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A Quick History of the Heart Symbol

Why is the heart the eternal symbol of love? Because, let’s face it: real hearts look nothing like the heart symbol. Also strange? Love doesn’t really come from the heart; circulation does. What makes us feel as if the powerful emotion of love emanates from our chest and not say, our brain?

According to

Scholars such as Pierre Vinken and Martin Kemp have argued that the symbol has its roots in the writings of Galen and the philosopher Aristotle, who described the human heart as having three chambers with a small dent in the middle. According to this theory, the heart shape may have been born when artists and scientists from the Middle Ages attempted to draw representations of ancient medical texts. In the 14th century, for example, the Italian physicist Guido da Vigevano made a series of anatomical drawings featuring a heart that closely resembles the one described by Aristotle.

Since the human heart has long been associated with emotion and pleasure, the shape was eventually co-opted as a symbol of romance and medieval courtly love. It grew especially popular during the Renaissance, when it was used in religious art depicting the Sacred Heart of Christ and as one of the four suits in playing cards. By the 18th and 19th centuries, meanwhile, it had become a recurring motif in love notes and Valentine’s Day cards.

So the heart symbol morphed into being, basically…over centuries. In our studio, it still remains as one of the most popular shape for a gem. If you’re looking for a custom design engagement ring to truly signify your love, contact us and we’ll having you wearing your heart on your sleeve (okay, your finger) in no time!