Chinese Gold: Ancient traditions in modern times

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, 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 and gold 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, 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 jewelry 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, engraved by hand. Anything less pure cannot be considered “real” gold in a Chinese wedding. It also serves as a form of insurance for the bride, should she ever encounter hard times.

Dragon & Phoenix Bangles

The divine and righteous dragon is known as the “Ruler of Beasts,” while the Phoenix is the “King of Birds,” bringing beauty and prosperity. Together they form the ideal partnership, filled with unity, harmony and 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 specifically designed to show them off.

Four Pieces of Gold

This Chiu Chow and Hokkien custom comprise a necklace, bracelet, ring and earrings presented before the wedding. In current times, some brides may flout tradition and go for two rings and two necklaces instead, or 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 and 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 to do with 1kg of gold?

If your 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 loath to sell.
The good news for you in the high value of gold, and it’s ready us in as a
pawnbroking asset.

Getting a pawnbroking loan from a London pawnbroker like Suttons and Robertson can be easily obtained. This way, you can put the asset to work with very low repayments. As a pawnbroking loan has very low rates, it can be a great way to lend to invest.