Where do Charm Bracelets Come From

Published: 14th May 2012
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You see them just about everywhere, but charm bracelets, at least the modern incarnation of them, are a relatively new invention. You can pick up a cheaply made charm bracelet at the local mega-mart, customize your own, and even spend thousands of dollars on it, but where did this jewelry trend start? Have you ever wondered what made this simple piece of personal style such a hit? Here are some of the answers to questions you may not have considered before.

Historic Bracelet Precedent

Go digging around the coast of Africa and you might get lucky enough to find some very ancient charms. As far back as 75,000 years ago, people would make charms to ward of evil spirits and bad luck. Made of stone or shell, these small disks would be worn on necklaces for protection.

Move up the time line some and charms found in Germany date back 30,000 years. These charms were intricately carved ivory from mammoth tusks. Later still, Egyptians wore charms of many sorts; for identification, religious significance, and for luck.

By Roman times, charms of fish were used when persecuted Christians wanted a simple way to identify one another. Jewish scholars of the time would create charms which contained verses from the Torah for a physical way to connect to their teachings. By the medieval period, knights wore charms to protect them in battle while charms in the Dark Ages were used to denote political affiliation and family ties.

The charm bracelet, however, first appeared about 3,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent. Its favor has waxed and waned throughout history, until the late 19th century when England’s Queen Victoria started to wear a charm bracelet regularly.

Modern Jewelry Design
The final step in the journey for the charm bracelet begins with the production of a Tiffany & Co. bracelet of a single heart charm on a chain. This item remains singularly “Tiffany” and is part of their line of jewelry to this day. Charms continued to be in favor throughout the Great Depression, becoming increasingly luxurious with materials such as platinum and diamonds as part of the construction.

During World War II, soldiers often picked up locally made trinkets and charms that they either sent or brought home to their ladies. After the war ended, teens took up the fad and began collecting charms to commemorate special events in their lives. The popularity of charms only increased when movie stars such as Elizabeth Taylor were spotted wearing the bracelets.

The interest in charm bracelets waned after the 1960’s, only to resurface towards the end of the 20th century with the introduction of two new styles; Italian and European.

Charm Bracelets Today

Charm bracelets are in the limelight once again. With three distinct styles to choose from, jewelry aficionados can customize their look from start to finish. In fact, there is a huge market for antique charms as well.

Those in the market for a charm bracelet will find their best selection online. There are thousands of charms from which to choose, regardless of the style you prefer. If you are looking for a traditional or European bracelet, you will begin by picking the chain from which your charms will hang. With an Italian version, you pick a length upon which to build.

Each charm is purchased individually. This lets you create exactly the motif you desire. It also means that you can set yourself a budget and slowly build your final product.

Charms may no longer be used to protect you from evil, to identify a secretive religious movement, or to represent your clan, but they are a lot of fun. Nothing is quite as unique as the charm bracelets people make for themselves.

To get everything you need to create your own, one of a kind, charm bracelets come to our site, designjewelry.com. We will help you find the perfect charms to grace your wrist.


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