Coming from simple beliefs or old legends, the symbols of luck are numerous. Each culture, each country, has its lucky charm whose origins are sometimes a little vague. Some are very popular, others less so. On the occasion of Friday the 13th and the release of our Chance collection , always made up of ethical and responsible jewellery, we take you on a brief overview of the different representations of happy omens .
The horseshoe, a symbol of luck and wealth along the paths
The origins of this superstition are diverse.
Finding a horseshoe by chance on the road would bring luck and fortune.
According to a Roman legend, Emperor Nero wanted his horses to be fitted with gold shoes to display his great wealth. But it happened that these fell off the hooves and were lost along the paths. The peasant who would discover it would then be very lucky. A real bargain for his fortune!
Another myth, common to several cultures, would praise mystical powers to the material itself. The metal is said to have such a powerful energy that some would want to take advantage of it, while others would be afraid of it, like witches who preferred to travel by broom rather than on horseback.
The Greek eye Matiasma, a lucky and protective symbol
Straight from ancient Greece, the little blue eye-shaped amulet is known by the Greek name Matiasma. But you may also hear about it with its Turkish name Nazar Boncuk.
According to belief, it would protect against negative energies. When someone is jealous, he would bring the evil eye to the much envied person. To counter the curse, the symbol with the blue gaze would act as preventive protection.
Those who wish to ward off the evil eye usually hang it above their front door, in their car, at their workplace, on their key chain or wear it around their neck as a pendant. If you go to Athens, there is a good chance that you will see them everywhere. You will easily recognize it by its 4 concentric circles: navy blue, white, sky blue and black.
The legend says that if the eye breaks, it has repelled evil. It is then necessary to replace it so as not to be vulnerable to a new threat.
The four-leaf clover, a must-have among the symbols that bring good luck
And if we were going to take a tour on the side of Ireland?
The third auspicious element is none other than the famous four-leaf clover. No doubt you have already heard of it as a symbol of supreme luck!
The story goes that Saint Patrick, wanting to evangelize the pagans, used a three leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity (a leaflet for the Father, one for the Son and the last for the Holy Spirit). From then on, the little plant became one of the emblems of Ireland. For believers, the trio of leaves represented faith, hope and love. When a fourth came to appear, it was then a symbol of luck.
The Celts saw in them mystical powers protecting them from the forces of evil.
According to beliefs, other stories are told about this lucky charm.
Eve is said to have carried off a four-leaf clover before being banished from the Garden of Eden. It would therefore be a piece of paradise that would slumber in each of them.
Another legend from the Middle Ages claims that it would allow fairies to be seen and to identify evil spirits and witches disguised as mere mortals.
Did you know that the odds of finding a four-leaf clover are 1 in 10,000? Its rarity works in its favor as a symbol of luck. But beware, to consider it a lucky charm, you must not get the wrong variety. It must be a white clover. Commonly composed of three leaves, after a fortuitous mutation, it was endowed with one (or more) additional leaflet. To avoid confusion with another herb, you will be able to recognize the real lucky plant by its fourth leaf, which is smaller than the other three.
If you find one during a walk, keep it preciously between two pages of your favorite book. Who knows... The legends may be telling the truth.
The beetle, a small beast for some, a lucky charm for others
While for some the beetle is a simple little beast, it is a sacred insect in other cultures.
It is by recycling matter that the beetle can create new life. Indeed, it rolls the excrement of animals in the ground to lay its eggs there. Once these hatch, the larvae find food there directly. From a decomposing substance comes life! Looks like beetles know about upcycling.
No wonder that in Egyptian culture, the little insect is a symbol of rebirth...
Venerated by the pharaohs, the scarab was associated with Khepri, the Egyptian god of the rising sun, and represented for them eternal life. They engraved it on talismans which they placed at the level of the hearts of mummies, hoping to bring the dead back to life.
Straight from Egyptian culture, this lucky charm crosses borders and is part of our Chance collection, just like the clover and the Matiasma eye.
A brief overview of other lucky symbols around the world
Because we know that you are curious and because there are still many lucky objects in the world, here is a selection of 8 other lucky omen symbols.
The little beast to good God, as it is commonly nicknamed, would bring a divine message and would be the sign that a beautiful day is coming.
Who has already sung the nursery rhyme:
“Ladybug, ladybug, damn it...Ladybug, ladybug, fly to the skies”?
The lucky penny
In the UK, finding a coin on the ground would bring good luck provided it was face up. Anyone who picks it up is free to keep it in their wallet or throw it into a wishing fountain to see their wish come true.
According to hoodoo magic, the rabbit's foot would ward off evil spells. Fortunately, far from the legends, it is now possible to obtain a fake paw that will act as a lucky charm.
Well known in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, the hand of Fatima (also called khomsa or khamsa) would represent the hand of God. Protection and happiness would be his magical powers.
Who has never heard the myth according to which digging the earth at the foot of a rainbow will make you discover a treasure? Having never found its base, it is impossible to tell you if the legend is true... But what is certain is that contemplating its colors guarantees you a show that will make you smile
Multiple powers are associated with acorns: fertility, health, wisdom, prosperity... The fruit of the oak tree is a legendary lucky charm in Great Britain and in Scandinavian countries.
In Asian countries, if you see an elephant outside your door, it would be a sign of good fortune to come. It is therefore very common to observe a statuette of the pachyderm at the entrance to stores, particularly in India and Thailand.
The Maneki Neko
Do you know the cat that seems to greet you? In Japan, the Maneki Neko is considered a real lucky charm. Depending on the raised paw and the color of the cat, the areas affected by luck would be different.
Lucky or unlucky charms: some are not unanimous
It happens that certain objects or concepts are attached to strong positive beliefs for some, negative for others.
Thus, Friday the 13th is debated. Is it lucky or unlucky?
The origins of this superstition are not proven, but one of the hypotheses would come from religion. Friday would correspond to the day of the death of Jesus. As for the 13, it would be associated with Judas, the traitor and the thirteenth participant in the Last Supper.
We can also find similarities of this dinner in other religions, as in Nordic mythology featuring Odin and his warriors.
And yet, there are many who seem to wish to reverse the belief and make this day a lucky date.
To continue the momentum of numbers, do you know that in China the number 4 is highly feared? His pronunciation approaching the word death, he is banished from their daily lives. Some do everything to avoid it. On the other hand, the 8 would bring luck. A little anecdote by the way… A telephone number was sold at auction for more than 2.25 million yuan, or almost €300,000. Do you know what that number was? It ended with five 8s.
Luck, does it exist or not?
Either you believe it or you don't. No matter. The question is not really there. The important thing is to imagine it possible.
We all have a little thing that makes us feel good. An object carefully preserved, because you never know, maybe it really brings us luck. A number that we like to see displayed on the phone time. A feather seen by chance and seeming to send us a benevolent sign...
Luck symbols are perhaps just an extension of our imagination, allowing us to materialize our ability to create our own happiness. These objects are perhaps there to reassure us and remind us that, yes, luck is not so far from us.
Whether you are sensitive to lucky charms or simply want to treat yourself to a pretty piece of eco-responsible jewelry made in France, we invite you to discover our Chance capsule. We hope that you will find your lucky charm among our creations and that this jewel will remind you, each time you wear it, how exceptional and lucky you are.