Real Four-Leaf Clovers

Of course, one of the most famous lucky plants is the four-leaf clover.  The four-leaf clover is a rare variant of the three-leaf clover, with the finding being a lucky occurrence. However, in order to manufacture good luck charms with 4-leaf clovers manufacturers have been known to substitute other plants that resemble true four leaf clovers.

Church member Kristi began to find these lucky clovers and she kindly sent several fine examples to Rev. Jim and his family. So the example below is known to be authentic and genuine 4-leaf versions of 3-leaf clovers. This is a special card made to preserve these real four-leaf clovers. The back of the card is a design taken from the de Laurence lucky identification card (“free with orders over $2”), scanned from an old de Laurence catalog.  Special thanks to Kristi for these wonderful clovers.  Also thanks to Devin at Office Depot for her lamination skills. 

Here are some manufactured good luck charms that contain real plant material – you can judge if you think these are “real” four-leaf clovers or some other species. The state of preservation is pretty amazing, given the age of these items.

This old pendant is a typical example of the mass-produced four-leaf clover charms of the 20th century. These old pendants were advertised in the O & B Supply catalog as being “enclosed in a glass-like case to prevent breaking”.  “Glass-like” meaning clear plastic, of course!

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Of particular note is this fantastic keychain from Walter Quinlan, Funeral Director and Ambulance Service (in red). It is so handy to have that information right on your lucky key chain, although I’m not sure I would call a Funeral Director if I only needed an ambulance. It’s somehow comforting to know Walter Quinlan is still in business, providing funeral services in the Chicago area.

Images of Four-Leaf Clovers

It’s much easier to make an image of a 4-leaf clover than it is to find one. Therefore an image of the clover is found on many items, such as lucky coins and token, as well as in jewelry. 

Walgreens token obv

There is some confusion between the Irish shamrock (aka three-leaf clover) a the lucky four-leaf clover. The shamrock is an old symbol of Ireland. Reportedly St. Patrick used it to illustrate the Holy Trinity to the early Christians. Or maybe it was sacred to the Druids. In any event, the classic Irish clover has three leaves. But, as seen in the above 4-leaf clover by Tara Ware Dublin, the Irish naturally have embraced the four leafed variety as symbolic of the “Luck of the Irish”.