The first time the heart connected with a crowd as a symbol of love was thought to be in the 14th century when a widely seen illustration of a cupid throwing arrows and roses at bystanders included hearts, according to an article on the shape’s origins in Time magazine.
Fast forward to 2023, and the heart is a ubiquitous symbol of affection. And it’s been used in jewelry design for hundreds of years. It’s a classic motif, yes, but the heart is in its post-modern years—so along with signifying amour, hearts can (and do) also function as cheeky, campy, or ironically juvenile symbols in design.
And while many motifs in design have a short shelf life, the heart—which hasn’t been as popular as it is now since the 1980s—has been enticing jewelry buyers for the better part of a decade now. And since it ’tis the season to celebrate sweethearts (Valentine’s Day is less than a month away), we put out a call to designers and brands to show us their latest heart-astic jewels. Here are a dozen we fell for hard.
Top: Anna Maccieri Rossi Art Heart Charm, $7,480