Confucius once famously said, “wherever you go, go with all your heart.” That’s such sage advice when it comes to staying true to yourself and managing your emotional sincerity. But could there be an even more practical application to the words of this oft-quoted Chinese philosopher? Was he even perhaps a little prophetical now that we consider our contemporary fashion scene?
Heart-shaped jewelry is what we’re hinting at. We’d be the first to admit that slipping into a heart-themed necklace, bracelet, watch or heart-shaped ring, is an ideal way to “go with all your heart”. Wink, wink. It’s conjecture as to when heart-shaped jewelry officially became a thing, but there is artwork dating back to the 13th century that shows people wearing it. That’s a pretty long time, right? Regardless, we’ve all been aware of its prevalence in our lifetimes, and jewelry designers today are perpetually creating new pieces inspired by or shaped like the heart (artistically and anatomically). In fact, you can find many amazing examples of this while shopping at The Bradford Exchange. There’s a reason for that and it has to do with symbolism and meaning.
The Symbolism of Heart-Shaped Jewelry
The meaning of an individual piece of heart jewelry is usually specific to the person who wears it, and in cases where it’s a gift, the person who gives it too. Obviously, this can create a myriad of personal meanings. However, there are things that are innately symbolic about the heart. Things that have been understood universally, even around the world and cross cultures.
For one, while heart-shaped jewelry is not in the actual shape of an anatomical heart, its artistic expression is almost always tied to the human heart. That’s because, as humans, we attribute all our feelings and emotions to the heart. Even though it’s not technically accurate, we look at our heart as the source of those feelings. And of those feelings, the strongest association is love. This means that heart jewelry is often synonymous with love.
Of course, there are many styles and designs when it comes to heart-shaped jewelry and they each have their own little nuances of meaning. For example, an open-heart design could mean that someone is open to the possibility of love, either to give or to receive. A broken heart design could indicate a recent relationship end or someone who is jaded when it comes to romance. Another popular style are necklaces with heart-shaped lockets. These are often given and worn as a symbol of family love between individuals who are related, like mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters or siblings. Lockets are great because you can typically put a favorite photo inside to express that you are keeping that very important person close to your heart.
When Should I Wear Heart-Shaped Jewelry?
This is a question that many ask, wanting to be sure to follow any fashion best practices. For example, Valentine’s Day seems like the perfect occasion to wear heart-shaped jewelry, right? Well, yes, it is, especially given that fact that the unofficial symbol of Valentine’s Day is a heart. But we honestly think heart-shaped jewelry can be worn every day of the year. Think about it…
The strong emotional and symbolic connections mentioned above, make heart jewelry important enough to wear on special dates, anniversaries, romantic occasions and holidays, but also universal enough to wear any time. And with so many unique designs available, you’ll always be able to find heart jewelry that reflects your personal style and taste, especially when shopping at The Bradford Exchange.
Giving Heart-Shaped Jewelry as a Gift
What’s more special than giving someone your heart? Or even just a piece of your heart? That’s essential when you buy a heart-shaped jewelry gift for someone you care about. The very act itself, symbolizes your love, openness and desire to express your feelings for a romantic partner, a family member or a friend. There are, of course, specific types of expressions, depending on the design, any engravings or personalization, but the motivation for giving heart jewelry always comes from the heart of the giver.
And speaking of giving, what gives the heart a more warm and fuzzy feeling than showing off a sparkling jewelry design you picked out for yourself. No special occasion required! Any time is the perfect time to sneak in a little self expression and find heart-themed jewelry that speaks to you. Just add a beautiful new ring, heart-shaped pendant necklace or bracelet to your wardrobe and see how it can instantly brighten your favorite ensemble and your day.
We trust today’s blog has been a helpful and engaging look at heart-themed jewelry. We certainly had a lot of fun discussing the topic among ourselves. It’s our hope that you learned a few fascinating facts but also picked up some tips on how best to wear it AND give it!Heart-Shaped Jewelry: Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know by The Bradford Exchange