The most popular occasions people use their good luck charm and their success
The UK's Luckiest Charms
Good luck charms are tokens or symbols believed to bring good fortune. Coined as the key to success by ancient folklore and experts, the likes of horseshoes, four-leaf clovers, jewellery and even lucky pants are used around the world in a bid to bring luck.
To discover what people in the UK consider the luckiest tokens and symbols, we surveyed over 1,000 people with a good luck charm. The results reveal the UK’s luckiest numbers and charms, how successful these charms are, the occasions where Brits look for more luck, and the unlucky superstitions Brits avoid.
We also spoke with Katy Sloane, a spiritual mentor, Reiki expert and astrology expert to the stars, to reveal which good luck charms bring the most fortune and success to each star sign, and the best occasions to use these.
The UK’s luckiest numbers
By a landslide vote, the number seven is the UK’s luckiest number. There has been a long-standing fascination around the number seven, often connected to the seven wonders of the world, Isaac Newton’s seven prime colours, the seven planets of the ancient world, the seven lucky Japanese gods, and even biblical references to the world’s creation in seven days.
The number seven is generally considered lucky in the West, Korea and Japan, but bad luck in China and Vietnam because the seventh month of the year is considered a ghost month. Not to mention the number seven in Mandarin sounds similar to the word ‘deceive’.
Perhaps surprisingly, the number 13 is the UK’s second luckiest number. Often associated with bad omens and superstitions in the West, hotel rooms will regularly skip from room 12 to 14, buildings won’t have a 13th floor, and some people even refuse to go outside on Friday the 13th. In fact, the fear of the number 13 even has a name: triskaidekaphobia.
While today the number can be associated with slasher movies and misfortune, there are some cultures where 13 is lucky. In Italy, 13 is considered lucky for gambling; in Mandarin, it translates to ‘assured growth’.
Rather ironically, the number three rounds off the top three as the third luckiest number. In Western culture, the number three has numerous positive connotations. Good things come in threes; Jupiter, which is linked to the number three, is the planet of success and good fortune; the third tarot card is the Empress, which is connected to abundance.
The UK’s five luckiest charms and tokens
Jewellery, like necklaces, bracelets and charms, is the UK’s most popular good luck token. Almost four in 10 people (39%) hail a piece of jewellery as their key to finding good fortune, followed by over two in 10 (21%) using crystals and one in six (17%) a lucky coin.
Humans have been enchanted by jewellery as far back as pre-historic times when animal teeth and stones were worn around the neck as adornment. Egyptians were even buried with jewellery and charms to protect them in the afterlife. Until the current day, birthstones have been connected to luck and worn for centuries in rings, necklaces, charms and bracelets to protect their wearer. Jewellery can easily incorporate many good luck tokens, like a four-leaf clover or horseshoe. It’s no wonder it’s the UK’s most used good luck charm.
Crystals similarly have a legacy of luck, and interest in their effects has grown lately. Crystals like rose quartz, citrine, amethyst and tiger’s eye are all believed to hold unique healing powers. In fact, monthly Google searches for the term ‘crystal for good luck’ have increased by 307% over the past four years. Likewise, searches for ‘rose quartz’ have increased by 50%, while ‘tiger’s eye’ and ‘citrine’ have increased by 49%.
There’s also an entire community of crystal enthusiasts on TikTok. The term ‘crystaltok’ has 6.7 billion views globally on the social media app – a name coined from the sheer number of crystal experts on the platform.
Coins also carry their own positive associations. In China, gifting coins in red envelopes for the New Year represents luck; in the UK, finding a penny on the floor head side up is considered lucky. Coins are even thrown down wishing wells and into fountains to bring good fortune. Over €1 million’s worth of coins are tossed in the Trevi Fountain in Rome every year as well-wishers and travellers seek good luck.
When it comes to why these charms are considered lucky, respondents most commonly said that every time their charm was near, good things would happen. The next most popular answers were feeling intuitively drawn to it, and that experts say it brings good luck.
The most popular occasions people use their good luck charm and their success
The top occasion Brits say they use their good luck charm is when they feel anxious or outside their comfort zone. Other occasions include when Brits feel like they’re in a spout of bad luck, when travelling or driving, for a job interview, or as regularly as every day.
So, how many found their lucky charm effective in helping them through these situations? For those who used their good luck charm for a job interview, four in five people (80%) said it brought them luck. With almost an identical success rate, 79% of people who used it when they felt anxious or outside their comfort zone said it helped. Good luck charms even prove lucky in love, as three-quarters (75%) of those who used their good luck charm for a first date or romance believed it to be successful.
The five unlucky superstitions Brits believe in
Unlucky superstitions have played on the minds of millions, prompting people to salute magpies, fear spilling salt and knock on wood to avoid bad fortune.
But what is considered the unluckiest of all? According to Brits, breaking a mirror is the worst. An overwhelming 43% said they truly believe breaking a mirror is a bad omen and should be avoided. A close second (41%) is walking under a ladder. Though unlucky now in the UK, the ancient Egyptians thought ladders were a sign of good luck, and they were placed in tombs to help the deceased reach heaven. Biblical beliefs say that walking through the triangle of a ladder breaks the Trinity and attracts the devil.
Though it may rain a lot in the UK, you won’t catch over a third (36%) of people opening an umbrella indoors. Interestingly, despite the number 13 being the second luckiest number, almost a third (30%) of Brits say they believe in unlucky Friday the 13th, and nearly a quarter (24%) believe the number 13 should be avoided.
The measures people take to improve their luck
Sometimes we feel like we need a little extra luck. Whether you’ve tried the ‘lucky girl syndrome’ manifestation trend (which has 653 million views on TikTok globally) to help land your dream job or another ritual to get through tough times, there are certain practices thought to tempt good fortune.
Though 28% say they carry their good luck charm when seeking more luck, the most popular way Brits try to attract luck is through practising karma (34%). Karma is a Hindu and Buddhist moral belief system that suggests someone’s thoughts and actions have consequential effects. In other words, if you think and do good, then good things happen to you in return.
Manifestation has grown in popularity lately thanks to social media, specifically TikTok, where many accounts share manifestation practices and affirmations for users to attract abundance. The ‘lucky girl syndrome’ trend took TikTok by storm in early 2023, which spread the idea that if you want good things like luck, money, a promotion, or love, you can attract them by repeating the mantra ‘I am so lucky, everything always works out for me’.
The luckiest elements for each star sign
Astrology has long been connected to luck. We spoke to spiritual mentor, Reiki master and author Katy Sloane who shares the luckiest charms, numbers and crystals for each star sign, and the occasions they’ll find their good luck charm the most effective.
Katy explains, “Aligning with astrology gives us a heightened sense of self awareness and helps us to understand our place in the grand cosmic plan. Tuning into our star sign and the celestial alignments brings a higher level of intelligence in understanding who we really are, and our soul’s unique path. As we consciously connect to the celestial cosmos, we bring divine flow and abundance into our lives.”
Geminis will get the most out of their lucky charm in the midst of a challenging relationship, says Katy. It will help them make decisions guided by their higher self and empower them to trust their intuition.
Libras on the other hand should use a charm for artistic endeavours to unleash their freedom of expression and creativity.
Aquariuses trying to tap into their spiritual awareness should look to the ankh. It will bring deep insights and help an Aquarius’s visions come to life.
A Taurus, Katy explains, can easily get distracted by the material world and need direction. Their charm will help centre themselves providing clarity and purpose.
Virgos can often feel undervalued or taken advantage of so Katy suggests their charm will help act as a reminder that their acts of selfless service are a gift to the world.
Capricorns should turn to a four-leaf clover when dealing with business. It will help accelerate their career path and bring abundance and prosperity.
Aries will find the most power from their charm when in a position of leadership. It will help bring strength and divine flow.
Leos, Katy says, need support when stepping out into the limelight to help embrace their inner strengths and weaknesses and be best version of themselves.
Sagittariuses thrive on adventure and will gain the most from their charm while on their travels. An arrow will especially remind them of their purpose and destiny in life.
Cancerians often needs a good luck charm in social settings. They can enter these situations with mixed feelings and energy. Their charm will help protect them and bring confidence.
A Scorpio’s sting can be lethal when triggered, Katy says. A charm will help bring calm and perspective, reminding Scorpios to observe their emotions.
Pisceans will find their charm is a constant support for through all occasions. When they feel overwhelmed in the physical world, it is a great reminder to connect to the realms of spirit.
From blue butterflies to wishbones, there’s a variety of symbols and tokens that we might call our lucky charm. Explore Pandora’s charms to carry your own lucky token around with you or feel connected to your star sign with Pandora’s zodiac collection.
Pandora UK surveyed 1,008 people in the UK who have some form of lucky charm.
Pandora UK used Keyword Planner to find Google search volumes and the most Googled good luck charms and superstitions to generate a seed list for respondents. Respondents were also able to give their own open answers.
Pandora UK undertook desk research to find the origins and meanings behind good luck charms and superstitions, however these are mostly speculative due to the nature of the subject.