Marriage ceremonies across the world provide a rich source of traditions and superstitions, with roots that stretch far back into the depths of human history. The use of jewellery to mark significant union began with the giving of chains and bracelets, and this evolved into the exchange of a commemorative ring.
The exchange of a ring on the wedding day is thought to date back to Ancient Egyptian culture, when it was commonly believed that a vein, the Vena Amoris, ran from the fourth finger on the left hand directly to the heart. The tradition was assimilated by Ancient Greek culture and later, the Ancient Romans.
One of the best-known wedding traditions in the English speaking countries dates back to the Victorian era. The superstitious may say that a bride wishing to secure a fulfilled and joyous married life must keep something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue on her person – and a silver sixpence in her shoe – throughout her special day.
Something Old refers to an item which is symbolic of the bride’s life before marriage. Most commonly, this takes the form of a trinket or piece of jewellery from the bride’s family, which would be kept with her during the wedding ceremony to ensure that the ties to her loved ones are not weakened by the new bonds of marriage.
Something New, refers to an item purchased for the wedding itself. It represents hopes for the new life on which the couple are about to embark. Wedding gowns are sometimes used to represent something new, although most frequently it will be the wedding band, which will have been lovingly sought to sit well with the engagement ring. De Beers have a number of ranges of diamond engagement rings with matching bands, as well as a series of wedding bands designed to sit beautifully next to any engagement ring.
Something Borrowed, would usually be an item borrowed from a woman in a happy marriage. The borrowed item is intended to impart some of the joy from one married couple to another.
Something Blue… In times past, the colour blue was thought to represent modesty and faithfulness of a woman to her new husband. The colour is frequently introduced to the wedding day through a blue garter. Blue jewellery is also used on occasion. Jewellery featuring blue diamonds - a rare fancy colour - is an unusual and eye-catching way to incorporate a little blue in your wedding day.
And a silver sixpence in her shoe… Although today we no longer trade in sixpence, contemporary coins and other tokens are used as a substitute. The significance of such a coin would be to bring the married couple good fortune and fend off future hardship in their new life together. The De Beers Lucky Coins Collection, featuring eight delicate designs that evoke the magic of chance, dreams and love, would make a worthy substitute for any sixpence.