A history of Charm Bracelets

A history of Charm Bracelets

The wearing of charms can be traced back to prehistoric times

11/01/2024     Jewellery & Gems

A history of Charm Bracelets


Noun: charm is an act, saying, or object that is believed to have magic powers or a small ornament that is fixed to a bracelet or necklace.

The wearing of charms can be traced back to prehistoric times when items like shells and teeth were worn as amulets and talismans and were believed to ward off evil spirits.

Charm bracelets have been subject to several waves of trends 1st appearing from 600 – 400 BC in Assyria, Babylon and Persia.

In more recent times they were popularised by Queen Victoria who loved to wear and give charms and whatever Vicky did the people imitated! She popularised sentimental charms such as keys, lock, love hearts etc. when her beloved Albert died she made mourning charms popular and photo lockets, locks of hair etc. jet charms etc. began to be seen.

In 1889 Tiffany & Co. introduced their first charm bracelet which was a simple link bracelet suspending a single love heart, this design is still popular today.

During World War II soldiers procured charms for their loved ones on their tours and in the 50’s & 60’s American teenagers started the trend of collecting charms to commemorate major life events.

There was a wane in popularity of charm bracelets in the second half of the 20th Century until recent years where they have regained popularity and are now being worn again, antique and vintage pieces are being recycled as well as many modern jewellers reinventing the trend.

In our January Auction we have three fabulous vintage charm bracelets: lot 361 – 363 between them suspending a fabulous collection of charms from a sovereign to a compass, bells, miniature books etc.

For a more contemporary take lot 212 is a modern ring suspending gemstone charms. It’s a charm!

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