Valentine’s Day as we know it has its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a ritual designed to help promote fertility and health while cleansing away evil spirits. The legend goes that the emperor of Rome was having trouble getting men to enlist in his armies, so he banned weddings and engagements. A Christian priest, Valentine, performed these ceremonies in secret. When the emperor discovered this, he ordered Valentine beheaded.

So what led to this brutal act becoming the festival we know and love today, and what role does jewelry play as one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts? For that, you’ll need to fast-forward to a more modern time.

The Allure of Jewelry as a Valentine’s Day Gift

By the mid-1800s, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, and with it, innovations including:

The first machine-printed Valentine’s Day card
The invention of the cocoa press, which led to the popularity of chocolates, and
The creation of the metal press in 1840 to improve jewelry design

Throughout the late 1800s and into the 1900s, metal and gemstone manufacturing techniques were improved and the quality and precision of metalworking and cutting made jewelry more accessible and affordable to many people.

To that end, major department stores like Woolworth’s started collaborating with famous jewelry designers to position jewelry as a gift that is given well beyond the Christmas holiday season. What better way to show your love than with an authentic piece of jewelry made with quality materials and gorgeous stones that are truly one-of-a-kind?

A Loving Gift that Lasts

Amid roses (that eventually wilt) and chocolate (that eventually gets eaten), jewelry as a Valentine’s Day gift became an instant hit. Well into modern times, jewelers and artisans focus on gemstones like diamonds and rubies as a way to echo sentiments of deep and everlasting love. At Valobra, each one of our pieces is truly unique and exceptionally crafted to perfectly capture your sentiments in a design that is sure to take your partner’s breath away.

So if you’re wondering what to buy your beloved this Valentine’s Day, take a moment to thank a Roman who thumbed his nose at authority, and appreciate the beauty and style that both modern and vintage jewelry has to offer. At Valobra, we understand that jewelry is just as much about beauty as it is about feeling beautiful. Browse our Valobra Master Jewelers unique collections now!