Carnations have a reputation as a cheap flower in the United States, and their usage remains as such in many retail florist's shops. It wasn't always this way, as the status of the carnation was much higher in the early 20th century as a symbol of love and devotion (more so than the rose), and remains so in many parts of the world. There are some carnations that are not particularly exciting; however, there are many fantastic examples that have wonderful color and texture, and can be used with great success in the most refined of arrangements. I came across these beautiful antique pink carnations at the San Francisco Flower Mart a few days ago, and used them along with yellow ranunculus, white and pink hellebores, ornamental kale, and pink Daphne in a dinner party centerpiece this weekend. Even these beautiful examples remain inexpensive, as a bunch of 20 was $9.