Jewels From the Heart
Here at Lang we adore Valentine's Day! This special day honors romance and cherishing our loved ones and is celebrated all around the world. Among its many time-honored traditions and customs are expressions of love with cards, flowers, sweets, jewels and proposals of marriage. Valentine's Day has a deep and rich cultural history, many centuries old.
The origins of Valentine's Day are to be found in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration that was commemorated annually on February 15. In the year 496, Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day.
In the 14th century, the Christian feast day became deeply associated with love and romance when in 1381, Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England's Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. In "The Parliament of Fowls," the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine's Day become forever linked:
"For this was on St. Valentine's Day,
When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate"
Over the centuries, momentum grew for Valentine's Day sentiments and love tokens, and by the late 18th century, gifts of sweets and jewels and the exchanging of elaborate handmade cards on Valentine's Day were established European traditions. In the early 1800's, the custom of giving exquisite valentines made of paper, lace and silk ribbons, often with a token tucked inside, spread to the American colonies.
Early American puzzle valentine that unfolded to reveal a love token inside, circa 1816
English Victorian gold and pearl pendant, with joined hearts and ivy (symbol of fidelity and attachment)
Here at Lang we have a wide assortment of many more of these lovely antique treasures and tokens of love and affection. We are here to help you find the perfect Valentine's Day surprise for your sweetheart!