Tag Archive | history

History of Valentine’s Day

Rhodochrosite heart wrapped in gold wire pendant

Rhodochrosite heart wrapped in gold wire pendant

 The history of Valentine’s Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his jailor’s daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed ‘From your Valentine,’ an expression that is still in use today.

In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century.  Early ones are made of lace and paper.   By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes.  Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged.  Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s.

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Citrine heart pendant wrapped in gold wire

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History of Swarovski Crystals

Crystal heart set

Daniel Swarovski  was an Austrian glass cutter and jeweller born in Bohemia. In 1892 he patented an electric cutting machine that facilitated the production of lead crystal glass jewelry, enabling him to cut crystals with the outmost precision.

Swarovski crystal contains approximately 32% lead to maximize refraction. The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal sculptures and miniatures, jewelry and couture, home decor and chandeliers.

In order to create a crystal that allows light to refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its crystals with special metallic chemical coatings. Aurora Borealis, or “AB”, is one of the most popular coatings, and gives the surface a rainbow oil slick appearance. Other coatings include Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X etc.

The company also sells beads and rhinestones, encouraging other manufacturers, artists and consumers to create their own designs.

In 2007 Swarovski also launched the product brand website crystallized.com which provides information for designers and manufacturers in the worlds of fashion, jewellery, accessories and interiors. CRYSTALLIZED™Swarovski Elements is the new product brand for Swarovski crystals which come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours. Products that are labelled with this brand guarantee the originality of Swarovski crystals used in creations of international fashion houses and designers.

To see or purchase some of the jewelry I have created from these marvelous crystals, please visit my web store: Wrapped to Go!

( reference: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )