Roses, chocolates, printed hearts, jewelry, gigantic stuffed animals–there seems to be no end to what you can purchase to show your love and admiration for your crush. And the list of trendy gifts grows every year. But where did these traditions find their start? How did we arrive at swapping cards, chocolate and flowers?
The first Valentine’s Day poet laureate was Charles the Duke of Orleans, all the way back in 1415. The Duke famously penned a poem for his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London on Valentine’s Day. 100 years later the idea had spread like wildfire. Fast forward to the 19th century and the exchanging of cards was officially the most well-known way to display your affection on February 14th, thanks to Esther A Howland commercializing the Valentine’s Day card in America, and the idea of card exchanges on Valentine’s Day becoming the standard.
FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATES
Easily our most recognized act of puppy love, the sight of a bouquet of red roses anywhere near February 14th springs comments among couples passing by. While this gesture may be a no-brainer for almost every young man, the tradition wasn’t so obvious until the 1600’s when another Charles, King Charles II of Sweden, introduced the tradition to Europe after an expedition to Persia.
And what true love isn’t complete without sweets to accompany flowers and a written expression of admiration? Today we know chocolates to be status quo, yet the trend was the last to rise to prominence when John Cadbury started packaging chocolates in elegant boxes to boost sales during the February 14th holiday. In 1861, Cadbury introduced the heart-shaped box, a trend that continues today, nearly 200 years later. A trend that sells more than 36 million boxes each year.
The idea of jewelry for Valentine’s Day actually precedes chocolate and flowers, as those who could afford such in the 17th century were happy to flaunt it. Increased middle class wealth, and the demand for something a bit more beautiful following the Dark Ages, gave rise to the gifting of pieces once reserved for royalty and aristocrats. Today, the spend on Valentine’s jewelry alone could make several families upper class, as $5.8 billion dollars is spent on the shining pieces during Valentine’s Day each year.
Compass Auctions is bringing unique jewelry pieces to the forefront this Valentine’s season, hosting a Valentine’s Day Surprise Jewelry Auction, online only, February 9, 2021 at 6 PM ET. Featuring a selection of rings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, and more! Surprise your valentine with the great gift ideas available. Check the catalog for continued additions daily.
Compass Jewelry Auctions
800-729-6466 or SoldOnCompass.com