In Jewelry, the Power of the Horseshoe

Even as the horseshoe’s popularity continues, so does the debate on its proper orientation: To ensure good luck, should the open ends point up or down?

Opinion is decidedly divided.

According to Rebecca Selva, chief creative officer at the New York jeweler Fred Leighton, both directions are lucky. (The company always has a few horseshoe jewels in its inventory, like diamond-set pieces dating to the 19th century or a midcentury example from Cartier, priced at $21,000.)

“If it faces upward, it’s said the horseshoe is catching luck,” she said, “and if it’s facing downward, luck actually spills over onto the person wearing it.”

For Ms. Harwell Godfrey, design imperatives mean that her horseshoe pendants always point south, regardless of divergent opinions. “I like how the horseshoe better connects to the rest of the necklace in that position,” she said. “In my world, the horseshoe points down.”

She is not alone. “I like my horseshoes pointing down; I want to be showered in luck,” said Corina Madilian, the co-owner of Single Stone, a jewelry collection and a multibrand jewelry boutique of the same name, with its flagship store in San Marino, Calif. The problem: She has received pushback from some clients who felt very differently.

“I got a lot of resistance from stores, for instance, in Texas. They’d say, ‘We will only do a horseshoe if it’s pointing up.’” Now, when someone has a definite predilection, they’re in luck.

“We’re prepared,” Ms. Madilian said. “We offer the horseshoe facing in both directions.”