 years experience in the jewelry trade, and received her Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) in Residence diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Santa Monica, California, and is a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA).
Aimee has advanced training in jewelry appraisal theory. She frequently attends jewelry conferences and takes courses to stay on top of current gemological advances and appraisal training.

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