Sixpence & Tradition
Back in 1551, the silver sixpence was first introduced during the reign of King Edward VI. The coin quickly became a symbol of prosperity, good luck and fortune. Over the centuries, the silver sixpence has become a key part of British life and celebrations, holding connections to Christmas, weddings and christenings where the tradition of giving a sixpence on these occasions are still customary.
Wedding Silver Sixpence
And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue - the customary good luck accessories that no bride would be without on her big day, but few know that the rhyme ends ‘…and a silver sixpence in your shoe’.
For many years, the father of the bride would slip a sixpence into his daughter’s shoe before she walked down the aisle. The sixpence stood for good luck, and to show that the father wished his daughter prosperity in her marriage.
The traditional poem is a mixture of superstitions and best wishes for the happy couple. ‘Something old’ signals the life that the bride is leaving behind, whilst ‘Something new’ represents her new life as a married woman. ‘Something borrowed’ should be an item from someone who has had a long and happy marriage, whilst ‘Something blue’ is meant to symbolise purity, fidelity and love.
The last part, ‘a silver sixpence for her shoe’ was traditionally given to the bride by her father to place in her left shoe to bring luck and wish the happy couple a prosperous life together.
Silver Sixpence Gifts