A Stroke of Luck: Jewelry Superstitions
You can make a superstition regarding pretty much anything. Jewelry, especially in weddings and romantic relationships, is no exception. A quick perusal of the internet will yield about a bazillion results, some standard old wives’ tales we’ve all heard, and some nutty banana ones that make you scratch your head and giggle. In the interest of fun, I’ve collected some of my favorites here. Some serious, some not so much. And, spoiler alert, for just about every superstition I found, I uncovered an equal amount of rebuttal superstitions. So really, I guess the moral of the wedding jewelry superstition story is to take it all with a grain of salt and just wear the jewelry that makes you feel alive, on fire, and as precious as the jewels in them.
We’ll start with the engagement ring. Some lore suggests that the day on which the engagement ring is purchased will impact the impending marriage. For example, fellas, if you buy your lady’s engagement on a Monday, your married life will be busy. I presume that this is taken from the assumption that you’re squeezing your engagement ring shopping into the evening hours after work, so that is what you’re setting up your married life to be like. In this same vein, if you buy that same engagement ring on a Saturday, your life will be pleasurable. I suppose this is meant to mean that you are taking the engagement ring buying process leisurely and have allotted plenty of time for such an important activity. Or maybe it was a ploy of jewelers, so that they wouldn’t have to stay open late on weekdays. I don’t know.
While we’re still on the subject of engagement rings, some superstitions hold that a bride-to-be should never be proposed to with a pear shaped diamond. Apparently, a pear shaped diamond is shaped too much like a tear drop. That shape sets the tone for her whole marriage. Sad diamond equals sad marriage. Clearly whoever thought this one up hasn’t seen the stunning settings available for the uniqueness of a pear shaped diamond.
For all the unmarried gals out there, let me warn you: it is considered bad luck to try on someone else’s engagement ring. This is bad news for all the daughters in the world. If other girls were like me, I routinely asked to try on my mom’s diamond wedding band and engagement ring. As I’ve been happily married for nearly 10 years and all signs point to this continuing, I’m going to call shenanigans on this superstition.
Interestingly, the old adage of “something old, something new; something borrowed, something blue” allows, and usually encourages, the bride to wear family heirloom jewelry, but only for the wedding itself. And legend also states that if a bride is wearing borrowed jewels, they should be borrowed from family members whose marriages were happy. This superstition goes on to say that the borrowed jewelry brings with it the state (happy, sad, fulfilling, tragic, etc) of the marriage it came from. So if great-aunt Shelly’s marriage was a train wreck, maybe politely decline her offer to hear to wear the necklace she wore at her wedding.
The jewelry worn by a bride carries a ton of meaning in many different cultures. There is a great deal of variation across the globe and across the years, but here are a few pearls of wisdom (come on, you had to know I was going to make a pun here somewhere):
- Sapphires and aquamarines are thought to bring good luck (although some cultures will tell you the exact opposite about sapphires)
- Emeralds are also good luck…and an aphrodisiac
- Opals are bad luck in Western cultures (unless you’re born in October, since opals and pink tourmalines are your birthstones), but good luck in Eastern cultures
Pearls are a pretty fascinating subject all by themselves. Pearls make for incredibly beautiful pieces of jewelry, which are often chosen by brides for their delicacy, class, and elegance. But for all their beauty, pearls are a subject of superstitious contention. Some theories contend that pearls are terrible luck on a wedding day, as they represent the tears a bride will cry in her tragic marriage. On the flip side of that belief however, is the notion that the pearls take the place of the tears a bride will shed, so she will not have any tears left and her marriage will be happy and joyful. Interesting side note: in order to stay lustrous, supple, and healthy, pearls need to be worn. The natural oils from your skin help keep pearls moist, which helps the nacre (the pearlescent coating on the outside of the pearl) retain its trademark luster. Without that moisture, pearls can dry out and crack. Pearls need to be worn regularly to keep them at the top of their game.
No matter which side of superstitions you fall on, the lore behind jewelry goes back in history as far as the act of using jewelry to adorn oneself. I would venture to guess that superstition and old-world lore no longer have the pull and prominence they used to, but it is still fun to look back (or around) and see what people think about the jewels you put on your body, whether for your wedding or for an otherwise nondescript Tuesday.
Love and luck,
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