These Are The Luckiest Charms, According To Jewelry Designers

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.

We started the Demystified series with one mission: to scratch at the dazzling surfaces of our accessory collections (metaphorically, of course!) and access the stories that live within their cultural cores. Throughout our exploration, we've discovered that many of the talismans we wear around our necks, from love knots to crescent moons, are products of a design history deeply rooted in ancient tradition. As decorative as they are deliberate, these tokens preserve centuries of promising qualities — and to carry one is to equip yourself with a sense of security, harnessing sartorial powers that seem particularly relevant in turbulent times.

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For this installation of Demystified, we asked nine jewelry designers about the symbols they turn to for strength, along with the personal anecdotes accompanying each piece. While some of these talented creatives revel in the nostalgia of amulets from eras passed, others look forward, channeling the force of microcosmic-inspired motifs to remind us all of the enchanting future that awaits the other side of this crisis. Before investing in your own dose of positive energy, whatever that may look like, take a moment to delight in the details behind the selection of special jewelry items ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

The Lotus Flower


"The lotus is a symbol of enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. According to Buddhism, every person has the potential to become perfect and enlightened, and it is just a matter of time until each human reaches the light," says Gina Nam, founder of Amy O Jewelry

"As a growing company, oftentimes we face many new obstacles; overcoming the challenges helps us become stronger and more grounded. The lotus represents a symbol of hope and a light at the end of the tunnel."
Amy O Jewelry Lotus Flower Stud Earrings$38.00 Buy

The Hamsa


"I grew up in Morocco and have been wearing both a hamsa and an evil eye since birth. I got them as gifts from my grandmother and have worn them every day since. Fun fact: I took them off one day and something 'bad' happened, so I now never take them off and have designed a whole collection with a more modern take on the symbols," says Aurate co-founder Bouchra Ezzahraoui.

"The hamsa, which stands for 5, is supposed to shield you from the bad with its hand — a protective sign bringing its owner happiness, luck, health and good fortune."
 
Aurate Geometric Hamsa Bracelet$80.00 Buy

The Holy Cannoli Charm


"On my mom's birthday, I love to share a cake in her memory, or to have an ice cream sundae like she would have loved. I don't particularly have a sweet tooth, but she did, and sweets are so, well, sweet, and communal, and full of joy. Our Holy Cannoli charm, short for holy moly that's a tiny cannoli! is about turning up with joy to life's party," says Leigh Plessner, creative director of Catbird.

"One of my favorite things that I can't wait to do again is to walk around the Brooklyn neighborhood and stop for a mini cannoli at Fortunato's, but also even though I usually eschew them, I'm so excited to go to a party! Any party! I'll be the one against the wall, fiddling with her gold, pearl-stuffed Holy Cannoli."
Catbird Holy Cannoli Charm$118.00 Buy
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The Solar Charm


“I come from Singapore, where East meets West, old meets new, and remnants of tradition in a cosmopolitan city remind us of senses long forgotten. It’s common to have keepsakes imbued with positive energy, capable of bringing luck and fortune or even punishing enemies. I wanted to translate these fascinating ancient beliefs into our Charmers collection," says Lynette Ong, founder and creative director of Edge of Ember.

“My favorite is our Solar Necklace. I am a huge Feng Shui enthusiast and the mother of pearl symbolizes wealth and good luck. The microcosmic galaxy of sun, star, and a moon also symbolizes dreams and aspirations for the future. I created this necklace when living in Barcelona, planning to move back to London with my family, and it always brings such positive thoughts and feelings when I am wearing it.”

 
Edge of Ember Solar Charm Necklace$175.00 Buy

The Evil Eye


"I feel that the evil eye is a great symbol of protection from anyone who doesn't have good intentions towards you. When worn as a piece of jewelry, it will bring the wearer good luck," says Tai Jewelry founder Tai Rittichai.

"I love to create evil eye jewelry that is feminine and fits my delicate and whimsical aesthetic, incorporating the style of the Tai brand with the timelessness of the symbol." 

Tai Evil Eye Pendant Necklace$95.00 Buy

The Ursa Amulet


"I wear a collection of charms, all with a form of meaning; love, luck, safe travels, protection, and a helping hand. They are an assortment of old and new," says Claire Hammon, founder and creative director of Meadowlark.

"The Ursa is a special medallion that we designed as a compass to guide you back to yourself. Especially now, these kinds of symbols feel even more important while we are all disconnected through isolation."
Meadowlark Ursa Signet Ring$185.00 Buy

The Khartoum Silhouette


"The symbol I turn to for luck and groundedness is the silhouette of Khartoum, Sudan's capital. Inspired by the oversized horns of cattle kept as stores of value in Sudan, the silhouette became the basis of my work as a designer and my mission as an artist; to use the conventions of luxury to proclaim the value of Black life and culture," says Jameel Mohammed, founder of Khiry.

"The symbol is now the seal for my company, an Afrofuturist luxury brand, and inspired the first piece I designed for the company: the Khartoum Bangle Nude. It keeps me connected to that mission, and the scale of impact I want to make on the world."

Khiry Khartoum Bangle Nude$465.00 Buy

The Aegean Fish


"In some cultures fish symbolize good luck, prosperity, and positivity. As a Pisces I have always loved fish charms," says Pamela Love, founder of her namesake jewelry label.

"I wear my gold Aegean pendant every day."

Pamela Love Aegean Pendant$210.00 Buy
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The Blesslev Amulet


"Since the beginning of my jewelry making days, I have considered all of my pieces to be personal talismans. Each symbol and mineral I adorn myself brings me something special that I’m in need of, whether it's a bird for freedom, a shark tooth for protection, or crystals for healing," says Jacquie Aiche, founder of the fine jewelry label by the same name.

"The Blesslev amulet will always be my one true love, because of the energy it holds. It is inspired by the work of Rabbi Nachman, who believed that if you were positive, you would spread positivity. And I feel that right now, we need this energy more than ever."
Jacquie Aiche Stingray Braided Silk Blesslev$225.00 Buy
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