Evil Eye Jewelry: The Legend And Folklore

Whether you believe in the powers of the evil eye and want to ensure you have its protection or just enjoy the folklore behind it and appreciate a good luck charm, the symbol of the evil eye is a statement piece that catches attention. The evil eye talisman may protect you from negative forces, give you something positive to help bring good vibes to your life, or it can simply be a fun piece to add to your collection. Read on to learn more about the fascinating history of the evil eye and different jewelry designs with this stunning and unique amulet.

Every society has its own belief systems – some even cross over with each other and blend into popular culture, living on as a legend rather than a strict belief. This is the case with the symbol of the “evil eye,” so called because it is believed to actually protect against curses of the same name. The evil eye symbol appears in jewelry pieces in a variety of different designs, making it a ubiquitous talisman that is recognizable by many.

 

This post contains a good bit of the fascinating history and folklore behind the evil eye, which we think you will enjoy as you contemplate buying a piece of jewelry depicting the symbol. You can skip ahead if you’d rather jump straight to examples of the wonderful and myriad designs of evil eye jewelry.

In legends across Europe and the Middle East, the evil eye is a curse that is believed to be cast be a wicked stare, typically when the target of the curse isn’t looking. The glare of the evil eye is thought to cause misfortune, bad luck, or personal harm in some cultures. It is said that the evil eye can even be cast unintentionally simply by looking at a person in the wrong way while wishing ill will towards them.

So, how does one protect themselves from the look of the evil eye? The evil eye amulet, called the nazar in Arabic (meaning “vision”), matiasma in Greek, the mal de ojo in Spanish, and the mauvais œil in French, is what you would seek out to give you protection against this malevolent glare.

Whether you believe in the powers of the evil eye and want to ensure you have its protection or just enjoy the folklore behind it and appreciate a good luck charm, the symbol of the evil eye is a statement piece that catches attention. The evil eye talisman may protect you from negative forces, give you something positive to help bring good vibes to your life, or it can simply be a fun piece to add to your collection. Read on to learn more about the fascinating history of the evil eye and different jewelry designs with this stunning and unique amulet.

Origins and History

Historians have been able to trace the evil eye all the back to Classical antiquity. Many Greek and Roman texts make mention of the evil eye, including those written by the most well known historians and philosophers of the time, such as Plato and Plutarch. One book, Envy and the Greeks, written by historian Peter Walcot, described more than 100 works in Classical antiquity that mention the evil eye.

The Evil Eye Across the World

Charms and protections for the evil eye can be found in all corners of the world. One of the more traditional places you’ll find the evil eye talisman is in Greek culture, but you’ll be intrigued to find that it has meaning in many more places, some of which you might not guess.

 

The stories and symbolism behind the evil may vary slightly from place to place, but they all share the same concept that it protects against misfortune. Amulets depicting some version of the evil eye can be found everywhere from Portugal and Brazil to Morocco and Spain to Greece and Turkey – and even in Western Asia.

Cultural Significance

In the cultural folklore of some countries, there is, or was at one time, a shared sense of unease about being given the evil eye. The symbol appears regularly, being placed in homes and worn on a daily basis to keep bad luck at bay. In some cases, the evil eye talisman is a holdover from traditions long ago that still persists in a symbolic and less superstitious way.

In traditional Mexican and Central American culture, for example, some believed that “weaker” individuals (those with less physical or mental strength) were particularly susceptible, like the young and elderly. The person giving the evil eye to someone would drain the object of their stare of power, even affecting their soul. Traditional treatment for the resulting “afflictions” would be a visit from the local curandero, or shaman, who in old folklore would administer raw egg to remove the negative influence.

Religious Interpretations

In some cases, the evil eye takes on a religious significance. The concept of the evil eye is expressed frequently in Jewish rabbinic literature. Its writers describe the evil eye as being worse than having an evil heart of a bad friend – it is the worst possible curse one could imagine, and the worst possible thing one could do to another.

Islamic religious texts also contain allusion to a belief in the evil eye. The Prophet Muhammad is quoted in the Islamic doctrine as saying that the evil eye has undeniable influence on people. The use of an evil eye protective amulet is not written in the Islamic texts, but folk religious beliefs developed around wearing the evil eye to ward it off.

 

A Long-Standing, Prolific Legend

Why is the evil eye such a pervasive myth? Perhaps it is because of the literal physical interpretation of the seeing eye as well as the metaphorical symbolism of eyes in a poetic sense. The eyes are the window to the brain, from an anatomical perspective; and at the same time, they are the window to the soul. These concepts are universal and may help explain why the evil eye appears in so many different cultures.

 

The Meaning Behind Blue Eyes

Much of the time, when you see an evil eye amulet, the color of the eye is blue. In the Aegean region (Turkey and Greece), light colored eyes are rare compared to darker eyes. There and in other regions where light eyes are not found often, some people believe that people who have green or blue eyes would curse people simply because of their eye color (whether they meant to or not.) This is why you most often find blue-colored evil eye amulets.

 

Those with light-colored eyes need not take offense at this historical carryover from ancient beliefs. The tradition still stands, but the belief that someone with green or blue eyes carries bad luck is less persistent. In fact, modern evil eye jewelry comes in many different colors.

 

Now that you have a thorough understanding of how the evil eye symbol came to be, let’s take a look at the different manifestations the symbol has taken on. The variety of designs available make for some brilliant and beautiful jewelry pieces.

 

Evil Eye Jewelry Designs

Throughout the ages, the image of the evil eye or nazar talisman has evolved into different forms, each with its own unique beauty. As we mentioned earlier, the traditional color of the evil eye is blue. Yet this doesn’t hold back the diversity of shapes and materials that come together to form the variety of designs that evil eye amulets can be found in.

 

Round Glass Eyes

Perhaps one of the oldest styles of the evil eye talisman is a round glass eye with a large blue exterior iris and a smaller interior with a small white outline around a black pupil. The iris might be a darker or lighter color but it’s typically always some shade of blue. However, to shake things up for modern fashionistas, they can sometimes be found in other colors as well.

 

In this design, sometimes the glass beads are perfectly round and other times they might be elegantly imperfect, which gives them an edgy and handmade look. We think both capture the essence of the evil eye from ancient times and have a folklorish charm.

 

A popular choice of jewelry for this evil eye design is a strand of small evil eye beads on a delicate bracelet. You can’t wear too many evil eyes when you’re trying to keep bad luck away! Check out our amazing collection of sterling silver evil eye bracelets – like this 7.25” bracelet with blue eyes or our 7.75” bracelet in blue, red, or multicolor. We also have an adjustable bracelet with more widely spaces evil eyes in both silver and gold metal and a variety of colors!

Elegant Almond Shapes

The almond-shaped version of evil eye talismans are more instantly recognizable as a physical eye and have somewhat of an exotic look to them. Usually these eyes are studded with gemstones on the almond-shaped outline as well as the iris and pupil. It might even be embedded in a circle that’s also made with gemstones.

 

Our collection features a number of these elegant almond shapes that are sure to make people take a second look. Choose from a dainty eye outlined in blue with a matching bracelet, or a beautiful blue eye surrounded by a brilliant circle of cubic zirconia.

 

If you like both the glass bead design and gem-encrusted version, we have a piece we know that you’ll love. Our evil eye pendant with cubic zirconia has the almond-shaped, sparkly exterior outline with a blue evil eye bead in the center. The best of both worlds!

Abstract Circles of Gemstones

Another popular design for the nazar talisman is a more abstract representation of the evil eye. Instead of a literal eye shape, this design consists of multiple circles of gemstones in alternating colors to give the semblance of an eye. Though it’s less obvious in terms of looking like an actual eye, many people will recognize it from the image’s popularity.

Our collection includes two sweet little pieces that will bring elegance as well as positive energy to your life. Our sterling silver circular evil eye necklace features cubic zirconia in blue and white. You might also consider our similar piece which features the same evil eye design but also includes a double necklace with the hamsa symbol (read on to hear more about the hamsa!)

Eye Set in a Hamsa Design

It’s not uncommon to see the evil eye paired with a hamsa symbol, a palm-shaped amulet that looks like an open right hand. It is popular in the Middle East and North Africa and is closely tied to the Islamic and Jewish religions. Like the evil eye amulet or nazar, it symbolizes protection from the evil eye and is not only worn in jewelry but also hung up around the home.

We already mentioned our layered necklace featuring both the evil eye and the hamsa. We also think you’ll love our yellow silver evil eye and hamsa pendant featuring an almond-shaped blue nazar bead embedded in a hamsa with cubic zirconia.

A Talisman Fit for All

The evil eye certainly has a strong influence on many people around the world and a fascinating history rooted in diverse religions and cultures. Regardless of whether you believe in the power of the evil eye or not, the nazar talisman makes a unique and stunning addition to any jewelry collection.

Even if you think it’s just superstition, there’s something about the iconic image of the eye that makes the wearer feel powerful. It’s one of those statement pieces that will attract positive energy no matter which design you go with. You may be surprised to find you form a special attachment to your evil eye bracelet or necklace!

If you’re looking to add some evil eye jewelry to your collection for protection or fashion, Lavari has a variety of designs that will suit your style. In this article, we showcased several pieces from our collection that will keep you safe from harm and also add a “wow” factor to your style. We’ve listed our evil eye jewelry from this post in the section below. In the spirit of the nazar, we wish you much luck and good fortune in your hunt for your newest pendant, bracelet or earring set!

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