When it comes to gems the hidden ones are often stories, not stones. Welcome to Demystified, where we look beyond the jewelry box, past our closets, and into the depths of our most cherished possessions to reveal their cross-cultural significance.
Whether you're heading off to a job interview or casting your vote in the Democratic primaries, it's always handy to have a little bit of good fortune on your side. But for instances where anxiously crossed appendages or a morning bowl of sugar (aka: Lucky Charms) just won't cut it, there are other ways to summon the universe's positive cosmic vibes that don't require adding milk. So with St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, get a head start on the festivities with one of the most powerful amulets in Celtic tradition: the horseshoe.
"My charm necklace always involves a horseshoe. Whether plain, jeweled or engraved I don't feel completely prepared for the day unless I have one on," says Etsy vendor Eden Daniels. Her business, The Eden Collective, is like a little shop of heirlooms where the horseshoe talisman is in high demand. This is not because of an overwhelming Hermès-inspired preference for all things equestrian, but because the symbol has long been sought after as a good luck charm. With ancient Roman and Celtic origins, the horseshoe became known as a protective force because it was traditionally made from iron. "The Celts considered iron to be the blood of the earth and buried it under the doorstep to protect the home. That’s a folk tradition still followed today," Daniels explains. It's the same reason why Celtic brides would sew tiny horseshoes into the hems of their wedding dresses. So it's not surprising that the desire to own one of these mystical objects evolved into the demand for something a little more wearable. We'd much rather put on a dainty pendant, for example, than carry around an actual metal horseshoe.
The fashion world caught on quickly to this secret of the stables, with brands like Gucci and Miu Miu incorporating the motif into everything from belt buckles to handbag designs. It's also a distinctive shape for the Salvatore Ferragamo ever since the designer's daughter famously used a backward horseshoe to create the Gancini logo in 1969. The brand's current creative director, Paul Andrew, recently revisited the trademark in a new digital campaign and collection, defining the Gancini emblem as: "a magnificent symbol that has an authentic link with the history of Ferragamo" and one that expresses the company's values of legacy, tenacity, and togetherness.
Despite the humble symbol's not-so-humble ties to luxury, its good fortune certainly does not discriminate. Just look at logos from more accessible brands like Dickies and True Religion for proof. So no matter how you decide to wear your horseshoe (correct orientation of the symbol is still up for debate), get lucky by shopping our selection of jewelry, accessories, and more featuring the hoof-like shape.
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