Charm bracelet

Charm bracelet

A charm bracelet is an item of jewelry worn around the wrist. It carries personal charms: decorative pendants or trinkets which are signifiers of important things in the wearer's life.

Charm Bracelet History

The wearing of charms may have begun as a form of amulet to ward off evil spirits or bad luck.

In ancient Egypt charms were used for identification and as symbols of faith and luck. Charms also served to identify an individual to the gods in the afterlife. Medieval knights wore charms for protection in battle. Charms also were worn in the dark ages to represent family origin, religious and political convictions.

Charm bracelets have been the subject of several waves of trends. Queen Victoria wore charm bracelets that started a fashion among the European noble classes. Soldiers returning home after World War II brought home trinkets made by craftsmen local to the area where they were fighting to give to loved ones, American teenagers in the 1950s and early 1960s collected charms to record the events in their lives. Although interest and production waned through the latter part of the 20th century, there was a resurgence of popularity after 2000 and collectors eagerly sought out vintage charms. Due to the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, the fashion in winter 2006 was bracelets with little charms of swords, crosses and skulls.

European charm bracelets

Since 2002, a new trend for European charm bracelets has emerged in both Europe and North America. These modular bracelets consist of a chain onto which different beads or 'charms' can be put. The charms are made from gold, silver or Murano glass and are interchangeable to allow the wearer to create their own look.

They appeal to diverse customer base due to the wide range of beads available. The silver beads available start from approx. £15 ($30 US) and the range extends up to gold and diamond beads at £300 - £400. The beads can also be worn on necklaces and matching rings and earring are also available to make a complete set.

In the UK the most successful brand of European charm bracelet is Pandora, though Biagi, Chamilia and Troll beads are also very popular in the US.

This current fashion for modular jewelry builds on the success that 'Add A Bead' jewelry had in the 80's.

Italian charm bracelets

In 2001, a new fashion was launched for Italian charm bracelets, in which the charms are snapped onto the body of the bracelet rather than dangled from it. Italian charms are flat, modular links that hook together to form an Italian charm bracelet, keychain, or other accessories. While traditional charms dangle, Italian charms feature individual pieces soldered flat onto the surface of the link. Some high fashion names such as Louis Vuitton and Juicy Couture have begun issuing their own collectible Italian charms.


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