If the sight of heart-shaped merchandise popping up around Valentine’s Day makes your nose twitch, here are some gift ideas that say “I Love You”, without the caloric overload of the saccharine-filled symbol.
IMAGE | CARTIER
Do you remember how a ribbon wound round Robb’s and Talisa’s hands sealed their union in Game of Thrones? If it is Celtic tradition that gave us the expression “tying the knot” - a ritual widespread also in Ancient Greece and Rome – it is jewellers that are offering us the chicest choices of this custom of yore. Made up of three intertwined, mobile bands in yellow gold, white gold and rose gold to symbolise friendship, fidelity and love, Trinity by Cartier is a classic expression of a strong bond. Chaumet’s contemporary take on the love knot symbol is the collection of Jeux de Liens Harmony medallions available in a selection of precious stones with the option to engrave a personal message on the back. Pearl specialist Tasaki elevates with elegance the ubiquitous XOXO hugs and kisses with golds and Akoya pearls.
IMAGE | ANISSA KERMICHE
A pair of holding hands sculpted in gold, coral and jet was a favourite figure of Georgian and Victorian sentimental jewellery to express unity while wars and missions in colonies kept couples physically distant. Anissa Kermiche reinterpreted the motif with the index and thumb cheekily joining to form the OK sign and, although it was inspired to pay homage to women’s solidarity during the French Revolution; an elegant way to show loving support.
IMAGE | NOOR FARES
According to a Greek myth, rock crystal turned into Rose Quartz when a drop of blood from the goddess of love, Aphrodites, fell on it (hence why Rose Quartz is also known as the “love stone”). Affordable and uber-refined, these D’Estrée mismatched earrings are inspired by the palette of multi-disciplinary abstract artist Sonia Delaunay. These Noor Fares earrings, featuring a diamond-studded moon and a firework of colourful sapphires, are one-of-a-kind.
IMAGE | DE BEERS
Apparently the presence of flowers can have an effect on your mood, stimulating oxytocin (referred to as to “love hormone”) and serotonin levels. So it makes sense to give our jewels a floral boost. For rose par excellence? See Dior. In Norse mythology, daisies are associated with the goddess of love Freya, as well as symbolising a new beginning (something that will resonate with relationships either in their infancy or in need of a reset). For such delights, discover Miss Daisy by David Morris. Another beautiful bejewelled flower to offer is the Lotus, more precisely the Enchanted Lotus by De Beers. For the Ancient Egyptians the Lotus flower symbolised rebirth, Buddhists believe it brings enlightenment, for a loving couple the lotus flower is laden with spiritual magic. If you are undecided, you can never be wrong with a classic icon like the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra clover leaf – a favourite of celebrities from Jane Birkin to the Duchess of Cambridge.
IMAGE | DIOR
Two different stones set on a ring next to each other - symbolising two souls becoming one - is a recurrent theme in jewellery. London-based Nadine Aysoy who specialises in fine jewellery pieces oozing the oomph of high jewellery has a beautiful example of the genre in a Toi et Moi (you and me) ring set with a pearl and tourmaline. For a more literal message, Dior’s piece spells it out for you.
IMAGE | BOUCHERON
Famously worn by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the Love bracelet by Cartier is the ultimate jewel to signify an unbreakable bond – for Valentine’s Day the house is offering even the customisation of its signature red box. Inspired by the jack cable used in audio equipment, Jack de Boucheron is a symbol of connection and the art of listening at the core of any relationship.
IMAGE | LOQUET
Whether it’s a ring set with your favourite gemstone or a pendant engraved with a message or a digital imprint, the master of personalised jeweller Vashi can turn your individual love message into reality in less than an hour. With a few clicks online on Loquet – the fun home of modern lockets dreamed up by the uber-stylish Sheherazade Goldsmith and Laura Bailey – you can choose a transparent locket, open a little side door and slide in a galore of symbolic charms and gemstones to convey any message in visual form.
IMAGE | NADINE GHOSN JEWELRY
Sometimes love is like putting together a Lego set: it takes care, patience, reconstruction. Nadine Ghosn Jewelry latest collection of rings aptly named Building Blocks is a celebration of the “the very shapes and forms that instilled in us the ability to build and to create” and how she suggests in an Instagram post, the elemental Lego piece is also a reminder that love is something we build together.