12 love-inspired — but less expected — jewelry pieces to gift this Valentine's Day
Stunning and symbolic pieces from Canada's coolest designers, and not a cupid in sight
Between the cupid's bows, pouty lips and super-saturated reds and pinks, most Valentine's Day-themed gifts can be a little... cliché. Looking for a present that reflects the love theme without being so literal? Here, we round up 12 modern pieces of jewelry that symbolize affection, togetherness, commitment, and more — without a fuchsia rhinestone in sight. Plus, they're all made by contemporary Canadian designers. So, whether you're looking for a piece to wrap up for someone special, or to treat yourself, there's a whole lot to love this February 14th and beyond.
Cadette Jewelry Vida Necklace
The inspiration: "It has always been my mission to create jewelry that makes women feel beautiful, empowered and resilient," says Cadette founder and designer Allison Asis. The flower-in-bloom motif is meant to represent the beauty of transition and growth — a symbol of self-love for your most fearless friend.
The hand-moulded floral shape, which is plated in 14-karat gold, blooms around a fresh-water pearl.
Vida Necklace, $265, Cadette Jewelry
Jenny Bird Layla Drops Earrings
The inspiration: "Love is a thing in our lives that requires allowance and slowness," says founder and designer Jenny Bird. "The hearts in this new collection suit the organic forms of that."
These danglers are first shaped in brass, then dipped in 14-karat gold and sterling silver for a mixed-metal look.
Layla Drops Earrings, $125, Jenny Bird
Myel Memento Bracelet
The inspiration: "I received a similar bracelet from my grandmother as a child," recalls founder and designer Myriam Elie. "I wanted to continue this tradition within Myel, so I revisited the design by changing the proportions for a more modern look. It's a beautiful token to honour love on Valentine's Day — one to hold onto forever and pass on from generation to generation, such as my grandmother did for me."
This bracelet's sterling silver label can be engraved in your choice of three fonts for a sweet message to your Valentine (think: an anniversary date or a cute nickname).
Memento Bracelet, $250 (plus $30 for engraving), Myel
Jessica Stuart Lena Ring
The inspiration: "I love designing around a marquise," says the six-month-old brand's founder and designer Jessica Stuart. "It brings to mind the shape of a smile or a tiny little boat — a reminder of where we've been, where we're going, the storms we've weathered and the uncharted seas that await."
The handmade 14-karat yellow or rose gold band can be customized with any marquise-shaped gem, but why not go with emerald — the symbol of successful love — for V-day?
Lena Ring, $250, Jessica Stuart
Biko J'Adore Pearl Drops Earrings
The inspiration: "Growing up, I loved to doodle, and often drew hearts in the margins of my page," explains creative director Corrine Anestopoulos. "Taking the shape of a hand-formed heart with a baroque-style pearl daintily suspended from the ear, these earrings celebrate love in all its forms. The symbol is universal regardless of who you are or where you're from, and it brings us all together."
The sketch-inspired hearts are made of brass dipped in 14-karat gold, but the pièce de résistance is the vintage pearlized glass that dangles below.
J'Adore Pearl Drops Earrings, $95 (with 20 per cent of each sale donated to Rethink Breast Cancer), Biko
Litzi Love U Necklace
The inspiration: "This pendant is part of a set of three: Love U, F*ck U and the smiley face — however you say it, say it with a smile," says co-founder Alice Usiskin. "It's important to allow ourselves different emotions, but in this season of love, we're focusing on Love U, including the love we give ourselves."
Great for layering or worn solo, this playful sterling silver piece comes in three different chain lengths (you can also opt for gold vermeil or 10-karat gold if you're feeling spendy).
Small Love U Necklace, $105, Litzi
Attic Love Knot Earrings
The inspiration: "The knot has long been a symbol of love, friendship and affection," says Melissa Gobeil, who co-founded the brand alongside Susan Shaw. "This solid gold version will be a lasting reminder of that connection."
The sleek studs are made in Toronto using solid 14-karat yellow gold — a minimalist statement that's just as fit for special nights out as for everyday wear.
Love Knot Earrings, $420, Attic
Mejuri Tarot Sun Bracelet
The inspiration: The Toronto brand's hot-selling Tarot collection takes root in our collective desire to harness good vibes, and this new addition to the line offers a daily reminder to embrace light and positivity — an uplifting message for your Valentine every day of the year.
A tiny white sapphire lends a little pop of sparkle to this dainty design, made with 18-karat gold vermeil over sterling silver.
Tarot Sun Bracelet, $70, Mejuri
Gemmie Rainbow Gemmie Ring
The inspiration: "The rainbow is spiritual in so many ways," says founder and designer Emilie Nolan. "Mostly because it includes the seven colours of the spectrum, which makes it a perfect gift for those who are in the midst of an awakening or metamorphosis. Love, and especially self-love, is often the most transformative agent in our lives."
The band's 10-karat Canadian gold is set with 20 round-cut stones arranged to match its namesake arc's palette: ruby, citrine, yellow sapphire, emerald, blue topaz, sapphire and amethyst.
Rainbow Gemmie Ring, $1,016, Gemmie
Melanie Auld Lock Necklace
The inspiration: "We wanted to be able to offer a more modern piece to our customer who isn't into typical Valentine's jewelry," says founder and designer Melanie Auld. "The lock is just as beautiful and symbolic, but in a less obvious way."
Centred on a 16-inch chain, the gold vermeil pendant gets added glimmer from an opal centre stone and two columns of white topazes.
Lock Necklace, $125, Melanie Auld
Dreamboat Lucy Mila Earrings
The inspiration: "I've had the idea to create heart charms for a while, and Valentine's Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally do it," says founder and designer Hilary MacKay. "They make a great gift because they are handmade with love, and only in small quantities."
The classic V-day symbol gets a modern, edgy look from sterling silver beads that hang on chunky hoops.
Mila Earrings, $60, Dreamboat Lucy
Wolf Circus Rose Coin Necklace
The inspiration: A single long-stem rose is a timeless symbol of love — especially when engraved on a pendant that will outlast any flower. It was that romantic gesture that moved Vancouver-based founder and designer Fiona Morrison to create this elegant piece.
The line-drawn rose and coin-inspired edges give the recycled sterling silver pendant a cool, vintage vibe.
Rose Coin Necklace, $120, Wolf Circus
Caitlin Kenny is a Toronto-based writer and editor with 10 years of experience covering beauty, style and health across Canada's top media outlets. Follow her on Instagram @caitlinken_insta.