Dragon and Phoenix Bangles

In accordance to Chinese traditions, a bride is supposed to receive a pair of 24k gold dragon and phoenix bangles, which symbolizes eternal love, as a gift from the parents, in-laws, and other close relatives on her wedding day. So in lieu of my wedding next year, my mom wanted to buy me a pair during her visit to NYC last week.

Pair of Dragon and Phoenix Bangles

I originally told my mom that I didn’t want the bracelets because:

1. They’re old fashioned.
2. My wrists are too small to fit them.
3. I’ll never wear them after my wedding.
4. With gold at an all time high approximately $1,200 per ounce, a pair of bracelets costs about $2k.
5. Therefore, they’re a waste of money.

My mom, however, argued that:
1. It’s tradition.
2. Smaller wrists would allow me to wear more bangles.
3. They have sentimental value and they are heirlooms to pass onto future generations.
4. The bangles could be viewed as an investment to be sold in the future for a potential profit.
5. Therefore, they’re not a waste of money.

Neither my mom nor I could win on the points in regards to the aesthetics of the bangles since it’s a matter of opinion, but we did enter into an intense debate about the monetary and investment value of the gold bangles. jigg mentioned that buying gold bangles is not like investing in gold because if the bangles are heirlooms, they should never be sold; thus, I wouldn’t realize any profit. Second, I would lose out in paying for labor cost – for someone to sculpt the raw gold into jewelry when I buy and (if I were to sell) melt the jewelry into coin or bullion form when I sell (because I wouldn’t receive maximum value for the gold unless it’s in “commodity” form).

After visiting about five jewelry stores in Chinatown and trying on at least 20 pairs, I would say that I have grown to like them…I don’t even think they’re old fashion anymore. However, at approximately $2,000 a pair, the bangles were just not worth it. I asked my mom to wait on the purchase since the wedding isn’t until next year.

In the mean time, if she still insists on buying me gold, I’m trying to convince her to buy me a gold bullion instead – it’s so much more badass!

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One Response to “Dragon and Phoenix Bangles”

  1. Hendrik October 16, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    Hmmm… OK, thank you mrs. Jigg, I deeply appreciate your blogpost on this subject.

    It is probably not too long before I will marry a Chinese lady who lives in Guangdong. She is wonderful and from a very good family.

    To be honest… I admit I am madly in love and I’ve never even met her yet. Didn’t think this kind of state was possible just a month ago. I guess Chinese culture – I think in its best form – is quickly rubbing off on me!

    Now she is emailing me that her family are preparing a pair of dragon-phoenix bangles: “Honey, my family is going to prepare a pair of dragon-phoenix bangles for us to wear in our wedding, it is Chinese tradition, which represent eternal love. Honey, do you prefer that our dragon-phoenix bangles will be jade or gold?”

    1. What do you think I should consider when choosing my response in a way that I consider all the consequences?

    2. Would you please also include the possibility of dragon-phoenix rings as mentioned here: http://www.chinaculture.org/chineseway/2008-08/24/content_142944.htm

    Thank you so much for your careful consideration,
    Hendrik Karssiens

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