e are in a golden era of lucky charms. Waves of talismanic designs have swept into fashion over the last several years including zodiacs, evil eyes, hearts and crosses.
Now horseshoes have ridden into the stable of styles. A symbol of good luck with roots going back centuries, horseshoes are perhaps most closely associated with the American west but the motif also aligns with many other horse-loving cultures around the world. “It is said that horseshoes were considered magical objects capable of warding off evil spirits and bringing good luck,” explains designer Marie Lichtenberg. “This belief originates from a time when iron was rare and valuable, and its crescent shape was associated with the moon, a symbol of protection and good fortune.”
It is said that horseshoes were considered magical objects capable of warding off evil spirits and bringing good luckMarie Litchtenberg
How you wear a horseshoe jewel depends on the message you would like to send. When the horseshoe’s ends are up, some believe it is collecting good luck or storing it. If the ends are turned down, some people believe it is pouring out good luck upon all.
Horseshoes align with a sub-trend of western looks appearing on the big screen. Wes Anderson’s divine dramady Asteroid City features several cowboys and cowboy songs. Barbie and Ken are outfitted in western attire in some scenes of Barbie. And then there is Sofia Coppola’s forthcoming Priscilla. At the end of the teaser trailer it shows a copy of the horseshoe engagement ring Priscilla Presley received from Elvis in 1967. The singer sported one too.
Find out about the inspiration and styles of some of the most glamorous horseshoe jewels we have ever seen by COUTURE designers FUTURE FORTUNE, HARWELL GODFREY, MARIE LICHTENBERG, SELIM MOUZANNAR and SINGLE STONE.
Just about everything in French jewelry designer Marie Lichtenberg’s collection is a lucky charm of one kind or another. Among the eye of protection, clovers, rainbows, mushrooms and doves there is just one horseshoe and it’s a doozy. “Our horseshoe ring is a tribute and a nod to this powerful symbol of American folklore, to the luck we encountered two years in a row in Las Vegas,” explains Marie.
From overhead, the giant jewel looks like a delicate vintage ring with a row of specially cut sapphires and a row of round diamonds ending in a line of square shape diamonds. From the side the heft of the piece is revealed in the gadrooned gold detail.
The French-Lebanese designer Selim Mouzannar who operates out of Beirut and Paris, obviously isn’t thinking of cowboy culture when he makes his magnificent horseshoes. He has the Ottoman stables of Beirut on his mind. He transforms those ideas through his vintage lens of the old jewelry souk and comes up with total treasure.
Selim’s horseshoes are deluxe pendants in a variety of sizes encrusted with gems. And when it comes to the question of wearing them up or down, he gives you both options.
“As I’ve become older, I see myself becoming more connected to symbols that provide me with some sort of comfort,” explains Corina Madilian, Owner and Designer of Los Angeles based Single Stone. “The horseshoe is that for me. I named it Marilyn to honor my friend who provides me with guidance and intuition.”
The special oversized hand engraved horseshoe design conjures up tooled details on a pair of cowboy boots or a leather belt. And the large size of the pendant makes a wide-open country kind of statement.
“Horseshoe charms are the ultimate throwback,” explains designer Jenna Blake. “They evoke both a classic equestrian and western vibe from as far back as the mid 1800s. What I love best is ‘contemporizing’ them with modern color palettes, bringing together the best of both worlds-old and new.”
Jenna makes her horseshoe pendants in all shapes and sizes. Diamonds, turquoise and a rainbow of variously colored sapphires accent the jewels.
The Harwell Godfrey horseshoe jewels were inspired by designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey’s experience riding horses both English and Western styles while she was growing up in California. “I competed as a hunter jumper complete with the tall riding boots and velvet helmet, but loved going on chill trail rides in my western gear,” explains Lauren. “I think these horseshoes have a more decorative western vibe to them.”
Lauren’s Major Horseshoe Pendant would fit right in during a fancy hoe-down. Diamonds, lapis, amethyst and pink topaz decorate the piece engraved “Love + Luck” with heart shape motifs. Her Tiny Horseshoe jewels would be the perfect talisman to wear every day.
“I’ve had a lot of input on whether the shoe should be facing up or down,” says Lauren. “I like it down as it feels like a protection motif and I’m not worried about my luck running out. I’ve got enough to share.”
The delicate round diamond Future Fortune ring echoes the spirit of the Priscilla and Elvis engagement rings on a smaller scale.
“With its positive energy symbolizing good fortune, the Lucky Charm Horseshoe Ring becomes a treasured heirloom,” says Jessica Olds, founder and designer of Future Fortune. “This ring holds a special place in my heart as one of my favorite pieces from the collection, one that I wear every day.”
Founder and Editorial director of the online fine jewelry magazine The Adventurine, Marion Fasel is as well known for trend forecasting as her comprehensive knowledge of jewelry history. Her tenth book on 20th century jewelry design B is for Bvlgari: Celebrating 50 Years in America was published on December 16, 2022.