Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day!

The Jewelry on Etsy Team would like to wish everyone a very happy Valentines Day!

St. Valentine's Day was originally a festival celebrating an early saint called Valentinus, and today it is an official feast day in various denominations of the Christian church.

However, there were several early Christian martyrs called Valentinus, and three of them - St Valentine of Rome, St Valentine of Terni, and a third of whom virtually nothing is known apart from his name - share the festival that much of the world now celebrates every year on 14th February.

It was the 14th century English poet Chaucer who first linked St Valentine with stories of romance and courtship, and over the centuries this has gradually evolved into the traditions we follow today - giving gifts, cards, chocolates, jewelry, and flowers to those we love.

The history of St. Valentine is rather vague, and considerably embellished, although there are several recurring themes. Records dating back to the 5th or 6th century indicate that a priest called Valentine was jailed by Emperor Claudius II, after refusing to renounce Christianity.

Known as the "Golden Legend", the story relates that Claudius tried to get Valentine to save his life while in jail, by converting to Roman paganism, but Valentine refused and instead tried to convert Claudius to Christianity!

Valentine was subsequently executed, but not before performing a miracle by restoring sight to his jailer's blind daughter.

JET Valentine's Jewelry (left): 1. Open Heart Pendant, DonnasArtisanDesigns
2. Lock and Key Necklace, DesignsbyCher 3. Silver Key Necklace,EarthEnergyGemstones
4. Angel earrings, AdroitJewelers
5. Silver Heart Earrings, BrookeJewelry
6. Silver Wedding Band, CapitalCityCrafts

An embellishment to the "Golden Legend" story, which was added centuries later, says that Valentine was in love with Julia, his jailer's daughter. According to the story, Valentine wrote a letter to Julia just before his execution, and signed it "Your Valentine".

Although almost certainly apocryphal, this legend was eventually assigned to the same Saint Valentine as that celebrated on February 14, and the greeting eventually evolved into the "From your Valentine" that appears on our greetings cards today.

Another interesting legend is that the Roman Emperor Claudius II began to prohibit young men to marry, in the belief that unmarried men made better soldiers!

Rumors circulated that Valentine wore an amethyst ring engraved with an image of Cupid, a Roman symbol of love, and would perform secret marriage rites for these soldiers on request.

In actual fact no such edict was ever issued, but it is probably because of this legend that amethyst became associated with love, and is also the birthstone for February.

A further embellishment suggests that Valentine would give parchment paper hearts to his married soldiers and converts, to remind them of both their marriage vows and their Christianity. And it is from this legend that Valentine's Day has become associated with hearts.

More JET Valentine's Jewelry (right):
7. Heart Bobby Pins, malves1009
8. Swarovski Crystal Heart Earrings, TheBrassHussy
9. Tiny silver heart ring, ELEVEN13
10. Garnet Heart Earrings, GemstonesOnMyMind
11. Silver Bangle Bracelet, JemsbyJBandCompany
12. Key to my Black Heart Necklace, ArtJewelerNYC

While a French Valentine note survives from 1415, the earliest known English Valentine was written in 1477. But by Shakespeare's day the sending of Valentines greetings had become firmly established.

However, in the Victorian era printed greetings cards began to replace hand-written notes, and after WWII the practice of giving flowers and chocolates was introduced.

Incidentally, the giving of jewelry is even more recent, and can be traced to advertisements appearing for giving diamonds as Valentines gifts in the 1980s. Naturally, the JETs think that giving jewelry is a splendid idea - with or without diamonds! Valentines Day is now a festival full of romance, gifts, cards, chocolate, jewelry, and flowers - if you're lucky!

We've picked a wide selection of romantic and heart themed jewelry from our members for you to choose from, and with something for every taste and budget there's sure to be something just for you!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

And even more JET Valentine's Day Jewelry (left)!
13. Floral Wedding Ring, SilverSmack
14. Copper Heart Pendant, RoughMagicCreations
15. Murano Glass Heart Earrings, cooljewelrydesign
16. Swarovski Heart Earrings, NancysCrystalFantasi
17. Rhinestone Heart and Flowers Brooch, LovesVintageDelights
18. Pendant and Earrings, JewelrybyIshi

A Victorian Valentine Card


SendingLoveGallery said...

love this post! wonderful to learn more about the holiday and see the lovely Jet jewelry. Happy Valentine's Day!

jemsbyjb said...

Loved reading about the holiday and viewing all of this beautiful jewelry. Happy Valentine's Day!

Cher said...

Lovely Valentine's Day feature, with all the beautiful JET jewelry, thank you!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Nancy Russell said...

Wonderful post! So interesting to read about the history of Valentine's Day and see such pretty jewelry to go along with it. Thank you!

Beadsme said...

What a great post. Happy Valentines Day.

LoveStoneArts said...

Hearts, chocolates and a glass of bubbly for all!

Gloria Flynn - EarthEnergyGemstones said...

Loved reading about the history of the Valentine! Very well done, and with beautiful examples of jewelry from the JET Team. Great post!

mjsee said...

What a delightful blog post!

capitalcitycrafts said...

Very interesting information! Great jewelry finds too, thanks for including me!

Michele said...

Lovely post about Valentine's Day!!, Beautiful Valentine's gifts from the JETs!!!!

Urban Pearl Studio said...

What a fabulous post on the lovely Phylly! Such a gem in so many ways!!

Ida said...

Nice blog post! Thank you for including me!

Keystring said...

Such a great post! Enjoyed learning about Valentine's Day!

WanderingJewel said...

Lots of great picks for that special person

Donna Arena said...

LOVE 2 celebrate this holiday and seeing all the pretties someone might get is icing on the cake!!!

Mollie Ann said...

Late to the party but popping in to say this is just about the most beautiful Valentines features I've every seen! Thank you so much!!!

MadeByTammy said...

Very informative article with beautiful jewelry!