Both Sides of The Coin

Lottie Buchanan

In China, Chinese New Year celebrates the start of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. In other parts of Southeast Asia it is also referred to as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year.  This celebratory period is a time of hope for good fortune, health and prosperity for your family and loved ones. There are many symbols attributed to Chinese or Lunar New Year such as the zodiac animals (this year 2021, will be the year of the Ox) and the gifting of 紅包, hóngbāo (red envelopes). The lucky coin is another symbol of the New Year that is often seen around during this period to represent wealth and success. Particularly in Feng Shui practice where placing it in certain parts of the home during New Year is meant to generate financial prosperity but it also has other meanings related to Chinese philosophy.

Our Brand Baozi jewellery is deeply connected to this lucky coin. You may have noticed that the bracelets in our Tao Collection all share the Chinese coin as a centerpiece. The coin is round which symbolises heaven and has a square hole in the middle, which represents the earth. The hole is also there to allow the coins to be tied together. Tying coins together in groups of 3,6 and 9 is common practice and each numerical set of coins has different spiritual benefits related to heaven and nature’s relationship with man’s desires.  Both sides of the coin also contain separate inscriptions translating to Yin on one side and Yang on the other.  The ultimate symbol of unity.  Especially during this Chinese New Year the history, tradition and meaning it carries connects our bracelets to the idea of a modern heirloom.  The bracelets combine traditional materials used in other types of symbolic Chinese jewellery, for example Jade bangles for marriage, to create something old with something new. As the world and tradition constantly develop it is important to remember the past it left behind on this journey.

During the New Year older family members gifting younger members with envelopes or other items of traditional value, such as buying bunches of the lucky coins encourages spirituality and tradition down the generations.  A sentiment that China saw boom amongst younger citizens in the past year, who used We chat and online banking apps to gift virtual red envelopes among their friends.  Although virtual gifting is definitely a modern trait of Chinese New Year, the development of these traditional ideas shows us that these things related to our identity that make us who we are will always find a way to be a part of us. Change is not always a bad thing; in fact it can be quite enlightening. Embracing both sides of the coin in our bracelets is a symbol of the value that life can bring.  The coin is like a look into the past with hope for the future.  It may be a symbol of financial benefit but it also connects the wearer to the richness of history alongside the unlimited possibilities the path ahead can hold. We want to connect between the old tradition and developing new traditions. One of our founders, Chengxi, described that connection is the true "wealth" of our personal identity; this is the fortune the coin design symbolises