Hamsa: A Brief History of Hand Shaped Jewelry


Have you noticed a rise in the popularity of jewelry featuring hand shaped symbols? You might be surprised to learn that the symbol, called a Hamsa, has actually been around for thousands of years. Perhaps one of the most universally recognized symbols, it has been embraced across several cultures. Remarkably, each culture associates the Hamsa with protective properties. But where did it originate and – more importantly – what happens when your favorite Italian jewelry designer handcrafts an 18kt rose gold Hamsa hand bracelet in the heart of Italy?

Hamsa jewelry dates back to ancient Mesopotamia and has connections with the Hand-of-Venus as well as the Hand-of-Mary and Buddha’s spiritual hand gestures, called mudras. Through the various associations, it has been said to protect women against negative energies, such as the evil eye. In this regard, the Hamsa is believed to increase fertility and promote healthy pregnancies.

Ancient Egyptians may have ties to the earliest use of the symbol. The Mano Pantea is an amulet known as the Two Fingers. It is said that one finger belongs to Isis and the other to Osiris. Their son, Horus, represented by the thumb, completes the family unit. Together, these elements create a symbol believed to carry the same protective properties of caring parents to the bearer.

According to the Jewish Gift Place, the Hamsa became a very popular symbol in Middle Eastern countries and saw a widespread adoption by the Islamic faith. Eventually, the Hamsa became a popular symbol in Jewish culture, too. Many believe the symbol became a reminder to use all five senses to praise God. Today, it is used by activists for peace in the Middle East to highlight the similarities of Judaism and Islam. Because it predates most modern religions, it also helps remind both sides of the origins of the religions.

Breaking all bounds of religion, the Hamsa hand is also recognized by Christians to bring good fortune to those who wear it. Often referred to as the hand of Mary, this symbol was so popular in Spain at the end of the Islamic rule that the Catholic Emperor, Charles V, decided to ban it in 1526.

The Hamsa icon has evolved to become regarded as a sacred and respected symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. In general, it is believed to bring happiness, luck, health and good fortune. Some believe that depicting the hand with spread fingers will help ward off evil, whereas, creating the symbol with closed fingers will attract good luck.

Hamsa bracelets are said to help people who find themselves at a crossroads in life and gifting a hand shaped bracelet is a gesture believed to protect friends and loved ones from negative energy; there are many reasons Hamsa hand jewelry continues to grow in popularity. We believe that any symbol promoting positive thoughts and energy deserves a place on the finest jewelry in the world!

a rose gold Hamsa hand bracelet by ZYDO Italian Jewelry

We were inspired by this charming symbol, so we asked our world-class Italian jewelry designers to incorporate the Hamsa in an original piece. The result was an elegant, handcrafted, 18kt rose gold Hamsa hand bracelet. It features 0.13ct of round diamonds in a delicate hand setting and is also available in white and yellow gold by special request.

May it bring you an your loved ones good fortune, great luck and excellent style!


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