Have you got a hamsa? That's the amulet celebs simply must have

Have you got your hands on a hamsa? That’s the hand-shaped amulet celebs simply must have —reputed to bring fortune (once you’ve spent one to get it)

  • Hamsa is a symbol in the shape of a hand and is said to give protective powers 
  • The Duchess of Sussex sported a small hamsa on e £450 Alemdara necklace
  • She has also donned a £250 gold hamsa ring, created by Turkish brand Kismet
  • While Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston have all worn a hamsa

As fashionable talismanic symbols go, it’s up there with the evil eye.

Dangling from ears, adorning rings, worn as a pendant, even at the end of a keychain, the hamsa — a symbol in the shape of a hand and said to convey protective powers on the wearer — has become the accessory de jour for a veritable gallery of celebrities.

The Duchess of Sussex notably sported a small but glittering hamsa on the £450 necklace by Turkish-inspired jewellery designer Alemdara as she visited the United Nations, in New York, with husband Harry last weekend. 

It also has an evil eye on the 18-carat yellow gold chain, so perhaps she felt in particular need of protection. 

The Duchess of Sussex sported a small but glittering hamsa on the £450 necklace (pictured) by Turkish-inspired jewellery designer Alemdara as she visited the United Nations

Jen’s helping hand: The hamsa has become the accessory de jour for a gallery of celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston (pictured in 2013)

Gems for Material Girl: The hamsa is a symbol in the shape of a hand and said to convey protective powers. Pictured: Madonna wears a hamsa pendant in September 2009

The hamsa (along with the evil eye) has long been a feature of Meghan’s symbolic jewellery choices; she was spotted wearing Alemdara’s Altan necklace on several occasions during the 2019 royal tour to South Africa.

She has also been seen wearing a £250 rose gold hamsa ring, created by Turkish brand Kismet. 

She wore the thumb ring, with a tiny sapphire at the centre, while cradling an elephant’s trunk during a 2017 conservation trip to Botswana with Prince Harry. 

And Meghan is in good company. Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Heidi Klum and Goldie Hawn have all worn a hamsa — even A-ha singer Morten Harket has been sporting one round his neck.

Former Love Islander Laura Anderson and EastEnders actress Lacey Turner have even gone so far as having hamsa talismans tattooed across their ribcage and back respectively.

In fact, the talisman is so popular, it was released as an emoji this year.

Enchanted elegance: An elegant necklace is the perfect finishing touch for Susan Sarandon (pictured with Demi Moore in November 2016)

Fearne Cotton’s necklace (pictured left in July 2014) is thought to be by Dana Levy and actress Helen Flanagan’s £45 faux Chanel T-shirt (pictured right in April 2014) features a hamsa

Gwynnie’s blessings: Gwyneth Paltrow’s (pictured) lifestyle brand Goop has promoted hamsa jewellery

Taste of Morocco: Made In Chelsea’s Millie Mackintosh (pictured in January 2015) has a Moroccan bag with the symbol

Emojis not your thing? There’s always home decor (model Gigi Hadid has a hamsa on her coffee table) or a £15 gold‑plated pendant necklace, available at Accessorize.

So what is the hamsa? Alemdara puts it like this: ‘Widely recognised in many cultures for its powers to ward off negativity, the hamsa hand’s spiritual currency is rooted in the ancient world.

‘Depicting the open right hand, legend has it that the talisman brings its owner health, luck and happiness.’

Interpretations of the meaning and power of the hamsa vary, given it is deployed across various religions, but its roots are ancient and thought to lie in the Middle East, likely ancient Egypt.

The word hamsa means five, and represents the five digits on the hand. The hand pointing up is seen as warding off evil, and a hand pointing down is used to bring blessings. The amulet is thought by many to symbolise the Hand of God.

In Islam it’s known as the Hand of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, and in Judaism as the Hand of Miriam, the sister of Moses, and is traditionally recognised in many cultures as a sign of protection.

Heidi’s going for gold: Model Heidi Klum opts for a gold hamsa for good luck — along with added bling 

Goldie looking chain: No wonder actress Goldie Hawn looks so happy with her added protection (pictured in September 2019)

Morten takes it on: Singer Morten Harket (pictured in March 2016), of A-ha, has worn a hamsa for the past five years

In Buddhism and Hinduism, the five digits of the hamsa hand represent each of the five chakras, which align with the five senses to clear the mind and body.

While now globally recognised, the amulet remains perhaps most common in North Africa (it’s one of the national symbols of Algeria) and the Middle East.

Hamsas with the fingers spread are often hung above the door of a pregnant woman’s home to ward off bad spirits.

More broadly, it is also seen as a symbol of health, happiness, peace and prosperity.

It’s often twinned with that other fashionable talisman, the evil eye, also said to dispel negativity, or rather reflect evil back to where it came from.

It’s a wonder celebrity bodyguards still have a job to do.

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