Horseshoe jewellery in history

There are a few pieces of jewellery that never go out of fashion: a string of pearls; a diamond bracelet; a plain gold chain…and a horseshoe pendant. The ancient superstitions attached to horseshoes have made them one of the most enduring images in history, while the versatile shape is perfectly suited to brooches, rings, necklaces and bracelets. Over the past 150 years horseshoe jewellery has been sported by everyone from the Prince of Wales, to the King of rock n’ roll, to the Queen of millennial style. Today, no jewellery collection is complete without at least one classic horseshoe-shaped piece.

Horseshoe Pendant: CDN$2,750 from Tiffany

Royal Horseshoe

The Royal seal of approval

In the 1870s, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) made his love of horseracing known by wearing a diamond-encrusted horseshoe tie pin at public appearances. This led to a plethora of similar pieces being made throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, as gentlemen (and women) rushed to emulate his style.

Horseshoe pins are now seen as one of the iconic designs of the late Victorian period and many examples are still available today in auction houses, museums and (of course) in the Royal Collection. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II is frequently spotted wearing horseshoe jewellery, including a stunning diamond, gold and silver brooch of intertwined horseshoes which she received in November 2014.

Horseshoe ring
Elvis Horseshoe ring

The King of style

From the moment he burst onto the music scene in 1956, Elvis was idolised for his good looks, his unique singing voice and his sense of fashion. While his personal style changed considerably during his lifetime, he never stopped wearing his beloved horseshoe rings.

Elvis Presley was obsessed with horseshoes. When he signed his first record deal, he bought a solid gold horseshoe ring as a symbol of his success, and on Valentine’s Day 1967, he presented his then-fiancée Priscilla with a white gold and diamond horseshoe ring of her own. When they were married later that year, Elvis made sure his wedding ring was engraved with a horseshoe pattern.

He even sang about his love of horseshoes in songs such as “Good Luck Charm and “I Got Lucky”. Today, you can spot an Elvis fanatic at ten paces by looking at their hands – the bigger the horseshoe ring, the bigger the fan.

Sarah Jessica
Sarah Jessica

Horseshoe couture

Sex and the City was one of the most popular TV shows of the late 90s and early 00s, making a style icon out of Carrie Bradshaw and the actress who played her, Sarah Jessica Parker. Fashion magazines would devote pages to Carrie’s latest look, and whatever she wore would be guaranteed to sell out within days.

Within the first two seasons of the show, Carrie was almost single-handedly responsible for the popularity of the name-plate necklace, the tutu, daytime sequins and Manolo Blahniks. And when she started wearing a horseshoe pendant at the start of season three, fashionistas took note.

Tiffany Horseshoe Pendant
Horseshoe Pendant
Present day

A design classic

Vintage fans still love Victorian-style horseshoes pins, while Elvis-style knuckledusters are beloved by rockabilly hipsters. But after almost 150 years in the spotlight, horseshoe jewellery has become a design classic. Tiffany chose the horseshoe pendant to commemorate the anniversary of their founding, while horseshoe rings and necklaces are regularly spotted on the likes of Scarlett Johansson (who also rocks a horseshoe tattoo), Kate Moss and Rihanna.

Whether you wear your horseshoe encrusted with diamonds, attached to a charm bracelet or on a delicate strand around your neck, you can’t go far wrong with a piece of horseshoe jewellery.