One of the most ancient and deeply symbolic designs in jewellery, the evil eye talisman now has as much of a place in people’s jewellery boxes (and homes) as ever. A striking motif that’s believed to ward off negative energy and protect those who wear it, evil eye jewellery is the ultimate blend of beauty and meaning. In this blog, we uncover the history of evil eye jewellery, what it means, and when you should wear it.
What Does the Evil Eye Mean?
The evil eye is a concept and a symbol that’s prevalent in many cultures and which has ancient roots. The evil eye refers to a malevolent ‘look’ or ‘stare’, which is believed to be capable of causing harm or misfortune to whoever it is turned upon. Particularly in ancient cultures, it was believed that a malicious look or envious gaze could bring about illness, bad luck, or even death. (If looks could kill…)
To counteract the perceived malevolence of the evil eye, people across cultures and for thousands of years have used talismans and amulets featuring the eye symbol. These protective charms are believed to deflect evil intentions and bad luck, and to offer safety and peace for the wearer. These protective evil eye symbols are widely found in jewellery, which can be worn close to offer the wearer a sense of security and of being shielded by benevolent forces. They are also commonly displayed in the home in many cultures, or just above one’s front door, to deflect negative energy or malignant forces away from the home.
What Is the History of the Evil Eye?
The history of the evil eye stretches back thousands of years and spans across various cultures and civilizations. The concept of the evil eye is deeply rooted in ancient folklore, superstitions, and beliefs in the power of malevolent glares and envy.
Evil eye lore is particularly prevalent in Mediterranean cultures to this day, and its origins can be traced to ancient civilisations including Egypt, Greece, Babylon, and Mesopotamia.
In Ancient Egypt, blue amulets in the shape of The Eye of Horus were buried with Pharaohs, and the revered symbol was painted on ships for safety at sea. The concept of the evil eye was referenced by Ancient Greek philosophers and writers, including Heliodorus and Plutarch. The Ancient Phoenicians (also known as Babylonians) wore strings of blue glass beads depicting the evil eye as necklaces. The earliest known versions of the evil eye talisman were carvings on alabaster, discovered from the site of ancient Mesopotamia. And to this day, the long-held Turkish tradition is upheld of presenting newborn children with an evil eye talisman for protection, guardianship, and good fortune.
The belief in the evil eye curse and the protective power of evil eye amulets evolved over time and spread across different regions and cultures. The motif found its way into various art forms, from pottery and textiles to jewellery and architecture. It became a pervasive and enduring symbol across cultures, representing protection, good luck, and the power to ward off evil spirits.
While there are differences according to different cultures, beliefs, and uses, the evil eye talisman is usually in the shape of the outline of an eye, or consists of an eye that is imprinted, bejewelled, or painted onto an ornament. The eye is most often depicted as blue, and this is for a couple of reasons.
It was once commonly believed that those with blue eyes were most powerful when it came to delivering the malicious look and negative energy associated with ‘giving the evil eye’ (no offence to all the blue-eyed babes – don’t blame us, Plutarch started it). Thus, a blue eye amulet deflects this negative energy best – think of it like the way the same poles on two magnets repel each other: like against like. Blue is also widely considered an auspicious colour for bringing peace and good fortune, making it the ideal hue for the protective evil eye amulet.
Why is Evil Eye Jewellery Worn?
You can wear evil eye jewellery for any number of reasons, whether it’s symbolic or simply a style choice. A gold evil eye necklace, evil eye charm, or an evil eye earring are all subtle pieces that can be worn every day and added to your signature, meaningful layers.
Evil eye jewellery is most commonly worn as a symbol of protection against negative energy, ill intentions, and envy. By repelling negativity, it’s also believed to attract positive vibes, and some people wear an evil eye necklace or charm to attract good fortune and well-being.
Some wear evil eye jewellery as a means of cultivating mindfulness and encouraging awareness of one’s own thoughts and actions. The simple act of putting on your evil eye earring or necklace at the start of the day can be a ritual to remind you to strive for good intentions and actions, and to generate positive energy.
For many people, the evil eye talisman is deeply and intrinsically linked to their culture or religion, and they will have a strong connection with its symbolism due to their upbringing and beliefs.
When to Wear Evil Eye Jewellery?
The short answer as to when you can wear evil eye jewellery is: any time you want. As a symbolic style that’s universally recognised, an evil eye charm is the perfect, poignant layer to add to your everyday jewellery and to wear close as a talisman of positivity and protection.
There are a few times when wearing evil eye jewellery can be particularly auspicious. If you are celebrating a new beginning such as a new job, study, growing your family, moving somewhere new, and so on, your evil eye necklace or earring can be a comforting symbol of protection and good luck. Likewise, if you’re travelling – either moving away or just going on a trip, your evil eye jewellery can be worn to help you feel safe and to ward off negative energy.
Many people also choose to wear their evil eye jewellery regularly during times of uncertainty or stress. When negative emotions are heightened, a wearable talisman of protection can provide a touchstone to help you feel reassured and to offer a sense of safety and support.
Evil eye jewellery is also a popular style to give as a gift. With its symbolism of protection, good fortune, positive energy and well-being, it’s a beautiful gift for any occasion but particularly for significant moments such as graduation, a key birthday, or the celebration of one of life’s milestones.
What Types of Evil Eye Jewellery Are There?
You can find beautiful and meaningful pieces of evil eye jewellery that suit your personal style, and that you can add seamlessly to your everyday look.
At Medley, our evil eye jewellery styles are modern and petite, still with all the meaning, so you can confidently wear them with any look and for any occasion. Pieces include:
Your evil eye jewellery piece can be worn alone for subtle symbolism, or added to your jewellery layers such as with multiple gold chains, or as part of a curated ear stack. If you’re a lover of personalised, meaningful jewellery, wear your evil eye piece alongside other symbolic jewellery such as letters, birthstones, or engravable jewellery.
Evil eye jewellery stands as a timeless guardian of protection, steeped in rich history and imbued with deep symbolism. Whether you wear it as a symbol of safety, good fortune and positivity, or simply as a beautiful style layered with meaning, an evil eye necklace, charm, or earring will be a timeless addition to your collection.