Jewelry has always been rich in symbolism. What better way to express your feelings this Valentine’s Day than a unique vintage gift for your beloved? If you appreciate the romance of the past, you most certainly will love these beautiful gifts of affection.
The charming and whimsical butterfly has always captured our imagination, often symbolizing freedom, love and the rebirth of the soul. The feng shui tradition of China uses it to encourage success in love and romance. Jade is thought to promote luck, trust, fidelity and maturity in love relationships. What a combination for this adorable vintage butterfly pendant with 11 carats of nephrite jade accented by 2 diamonds!
The graceful feminine allure of the bow has been a favorite jewelry motif throughout the ages, often representing love and romance. Receiving a gift, especially from a loved one, is one of the most romantic experiences. In the love language of our culture, we see the bow as the finishing touch on the gift wrap and the tantalizing first step in discovering whatever delight hides inside. Here are two beautiful examples from our collection – a diamond and sapphire Art Deco circle pin and an Edwardian diamond pendant.
Cameos are relief, or raised, carvings in stone or shell often depicting mythological figures or, as shown here, a female in profile with intricately arranged hair and flowers. When she wears actual jewelry like this tiny diamond pendant, she is said to be “habille”. These cameos, first popular with the Victorians, are really works of art and tributes to feminine beauty. In fact, a major determiner of value is the intricacy and beauty of the carving. The Victorians purchased them as souvenirs of the “Grand Tour” or extended European vacation de rigueur at the time. This cameo is a real beauty with its intricate carving and lacy filigree frame.
Hand Jewelry –
Victorians were very sentimental about their jewelry. The disembodied hand was a common Victorian theme, possibly symbolic of giving itself as an expression of love. This amazing one, holding a wreath, was most likely a gift memorializing a departed loved one. It is a marvel of superb artistry and craftsmanship carved in yellow gold and coral, studded with rubies and a diamond and accented with enamel.
Pearls remind us of their source, water, and with their soft cool luster, the moon, as well as the goddess of love, Venus. All are intensely romantic associations. A gift of vintage pearls has a special significance and is a great compliment to give to the person you love. The ancient Chinese considered pearls a symbol of great wisdom. This idea persisted through many different cultures until pearls symbolize wisdom throughout the world. What a great compliment to give the one you love! For example, this sweet double strand vintage 44 Akoya pearl bracelet with white gold filigree clasp.
A locket is thoughtful, romantic and sentimental. While modern lockets are most often pendants, vintage lockets present other options, such as this striking brooch. A picture, a lock of hair or other memento is placed in a frame on the reverse side. This beautiful Etruscan revival Victorian brooch in yellow gold with blue enamel and a single pearl was created and used as a tribute to love.
Symbolic of royalty and deity in ancient Egypt, jeweled snakes dates back to that time, with the famous images of Cleopatra in her snake jewelry. Through history, it has representated infinity, power, sexuality, wisdom, healing, wealth, and rebirth, as well as eternal love. Our fascinating vintage yellow gold snake pendant has ruby eyes and holds a 1 1/2 carat marquise diamond.
Looking for a fantastic Valentine gift for your wife, mother, sister, friend, child or just a well-deserved treat for you? Check out our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide or explore our vintage collection! Our helpful staff will be happy to spend time with you picking out the most beautiful, unique vintage piece!