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Charm Bracelets

One of the most popular items we find in jewellery boxes is the charm bracelet...

21/02/2024     Blog

One of the most popular items we find in jewellery boxes is the charm bracelet whether it be a modern Pandora example, a 1970’s silver one or an earlier gold bracelet filled with sovereigns and other delights.

But have you ever thought about the history of charm bracelets?

They date back to the pre-historic period when the wearing of charms was thought to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. These charms were often made from animal bones or tusks, shells or rocks. Medieval Knights often wore charms in battle to protect themselves and during the Roman Empire Christians wore fish charms and Jews wore tiny passages of Jewish law.

Queen Victoria often wore charm bracelets which started a fashion amongst European nobility. She also enjoyed giving charms bracelets as presents. When her beloved husband Albert died, and she went into mourning she continued to wear charm bracelets with black jet carved charms. These were often miniature portraits of the deceased or charms containing his lock of hair which in turn became fashionable with ladies of the period.

In 1889 Tiffany and Co introduced their first silver charm bracelet a simple link bracelet with a heart charm attached. This is still made today and is a real iconic piece of jewellery.

In the 1920/30’s platinum and diamonds were used in charm bracelets and became a real fashion and status symbol.

During the WW11 soldiers would send charms made by local craftsmen to their loved ones back home. These were worn to remind the wearer of the soldiers and so they could keep a gift from them close.

The real popularity of charm bracelets was in the 1950-70’s when film stars such as Joan Crawford and Elizabeth Taylor wore charm bracelets, and they became the must have fashion accessory. 

Often charms were brought by family members as presents to add to bracelets. Sometimes a lady would collect a certain type of charm whether it be buildings to remind them of lovely trips or holidays, animals, zodiac signs or different types of coins. Here at Sheffield Auction Gallery almost every jewellery sale has an array of charm bracelets or charms for sale.

Charm bracelets did become rather out of fashion towards the end of the 20th century but have become back into fashion in recent years.

Recently a customer who loved poodles brought us a charm bracelet containing nothing but poodle charms and another with twelve sovereigns attached. The value of charm bracelets is not only the weight of the gold or silver but also the intricacies and the quality of the charms attached. So, if you fancy wearing a real unique piece of jewellery the charm bracelet might be a good choice, no two bracelets are ever the same.