Certain pieces of jewelry have become well-known symbols of love. Whether it’s a diamond solitaire engagement ring, a Cartier Love bracelet or really any piece of heart-shaped jewelry, the message of romance and affection is clear. But if you (or your beloved) prefer a more under-the-radar means of celebrating your relationship, there’s jewelry for you, too.
For starters, the bangle pictured above. What might seem like a random scattering of round and baguette diamonds set in an 18-karat gold bracelet is actually part of designer Amina Sorel‘s Morse Code collection, and it spells out “I love you.” Sorel also offers a pair of gold hoops set with diamonds and emeralds that convey the romantic designation “Soulmate.”
Victorian REGARD Ring
Acrostic jewelry, where stones are set so that the first letter of the gem spells a secret message, was all the rage in the Victorian era, which is when this ring was created. In this case, the stones — ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond — denote REGARD, a popular sentiment for acrostic pieces of the time (along with DEAR and ADORE).
Cartier I Love You Puzzle Pendant
Is something a secret message when it literally spells out “I Love You,” as Cartier‘s puzzle pendant does? We think so, since the tiles are moveable, with diamonds standing in for the Os. Adding to the intrigue, only 150 of these pendants — designed for the jewelry house’s 150th anniversary, in 1997 — were produced, making them just about as rare as true love.
Edwardian Toi et Moi Ring
Two-stone rings like this one are called toi et moi, French for “you and me.” The style isn’t new (Napoleon and Joséphine popularized it), but it’s been trending in engagement rings of late. So, you can find plenty of new examples of toi et moi designs. Still, there’s something especially romantic about this Edwardian rose-gold, pearl and diamond ring, which dates back to 1900. It makes you wonder: How many couples have symbolized their love with this very ring since then?
Victorian Arrow and Horseshoe Brooch
This rose-gold brooch, which can also be worn as a pendant, comprises an arrow — a reference to Cupid — and an upside-down horseshoe, a symbol of luck in the Victorian era (and today). Together, these symbols signify someone who is lucky in love.
Articulated Envelope Pendant Necklace
Love letters might not be much of a thing anymore (maybe love texts? DMs?), but this 18-karat gold envelope pendant necklace is a sweet throwback to the days when people put pen to paper to express their feelings. The envelope opens, allowing you to place a romantic memento inside, like perhaps a teeny tiny love note.
Early-20th-Century Serpent Ring
The serpent doesn’t seem like the animal kingdom’s most romantic symbol. But leave it to the Victorians to find love in unexpected places: When they became engaged, Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a serpent ring with eyes of emerald — her birthstone. Serpents symbolize eternity, which makes rings like this one a fitting, if a bit unexpected, choice for a wedding band.