As a Good Luck Charm, Wishbone Jewelry Is Perfect for Grads, Brides


Of all the symbols used in jewelry, the wishbone is one of the simplest and most meaningful—a symbol of luck and the promise of good times to come.

Some people may associate the wishbone with Thanksgiving: Remember that age-old tradition of breaking the wishbone that you find in old Tom Turkey and hoping that your strength could give you good luck all year long?

“Folklore has it if two people grab a wishbone and pull in opposite directions, the person who gets the bigger piece will have good luck,” says Carey De Tota, Replacements Ltd.’s gemologist and a wishbone enthusiast. “The wishbone pendant symbolizes hope for the future and good luck to the wearer. The wishbone design symbolizes good fortune and potential.”

Here’s some additional knowledge you may not already have about the wishbone: It is a part of a bird’s skeleton and is actually named the furcula. This forked bone helps a bird gain the stability and strength it needs for flight. Dinosaurs supposedly had wishbones, which should come as no surprise, since birds are said to have evolved from dinosaurs.

Breaking a wishbone for good luck goes back centuries. According to one version of the story, Etruscans, an Italian civilization of old, believed birds could tell what was going to happen in the future. So wishbones were magical ways to predict a person’s fortune. The custom spread to Rome and beyond.

Wishbone jewelry is a great gift for loved ones at any time, but it’s ideal for graduates, who are about to go into the world. They also could be smart items for friends at the start of a new part of their life, like an engagement, or even a “happy ending” like a divorce. You could also give a wishbone pendant, brooch, or earrings to someone who is taking a bucket-list kind of trip—so they’ll have luck on their side during their travels.

Here is a selection of wishbones that jewelers have created in a variety of precious metals. Some have gemstones, and others are lovely all on their own.

Aurelie Gi wishbone necklace
With its subtle shape, this Aurelie Gi wishbone necklace in 14k recycled yellow gold ($295) would add a touch of interest to any necklace stack. (Photo courtesy of Aurelie Gi)
Brilliant Earth wishbone
Brilliant Earth says its wishbone pendant ($195), in 14k white gold with diamond accent, is designed to remind its wearer that anything is possible. (Photo courtesy of Brilliant Earth)
Angara pendant
Turn the wishbone on its side and you have a sure-fire winner for getting second looks. Rose gold makes it distinctive, but Angara’s wishbone pendant ($567) can be made in white or yellow gold, too. (Photo courtesy of Angara)




Aurelie Gi wishbone
Aurelie Gi’s wishbone earring ($440) in 14k recycled yellow gold with 0.104 cts. t.w. lab-grown diamonds should bring its share of luck. (Photo courtesy of Aurelie Gi)


Vrai Hamsa
Many jewelry brands have symbols of good fortune besides the wishbone, like the protective eye—an ancient symbol of protection—in this Vrai Hamsa Hand pendant ($400) with a lab-grown diamond and 14k gold chain. “Consumers are looking for jewelry with a meaning, and at Vrai they find pieces that are timeless heirlooms, a symbol of one’s values, and a style expression of their beliefs,” says Vrai’s president, Mona Akhavi. (Photo courtesy of Vrai)

Top: Replacements Ltd. offers a wishbone pendant made in the 1960s or ’70s of diamonds and white gold ($459.95). (Photo courtesy of Replacements Ltd.)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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