Hearts in Jewellery: A Classic Valentine’s Day Gift

Through the ages, the heart has been a symbol of love, passion and emotion. Its timeless appeal has transcended cultural and geographical boundaries, making it a ubiquitous motif across various art forms, including jewellery. Transcending trends, the use of hearts in jewellery is a tradition deeply rooted in history that has represented the most profound of human emotions for centuries.

The Historical Significance of Hearts in Jewellery

The history of hearts in jewellery can be traced back to ancient civilisations. In ancient Egypt, the heart was considered the centre of all emotions and intellect. The Egyptians believed it held the essence of a person’s character, making it a fitting emblem for jewellery that expressed deep emotions and connections.

In Medieval Europe, the heart shape became associated with the concept of courtly love. Knights often exchanged heart-shaped tokens with their beloveds as a gesture of affection and commitment. These tokens, crafted from precious metals and adorned with intricate designs, marked the beginning of the heart's association with love in the realm of jewellery.

A Symbol of Love Through the Eras

As time went by, the heart became synonymous with love and romance. During the Renaissance, jewellery artisans began incorporating heart-shaped gemstones and intricate metalwork into their designs. The heart’s enduring symbolism made it a popular choice for expressing love and affection in the form of rings, pendants and earrings.


The Georgian and Victorian eras saw a surge in the popularity of sentimental jewellery, which often featured a heart as a central motif. Lockets, crafted in the shape of a heart and with hidden compartments for small keepsakes, such as locks of hair or miniature portraits, allowed individuals to carry tokens of affection close to their hearts.

In subsequent eras, the heart motif continued to evolve, adapting to different cultural expressions of love. In the 20th century, heart-shape jewellery gained further prominence with the rise of modernism and contemporary design. Designers experimented with new materials and techniques, creating bold and innovative pieces that retained the timeless symbol of the heart while embracing a fresh, modern aesthetic.

 The Heart Motif at Sophie Breitmeyer

Inspired by key design eras from the past, Sophie loves incorporating the heart motif in her creations. Whether it is the main focus of a jewel, as in our Cocktail earrings, or more subtly woven into her designs as diamond side stones in our One-Of-A-Kind rings, it is a motif she returns to often. “Heart-shaped diamond side stones have always been popular with our engagement clients,” she says. “A lasting symbol of your love, their elegant curves are the perfect complement to oval and cushion cut centre stones.”


Hearts are a great addition to an everyday jewellery wardrobe also, with the SB Diamond Heart Drops among our best-sellers. For double the romance, our Ruby Heart Drops are a vibrant red colour - a hue closely associated with the heart.


The use of hearts in jewellery has traversed centuries, cultures and design movements, leaving an indelible mark on the world of adornment. Whether as a token of courtly love in Medieval Europe, a sentimental locket in the Victorian era or a contemporary statement piece, the heart continues to resonate as a representation of love, passion and emotion, ensuring that heart-shaped jewellery will remain a timeless and cherished tradition for generations to come.


The Modern-Day Family Jeweller

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