It has been a tradition for centuries for people to wear charm bracelets to document their life stories. Each charm represented their life's joys, sadness, goals, and superstitions.
In a way, it's like journaling the events in a person's life. Often the bracelet or piece of charm would be passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom.
But, why did charm bracelets become popular in the first place? Who even considered using a piece of jewelry to document one's life?
We're going to discuss the history of charm bracelets and how it has become a significant heirloom for many families. Find out why it holds so much sentimental value for so many and who influences its popularity.
Ancient Civilization and Charmed Bracelets Connection
During the ancient Egyptian period, people used natural elements such as shells, gems, and animal teeth to protect and keep evil spirits away. Also, since a person's lifespan was shorter during this time, the amulets and talismans worn by people were for identification of the gods in the afterlife.
In Roman civilization, charms were a representation of one's spiritual beliefs. For example, Jewish people would wear a gold charm as a necklace to keep their faith strong and next to their hearts.
Knights in the Renaissance period often wore charms during battle to keep them safe on the field. Despite this, charms lost their importance among the wealthy because of the mass production of books, which made people less inclined to believe in superstitions.
The ancient civilization wore charms, amulets, and talismans for many reasons, but the main one was protection. They believed the charms offered strength for daily life and protected them in case of evil spirits or to keep bad things from happening to them.
Queen Victoria’s Love for Charm Bracelets
In her time, Queen Victoria was one of the most influential fashion icons. Her style was copied by women all over the world, and she had a habit of popularizing trends that would go on to become timeless classics. One such trend was the charm bracelet.
In the early 1800s, there was a decline in wearing charm bracelets. However, Queen Victoria began wearing them again in the 1840s, and soon they became all the rage.
Women often purchase charms to commemorate special occasions or show off their interests and hobbies. Once again, some even believed charms could bring good luck or ward off evil spirits. Whatever the reason, there's no doubt that Queen Victoria helped make charm bracelets popular again.
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Early Hollywood Stars and Fashion Designers Influence
In the 1920s, Hollywood stars such as Gloria Swanson and Joan Crawford helped to make charm bracelets popular again. These bracelets were often made of gold or silver and featured a variety of charms, such as hearts, stars, and moons. Good luck and aspirations were associated with these charms.
Once Hollywood stars began wearing the dazzling accessory, fashion designers soon caught on to the trend. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli were two of the most influential designers of the time, and they each put their unique spin on the bracelet.
An outfit could be made more luxurious by adding CoCo's bracelets. She often used pearls and other precious stones in her designs, and her bracelets were often featured in Vogue magazine.
On the other hand, Schiaparelli was known for her eccentric and playful designs. Her bracelets often featured whimsical charms, and she even collaborated with artists like Salvador Dali to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Many women in the 1920s began collecting charms thanks to these ladies, and the trend soon spread to other parts of the world.
Related: How To Waer A Bracelet
World War 2 and Traveling Charms
Charm bracelets and traveling charms were trendy during World War II. Many soldiers would purchase charms from the countries they visited and send them home to their loved ones.
These bracelets became known as "sweetheart" bracelets and were a way for soldiers to stay connected to their families while they were away. The popularity of these bracelets continued after the war, and they remain a popular style of jewelry today.
Traveling charms also became popular souvenirs during the war. People would purchase charms from the places they visited and add them to their collections.
These charms were a way to remember the places they had been and the people they had met. The popularity of traveling charms has also continued after the war, and they are now a popular way to remember a trip or vacation.
Elizabeth Taylor, 1980s, and Today’s Impact on Charm Bracelets
If you ask anyone about the most iconic piece of jewelry worn by Elizabeth Taylor, they would probably say her diamond bracelet from Richard Burton. This bracelet was given to her in 1969, and she wore it often, even after their divorce.
It became so synonymous with her that it was nicknamed the "Burton-Taylor" bracelet. After she died in 2011, the bracelet was put up for auction and sold for over $8 million.
Interestingly, the Burton-Taylor bracelet isn't the only charm bracelet associated with Elizabeth Taylor. She was also known for wearing a gold charm bracelet with beloved charms given to her by friends and family. This bracelet was so special that she kept it in a safe box when she wasn't wearing it.
Professional women began wearing power dresses in the 1980s, and jewelry was seen as a way to add a touch of glamour to their outfits. Charmed bracelets were trendy, allowing women to personalize their looks with charms representing their interests and accomplishments.
The 1990s brought a more casual attitude to fashion, and charm bracelets became a popular way for young women to express their individuality. Today, charm bracelets are still widely worn, and they continue to be a popular way to accessorize both formal and casual looks.
Tell Your Story With a Charm Bracelet
A charm bracelet is a beautiful piece of jewelry with a long and rich history. Today, this unique accessory is worn by people worldwide to express themselves. The charm bracelet adds a touch of beauty to your outfit regardless of whether you choose to wear it for its meaning or because you like how it looks.