It is not uncommon to see carvings of dolphins in cities whose existence depends on the sea. In seaport cities like New York and Amsterdam, these carvings are not only for decoration purposes. They are also meant to bring luck to the port. The belief originated in the olden times, when ancient sailors who spent many months or years at sea found that the first indication that they were approaching land came from sightings of dolphins swimming around their ships. For many years, people have believed that lucky charms with dolphins will bring good fortune to artists and musicians.
In the seventeenth century, birthmarks and moles were perceived to be accurate marks of good and ill luck. These marks were almost believed to determine one’s destiny invariably. People who believed birthmarks mean more good luck than bad would then besprinkle black pepper on a pregnant mother, for the sake of making her child born with several of these marks.
In the seventeenth century, it is believed that anyone bearing an inborn mark on top of the head means the certainty of having another on the nape of the neck. Both of these marks suggest that one is quick-witted and has a healthy body by nature. A mole in the middle of the forehead signifies a hardworking male or a fertile female, while a mole or birthmark on the upper lip signifies extreme good luck. Any mole on top of the chin means that one is a cut above his relatives. A tiny mark on a man’s right arm indicates his behavior of obsessive gambling, while that of a woman means she will be bequeathed immense fortune.
Birthmarks or moles on the upper portion of the left side of the body foretell lengthy journeys ahead. If there are more moles or birthmarks on the left side than right side mean bad luck in your journey.
When you lack a good-luck piece at hand to ward off ill luck, one of the most desirable methods to do so is to cross your fingers. Such powerful practice goes back to the Christians in ancient times whose prayers were compelled to be kept under secrets. They were unable to possess signs of the cross to motivate them, so they managed to form a cross of their middle and index fingers, which serves as a keepsake of Christ’s passion.
Diamonds are thought to be a symbol of good luck and have been used in many cultures to bring good fortune. During the ancient Roman times, Roman officers donned amulets made of diamond on their left arms to emerge victorious in battles. For many centuries, women have been wearing diamond necklaces to keep the evil eye away. Today, diamonds represent good fortune for couples who are engaged to be married.
However, luck is a relative thing when it comes to diamonds. It is said that the size of the diamond is inversely related to the amount of luck it will bring. The bigger the stone, the lesser luck it brings. A diamond that is too big is more likely to bring bad fortune. Take for example the biggest blue diamond in the world. The 44.5-carat Hope diamond has brought a fair share of bad luck to its past owners. It was said that the diamond was brought to France after the being stolen from the forehead of an Indian Idol. In France, the diamond became one of King Louis XIV’s crown jewels. Although he was not considered an unlucky ruler, his mistress, Mme de Montespan died soon after she acquired the stone. The stone was then given to Marie Antoinette, who died under the guillotine. Thomas Hope, an English banker bought the diamond in 1830. His family fell into hardship soon after. Subsequent owners included Jacques Colet who committed suicide; Prince Ivan Kanitovitsky who was murdered; Sultan Abdul Hamed who was dethroned; and Simon Montharides whose entire family died in an unfortunate accident. Eventually, the Hope diamond was bought in 1907 by Texan Evalyn Walsh McLean, who paid $40,000 for the diamond. Her husband, son, and daughter died soon after the diamond was brought to America. A mysterious death fell upon her only surviving heir in 1967. In the end, the stone was donated to the Smithsonian Institution. It is now on display at Washington’s Museum of Natural History.