Historians have traced the tradition of exchanging candy, flowers and gifts in mid-February to an ancient Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia. But regardless of its history, Valentine’s Day has its critics. If you earned $1 every time somebody described it as “a holiday manufactured by greeting card companies,” well, you’d have enough to pick up one of the lovely jewels featured below.
Whatever your perspective, we can all surely agree that a gift of jewelry never goes unappreciated. Hearts are the obvious—some might say conventional, or even old-fashioned—choice for Valentine’s Day, but we’ve come around to the shape. These are not your grandmother’s heart jewels! Stylized yet sweet, they come in all kinds of unexpected packages (a la Single Stone’s original take on the charm bracelet).
If you’re truly averse to the silhouette, however, consider a pair of icy earrings (Graff), fashionable hoops (Nina Runsdorf), a casual but luxe necklace (Roberto Coin) or an iconic bracelet (Cartier). If you’re truly gutsy, we might suggest a ring (Harry Winston or Jessica McCormack)—just be sure to set expectations accordingly.