By definition, for many people, antique jewelry is romantic jewelry. What could be more romantic than the concept of so many generations loving and caring for a jewel and passing it down to you? What could be more romantic than a gentleman looking for the perfect romantic gift for his lady.
In the past, there were periods known as Romantic. The early Victorian period was called the Romantic era. Jewelry tried to emulate nature with lots of flower, foliage, lover’s knots and other symbols of romance. When Prince Albert proposed to Victoria, he gave her a snake ring as her engagement ring. Snakes were considered the ultimate in romantic symbol of eternal love and were depicted as such with their tails in their mouths, thus forming a never-ending ring.
Long ago, simple gold bands were engraved with romantic messages. These rings are called ‘poesy’ rings. The word comes from the idea of poetry, which was the essence of what was being expressed. Poesy rings are especially romantic because their attraction lies inside the shank. It is a secret to be shared by the giver and the receiver of the ring.
There are many symbols of romance to be found in jewelry and one has to be familiar with the culture involved to decipher so many of them. Forget me not flowers are an obvious example.
Another popular form of romantic jewelry practiced from the Georgian period through to the early 1900’s was acrostic jewelry. Here, the first letter of the name of a gemstone was used to spell out a term of endearment or a name. Diamond emerald amethyst ruby emerald sapphire emerald spells ‘dearest’. Other inventive forms of this name game were used and sometimes alternative synonyms for a gem had to be used to complete the word. This can make it a little difficult for most of us to work out the puzzle.
When choosing a romantic gift, remember that everyone has different taste and you should ensure that what you buy is the recipient’s taste and not only your own. I remember being heartbroken in an instance when a man went to great trouble to buy a beautiful item for his wife. It was terribly romantic and I was quite jealous of the gesture involved. Well, she got it and hated it. I was devastated as so much of my own emotions had been invested in this sale. (Naturally, he got his full money back, but that is hardly the point).
When it comes to romance, forget the 21st century. Forget electric gadgets and doo-dahs. Antique romantic jewelry is the most beautiful, the most classic, the most eternal gift of them all.