There are few symbols that transcend cultures and centuries quite like the evil eye. Thought to protect the wearer from envy and hateful glares, the first-known evil-eye amulet dates back to 3300 B.C., per BBC. Over 5000 years later, BBC explains, "virtually every culture has a legend related to the evil eye." Beck Jewels designer Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz, for instance, hails from the Caribbean island of Curaçao and has proudly incorporated the symbol into her brand.
"To me, the eye is not only protective but unifying," Zeijdel-Paz tells Who What Wear. "I grew up on an island where cultures, religions, and languages intermix. As a major trading port since the 17th century, an influx of ideology has been coming into the island from all corners of the world for centuries. Collectively, we widely adopted the notion of both the good and evil eye. Despite heritage or religion, on our island, there is a shared connection to these protective symbols."
BBC also tapped Istanbul-based art history professor Nese Yildiran to offer his take on the idea that evil-eye accessories could be seen as cultural appropriation.
"The evil eye transcends this concern because it has been a part of a rather big geography, and open to all sorts of practices," Yildiran told BBC.
As Zeijdel-Paz tells us, the symbol has a remarkable ability to connect cultures given its presence in so many different countries, which "shows the positivity that this talisman holds," she says. Now that you're armed with a bit more knowledge of the symbol, scroll down to shop our favorite evil-eye jewelry items.