According to the Irish wedding tradition, a bride should have something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and an Irish sixpence for her shoe.
Something old symbolizes the connection to family. Something new symbolizes optimism for the future. Something borrowed symbolizes friendship. Something blue symbolizes the beautiful color of the Irish sky. An Irish sixpence for her shoe represents wealth, both financially along with the riches of a happy marriage.
An element of superstition is also connected with this Irish wedding tradition. The sixpence acts as a lucky charm that will keep the bride safe on her wedding day.
The first Irish sixpence was minted in silver in 1544. Over the centuries the Irish coin underwent several size and composition changes. Ireland's modern day coinage was issued in 1928 after years of planning by a committee, whose chairman was W.B Yeats.
The sixpence featured the Brian Boru harp on one side and an Irish wolf hound on the other; it was minted from copper and nickel that created a silver color coin. The coin was issued sporadically until 1969.
In 1971, Ireland abandoned the pounds -shilling - pence monetary system and introduced the decimal system.
The Irish sixpence is still affectionately held as a talisman and timeless keepsake. This coin is no longer in circulation; however, The Irish Gift House, has a limited supply that is presented with an Irish sixpence history card.
The Irish Gift House also offers a complete line of Irish wedding gifts and you may also wish to visit our Irish wedding traditions page.