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When I worked in jewelry repair every now and then someone would come in with a charm bracelet. The ones that had been passed down a generation or two were usually patinated and positively overflowing with charms. These were my favorite. The customer would have me squeeze in a new charm or remove a few to be made into little pendants for various great-grand nieces so everyone could share the love!
Evidence of charms have gone as far back as the pre-neolithic period. An unusual little bone, a shell, a tooth, a piece of wood or clay would be slipped onto a cord, strip of leather or sinew. Maybe they were purely decorative, maybe they conveyed status or were worn as an amulet.
I like charms that have sentimental meaning. A trinket from great-aunt Lois or Mawmaw. Also, the charm doesn’t have to have originally been a charm. A dangle from an earring, a tiny pendant or even a small ring might be attached to a bracelet and become a charm.
There are modern “charm bracelets” that I can’t stand. I won’t name names, but I really dislike the mass produced beads that you just keep buying your mom so she keeps adding them. They lack personality or sentiment. Also, the beads seem incredibly overpriced for something that is mass manufactured. But to each his own.
I’m brainstorming a charm collection. It may also be a pendant collection. I often create an interesting dangle or drop, but wish the future wearer could put it on his or her own chain or bracelet to add a more personalized touch. I’ll keep you posted!