A blog about vintage fashion, vintage jewels and art.....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Charming Charm Bracelets

If you follow fashion assiduously you will know that the charm bracelet has come back in vogue and making a great noise about it too. The younger jewellery afficionados will unfailingly believe that charm bracelets are an invention of our times. Truth is that they started off in a most inconspicuous manner way back in the days of Victoriana. Back then it was the chain off a gentleman's fob watch which gave vent to the idea of dangling any unlikely object onto it and showing it off for posterity. Then came the locket on a chain, and Victorian belles could keep a lock off their beaux's head whilst he went traipsing off across continents with flag and bayonet whilst beseeching God to keep saving the Queen.

It was a fashion born in the simplest of manners until it landed in the land of plenty and took America by storm, reaching those far flung shores just in time to see the emergence of the Hollywood babes. These wore the charm bracelet as a fashion statement only until they discovered they could make a personal statement of it as well. Legend has it that one famous film star had a charm added onto her gold chain bracelet for each new boyfriend she had in tow and apparently ended with a too-heavy-to-wear bracelet after all her troubles.

Then the charm bracelet turned Lucky' and a fad started off whereby each college girl had to have her very own. The single or double strand chain would have a new charm added on for each new occasion worth a mention or remembrance. Then came the themed bracelets holding uniquely charms associated with the wearer's favourite pastimes, whether it was a collection of cats, holiday souvenirs, lovehearts, flowers, or musical instruments.

But why do vintage charm bracelets fetch such high prices? There is a marked difference between the vintage costume jewel and the fine jewel, between the sterling and gold. A lot depends on the bracelet's charm characters and weight. A bracelet holding three charms will be less likely to attract a collector's attention than one holding 40. Then again, some bracelets are virtual leaps into a girl's life, literally documenting a period in her existence which is unique to her and her only.

There is a special feeling to handling a bracelet keeping a charm marked 1967, a flag showing Texas, a remembrance for a first anniversary, an 18th birthday charm, a locket with a piece of hair/cloth/miniature picture, a dollar charm from a win at Vegas, an I Luv You' charm.. The all added one at a time, over weeks, months and probably years. The bracelet was once the diary keepsake of one special and unique lady. The reasons behind her parting with it may be many and varied - the more reasons to cherish it with care for the heirloom that it most certainly is.

No comments: