Silver baby gifts and traditions
An old saying goes for babies who have loving or wealthy parents to be born “with a silver spoon in their mouth.”
It is not a mere string of words but an old tradition that has existed worldwide in one form or another. From the American subcontinent to the European valleys, to the Indian plateaus, silver baby gifts are an integral part of native traditions. People would gift collectible items made from silver as a symbol of love, respect, and celebration of the newborn.
Christening and silver gifts
Christianity has a long relationship with silver gifts for new babies. The tradition dates back to the fourth century where new church members needed to be sponsored by existing members. They took this step to avoid persecution by non-Christians. Parents of the baby would ask friends and family already in the church to be the godparents, and they would bring christening gifts as symbolic presents that the three wise men gave to Jesus.
Significance of sterling silver
If you flip through the pages of history, you will find mentions of sterling silver baby gifts from as old as the eighteenth century. People would gift spoons, rattles, porringers, cups, etc., that were generally engraved with the child’s name and birth date. With time, sterling silver spoons and porringers became symbols of a new baby’s gifts, which marked wealth and investment into a baby’s future. Some close family friends even gave practical gifts for children such as tankards, napkin rings, knives, etc. Once the children grew up into adults, they can use these gifts and remember all their blessings when they were young. During the mid-1800s, people even decorated silver baby gifts with children’s rhyme pictures, baby animals, and other traditional decorations. Silver spoons and coins are dominant new baby gifts during christening.
The tradition did not catch on until the Tudor and Victorian eras. Silver had monetary value during both periods, and people believed it to be a good investment into the child’s future. During childbirth and christening, people gave silver gifts as they thought it would bring stability to the child’s adult life.
The famous proverb “Born with a silver spoon in your mouth” refers to children born into wealthy families. During the middle ages, the saying originated when parents pushed their child to suck on a silver spoon to prevent plague. It is known that silver has antibacterial properties, which might have kept children in wealthy families safe.
The story of a silver sixpence
In 1551, King Edward VI first introduced the silver sixpence, and it quickly turned into a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Some people still give silver sixpences and pennies to babies during christenings, and some even opt for Sovereign and Britannia coins as traditional silver baby gifts.
Silver trinkets in Indian traditions
In India, people give silver anklets as gifts when a baby is born in the family. The precious metal itself has deep-rooted values in the Indian culture. The people in India use silver for its health benefits and precious value. It symbolizes strength and prosperity, and giving a new child silver gifts will bring them hope, and they will grow up into strong and healthy individuals.
A new age of sterling silver baby gifts
Although times have changed and we won’t be necessarily feeding them with a silver spoon or a cup, they are still valuable. You can look for other silver baby gift options that can be meaningful and useful simultaneously. Silver jewelry like bangles, anklets, and pendants are perfect for such cases.
While people usually go for silver baby toys like rattlers, teethers after spoons and cups, you can look for other keepsake options. Some artisans offer keepsakes like silver tooth fairy box and silver birth certificate holder.
You can even get a unique coin engraved to celebrate the child’s birth. Some artisans make coins with engravings of the child’s date of birth. The coin is a part of another tradition where they cross the baby’s palm with silver. It gave birth to another saying where if a child holds the coin, they will be sparing, but if they drop it, they will be free.
Today, artists and quality brands create beautiful, artistic silver gift items that can easily become a family heirloom. Apart from the traditional things, you can find several new silver gift options like baby jewelry, photo frames, bowls, boxes, etc.