2022 Be Good To Me! Best Greek Lucky Charms to Buy

Every year Greece’s top jewellery designers create gouria or lucky ornaments that we can hang from our neck or wear on our wrist as a symbol of hope, dreams coming true and protection for the new year.

With all that the world has been going through, we need now more than ever some beautiful symbolic jewellery to offer us an added sense of strength and grace. Here we have selected the best and most classic brands for you to consider as a gift to yourself or a loved one.

Lalaounis

An inspiration to marine biologists, deep-sea divers and artists alike and a symbol cherished since the Minoan times that represented healing properties, coral has resilience and vulnerability at once that’s reminiscent of the human spirit. And this particular amulet (€290) comes with the added bonus of supporting a worthwhile ecological initiative. Famous jewellers Lalaounis write on their website: “In the depths of the Greek Seas lie the oldest, most complex and productive marine ecosystems: Coralligenous Habitats. They are some of the least protected habitats and their survival today is at great risk. With our 2022 good luck pendant, we wish to support the ARCHIPELAGOS Institute of Marine Conservation in their work to protect the biodiversity of the NE Mediterranean and to halt the ongoing destruction of Coralligenous Habitats.”

Antonia Karra

Antonia Karra’s macrame bracelet (€39) is her good luck design for 2022, depicting an engraved compass to lead you on the right path and always help you find your way in the new year. On a more esoteric level, the design is also a reminder to always follow your inner guidance.

Acropolis Museum

Designer Kostas Dimpoulos has chosen a classic Greek symbol of good fortune, prosperity, abundance and fertility that can arrive with new beginnings. His gold-plated brass pendant (€32) sold at the Acropolis Museum is an engraved pomegranate with a red tassel hung just above it. The pomegranate, the star component of the Greek New Year tradition that involves smashing the fruit into the ground in one’s front entrance, makes for a very hopeful gift.

Insights Greece - 2022 Be Good To Me! Best Greek Lucky Charms to Buy


Katerina Psoma

Be A Poem cuff €138 playfully combines rock chic with art deco glamour, this gold-plated cuff with the ‘Be a Poem’ affirmation written on is a reminder to live your life as if you are a work of lyrical art. Psoma’s All Fine pendant (€155) is a hopeful reassurance after trying times and ahead of more uncertain days ahead that everything’s going to be just fine. Gold-plated and decorated with colourful zircon stones, it can be just the right amount of sparkle to wear on a dreary day.

Zolotas

Cosmos is a collection of charms based on the celestial bodies and their orbits, which includes pendants and bracelets decorated with precious stones. The famous jewellery house says that the use of stones was very symbolic, “reflecting the four elements of the world: Emerald and Opal for Water, Tiger’s Eye and Malachite for Earth, Sapphire, Lapis lazuli and Amethyst for Air, Ruby and Agate for Fire.” The Cosmos pendants (€35) are designed to light our new year up, bringing to 2022 fullness and harmony, balance and peace.

Cycladic Art Museum

This autumn/winter hosting the ‘Ancient Kallos’ exhibition dedicated to beauty in antiquity, the Cycladic Art Museum has chosen a mirrored pendant (€75) as its good luck charm for 2022. The handheld mini mirror is meant to represent self-reflection as well as self-love in the coming year and beyond.

Insights Greece - 2022 Be Good To Me! Best Greek Lucky Charms to Buy

Marina Vernicos

With a nudge to biker bravura, angelic blessings, love and freedom of the heart, designer Marina Vernicos’ stand-out necklace (€38) depicts the number 22 in the shape of a heart with wings.

Benaki

Designer Niki Orfanou made her amulet (€30) inspired by a painting by Nikos Hatzikiriakos Gikas depicting a Hydra landscape, created this handmade good luck charm out of brass and silk. The charm is reminiscent of ‘fylakto charms made in folk tradition around Greece out of threads and beads and is sold at the Benaki Museum shop. Also at the Benaki is the ‘Angel’ charm for 2022 (€60) designed by Savvas Dimou and inspired by the sculptural artwork by acclaimed artist Yiannis Tsarouchis.

Zeus + Dione 

Zeus+Dione’s lucky charm, for the new year, depicts the power number ‘22’, which is said by numerologists to double the power of anything. The design is inspired by retro mailing stamps which feature waves under the number; in this case, the waves are meant to amplify the power of the number and augur good luck, change and determination to head forward confidently toward change.

9 Leading Greek Jewellery Designers You Need to Know

When you’re seeking an original and elegant piece of jewellery– whether a ring, cuff, necklace or statement piece– you want something that will last a lifetime. To find that something special, a visit to some of the finer boutiques across Greece can be an obvious choice.

Indeed, Greece is home to some of the world’s most talented jewellery designers, who draw from hundreds of years of expertise and know-how to create truly memorable pieces- featuring gold, silver, pearl, diamonds and other classic gems.

With so many to choose from, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite Greek jewellers who are are leading the way with exceptional style, creativity and design. 

Nikos Koulis

Nikos has established himself as one of the most sought-after designers in the country. With a Greek influence, Nikos mixes both classic and contemporary themes creating exquisite pieces that are loved by his loyal clientele worldwide. His pieces feature a range of diamonds of various cuts and colours, gold, rubies, emeralds, pearls and unique materials that stand out. With a flagship store in Athens, Nikos’ pieces are stocked in luxury boutiques all over Europe, America, Asia and online.

Katerina Makriyanni

Katerina who loved art since young, could not resist continuing the family tradition. Having studied jewellery design in Florence, her love for creativity, the family business and her hometown Chania (where she resides and creates her magic) lead her to the field of jewellery making. Creating pieces that are ideal for every occasion, Makriyianni’s trademark fringed fan earrings have become a hit worldwide. 

Polina Ellis

Athens based jewellery designer Polina Ellis is an archaeologist and fine artist that transcends and transforms the inspiration of her life experiences and academic studies into a unique design with symbolism. Pairing strong lines with clean forms, Polina creates pieces of subtle luxury that adhere to Ancient Greek ethos. Her pieces are sold in her showroom at Kifissia and selected retailers in Athens, Mykonos, across Europe and the USA.

Yannis Sergakis

Yannis is the descendant of a well-established family of Greek diamond traders. He was drawn into the alluring world of precious stones from a young age and after studying gemology and design, Yannis created his own luxury brand. Working mainly with gold and diamonds, he creates stunning pieces that can be worn both day and night. With a flagship store in Athens, Yannis’ pieces are stocked all over the world and online.

Ioanna Souflia

Ioanna’s homeland of Greece has an unmistakable influence on her designs. Born and raised in Athens, Ioanna trained in the Greek capital, London and France. Influenced by her contrasting training the designer’s aesthetic is shaped from the unique pairing of opposing elements. With a strong Art Deco influence, her pieces are elegant and striking. 

Christina Soubli

Christina’s collections are soft and feminine and are inspired by a different mood, a story or experience that triggers her creativity. Christina has been distinguished with significant awards, including the Worshipful Company of Goldsmith’s Award of Jewellery. Her work has also been exhibited in some of the most prestigious galleries and stores worldwide, where she has received numerous outstanding reviews.

Lito Karakostanoglou

Having starred in international runway shows by Kenzo and Jean Paul Gaultier, the Athens-based jeweller creates delicate and feminine designs. Lito is a fusion of the old-school feel of traditional jewellery mixed with contemporary influences marking a new era for craftsmanship. Her collections exhibit a perfect mix between the designer’s  Greek heritage, her mastery of traditional techniques and her artistic instinct.

Christiana Kafa

Christiana is a Greek Cypriot jewellery and accessories designer, who launched her first line in 2014, featuring a range of bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces in silver and gold with precious and semi-precious stones. Her jewellery pieces, which are minimal and simplistic are stocked worldwide. 

Ileana Makri

Fascinated by the warm and exotic allure of her rich Greek culture and nature, Ileana’s creations feature a wide range of powerful symbols from the Mediterranean- in a simple and sophisticated way. Her creative collaborations with some of the world’s leading fashion houses have led to the creation of iconic collections that have attracted the attention of A-list celebrities. With a flagship store in Kolonaki, Ileana’s pieces are also stocked worldwide.

 

Main Image by Ileana Makri 

Bring Greek Summer Into Your Life in a Few Easy Steps!

Like Greek sunshine, Greek-style makes life brighter. There’s nothing like the elegance and summery joyousness of designs inspired by traditional and classical Greek symbols, colours, shapes, and textures to enrich your home and personal style. 

Here, IN+SIGHTS GREECE has made an expert selection of the best accessories, items, and homewares that spell Greek Summer like nothing else and can be bought online with one click.

Home Décor

The use of ceramics for practical and decorative purposes dates back to antiquity, and a trip to the Archaeological Museum will travel your mind to designs regaling elaborate stories or featuring incredible creative designs. Kerameio.gr presents a wonderful variety of ceramics to use, decorate and even wear. 

The Cycladic Art Museum shop features numerous ceramic objects that can be used for serving food or decoration. For ceramics, we especially like the bold Greek blue and white summer colours of designs by Paola Navone. 

 At the Benaki Museum shop you’ll find elegant candle holders inspired by ancient Athenian columns created by WAKS, ceramic sous verre by Eleni Kanellopoulou and several items celebrating the Bicentennary of the Greek War of Independence of 1821 by Elena Votsi, who designed the Olympic medals in 2004, including ceramic plates, cups and other items. Also by Elena Votsi are cushions with the Greek flags and the evil eye. 

Accessories

Maybe dressing Greek-style from head to toe is a little extreme but adding playful and stylish Greek accessories for the beach can be fun. 

We Design have used the fishmonger’s paper, traditionally for wrapping fish, to make an apron, bag and pareo. They have also made several Greek-themed items that one can construct, like the 3D Olive Tree.

Postfolk have taken a traditional ‘kendima’ design and turned it into an original beach towel named Eudaimonia through digital embroidery and hand-finished stitching. 

Ancient Kallos have designed a one-piece and a bikini swimsuit featuring the traditional Akrokeramo design. 

Cyclades have designed several beautiful cashmere and silk-blend scarves that can be worn day or night, featuring Greek-style colours and designs.

At Musitsa you’ll find a range of straw bags, including ones to ward away the evil eye.

Footwear:

Greek sandals have always been a la mode – from ancient times to the 60s when they had a fashion renaissance the likes of Aristotle Onassis, The Beatles and Elizabeth Taylor wore them to today, when designers like Pantelis Melissinos, whose father Stavros immortalized them with his craftsmanship, continues today to hand-craft a grand variety of styles. We like both the classic designs and his playful and artsy ones. 

Insights Greece - Bring Greek Summer Into Your Life in a Few Easy Steps! Vibi Venezia For Aigion’s shoes made with vintage material designed by Yiannis Tsarouchis can be found at the Cycladic Art Museum shop.

Ancient Greek Sandals offer an incredible selection, but we can’t go to the beach without their Ikaria design in Jelly. 

Ergon Mykonos’ espadrilles are a VIP favourite, and we can’t choose which design we like the most! Espadrilles and more espadrilles that are 100% cotton, hand-crafted, and uniquely Greek. 

Jewellery

TWY – Contemporary Sculptural Jewelry is wearable art that is hand-crafted 99.9% silver and guarantees you’ll shine in the sun with modern, Greek-themed necklaces, rings, and bracelets. 

These handmade bracelets by B612 at the Benaki Museum are completely unique, combining hand-woven fabrics with silver and gold.

Modern Jewellery Brand Tastefully Embracing Ancient Greece

Whether your style is dainty and elegant or big and bold, Zénaïs Jewellery has a piece (or two) that can definitely be admired. The stunning and modern designs tastefully embrace the importance of Ancient Greek history and practices with symbols, heritage, and even the sourcing/production of each piece.

Owner and creative director Zoe Skiadopoulos launched Zénaïs with her elegant yet exoticInsights Greece - Modern Jewellery Brand Tastefully Embracing Ancient Greece collection, “Python” which embodies not only her theme of Ancient Greece but also sticks to the brand’s theme of embracing the curves and movement of life. This collection is the stepping stone and strong foundation of  Zénaïs that is allowing Zoe to build her empire. IN+SIGHTS GREECE recently had a chat with the director about her striking designs. 

Tell us a bit about your background and training in jewellery?

I was always drawn to aesthetics and style so even though I studied law, my passion for creation and design drove me into the fine jewellery industry. Before founding my own brand, I was working alongside a few Greek designers where I had the opportunity to learn more about the jewellery and fashion industries (i.e. manufacturing process) as well as getting involved in many creative projects. 

When did you launch your brand and what was the concept behind it?

Zénaïs was born in the spring of 2019 and I’ve been in love ever since. My first collection was Pythoncreated to celebrate the importance of snakes in ancient civilizations as a symbol of rebirth, immortality, healing and strength. 

Insights Greece - Modern Jewellery Brand Tastefully Embracing Ancient GreeceEvery Zénaïs handcrafted piece merges the world’s ancient heritage with modern energy. They are all made from precious materials while treasuring strong symbols and creating timeless style with an edge.

What inspires your creations?

All the designs are inspired by nature’s shapes and curves and represent life’s eternal movement. 

How would you describe your brand?

Modern, elegant with an edge. Insights Greece - Modern Jewellery Brand Tastefully Embracing Ancient Greece

Are the materials sourced locally and where are they made?

Everything is sourced locally and ethically made in the centre of Athens, from local manufactures that produce jewellery with the ancient lost wax casting method. 

Who are the pieces created for?

For all the people who cannot live without a little bling. I feel naked without my jewellery even when I go to bed! 

Tell us about your latest collection?

Sahara Collection is all about the different textures and shapes of the desert. You can see Insights Greece - Modern Jewellery Brand Tastefully Embracing Ancient Greecethe flow among the jewellery, the desert’s irregular textures and even the glow of the sun. 

What is your favourite item in your range at the moment? 

I’m in love with all my designs as each piece represents something different, but if I had to choose only one I would go with the Python large necklace. It’s the first design I created back in 2019. The rest followed.

What are the current projects you are working on and is there anything exciting coming up you would like to share? 

Oh, apart from our latest Collection “Sahara”, we also launched our 2021 charm for good luck. It will be available until the first few months of the new year. 

Where is your brand stocked? Insights Greece - Modern Jewellery Brand Tastefully Embracing Ancient Greece

We are located in Athens, Greece where everything is made with much love. 

Do you ship internationally?

Yes, of course, we do! Our designs have travelled across the globe; from New York to Mexico and Paris. 

Though summer in Greece may not be on the agenda for some of us this year, Zoe’s pieces can be viewed at zenais.

 

Our Favourite Good Luck Charms for 2021 

As we all wait for 2020 to come to an end and look forward to a more positive 2021, we take a look at some traditional good luck charms for the new year, created by Greece’s leading jewellers. 

Known as Gouri in Greek, they are designed to protect and bring good luck to the person wearing it for the year ahead. As next year marks 200 years since the outbreak of the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the War of Independence, most designers have created pieces paying tribute to the special celebration. 

Here we share some of our favourites, which can be ordered online!  

Hermina Athens has designed a charm inspired by Hygieia, which in Greek mythology, was the goddess of health and cleanliness. 

Kessaris, who has flagship stores in Athens and Mykonos, has created a Multicolor Feathers Necklace, which is combined with a gold chain to match. 

Ileana Makri has chosen an 18k gold plated round medallion, reminiscent of a casino chip, with three embossed lucky “7’s” as her key 2021 lucky charm. 

Worn both as a chevaliere ring or as a loose pendant, the Knot Charm by Christina Soubli is a great addition to this season’s jewellery box.

Designed by Polina Ellis, this gold pendant was inspired by the sacred bird of Zeus, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Greek revolution for Independence, with the charm symbolising power and freedom.  

Popular Greek jewellery brand Lalounis have chosen the Hercules’ knot, best known for its symbolism of strength and love, as their piece for 2021. 

Leading lifestyle brand Zeus + Dione have conceived a charm depicting Nike, as a celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of the start of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Nike, the ancient Greek goddess of victory, is seen holding an olive branch, the timeless symbol of peace. 

The Museum of Cycladic designed a charm inspired by the flag of Filiki Eteria for 2021. The initials at the center of the wreath refer to the motto of the revolution Liberty or Death.