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The Origin of Valentine’s Day

By Alina

Marketing and Communications Advisor with a passion for diamonds and a nose for trends. Always happy to share the latest developments in the jewelry business with you.

February 13, 2018

Every year on February 14, we give each other the most beautiful gifts: a box of chocolates, a bouquet of red roses or maybe even a diamond ring. But why do we do this? What makes Valentine’s Day the international day of love?

Secret love

We all know Valentine’s Day to be a day you confess your secret love to someone. You give him or her a gift, such as a letter or flowers, to let them know you’re into them. Later on, the day became for all lovers, because not only secret love should be celebrated! Today, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to tell your loved one how much they mean to you. To support this feeling, you can give them flowers, write a love note or give a stunning diamond ring.

concept secret weddingThe story

Unlike the meaning of Valentine’s Day we use today, the real legend is centuries old. The original story comes from the third century AD. The story is about a bishop called Valentinus or Valentine. This bishop believed in true love and married many happy couples. He went as far as marrying a pagan soldier of Emperor Claudius II’s Army to a Christian girl at some point. Nowadays that’s no big deal. But in those times that was really ‘not done’. Naturally, news like this spread like a wildfire and the bishop had suddenly so many couples to unite in wedlock that it somewhat became a full-time job.

“I want unmarried soldiers!”

Unfortunately, Emperor Claudius II preferred an army of single soldiers over married ones. Unmarried soldiers worked better according to the emperor. The man had no woman waiting for them at home, so he wouldn’t feel the strong need to go home. Moreover, he believed single soldiers were often more reckless than the married soldiers. In times of ware, this came in quite handy.

When bishop Valentine wed more and more couples, the emperor has had it. He gave the order to arrest Bishop Valentine and decided to interrogate the man himself. During the reign of Claudius II, there was still a heavy Christian persecution. So when the bishop tried to reform the emperor during his interrogation, the emperor was furious! He demanded that Valentine was tortured and then beheaded.

cupids statue

From your Valentine

Before being beheaded, the bishop stayed in prison. During his captivity, he built a close relationship with one of the prison guards. The guard told Valentine he had a daughter who was blind and he asked the bishop to cure her. Valentinus did everything he could to help the guard’s daughter. From the inside of his cell, this wasn’t easy, but he managed to obtain medicine. Unfortunately, the remedy did not work. A little while later, his time had come and Valentine was beheaded. Before his execution, Valentine slipped a note to the guard for his daughter. The guard gave the letter to his daughter. When she unfolded the note, a yellow flower fell out of it. At that moment, the daughter got her sight back. She read the letter, which reads: “from your Valentine”. That’s how even after his death, Bishop Valentine fulfilled his final act of love.

red rose attaced to a letter vintage

The jailer’s daughter never had the chance to see the bishop, hence the story of the unknown – or secret – admirer. After the incident, the prison guard immediately converted to Christianity and lived his life for the purpose of faith and love.

proposal concept valentines day

Valentine’s Day today

The last few years, the festival has become flattened out and more commercial. However, if we stay true to the true meaning of Valentine’s Day, this is the perfect day to express (or confess) your love. Are you wondering what Valentine’s Day at Royal Coster Diamonds looks like? See it for yourself during a Royal Experience at our diamond polishing factory.


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