Charming Charm Bracelets

15May12

I like to think of charm bracelets as little histories, worn on a wrist jangling together. I like charm bracelets best when each charm has a special meaning – to celebrate a birthday, a special trip or a grand accomplishment. They are almost like a small, personal roadmap of the bracelet’s owner. Each choice has meaning, each component is special. What metal do you choose? What events do you mark? Do you simply follow a theme and keep the bracelet fun? Can you stop at just one…..

The wearing of small charms started between 600-400 BC when small amulets were worn on the body to protect from evil spirits, bad deeds and bring luck. Egyptians created bracelets of personal mementos and jewelry items that would identify the owner, hoping that in the afterlife the charm bracelets not only help the gods guide the spirits to their possessions, but to give them the proper status in the afterlife. An ID bracelet of sorts.

In the early 20th century, Queen Victoria helped to take the charm bracelet from objects of function – talismans and tokens of protection – to objects of beauty. Starting with a gift from Prince Albert to commemorate the birth of their first child, Queen Victoria added an enamel locket to the bracelet each time a new child was born. Her love for the accessory bloomed from there. Combining both precious metals and gems with small portraits, locks of hair and tiny memorials to loved ones, she helped push charm bracelets to become the hot accessory.

Queen Victoria’s gold and enamel heart locket bracelet

Like any other fashionable item, the popularity ebbs and flows. From it’s popularity as a token of affection during the wars to it’s peak in the 1950s back to the resurgence in the 1990s, a girl can never have too many charm bracelets. From simply and unique to elegant and opulent, here are a few of my faves…

A lavish cameo charm necklace

Some are silver..

Some are gold… over 40 charms adorn this 1950s bracelet.

Some are more lavish than others. This bracelet from 1stdibs.com has lockets and charms dating from 1880-1950. If you have $17k to spend, it’s an amazing piece!

And as always, good things come in little blue boxes

If you have favorites to share, or a great resource, please leave a comment!

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One Response to “Charming Charm Bracelets”

  1. Great post! I totally agree, charm bracelets are a great way to express personality and each charm can hold it’s individual meaning!

    Holly


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