10 February 2023
The rich tapestry of our lives is woven with the threads of tradition, be it the age-old customs of a nation, city, or village, or the distinctive practices of a particular culture, religion, or group of friends and families. And, one of the most ubiquitous and enduring of these traditions is the giving of jewellery as gifts. To celebrate this timeless practice, we've put together a comprehensive list of well-known and obscure traditions in the Netherlands, where a piece of jewellery is often presented as a symbol of love, commitment, or celebration.
One of the most significant moments when jewellery becomes a part of tradition is during the hallowed act of marriage proposals. The engagement ring is an indispensable part of this ritual, and it's no surprise that it's one of our best-selling items. The wedding day itself is another momentous occasion where rings hold great significance. The tradition of wearing wedding rings dates back to ancient Rome and Greece, where it was believed that the fourth finger on the left hand had a vein that connected directly to the heart, referred to as the "vena amori" or the vein of love. Today, wedding rings continue to symbolize the boundless love between two hearts and are maintained by various religions across the world.
Another tradition that incorporates jewellery is during communion, where a watch is often gifted to the communicant by their godparents. Although its official status is unclear, giving a birth bracelet is a common practice to mark the arrival of a newborn. The personal touch of an engraving makes the gift all the more meaningful, with close relatives often presenting bracelets with the baby's name or date of birth. Pendants or rings with initials are also popular gifts for new parents.
In families, jewellery is frequently given as gifts on special ages such as 18 or 21. At 18, one is considered an adult, and families often commemorate this occasion with the gift of jewellery heirlooms. Kelly Weekers is a testament to this tradition, with diamond earrings that she will eventually pass down to her daughter on her 18th birthday. The 21st birthday is another momentous milestone, and it's a tradition in student unions to organize a dinner with friends and family. A piece of jewellery, such as a ring or slave bracelet, is often gifted by the friend group to celebrate the occasion.
Signet rings have been a staple of traditional heirlooms for centuries, often engraved with the family initials or coat of arms. These rings are passed down from father to son and have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent times, with both men and women embracing the eye-catching design of these rings.
If you're looking to preserve a family tradition but want to give your jewellery a new lease of life, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We might be able to give your jewellery a beautiful makeover. Finally, if you know of any other traditions where jewellery is given as a gift, or if you have a special family tradition, we'd love to hear from you.