Wedding coins and coin traditions around the world

Coin traditions play an integral part in wedding ceremonies around the world.

We bring you a selection of our favourites…if you know of more we’d love to hear about them. Leave us a comment!

A sixpence in the bridegroom’s shoe

A Royal Mint silver sixpenceScottish bridegrooms would often put a sixpence in their shoe for luck and to represent financial security and future wealth.

These days it’s far more common for the bride to do this…but there’s nothing to say modern grooms can’t resurrect this tradition!

Irish Wedding Coin

No Irish marriage is complete without the passing of a coin between groom and bride. The groom will hand his bride a newly minted silver coin and say the words, “I give you this as a token of all I possess.”

The coin is kept as a memento of that moment, and becomes a family keepsake. The mother will pass the coin to her eldest son on his wedding day, and he will pass a new coin to his bride to restart the tradition.

The Irish Grushie or ‘Wedding scramble’

Guests would gather and the married couple would toss a handful of coins into the air for the guests to gather. This is another tradition thought to bring good luck and prosperity. In recent times this tradition is often re-enacted using sweets for the benefit of children.

Las arras

In Hispanic society it is traditional to give thirteen wedding unity coins symbolizing Jesus and the twelve apostles. The bride and groom exchange coins as a symbol of their devotion to, and trust in, each other.

Indian weddings

India is a diverse country with a variety of cultural practises, but gifts of gold and silver jewellery are synonymous with Indian weddings, and coins are just as highly valued. The post wedding ceremony known as ‘Vidai’ sees the bride scatter coins in her wake as she leaves her parent’s house to symbolize her repayment for the sacrifices of her parents.

Chinese wedding coins

The Chinese have made coins to represent and commemorate all stages of engagement, the wedding ceremony and married life. The symbolic art on the coins varies from the obvious, to the mystical. According to the principles of feng shui, glittering coins should be presented on a red tissue to maximise their luckiness.

Split coins

Lovers who were to be parted would often split a coin so that each carried a piece that could only be made whole again when they were reunited.

The crooked sixpence

In Derbyshire, girls would place a crooked sixpence and a sprig of rosemary under their pillows in the belief that it would inspire them to dream of their future husband. Whether it worked, we don’t know…but if you try it out for yourself do let us know how you get on.

Folk tales and superstitions, by Sidney Oldall Addy
Folk tales and superstitions, by Sidney Oldall Addy

Love tokens

Coins would sometimes be engraved with a mesage of affection, or bent in half to turn them into unique and special ‘love tokens’.

For more on wedding coin traditions, view our previous blog post

Give a coin as a Wedding gift

Wedding coin set giftThe Royal Mint offers a full range of coins as wedding gifts, from the traditional silver sixpences and gold sovereigns, to Wedding coin sets.

View the full range of Royal Mint wedding gifts on our website.





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