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Charm Jewelry: It's Not Just For Kids

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Create Heirlooms and Personalized Jewelry in Traditional or Italian Styles

History of Charm Bracelets

Charm bracelets have been popular from as early as 500 B.C., when Assyrians, Babylonians and even Persians wore charms which they associated with special powers. In recent years gold charms and silver charms are becoming popular once again.

Charm jewelry was also very popular during Victorian times in England, when charm bracelets were standard attire among fashionable women seeking spiritual protection and trendy jewelry. Queen Victoria was known to wear charm bracelets containing tiny pictures of family members.

Charm fashions did not become popular in the U.S. until the 1940s, when soldiers often collected gold and silver charms from cities they visited during the war.

Today charm jewelry is most often purchased as a keepsake; many charms are theme based, while others are sentimental in nature, often purchased as a souvenir of a trip or reminder of a special occasion. Charms are even passed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms, often given to children when younger.

Owners may add their own charms to bracelets over time, including those representing favorite places, hobbies and interests.

Italian Charm Bracelets

Italian charm bracelets are slightly different from traditional silver charms or gold charms. Most charm bracelets are fashioned with the charms dangling from a chain; Italian charm bracelets however, are made with the charms soldered to flat links that can be removed from a stretch bracelet. Charms can easily be switched on and off depending on the owners personal preference. Italian charm bracelets are a unique and fun twist on the standard charm bracelet because they are dynamic, fun to wear and trendy. Popular among the young and old alike, these link style charm bracelets are usually made of high quality, hypo-allergenic stainless steel. The actual charms may be fashioned from a variety of different materials including 14 or 18k gold.

Most charm bracelets come in standard sizes, small-medium-large. For Italian charm bracelets these sizes are categorized as follows:

  • Small – includes 17 charm links

  • Medium – contains 18 charm links

  • Large – contains 19 charm links



Traditional Charm Bracelets

Traditional charm bracelets are made of a silver or gold chain with charms dangling. There are literally hundreds of different styles and themes to choose from when purchasing traditional charm jewelry. Some of the more common themes and styles of charm bracelets available include:

  • Beach lover themes

  • Victorian style charms

  • Vintage charm jewelry

  • Memoir or locket style charms

  • Silver charms

  • Gold charms

  • Gemstone charms


Traditional charm bracelets make superb gifts. You can literally find a charm to represent almost any interest, hobby or theme. Sports, animals, travel, landscapes... you name it! In the world of charms, almost anything is possible. Many people enjoy receiving and exchanging charms as part of a hobby or friendship building. Others pass on charm jewelry as part of family traditions. Charm jewelry fashioned with lockets is most commonly the type used for family heirlooms. Perhaps the best facet of charm gifts is that they can be modified at any point in time to reflect a person's changing interests and style preferences. Bracelets or chains can even be upgraded over time without losing the original charms.

Pricing

Silver charms and gold charms may run anywhere from $2 all the way up to $2000 depending on the materials the charm bracelets are made from. You can purchase chains or starter charm bracelets without any dangles for the $20 or less price range in most cases. Less expensive versions crafted of sterling silver with one charm can be purchased. The more expensive charms are usually gold charms crafted of 18k gold with diamonds and other precious gems embedded in the charm.

Italian charm bracelets $10 to $100 or more depending on the quality and the charms included. Their affordability makes them very popular among younger consumers, who are interested in investing in trendy jewelry that won't break the bank.

Price will also vary depending on the number of charms that come pre-fashioned with a particular piece of jewelry. Keep in mind that with charm bracelets, you can start with as little as 1 charm or buy into a bracelet that has several charms pre-selected. The choices are literally endless when it comes to charm jewelry.

Building a Unique Charm Bracelet

Anyone can create their own unique charm bracelet, whether Italian style or traditional. If you can't find something that exactly fits your needs and personality, why not create your own? Crafting individualized charm jewelry is increasingly popular among jewelry fans young and old alike. You can even create your own personalized family heirloom thanks to the versatility charm jewelry has to offer.

Before you begin you'll need to decide whether you want an Italian style or traditional bracelet; remember that the traditional style holds charms that dangle, while the Italian version has charms that are embedded in chain links.

Once you decide this you can decide on a starter chain bracelet. There are literally hundreds of different starter bracelets to choose from. Consider your personal preferences. Do you prefer the look of gold or silver? Perhaps you like a combination of both? You'll also want to have an idea of what size starter bracelet you need. Often you can tell this by measuring your wrist. You can do this by taking your thumb and middle finger and wrapping around your wrist. If your two fingers just touch, you'll probably need a medium. If they overlap, a small charm bracelet will work best for you. If your fingers do not touch, then you'll likely need a large.

Once you have decided on a type of chain and sizing, you can begin selecting the perfect charms! Consider a theme, charms that represent personal interests, places you'd like to travel to, or hobbies.

Remember that charm bracelets are a fun and unique way of buying or making jewelry that expresses your style and personality in a unique way!

About the Author

Antigone Arthur is an award-winning author and freelance writer providing consumer information on such topics as charm bracelets, gold charms, and sterling silver charms.




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