Everybody knows that things of our youth that disappeared will come back one day or another. Sometimes modernized. But it can happen that the same thing is ‘reinvented’ again and becomes fashion. When I was about 5 years old, I got from my parents a bracelet for my birthday. My grandparents gave me a ‘lucky’ charm for it. And on every suitable occasion, my bracelet grew.
But my eyes grew too when I saw the trend, new, and hot jewelry designs of this year… charms, charms and more charms. You might say that a charming charm is a joy forever and one charm will never die.
The funny thing about collecting charms for my bracelet was that you could choose an applicable charm for the situation. I had a hockey stick charm when I tried to master that sport and a new doggie meant a new ‘dog’ charm. I forgot why I had a ‘teapot’ charm, but it was lovely.
Preparing a blog post about charms I discovered that a charm bracelet is not invented in my youth. Back then it was also a reinvention from an earlier period.
When was the beginning of this ‘charm’ trend?
Probably wearing charms on bracelets or necklaces started as a form of talisman or amulet, to get rid of bad luck or evil spirits and ghosts. In the pre-historic times, the charms were made of shells, clay or bones. Archeologists found charms in Africa that are more than 75.000 years old. In Germany, a charm was cut from a mammoth tusk of 30.000 years old. And even in Egypt, they have found charms that were used for luck and identification.
In the Roman Times charms in the shape of little fishes were used as identification by Christians. And Jewish scholars were able to right parts of the Jewish law on a charm to keep it close to their heart. I have found so many examples of times where charms were popular and every other period the popularity of the charm went down and up again. Like a charm is a joy forever. You might forget it for ages, but it always comes back.
Charms were mostly worn on necklaces, or fabric and leather strings. Bracelets with charms came up in the time of the Assyrians and the Persians around 600 to 400 BC. A very big fan of wearing bracelets with charms was Queen Victoria. She was a kind of trendsetter for the European nobility at that time.
Not only charm necklaces but also charm bracelets!
Queen Victoria loves charms and charm bracelets and her family and friends received many beautiful and precious charms on several occasions from her. When her husband Prince Albert died she ordered a jewelry designer to make a ‘mourning charm’ with a lock of hair from the prince. It became even a big trend.
A trend that was picked very fast by the commercial parties. For instance, Tiffany introduced in 1889 their first charm bracelet, with a little heart. In the 20s and 30s of the last century, during the Great Depression golden and diamond charms were manufactured. And in the 50s and 60s teenagers collected charms, that were a memory of an important event in their life. And now we are back to my youth again when I got my first charm bracelet. It’s like a ring that turns and turns and every spot of the ring comes forward in due time.
And what about the Pandora trend with their bracelet and charm beads? Remember my words… charms keep coming back!
Conclusion: don’t follow the Marie Kondo trend
So the conclusion might be that you should keep your jewelry at all times since they will become popular again. Therefore I looked for my charm bracelet everywhere, but I cannot find it. So when I want to participate in this ‘new trend’ I have to buy another charm bracelet and start collecting charms that represent great events in my life. I might do that since when this trend goes down I just have to wait when some designer decides that it is time to dust the old charms again and make it a trend.
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