Antique & Estate Jewelry / Industry

Designers Show Their Valentine’s Love with Symbolic Jewelry


Hearts will always be a Valentine’s Day standard, but the variety of designs that fine jewelry brands use to symbolize love seems infinite—from knots and shields to gemstones that “spell out” loving sentiments and more.

It seems fitting as Valentine’s Day approaches to celebrate some of these heartfelt shapes and stylized words of love. They’re like secretive love notes shared only between the giver and recipient, and there may be nothing more romantic than that.

Designer Serena Van Rensselaer says her LoVe collection honors the power of the word itself. She came up with the design doing stream-of-consciousness sketching, she recalls.

“I was not paying much attention, and I found myself lost in the flow of sketching abstract and organic shapes. As if guided by intuition, the word love emerged,” Van Rensselaer says. “As I stepped back and looked, I was captivated by one of them and instantly envisioned it as a necklace.”

From that initial spark, a cascade of ideas followed, and Van Rensselaer says she is growing the collection to include rings, earrings, and bracelets. She also plans to introduce a new design every few months featuring the word love in another language; her newest piece, Amor, is currently in production.

“Love is an energetic, healing balm that I feel our world truly needs. If we could all always radiate love, imagine the transformative shifts that would happen,” Van Rensselaer says. “I’m grateful for this journey. I humbly hope my collections radiate some love and light into this world.”

Here are some other pieces of jewelry that represent love in distinctive ways—just in time for Valentine’s Day.


Guzema Love earrings
Guzema’s 14k gold Love earrings ($1,140), from the brand’s Valentine’s Day collection, are inscribed with a romantic statement that can only be read in a mirror reflection. (Photo courtesy of Guzema)
Hardy Love Knot
John Hardy’s Love Knots, including these sterling silver necklaces and bracelets, are made from separately woven chains that are hand-tied into a knot, symbolic of commitment, love, and resilience. (Photo courtesy of John Hardy)
Amour Petit Heartbeat
Delphine Leymarie expanded her Amour collection with the addition of petit Heartbeat stud earrings ($275) in 18k gold, providing the wearer a “silent echo of devotion” that whispers sweet nothings in the ear, the designer says. (Photo courtesy of Delphine Leymarie)
1stDibs cufflinks
1stDibs is offering these 18k gold “I Love You More Today” cufflinks ($5,575) by Steven Fox Jewelry that bear the French words for always and never, as in, my love for you will always grow (represented by the plus sign) and never get less (minus sign). (Photo courtesy of 1stDibs)
Assael pearl ring
Anyone would love to receive a beautiful Valentine’s Day gift of Assael’s toi et moi ring ($49,000) in 18k gold with a 12 mm golden South Sea pearl and 2.41 ct. yellow diamond. (Photo courtesy of Assael)
Chris Ploof shield
Yes, there’s a little heart here, but the symbolic shield in Chris Ploof’s hand-forged Damascus steel Yanone pendant ($480) was inspired by the shape of ancient Japanese arrowheads. (Photo courtesy of Chris Ploof)
1stDibs ring
This 18k gold Victorian half hoop ring ($3,600) available from 1stDibs is a romantic acrostic: The initial letters of its gemstones—ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby, diamond—spell regard. (Photo courtesy of 1stDibs)

Top: Serena Van Rensselaer’s new LoVe necklace would make a killer Valentine’s Day gift. (Photo courtesy of Serena Van Rensselaer Jewelry)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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