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Silver Christening Gifts

Silver Christening 

Antique silver gifts are perfect if you want to commemorate a special occasion such as christening and give something that grows in value and meaning over the years. Choosing the right gift, however, can be quite challenging.

Here we look at the range of silver christening presents and what to look out for when buying.

The Connection Between Christenings and Silver

In many countries around the world, including here in the UK, silver gifts are presented for christenings and baptisms. This is a fairly old tradition that dates as far back as the Middle Ages. In the early days, the properties of silver were thought to be magical and helped ward off evil spirits and there was less focus on intrinsic value although this was still important.

Later on, the gifting of silver spoons and boxes to infants became more prestigious and it was often used to demonstrate status. This may be where the saying ‘born with a silver spoon in your mouth’ came from. Over the years, it became commonly understood that silver has an antibacterial property that can help prevent disease so it was doubly important for christenings.

  • The giving of silver christening gifts persists to this day and many people personalise their offering by engraving a message or the baby’s name on the item they choose.
  • It not only provides something that is aesthetically pleasing but can be kept for many years and is likely to grow in value.
  • Indeed, in more recent times, silver was given at christenings and baptisms as an investment for the child for the future.

Antique or New Silver Christening Gifts?

The range of different silver christening gifts available nowadays has grown quite considerably. While the traditional christening spoon is still popular you can now find everything from small trucks and boxes to bibles and even bookmarks.

The question many buyers ask is whether it’s better to buy a new or antique christening gift. First of all, the value of the metal is likely to increase whether it’s vintage or recently made. Antique silver gifts have the added advantage that there is a history behind them and therefore may have more value associated with them in the future.

Particularly around the Victorian period, we see silver christening gifts become more ornate and decorative, with items like egg cups, napkin rings and bowls becoming added to the list. The downside of antique silver christening gifts is that they were often engraved with the initials of the child which can make buying for a new baby a little problematic.

Silver Christening Gifts and Hallmarks: A Quick Guide

If you’ve been invited to a Christening and are thinking of buying silver as a gift, going to a reputable dealer is important, especially if you are investing in an antique. The majority of silver items produced in the last 500 years in Great Britain and Ireland will have four to five symbols stamped on them. These are called hallmarks and they are a sign of the validity and provenance of the gift that you are buying.

Check out our quick guide to hallmarking here.  

Types of Silver Christening Gifts

Once you’ve decided that you are going to buy a silver christening gift, the next challenge you have is choosing the right type. It’s a good idea to check with the family first to make sure that you are not doubling up but there are a lot of choices out there. Here are just a few ideas:

Silver Christening Spoon

The traditional gift is, of course, the silver christening spoon and these are very popular, particularly if you are thinking of opting for an antique. The tradition of giving a silver spoon started back in the 15th century and has remained a staple of christenings ever since.

There is a range of different designs including apostle spoons which are highly decorative and are engraved with an image of an important apostle or saint.

Silver Boxes

A personalised silver christening box is ideal if you want to give something aesthetically pleasing and functional. These can be engraved with a special message and can be used throughout the child’s life to hold keepsakes and things like jewellery.

Silver Bibles

Another popular choice is a small silver bible that is engraved with the child’s initials. The bible can be highly symbolic and combines a lifetime of knowledge and teachings with an aesthetically pleasing design that can grow in value as the child becomes older. Bibles were often kept by the new baby’s cot as a way of warding off evil and protecting them, so has particular significance.

Silver Cups

Another popular choice nowadays is silver christening cups that can also be used to toast the baby’s health. From tankards and tumblers to ornate chalices, there is a lot to choose from here. In particular antique silver cups can be a great gift for a christening or baptism as they are highly symbolic.

Silver Bookmarks

If you are looking for something simple but which is also functional, an engraved silver bookmark is another good option. It’s the kind of thing that can be used throughout a child’s life and comes in various ornate designs to suit all tastes.

Silver Frames

If you’re looking for a silver christening gift that continues to have a functional as well as aesthetic appeal, then you can’t go wrong with a photo frame. This is a great safe option if you are not sure what the best solution is but know that you want to buy silver. There are also some amazing antique silver frame options available that can add growing value to your gift.

Other gifts you might like to consider for an upcoming christening include simple napkin rings, keyrings, cuff links and the Scottish quaich (a traditional drinking cup). It’s important when choosing your gift that you buy from a reputable dealer, especially if you are investing in an antique.

The good news is that at Edinburgh Silver we have a wide range of both new, vintage and antique silver christening gifts currently available to purchase. Take a look at our listings today.
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