Jewellery Knowledge

Wedding Belles


I have been Studying about wedding jewellery traditions from world over. My search recently led me to a beautiful Christian wedding tradition, full of emotions and love that is captured below in my story ‘Wedding Belles’ written for Solitaire Magazine’s June-July 2017 issue. Enjoy reading…

Wedding Belles_Solitaire June-July 2017

The English saying, ‘Something olde, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a silver sixpence in your shoe’ refers to four objects and a coin that a bride adds to her wedding outfit. These good luck charms could be little tokens of love from loved ones, or something that modern brides hunt for themselves.

The exact origins of this old adage is not known, other than that it was recited during the Victorian era. A printed evidence in the 1894 edition of the Pennsylvania newspaper, The Warren Ledger, listed it as a Puritan Marriage Custom. Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolises happiness; something blue stands for purity, love, and delity; and a sixpence is a wish for good fortune and prosperity. However old this wedding legend maybe, brides to date still abide to this tradition. Most often, these items come in jewellery and accessory form, usually gifted by loved ones and rarely obvious to anyone except to a few close to the bride.

Apparently, even Royals are not immune to the tradition. At the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge wore an old Carrickmacross lace, and a pair of new diamond earrings given by her parents. She borrowed a diamond tiara made by Cartier — which had been bought for the Queen Mother and was subsequently given to Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday, and donned a blue ribbon sewn in her dress.

Wedding Belles_Solitaire June-July 2017

Tiaras and vintage hair clips passed down from grandmothers are ‘something old’ and meaningful. Traditional in looks, these vintage pieces add glamour to modern hairdos. As most wedding gowns are either off-shoulder or have short sleeves, a new diamond watch or a bracelet could make a perfect gift from the groom or parents to fill the space for ‘something new’. Latest jewellery collections offer diamond bracelets that have hidden watch dials for a touch of mystery.

For ‘something borrowed’, a precious token from the mother or grandmother would make the most apt choice. A set of matching pendant earrings go perfectly with the V-shaped neckline of the bride’s wedding gown, or that classic pearl string complement her white ensemble. While a garter is the most common option for ‘something blue’, brides are now exploring popular blue jewels. Such gemstones add just the right pop of colour to an otherwise all-white look. From blue sapphires to tanzanites, Paraiba tourmalines, turquoises, lapis lazulis, and even pale aquamarines, blue gemstones are available in every shade, translucency, and, yes, budget.

Solitaire June July 2017 Cover Page and Contributors Page

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