When did we first fall in love with heart jewelry? Was it when we saw the “Heart of the Ocean” necklace in “Titanic”? Or the ruby and diamond heart necklace Julia Roberts wore in “Pretty Woman” ? Also, how do you choose the right piece of heart jewelry for someone you care about?
Well, as per advice from Town & Country, always start with “Check the Metal.” Are you shopping for a yellow or white gold/silver person? Pay attention to the metal of the pieces they wear most and choose based on that.
“And what about stones?” the magazine asks. “Go check to see what they are wearing right now, as you are reading this. Is there a pearl around or adjacent?” Do you see colored stones? Maybe the perfect gift would be a heart bracelet featuring her favorite gemstone?
Sometimes the trick is to not be overly sentimental, and sometimes all you’re longing for is something sentimental. It really depends on you and the person you’re shopping for. She may appreciate heart earrings with an exaggerated or abstract shape, with sharpened points to make it a bit more provocative. Maybe she wants a misshapen heart, which symbolizes how love is not always perfect.
Or she may want a heart ring personalized and engraved with a special message. Sometimes heart jewelry can be uninspiring (or worse, cheesy) and that’s where you have to watch out.
“The universal symbol of love has transformed of late,” according to The Zoe Report. “Using abstract and sculptural silhouettes and bold uses of negative space and color —whether with enamel or gemstones — jewelry designers are reimagining the heart with an empowering freshness to which women are flocking.”
“Designing heart jewelry is tricky. I’ve always shied away from literal symbols like hearts or arrows as they can feel like gimmicks,”one jewelry designer told The Zoe Report. “Hearts in jewelry are very ubiquitous but either tend to be super precious or creatively over the top… While most clients have a positive response to hearts, many are reluctant to invest in heart fine jewelry.”
Another jewelry designer admitted that she similarly avoided heart designs in the past, but now creates them as long as they’re edgy and not like the million of other heart jewelry pieces out on the market.
“It’s a bit ironic because the first collection I designed with hearts is called Azucar, [meaning] sugar in Spanish. Those designs were very edgy — black and white diamonds set in blackened gold, and often with swords or arrows crossing through them, she told TZR. “Over the years, the inspiration for newer heart designs has changed as I incorporate influences from my French-Mexican heritage and my travels, but my pieces are always created with the modern woman in mind.”
The trick is to find something fun, and even whimsical.
Both designers also agreed “that a movement among women has spurred when it comes to fine jewelry in general, but specifically heart-shaped pieces, too,” TZR said. “The verdict: more often, women are empowered to shop for themselves and embrace the heart as a symbol of self-love, acceptance, or empowerment, rather than exclusively tying the shape to romance.”
“I love that women have reclaimed a symbol that’s usually thought of as a sign of devotion in a relationship, purchasing them instead as a reminder that we must love ourselves first,” designer Colette Steckel said. “Hearts are as much about telling our stories as any other motif in jewelry. Some women purchase them to commemorate a milestone or [to celebrate] getting out of a relationship that wasn’t working. Being able to choose a heart that not only suits [her] personal style but also the occasion gives her the ability to illustrate the story that’s most true to herself.”
The heart pieces below cover all the bases (and then some) and are perfect for Valentine’s Day, whether you’ll be gifting yourself or someone else.