I do love a gorgeous charm bracelet, they are so…..charming. Each bracelet is a story of someone’s life. There are infinite ways to express yourself with charms, no matter what you like or care about, there is a charm that exists for it. People spend a lifetime building a charm bracelet, hopefully it gets passed on to someone that loves it just as much as the original owner. If there is one meaning of the charm bracelet is is express yourself!
Charms have been enchanting people since prehistoric times. Throughout history they are frequently referred to as amulets or talisman. Wearing a charm was thought to ward off evil spirits and bad luck or on the flip side, to provide protection, special powers or inspire love. They have also served as a means of identification whether it be a religious affiliation, a political conviction or a family connection. Christians wore tiny fish charms under their clothes to show their affiliation for the Christian religion during Roman times. The cross necklace was the talisman/charm during the Crusades.
Queen Victoria was a charm bracelet lover. During her popular reign, anything she was interested in sparked a worldwide trend. She started quite a trend with the charm bracelet. She love wearing them and giving them as gifts. She was a sentimental person and loved wearing her specially designed charms from Prince Albert. These little trinkets commemorated birthdays, anniversaries and other special events. After Prince Albert died, she started another trend with mourning charms.
Queen Victoria’s children’s charm bracelet. Photo courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Utilizing the heart motif, each locket contains the hair of Queen Victoria’s children. An inscription inside the first locket shows that it was given to Victoria three days after the birth of their first child. A locket was given for every birth after, containing a lock of the child’s hair with the date of birth engraved inside. Prince Albert sent Victoria a note with the following information: “Pink for Princess Victoria, turquoise blue for Albert, red for Princess Alice, dark blue for Alfred, translucent white for Helena, dark green for Louise, mid blue for Arthur, opaque white for Leopold and light green for Beatrice.”
In 1889, Tiffany and Co. introduced their first charm bracelet, a link bracelet with a single heart dangling from it, a bracelet which is an iconic symbol for Tiffany today.
Charm bracelets are a lovely way to tell your story.
One of the most famous charm bracelets of all time. The Duchess of Windsor’s Cartier diamond bracelet with jeweled crosses from the Duke. Each cross signified special occasions between them. It was one of her favorite pieces of jewelry. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.
This is one of a pair of unique charm bracelets from the estate of Consuelo Vanderbilt Earl. Mrs. Earl was the great-great granddaughter of “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Cartier bracelets are completely original and were made specifically for Mrs. Earl.
An Art Deco multi-gem and platinum charm bracelet, circa 1925. Photo courtesy of 1st dibs.
A modern take on the charm bracelet, this one is by Elizabeth Locke. Photo courtesy of 1st dibs.
An original 18 karat yellow gold Louis Vuitton charm bracelet. Photo courtesy of 1st dibs.
Tiffany platinum and diamond charm bracelet.
From the estate of Bunny Mellon, a French 18k gold, rock crystal and enamel charm bracelet. There are six cocktail themed charms including a twist of lemon peel, a bottle of gin, a cocktail shaker, (which opens to reveal a devil) a liquor bottle, a martini glass and an ice cube, circa 1935. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.
Also from the estate of Bunny Mellon, a Van Cleef & Arpels 18k gold, colored stone and diamond bracelet. The bracelet contains an amethyst, citrine, sapphire, lapis lazuli and beryl, accented by round diamonds weighing approximately 2.00 carats. The bracelet is signed Van Cleef & Arpels N.Y. and numbered 15190. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.
So inspiring don’t you think? I would love to own any one of these!