A Charmed Life

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They were the colorful accent on the runways of Louis Vuitton and Chanel and they're already dangling from the graceful wrists of the super stylish set, but the charm bracelet is also one of history's most enduring fashion statements.
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Charms and amulets first appeared around 500 B.C., when trends lasted a couple centuries as opposed to a few weeks. Among the early adopters in ancient civilization were the trend-setting Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Hittites.
These first charms—rocks and gems shaped like animals and gods—were believed to bring good luck and protection to the wearer. Intricate jewelry again became all the rage in Victorian England when Queen Victoria popularized the bracelet by wearing one adorned with lockets containing family photos (including her brood of four sons and five daughters).
During World War II, many American soldiers on duty in Europe would pick up charms in different cities and bring them home to their loved ones to serve as keepsakes of their travels. In the 1970s charm bracelets were commonly given as a coming-of-age gift to girls around their 13th birthdays and the trinkets were collected to commemorate major life events, interests, and hobbies (as if we need to relive the horror of being a teenager).
These days the charm bracelet proffers just as many personal meanings, and can offer then wearer loads of good, cozy memories. And they're even good for warding off evil spirits, but most times we don't tell people that. It just freaks them out.
Vintage sterling-silver charm bracelet, $225, available at Amarcord , 223 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-963-4001.
Charm jewelry also available at:
Saved , Steven Alan , In God We Trust , Some Odd Rubies
They were the colorful accent on the runways of Louis Vuitton and Chanel and they're already dangling from the graceful wrists of the super stylish set, but the charm bracelet is also one of history's most enduring fashion statements.
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