Nazar Boncuk and Evil Eye: Origins and Explanations

We can find traces of eye-shaped lucky charms since the Paleolithic. It is in fact a recurring figure in Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures.

Buddhist and Hindu societies also allude to it. In short, the lucky eye is a symbol common to all humanity.

The Nazar Boncuk, or Greek eye, is supposed to act as protection against the evil eye. We are talking here about a curse that would be launched by the simple look of a malicious person.

Don't worry if you don't understand any of these terms or concepts: we'll explain them together.

Contents :

History and meaning of the evil eye

What is the evil eye actually?

What do the jewelry and related amulets represent?

Okay, but how to protect yourself against the evil eye?

Nazar Boncuk: what is it for?

So, what are these lucky charms against the evil eye?

Another story of Nazar Boncuk

But what do the appearance and color of Nazar Boncuk mean?

Different colors for different meanings

Several nazar boncuk hanging from the branches of a tree with a sinister and mysterious appearance

History and meaning of the evil eye

The symbol and belief in the evil eye is one of the strongest beliefs in the world.

Despite the differences that can be found from one culture to another, it always retains approximately the same meaning.

It is believed that the evil eye is an expression of harm, pain or some form of misfortune that a person wishes to cause to another, whether through hatred, jealousy or any other resentment.

Those who believe in the evil eye consider this phenomenon to be so powerful that they will do anything to protect themselves from it.

There is a belief in the evil eye on every continent. The Middle East, Asia, Europe and Central America all fear this phenomenon.

The oldest known records suggest that this belief dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. It was then believed that the evil eye was the main threat to anyone holding an illegitimate position or office.

Their detractors were allegedly able to transmit mental and physical illnesses to them via this means.

In fact, any illness that had no cause was considered the result of the evil eye.

Gods and goddesses were also known to punish those who, too proud of their exploits, bragged about them excessively. They then brought them back to the same level as the others mortals thanks to the evil eye they gave them.

Just like in Europe, Islamic culture believes that excessive boasting will attract the negative influence of hateful looks.

Therefore, rather than praising a beautiful child, one should say that "God willed" the child's good fortune, otherwise the youngster may find himself in peril.

In the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad warned of the danger of the evil eye and advised, to offset the influence of these evil forces, to take baths regularly.

Ashkenazi Jews also believe that too much praise will lead to weakness towards the evil eye phenomenon. They regularly repeat the phrase “Keyn aynhoreh” to prevent it, which in Yiddish means “no evil eyes”.

Stylized Greek eye fused with traditional weaving

What is the evil eye actually?

You can see this famous symbol in different forms around the world. You might even be wearing one right now, or seen wearing one.

However, do you know the deep history and meaning of the symbols that fight the evil eye?

And by the way, what exactly do you know about this very particular type of curse?

To put it simply, according to most of those who are interested in the subject, it would only be the energetic consequence of a resentment that someone (or something) would harbor towards you.

In particular, the two emotions that would be most likely to trigger the phenomenon would be jealousy and anger.

If we speak of “evil eye”, it would be to give us an indication of how the curse is transmitted.

By giving us a look full of emotions with low-intensity vibrations, our fellow human beings would have the capacity to bring a whole lot of misfortune to us. .. and what they do consciously or unconsciously!

To be more precise, experts believe that there are three types of evil eye.

The first is the “unconscious” evil eye. This means that we can hurt people and things without intending to do so.

The second is the one sent with the will to harm.

The third is comparable to an “invisible evil”, it is undoubtedly more feared.

In fact, we think that the curse itself can consist of a whole bunch of inconveniences which will strongly depend on the person.

For example, some specialists have noted physical manifestations such as headaches, a feeling of general discomfort and sometimes even nausea.

Several jewels with Nazar Boncuk, a lucky charm that wards off the evil eye

Keep the evil eye away

thanks to the powers of nazar boncuk


What do the jewelry and related amulets represent?

So, since when have human beings feared this phenomenon? In reality, it dates back to the Neolithic era. Indeed, some frescoes depict scenes interpreted by experts as archaic representations of the subject we are talking about today.

The idea that it would be possible to cast a spell by the simple power of one's gaze had begun to flourish among the population. The reasons are relatively unclear : no one knows (officially at least) what could have caused the phenomenon.

However, the fact is that eye-shaped amulets became widespread in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Europe.

Persia, Babylon, India, Egypt… They all fear the evil eye (and therefore also use the Greek eye, or at least derivatives).

In short, blue eye-shaped lucky charms became increasingly popular in the region until they were used by the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans and, perhaps most famously, by the Ottoman Empire.

Although their use was mainly concentrated around the Mediterranean and the Levant region, the Nazar Boncuk and other lucky charms of its kind began to conquer the four corners of the world thanks to the expansion of trade and influence people like the Turks.

If you are interested, we have a whole range of Nazar Boncuk to offer you!

Pile of Greek eyes of Turkish origin forming small round patterns

Okay, but how to protect yourself against the evil eye?

In Greece, the massive use of lucky charms and rituals aimed at countering them actually dates back to the 6th century BC.

Most often, the goal of our ancestors was to combat the curse that we have just described to you just before.

Make no mistake: before the arrival of Nazar Boncuk, the Greeks already had a whole range of symbols and rituals used to repel the evil eye.

All this even has a name: the ancients spoke of “ xematiasma ” (which literally translates as “process of removing the eye”).

We could, for example, cite incantations that must be recited three times, yawning in unison with a priest or healer, throwing salt over the shoulder, carrying incense or a cross as protection, etc.

It is also possible to list many lucky charms : nails, explosive powder, bread, salt, garlic, rings, indigo blue or cufflinks in money.

Each of these objects has its own meaning, which makes them more or less effective protection against the evil eye.

However, if all these lucky charms fail in their task, there are other methods... a little more extreme. In some villages, for example, bear fur was burned to ward off bad energies.

We can also mention the gypsies, who massage their foreheads to eliminate the harmful effects of the evil eye.

In many countries, it is believed that saying a swear word will remove the curse of the evil eye.

In Bangladesh, a stain of black paint can be painted on the child's forehead to help him resist curses.

In short, if you take distinct eras and peoples, you will obtain very different practices... but the same desire to fight the evil eye!

Large pot from an oriental market in which there are lots of lucky nazar boncuk

Nazar Boncuk: what is it for?

These rituals are not the only way to prevent evil forces from reaching you. In many cultures, the most popular method of escaping the evil eye effect is to use a talisman, symbol or any ornament representing the evil eye.

These are designed to somehow "reflect" the power of bad energies.

The amulet for protection against the evil eye emerged at the same time in several places around the world, notably in Greece, where it also bears the name of apotropaic amulet.

The most common representation of the lucky object fighting the evil eye is, also in the Middle East, the amulet.

It is designed here with concentric blue and white circles to form the Nazar Boncuk, which literally translates as “evil eye”. Such lucky charms are generally used in homes and vehicles.

Another very well-known example of this type of lucky charm is the Hand of Fatma, also known as " Khamsa ". It is a representation of a hand with an eye in the middle of the palm.

The Hand of Fatma is also present in Jewish culture, where it is rather called “Hand of Myriam”.

The rise of occult sciences, and in particular Kabbalah, led to a popularization of the hand of Fatma. For example, we find it more and more in the fields of jewelry and decoration.

Several lucky necklaces: one with the symbol of the triple moon, one with an emblem of ancient Greek and a nazar boncuk

Get luck and benefits

thanks to these lucky necklaces


So, what are these lucky charms against the evil eye?

The evil eye still has a powerful influence on elements of popular culture, such as jewelry.

In Turkey, Nazar Boncuk lucky charms are deeply rooted in daily life and have deep symbolic meaning engraved in the culture. Nazar Boncuk attacks anything that can provoke greed, jealousy or malice.

Among the Turks, you will find this symbol of Nazar Boncuk in homes and offices, hanging on the necks of newborns and pets, or even in restaurants.

In terms of the material used to make it, this lucky charm will necessarily often be made of glass. However, there are other possibilities, notably that of crystals.

Turquoise, azurite, amazonite and aquamarine are obvious choices due to their color. (In fact, all of these crystals are blue or, at least, have bluish highlights.)

The tiger's eye is also a precious stone of choice, in the sense that it will combine the powers of the Nazar Boncuk (which, let us remember again, is an eye) with the organ of the tiger. Even if this name remains symbolic, it seems that it has many links with the vision of this terrible feline.

Nazar Boncuk 's lucky charm has seen its popularity increase in recent years.

Many celebrities including Madonna, Britney Spears, the Olson twins, Mick Jagger and Nicole Riche (to name a few) have been photographed with necklaces or bracelet wearing a Nazar Boncuk.

Interestingly, the concept of the evil eye, or at least that of bad luck, has seen an ever-increasing portion of the population believe in it.

Too much fame, fortune, success or admiration could paradoxically cause people to fail, especially in the celebrity and show biz world.

Lindsay Lohan, and more recently Charlie Sheen, illustrate how success can become a disaster in daily life.

Does this mean that if Lindsay had worn a Nazar Boncuk pendant, her life would have been better?

Millions of people would tell you that way.

Regardless, those who are often in the spotlight, who are particularly successful at the moment, or who feel recent pride (even justified)… all of these should consider protecting themselves with help a ring of this type or a bracelet from Nazar Boncuk, or any other good luck charm effective against the evil eye.

Horses in a nomad camp in Central Asia.

Another story of Nazar Boncuk

The Nazar Boncuk is therefore a traditional Turkish lucky charm. Either.

However, a question arises: how did he get there?

For some historians, the use of one of the blue lucky charms to counter the effects of bad luck would be a custom common to the entire Middle East region, countries like Israel, Lebanon or even Greece.

However, this does not explain why we chose an eye shape…

The answer is actually simple: Nazar Boncuk stems directly from the ancient nomadic traditions of the Turks of old.

Before settling down and converting to Islam, the Turkish people populated Central Asia where they worshiped a god known as Tengri.

Yes, this god was represented at the time by a blue eye drawn in the sky.

In any case, one thing is certain: this tradition has nothing to do with the Muslim religion, but rather with pre-Islamic beliefs.

In any case, this lucky charm has proven itself, and there is no shortage of evidence of bad energy dissipated or protection provided.

Note that despite this, a lot of people use the Nazar Boncuk symbol in Turkey, without really knowing its meaning and its roots.

At least you now know how to explain the origin of Nazar Boncuk!

Big Turkish nazar boncuk hanging on a tree

But what do the appearance and color of Nazar Boncuk mean?

The Nazar Boncuk is actually an eye, most often placed on a blue background.

Its role is to constantly scan the world, to repel evil looks and thus protect you from evil.

In Turkey, Greece and surrounding countries, the most common color for making lucky charms is blue.

Anatolia actually happens to be a relatively arid region, where water is a precious commodity.

With it, men experience prosperity and growth, without it, they wither and die.

The color blue therefore naturally reminds them of the freshness of water.

For centuries, people have placed this lucky charm in all the places they wish to secure.

Pencils of different colors representing the different types of Nazar.

Different colors for different meanings

In Greece (and many other cultures besides), the most popular color for creating this jewelry is deep blue, the kind that illuminates the Greek seas.

This type of color is therefore the “classic” form. However, over the years many other colors have been used to convey different meanings.

Here are some of the most common colors and the main benefits they offer us. If you find one whose meaning speaks to you, here is a collection of necklaces featuring the Greek eye and available in several colors.

Orange :

  • Happiness and protection
  • Motivation and stability in one's commitments
  • Increase in creativity

Deep blue:

  • Energy protection
  • Calm and relaxation
  • Open communication flows

Light blue

  • General well-being
  • Broadening our perspective
  • Peace in solitude

Dark green

  • Guarantee of happiness
  • Balance in our life
  • Freedom to pursue new ideas


  • Great courage
  • More enthusiasm and energy
  • Protection against fears and anxieties

Brown :

  • Protection against natural elements
  • Connection with nature
  • Order of ideas

Purple :

  • Development of imagination skills
  • General rebalancing of our life
  • Removing fake obstacles

Yellow (or gold):

  • Relief from exhaustion
  • Sharper mind and concentration
  • Reduced confusion

Gray :

  • Protection from grief
  • Unlocking certain situations
  • Moderation of overly intense emotions

Light green :

  • Help to achieve our dreams
  • Pleasure and contentment
  • General good mood

White :

  • Purity and concentration
  • Clearer vision of our situation
  • Opportunities for a new start


  • Preserving your friendships
  • Feeling of calm
  • Relaxation with your loved ones

Lucky charms featured in this article

Nazar Boncuk Mosaic Ring

Nazar Boncuk Mosaic Ring

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Bracelet Two Shapes by Nazar Boncuk

Bracelet Two Shapes by Nazar Boncuk

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author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.