Valentine Day History
History of St. Valentine's Day
Every February we celebrate Valentineís Day by giving flowers, candy, jewelry and cards to the ones we love. We do this in honor of Saint Valentine. Donít you wonder, "Who is St. Valentine"? There are many legends, but our favorite one is that Valentine is a priest who served during Third century Rome. The emperor of the time was Claudius II. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those that were married. With this thought in mind, be outlawed marriage for young men in hopes of building a stronger army. Supposedly, Valentine decided this decree just wasnít fair and chose to marry young couples secretly. When Emperor Claudius II found out about Valentineís actions he had him put to death. Another legend has it that Valentine was an imprisoned priest who befriended his jailers daughter, a blind girl. And because of her faith and love for God, a miracle happened and she was able to see. Before he was put to death, the priest sent the first "Valentine" himself, when he wrote her a letter and signed it: "Your Valentine".
One of the earliest known creators of Valentines was a young Frenchman, Charles, Duke of Orleans. They were called poetical or amorous addresses. From his confinement in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, he sent several poems and rhymed love letters, "Valentines" to his wife in France.
The first commercial valentines appeared circa 1800 and were very simplistic. But by the 1830ís and 1840ís Valentines contained delicate and artistic messages. Valentines made of fine papers and decorated with satin ribbon or lace commanded high prices.
Take a moment to learn how to recognize exceptional quality in precious metals, or how to select just the right piece for any occasion!