Coming from simple beliefs or old legends, the symbols of luck are numerous. Every culture, every 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 composed of ethical and responsible jewelry, we are taking you on a short 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 is said to bring good luck and fortune.
According to a Roman legend, Emperor Nero wanted his horses to be equipped with gold shoes to display his great wealth. But it happened that these came loose from the hooves and were lost along the paths. The farmer who discovered it would then be very lucky. A real boon for his fortune!
Another myth, common to several cultures, praises mystical powers to the material itself. The metal would 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 on brooms rather than on horses.
The Greek Matiasma eye, lucky and protective symbol
Straight from ancient Greece, the small blue amulet in the shape of an eye is known by the Greek name Matiasma. But you may also hear about it with its Turkish name Nazar Boncuk.
According to belief, it protects against negative energies. When someone is jealous, they would bring the evil eye to the person they are so envied. To counter the curse, the blue-eyed symbol 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 ring 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.
Legend says that if the eye breaks, it is because it has repelled evil. It is then necessary to replace it so as not to find yourself vulnerable to a new threat.
The four-leaf clover, a must-have among the symbols that bring luck
What if we took a trip to Ireland?
The third auspicious element is none other than the famous four-leaf clover. There is no doubt that 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 (one leaflet for the Father, one for the Son and the last for the Holy Spirit). From then on, the small plant became one of the emblems of Ireland. For believers, the trio of leaves represented faith, hope and love. When a fourth appeared, it was a symbol of luck.
The Celts saw in them mystical powers protecting them from evil forces.
Depending on beliefs, other stories are told about this lucky charm.
Eve is said to have taken a four-leaf clover before being banished from the Garden of Eden. It would therefore be a piece of paradise that would lie dormant in each of them.
Another legend from the Middle Ages claims that it would allow one to see fairies and 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 be careful, to consider it a lucky charm, you must not get the variety wrong. It must be a white clover. Commonly composed of three leaves, after a fortuitous mutation, it was endowed with one (or more) additional leaflets. To avoid confusion with another herb, you can 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 carefully between two pages of your favorite book. Who knows... Perhaps the legends are true.
The beetle, a little creature for some, a lucky charm for others
While to 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. In fact, it rolls animal excrement into the earth to lay its eggs. Once they hatch, the larvae directly find something to feed on. From a decomposing substance life is born! Looks like the beetles know about upcycling.
It's not very surprising that in Egyptian culture, the little insect is a symbol of rebirth...
Revered by the pharaohs, the scarab was associated with Khepri, Egyptian god of the rising sun, and for them represented eternal life. They engraved it on talismans which they placed at the level of the mummies' hearts, hoping to bring the deceased back to life.
Straight from Egyptian culture, this lucky charm crosses borders and is included in our Chance collection, just like the clover and the Matiasma eye.
A brief overview of other symbols of luck 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 symbols with happy omens.
The little God beast, as it is commonly nicknamed, would bring a divine message and be the sign that a beautiful day is to come.
Who has ever sung the nursery rhyme:
“Ladybug, lady, goddamn beast...Ladybug, lady, fly to the heavens”?
The lucky penny
In the United Kingdom, finding a coin on the ground would bring good luck as long as it was face up. Whoever picks it up is free to keep it in their wallet or throw it into a wishing fountain to see their wish come true.
The rabbit's foot
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 false paw which will act as a charm.
Well known in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, the hand of Fatma (also called khomsa or khamsa) represents the hand of God. Protection and happiness would be its magical powers.
Who has never heard the myth that digging in the ground at the foot of a rainbow will reveal 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 a spectacle that will make you smile
Multiple powers are associated with acorns: fertility, health, wisdom, prosperity... The oak fruit is a legendary good luck charm in Great Britain and Scandinavian countries.
In Asian countries, if you see an elephant outside your door, it is said to be a sign of future fortune. It is therefore very common to see 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, Maneki Neko is considered a real good luck charm. Depending on the raised paw and the color of the cat, the areas affected by luck would be different.
Lucky charm or bad luck charm: some are not unanimous
It happens that certain objects or concepts are linked to strong beliefs, positive for some, negative for others.
So, Friday the 13th is debated. Does it bring luck or bad luck?
The origins of this superstition are not proven, but one hypothesis comes from religion. Friday would correspond to the day of Jesus' death. As for the 13th, 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, such as in Nordic mythology featuring Odin and his warriors.
And yet, many people seem to want 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 greatly feared? Its pronunciation being close to the word death, it is banned from their daily lives. Some do everything to avoid it. On the other hand, the 8 would bring luck. Little anecdote in passing… 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.
Does luck exist or not?
We believe it or we don't believe it. Never mind. 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 kept carefully, because you never know, maybe it really brings us luck. A number that we like to see displayed on the phone's 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 that far from us.
Whether you are sensitive to lucky charms or you simply want to treat yourself to a pretty eco-responsible piece of 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, every time you wear it, how exceptional and lucky you are.