People have been wearing charm bracelets for thousands of years . In ancient times, different cultures placed stones, religious charms, coins and other items on a chain to ward off evil and bring good luck. Charms were also used as family identification and symbol of status in the community – the more charms one wore – more more presence they had. Soon, people began wearing multiple charms at once and the charm bracelet was born.
While they’re no longer seen as talisman, there is a certain, shall we say, charm to them. Today, men and women wear charm bracelets more as a fashion statement and a unique way to express themselves than as a way to fend of spirits and bring good luck. The chain link charm bracelet is the traditional style.
You can buy the chain with the charms attached, like the bracelet on the right, or you can purchase the chain and add charms to it as you find ones that suit your tastes. With these, the charms hook to the loops and dangle from the bracelet.
A more contemporary style is called an Italian charm bracelet. With this version, the the charms are affixed to the face of a flat rectangular link and lie flush with the rest of the bracelet. Italian charm bracelets are sleek; nothing dangles from them because the band is made with interlocking expandable links. This makes the piece stretchy so that the wear can slide the bracelet over the wrist without using a clasp. Regardless of which type, there are certain charms that remain the most popular.
- Horseshoe: positioned with the points facing downward it means you are collecting luck. Stored with the points facing up it means you are storing your luck.
- Ankh: The Egyptian symbol for eternity.
- Baby bottle: Represents a new child and ensures health.
- Elephant: Ensures your life will be full of wonderful moments to remember.
- Shamrock: Luck will be on your side.
- Flowers: Roses stand for beauty, flowers for fertility, daisies for happiness and lilies represent a lost loved one.
- Owl: Represents wisdom
- Ship: Represents a dreamer and ensures adventure.
- Monkey: Represents mischief and fun.
- Fox: Stands for mischievous wisdom and can also represent protection.
- Skeleton Key: Ensures a happy home.
- Cross: Represents didactic purity.
- Angel: Ensures you will lead a blessed life. Many also believe angel charms are small representations of one’s guardian angel.
- Padlock: Often given along with a key to symbolize the love of two people. Padlocks can also represent the future which is yet to be seen.
- High Heel Shoe: Represents true devotion to style and fashion.
- Suitcase, airplane or car: Represents travel.
- Locket: Represents the desire to protect a love that has grown.
- Picture Charm: Pride in family and friends.
- Camera or paint brush: Stands for creativity.
- Typewriter: Represents a loquacious penman.
- Heart: Symbolizes love and friendship.
- Butterfly: Represents transformation, spring and beauty.
- Dove: Symbolizes peace.
- Pink Ribbon: Breast cancer awareness
- Flag: Represents pride in one’s country or heritage.
- Dragon: Symbolizes strength, the sublime power of nature and can also be seen as a protective spiritual guide.
- Lizard: In Greek times it represented both death and resurrection much like a phoenix.
- Lion: Lions stand for bravery, courage and resolve. Recently, lions also represent Harry Potter’s Gryffindor house.
- Unicorn: Symbolizes healing, love, kindness, purity and beauty.
- Wishbone: Stands for hopes and dreams. Wishbones are often paired with the horseshoe for added luck.
- Oroborus: The serpent eating its tail symbolizes the circle of life.
So, from a lucky horse shoe to a picture of a child to the oroborus, there are charms to commemorate special occasions and holidays, charms that become popular and obscure collectibles, charms that cater to quirky tastes and much more. A charm bracelet really allows a a person to express him or herself and, in gold, silver or two-tone, they go with everything. Finding the perfect charms to create a unique piece of jewelry is fun and makes for a bit of family history as it is passed down from one family member to the next.