Heart Jewelry Is Cool Now

We all have different experiences in life that lead us to develop certain tastes and expectations for things, but if you’re like me, your changing opinions of heart jewelry may look something like this.

Heart jewelry was the pendant you’d save your allowance to buy for your mom—that kind of gift that would bring a happy tear to a mother’s eye, but one that would ultimately end up gathering dust in a special section of her jewelry box (not because she didn’t love it, but because of the budget of a 10-year-old, the necklace would leave her with a green neck).

It’s the pendant or ring from your eighth-grade boyfriend that you’d treasure for an entire year, until he broke your tweenage heart and that, too, ultimately came to rest in the darkest depths of a jewelry box, to be rediscovered years later, green and stinking of metal, and you think, “Holy moly, I can’t believe I wore that thing for a whole school year.”

Nora Kogan heart earrings
BB stud earrings in 14k yellow gold with enamel and diamonds, $985; Nora Kogan
Roman and Jules heart ring
Heart ring in 18k white gold with 0.21 ct. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Roman + Jules

And so you develop a bit of a distaste for heart jewelry, it being relegated to the category of cheesy gifts, too on the nose for Valentine’s Day, too sappy a gift from a loved one.

Moritz Glik heart pendant
Heart pendant in 18k yellow gold with 1.17 cts. t.w. paraiba tourmaline and 1.58 cts. t.w. heart-shape opals enclosed in a white sapphire Kaleidoscope shaker, price on request; Moritz Glik
Coast Diamond spinel heart ring
Heart ring in platinum with 3.9 ct. spinel and 0.4 ct. t.w. diamonds, $23,925; Coast Diamond

And then something changes, because select fashion designers send their models down the runway clad in killer earrings and necklaces that feature hearts, and it hits you: Heart jewelry doesn’t have to be solely bequeathed by a friend or loved one, though it can spread the message of love all the same. It has regained fresh perspective below, turned into a fashion darling. Shoot, hearts are cool.

Brent Neale heart drop earrings
Textured heart drop earrings in 18k yellow gold with multicolored gemstones, $3,400; Brent Neale
Swati Dhanak Bias floating ring
Bias Floating ring in 18k yellow gold with 0.5 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,350; Swati Dhanak

Brands such as Balenciaga and Rodarte reminded us of the 80’s oversized heart earrings, bringing those back to life. Rachel Comey showed another oversized, yet more streamlined approach. Opening Ceremony and Oscar de la Renta did the heart thing. (By the way, you can see all of these and more on the Fashion Week’s Fall 19 highlight on @jckmagazine’s Instagram). And let’s not forget Lady Gaga’s heart-shape diamond engagement ring. Sure, the love didn’t last, but that ring launched many a heart-shape-wearing bride.

Nomination Love necklace
Seimia collection necklace in sterling silver with CZ, price on request; Nomination

According to the results of the 2019 JCK Industry Report, heart-themed jewels ranked as the fourth leading trend among retailers polled. That means that shoppers aren’t just buying them for Valentine’s Day, though there are probably younger shoppers out there who, like many of us, are looking to treat their mom or childhood love. As they should!

And I think, as I reminisce about my own journey with heart jewelry, that perhaps I never really grew to dislike it—I have just needed the aesthetic, as well as its meaning and associations behind it, to evolve with me. That’s why it’s so important for retailers to always keep that shape in stock, in a variety of styles, materials, and budgets. There’s a heart-themed piece for every person, and at every stage of their life, out there somewhere. It’s a jeweler’s job to help them find it.

Top: Lollipop ring in 14k yellow gold with green turquoise and pink tourmaline, $6,270; Retrouvaí

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JCK Contributing Editor

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