Heart with Key

The "heart shape" (♥) is an ideograph used to express the idea of the "heart" in its metaphorical or symbolic sense as the center of emotion, including affection and love, especially (but not exclusively) romantic love.

The "wounded heart" indicating love sickness came to be depicted as a heart symbol pierced with an arrow (Cupid's), or heart symbol "broken" in two or more pieces.

Since the 19th century, the symbol has often been used on St. Valentine's Day cards, candy boxes, and similar popular culture artifacts as a symbol of romantic love.

The use of the heart symbol as a logograph for the English verb "to love" derives from the use in "I ♥ NY", introduced in 1977.

Heart symbols were used to symbolize "health" or "lives" in video games; influentially so in The Legend of Zelda (1986). Super Mario Bros. 2 (1987, 1988) did have a "life bar" composed of hexagons, but in 1990s remakes of these games, the hexagons were replaced by heart shapes. Since the 1990s, the heart symbol has also been used as an ideogram indicating "health" outside of the video gaming context, e.g. used by restaurants to indicate "heart-healthy" nutrient content claim (e.g. "low in cholesterol"). A copyrighted "heart-check" symbol to indicate healthy food was introduced by the American Heart Association in 1995.

Source: Heart (symbol) from Wikipedia

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