What is it?
Si Dian Jin (四点金) — Translated to mean “4 Touches of Gold”, was traditionally a four-piece set of betrothal jewellery that consisted of a ring, bangle, necklace and a pair of earrings. The giving of Si Dian Jin is a Teochew tradition that is bestowed upon the new bride to welcome her into the new family and as a blessing for the newlywed.
What does it symbolise?
This custom originated from the Teochew families as the Teochew provinces had 4-point curved rooftops which resemble very much like the “Jin” (金) character in 四点金. A mother-in-law gives her daughter-in-law Si Dian Jin, as a promise that she is welcome in their home and that she will always be taken care of.
How do I go about searching for my Si Dian Jin set?
First and foremost, understanding what is important to your future-in-laws is key. If you're nervous on how to broach the topic, ask your partner to be the middleman so he can ascertain his parents’ budget. It is also good for him to clarify with them if they have any specific requirements like how many pieces they would like to gift within the budget, or whether the jewellery has to be a particular type of gold, etc.
How much should a set of Si Dian Jin cost?
Typically, a set of Si Dian Jin ranges from $4,000 to $10,000. It differs from family to family so it is most important to find out what your parents in-law are comfortable with. Nudge your partner to discuss this topic with his parents privately.
Does my Si Dian Jin set have to be sorely pure gold?
In the past, yellow gold was preferred by older, more traditional relatives and in-laws due to its value.
However, it is now common to see rose and white gold (9K, 14K or 18K) Si Dian Jin in more contemporary designs. These appeal to modern brides and in-laws who would prefer jewellery that is not just worn on the wedding day, but may be enjoyed every day after.
Do I have to get all 4 pieces of jewellery for my Si Dian Jin set?
No, you do not. While Si Dian Jin is practiced by most Chinese families, the practice may differ between dialects. Teochew families would prefer to gift a 4-piece jewellery set, whereas Cantonese and Hokkien families may focus on getting one or two pieces of jewellery.
Are pearls suitable for my Si Dian Jin set?
Pearls were described by a Chinese Emperor as a "touch above gold", worn by royalty and coveted by all. The meanings and symbolism associated with pearls make them perfect for wedding jewellery. In many cultures, pearls represent purity, innocence, love and fidelity.
The practice of gifting Si Jian Din has shifted to fit the needs of contemporary brides-to-be who prefer a modern touch. While gold is still popular amongst parents when gifting SDJ, contemporary designs featuring pearls and jade are on the rise.
Traditional vs Modern Si Dian Jin Sets
In the past, traditional Si Dian Jin is set in the purest form of 24K solid gold. A common design includes a pair of dragon and phoenix motif carved onto the jewellery as they are both powerful and prosperous creatures that epitomise marital bliss and fertility in ancient Chinese culture.
In recent years, brides prefer Si Dian Jin jewellery they can wear even after the wedding. Hence, Carrie K. designs Si Dian Jin that capture the essence of the wedding jewellery but are versatile enough for not just the wedding day but may be worn every day after.