The heritage of Chinese Gold 

In many cultures, a golden ring is a sign of marriage, with many scholars claiming the tradition began in Egypt 6,000 years ago. In many cultures, gold forms part of a dowry, such as in India. Where it is still custom, in some regions, to expect up to 100 golden sovereigns, in other countries, it is the reverse gold that is a part of the bride price, paid by the groom’s family.

If you happen to attend a modern Chinese wedding, you will find the traditions of old are alive and well! The groom and his family, as part of the bride price, may adorn the bride with golden necklaces, rings, and bracelets. In China, there is a saying, 'Having a woman in your home is like gold,' and they like to show it.

It is also a chance to display wealth and generosity. The bride is obligated to wear the jewellery immediately, which sometimes results in her being draped in quantities of gold that go up to the kilograms. The pieces are typically 24-karat gold, and are engraved by hand. Anything less pure cannot be considered 'real' gold in a Chinese wedding setting. It also serves as a form of insurance for the bride, so should she ever encounter hard times.

Dragon & Pheonix Bangles

The divine righteous dragon is known as the 'Ruler of Beasts,' whilst the Phoenix is the “King of Birds,” bringing beauty prosperity. Together, they form the ideal partnership, filled with unity, harmony balance. Usually presented by Cantonese or Hakka families during the tea ceremony, the bride might receive multiple pairs of these thick bangles that are stacked on the forearms. The traditional tea ceremony outfit has shortened sleeves that are specifically designed to show them off.

Four Pieces of Gold 

This Chiu Chow Hokkien custom comprises of a necklace, bracelet, ring, and earrings that are presented before the wedding. In current times, some brides may flout tradition by going for two rings, or two necklaces instead, or even just a single item of a higher value. The custom originates from the province of Chiu Chow, where traditional houses had roofs with curved corners, resembling the Chinese word for gold. The gift of Four Pieces of Gold reassures the bride that she will be well provided for will always have a roof over her head.

There is also the custom of the nine treasure boxes, gifts given by the bride’s older relatives. Well-wishers may also give 24ct golden miniatures.

What do you do with the Chinese golden wedding gifts?

If you're lucky enough to find yourself with this gift, you are also facing a unique problem. Unlike many western couples who are given cash to start a new life, you have an asset going up in value, but that you are hopefully looking to sell.
The good news for you in the high value of gold! You will get good money for your gold. 

Pre-owned Gold Jewellery at Suttons & Robertsons London Jewellers 

Here at S&R Jewellers, we have a selection of pre-owned gold, designer, vintage, antique jewellery pieces for you to choose from. Our pre-owned jewellery collection is perfect for gifting, or to treat yourself to something special. Browse pre-owned jewellery at S&R London today, or feel free to visit us to see your options in-person. 

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February 06, 2022
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