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Heart Symbols

The heart is found in human symbolism all the back to the ancient Egyptians and perhaps even further. Used often in ancient ritual and mythology, the heart was often referred to as the center of human thinking and emotions, and was therefore an important symbol for heart necklaces and talismans which has carried down to this day. In medical terminology, ancient physicians considered the heart to be the center of human emotions, which made its symbol a natural representation for emotions such as love and passion.

With the advent of Christianity, the heart symbol, in the red, two half-moon shape we are familiar with today, became associated with the heart of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The red color became synonymous with the color of blood and heart symbols were often part of royal family coats of arms as well as prominent symbols for military personnel such as knights who gave oaths of allegiance to the king or prince they served.

The heart also became well known romantic symbol, particularly with such religious figures as Saint Valentine, whose birthday is still celebrated as a day for romance, with heart shaped cards and boxes of candy being exchanged.

Besides being a symbol of romantic love, the heart is also a prominent symbol in the Kabbalah, and Kabbalah "red string" amulets often contain a small heart shaped symbol.

Heart shaped amulets and jewelry are commonly found in jewelry stores and internet websites and are manufactured in gold and other precious metals. Precious stones, including diamonds, sapphires and rubies are often cut into heart shapes.

More recently, the heart symbol is a popular part of affectionate sayings, such as "I love New York", with the heart symbol replacing the word "love".