Sexism, Superstition and Several Shiny Stones..
It is well-known that marriage is accompanied by a bewildering number of traditions and superstitions. The origins of these are even more elusive to keep track of; indeed, many of them should be forgotten as they go way back to a truly uncivilised age where, as has so often been the case throughout history, women got the bad end of the deal.
For example, carrying the bride over the threshold sealed the man’s ‘ownership’ of his new bride and that particular lady may well have been carried over the threshold whether she liked it or not. The bridal bouquet was once loaded with powerful smelling herbs and spices, ostensibly to scare off evil spirits but really to cover the smell of so many unwashed, dark-ages people gathered together in one place. Throwing that same bouquet was the bride’s appeasement to her bridesmaids; before this custom, bridesmaids would often tear bits off the bride’s wedding dress, made from valuable fabric, as she left the church.
Fast forward to today and we in the computer age aren’t superstitious at all. Except don’t let the groom see the bride before the day. That would just be bad luck. Oh and don’t forget the old/new/borrowed/blue thing. Etc. The fact is we love tradition but changes still happen and the engagement ring has been a focus of this in recent years.
While the diamond ring is ever-popular with it’s simple, heart-on-the-sleeve association with true love and foreverness, many other stones are making a name for themselves and, naturally, they all have their own story to tell. Thankfully, most of them aren’t brutish, smelly or savage.
Here’s a brief look at some popular stones but get googling too; there’s lots more story to tell….
Sapphire: the gentle, calming blue of sapphire is associated with fidelity. It is only since the early 20th century that diamond has made such an impact; sapphires were the preferred choice before that
Emerald: with one of these green delights under your tongue, you will be able to see the future. If you put your ring under your tongue though, your future might be at the Casualty department getting an x-ray. Though emeralds apparently cure disease too, so who knows what the best thing to do really is?
Ruby: a gem associated with royalty and whatever gods or goddesses there may be, the deep red colour has an obvious visual connection to the deep part of the heart, where love is
Amethyst: associated with wine and thus with the god of wine Bacchus. Oddly though, the gem is said to have the reverse effect preventing drunkenness and helping the wearer remain clear-headed even while chaos surrounds her
There’s loads more to look at; but keep one eye out for our next article coming soon! Subscribe to our newsletter today. It's bad luck if you don't!