Love locks really took hold in Paris, lovers committing to one another with one of a thousand different locks. The lock with initials, a date, a heart or two penned in, sometimes engraved. It started on the bridges spanning the Seine. The lock attached to the fence, a kiss to seal the deal. Keys tossed over the railing.
Sentiments accumulated, keys piled up on the bottom of the river six feet down. Photos taken of the locks were sent around the world. Then lovers around the world began looking for fences and bridges over bodies of water to mark their eternal devotion.
Love Locks Paris, France
Love locks date back to WWI, but really became famous in the early 2000’s, in Paris. Lovers committing to one another with one of a thousand different locks with initials, a date, a heart or two penned in permanent Sharpie marker, sometimes engraved. It started on the bridges spanning the Seine. The lock attached to the fence, a kiss to seal the deal, keys tossed over the railing. The photo above is of one of those Parisian bridges.
Portland’s Rescued Love Lock Fence
Love Locks Portland, Maine
Here in Portland, we had a fence fronting Commercial Street between two piers that extend out into the harbor. With the news from France coming in, at first there were a dozen, then a hundred, then thousands of locks attached. The fence was meant to protect people from falling into the harbor. The weight was gaining by the day and was becoming potentially too much for the fence. The City Council acted, determined that at some point, one more lock, and the whole fence would tumble into the harbor on top of thousands of keys.
People’s Security was Considered
Articles were written in the newspaper. People protested the loss of their love lock fence. A new unlock-able fence was designed and proposed with a promise that a section of the original fence with its locks would be saved. That promised section is now down on one of the piers next to a piece of the original Berlin Wall.
The picture above is of our rescued Love Lock Fence. As a work of art, it is beautiful.
Love Lock and the Deeper Meaning
Love lock. We’ve been choosing mates for thousands of years. We see, we talk, we hang out. We become attached, we agree to see each other again and again, and before we know it we’re a couple. That want, that need, that desire to be with one another is so powerful. The trip home, when we have been away, where the speed limit is 65 and we give it a little more gas to 68 or to 70 or 72 to be home just a little bit sooner because we look forward to having an extra minute, two, three together.
Hundreds of moments, thousands of touch points. Breakfast, the same newspaper and coffee. The words spoken, really nothing, and yet precious… wouldn’t miss even one breakfast for the world.
When years become decades, and decades become a life, a lock on a bridge on a fence becomes unnecessary and yet you get it, the pure sweet sincerity of youth.
So what does a Love Lock say? A lifetime of words, a lifetime together, a lifetime of love promised. It says things that words alone cannot fully express. you think back and know your lock is there, on that bridge, your words written in black permanent marker. The lock slipped in through the wire: cinch, click, lock. You look at her. She looks at you. The key tossed. Nothing written here begins to capture what really happened. Words can be so imprecise.
The jeweler steps into the room, copies the idea in precious gems, and gold. He understands because he too has been there. He also knows he can never know what it was and is between you two.
If you have ever put a love lock on a bridge or fence, or if you missed the opportunity, there’s always another chance…a Love Lock with a precious gem to be with her always.
The Cross Love Lock
We had a jeweled Love Lock last year with a big blue natural earth-mined sapphire. It was beautiful. We had just one. That would be like having a bridge over a river and saying we have one spot for one lock on the bridge. Yes, we got some feedback on our one sapphire. Comments like, “Would you ever consider…” “If you ever…” “It would be nice if…”
Big beautiful cushion-cut sapphires of exactly the right size. Impossible, absolutely impossible. Then one more sapphire just happened along. We said why not and designed another Love Lock mounting to fit. We got smart this time and made a master lock for other gems, other colors. Our favorite, a genuine Maine gem from our newest currently active mine – SparHawk mint-green-teal Maine tourmaline, bright, brilliant, from the Western mountains of Maine. The gem is cut right here in Maine by Sean Sweeney of Bar Harbor. And because SparHawk is an active mine, we can cut more.
SparHawk Mint Green Teal Maine Tourmaline
The SparHawk tourmaline mine is 28 miles north of our store. Mount Washington, New England’s tallest mountain, is 58 miles west of the mine. The gem mine is located in Poland, Maine in the foot hills of the White Mountains. One hundred-ten years ago tourmaline was first discovered here in a farmer’s field. The discovery was so significant it made national headlines. After a year of mining then nothing, nothing, nothing. Nothing for 100 years, until a young guy came along with faith and vision, bought the property, started mining and as they say, “the rest is history.”
Currently the SparHawk mine in Maine is the most significant find of tourmaline in the world. What they are finding are minty green crystals that when cut possess a vibrant spring green color. The color plant leaves have when they first emerge from the earth. There is a freshness of new life of spring in each of our SparHawk gems.
Mined in Poland, Maine, cut by Sean Sweeney of Bar Harbor, Maine, SparHawk gems are designed and set into fine jewelry at our shops in Portland and Gray, Maine. Our three primary signature cuts are oval, cushion, and our new twilight cut that possesses a non-stop twinkle and glitter of light that will entertain you, your children, and grandchildren for generations to come.
What this gem and its color will do for you. It connects or re-connects you to God-given life, new beginnings, new start. It is the natural color of spring. Just to wear a SparHawk is a breath of fresh air, it’s a drink of clear mountain spring water. Poland Spring Water is the water at the grocery store with a green label. The original Poland Spring Company was founded in Poland, Maine and is just 5 miles away from the SparHawk mine.
The SparHawk mine is just a tiny spot on planet earth, 200 feet by 200 feet, a dot on the map, of highly enriched, rare mineral elements that have formed tourmaline crystals in pink and blue, but mostly in green. The green color found is a shade rarely seen. The SparHawk crystal has a blueish tint in one direction and a glowing green in the other direction. Gems, when cut, come out as we call it “mint green teal”. I love Sweeney’s cuts. He’s the best gem cutter in America. His gems hold an otherworldly brilliance. Stephen and I sat and talked with Sean one day as he cut a large SparHawk crystal. We watched from early morning until after the son went down. We saw the cutting and polishing every step of the way. He’s so good I swear I saw him cut a bigger gem from the crystal than the crystal should ever have allowed. The gem was an historic piece, a 27 carat oval. Its buyer was a museum.
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Any purchases you make in January or February 2021 we are extending our Cross return date to the first day of spring, March 20, 2021, or 30 days beyond your purchase date, whichever is longer.