What do lipstick, hot cocoa, cupcakes, Chinese take out, a mousetrap, a soft pretzel, a hot air balloon, a panda, a carousel horse, an ice-cream, a London phone booth and a little red lighthouse have in common? Nothing, unless you’re a Juicy Couture Charm Bracelet collector, and then you probably already know these are just some of the charms in their juicy line of multicolor enamel and rhinestone charm selection. They’re not cheap! Each charm is between $50 and $70 and the basic silver plated starter bracelet is over $40.
A charm bracelet like the one by Juicy Couture may be charming, but it’s a long ways from what began as amulets people wore to ward off evil or bring luck.
Charms, Amulets and Talismans
The word CHARM in English tends to bring to mind fairytale thoughts of prince charming and princesses and castles and dainty glass slippers and not a serious tradition of wearing wild boars teeth or lion claws as talisman or glass eyes to deter the great evil eye, or moons, and stars and suns to appease the elements of nature, or effigies of gods to deter unseen spirits, or white or black witchcraft to manipulate even the darkest secrets of our souls…
…Since the dawn of man, humans have had to fight against the elements, against wild beasts, cohabit with mysteries of nature and explain the explainable.
And from this struggle have emerged amulets and talismans whose primary objective has always been to protect the wearer from harm or to bring good fortune, be they ancient Egyptian cross of eternal life, crocodiles and hippos from the Nile River, pyramids with eyes and the power to protect, trinkets to allow the gods to recognize the bearer in the afterlife, protection for Medieval knights during battles, crosses and skulls donned by pirates who haunted the high seas, tribal phallic symbols of fertility or…
Charm Bracelet Charms and their Meanings
The Eagle – is a talisman that denotes agility, wisdom and astute vigilance for the bearers and protects against envy. Preferably, this charm should be forged in gold jewelry for best results.
Guardian Angel – is a powerful symbol that serves to protect and is most powerful carved from wood and bejeweled with quarts.
Spider – is an amulet that will bring economic benefits to its wearer be it to their home or to their business. It is most powerful if the amulet is made from pure silver.
Scale – this amulet or charm will help the bearer to act justly and as a consequence help others to deal justly with you. The precious metal used for the charm, gold, silver, platinum or brass is not important.
Owl –is a very powerful animal amulet and talisman because it represents the goddess of wisdom and the goddess Athena, who is also associated with intelligence and illumination. This is a good charm for people who work in publicity or marketing because it is also an inspirational amulet that acts as a muse for new ideas and to be able to complete creative projects.
Horn of Plenty – in the form of a charm, this symbol will bring prosperity to its wearer. It will also ward off rivalry, suspicion and treason. It is advisable that it be a gift from another for its effects to be strongest.
Dolphin – is an excellent talisman for people who travel by sea because it is said to be able to liberate them from seafaring harm. It is also a powerful charm that aids in making dreams a reality.
Sword – is the amulet that is most powerful to resolve problems associated with the law and to ensure honest or just treatment. Silver, platinum, iron, steel or even white gold charms are best in this design.
Lizard – is an amulet to improve eyesight or to heal ocular ailments. It is often carved from jade or studded with emeralds or green gemstones.
Lion – is a charm that will protect against dangers on a voyage and will also help to avoid contagious diseases. For maximum protection it should be carved from quarts stone or any other yellow stone or metal preferably for gold charms.
Moon — is a fertility amulet, but also helps elude problems with inequality, rivalry, physical aggression, and is said to protect the defenseless such as the elderly or young children. Best as sterling silver charms.
Dove – this talisman proportions tranquility, happiness and stability to the bearer. It helps to avoid fires and being struck by lightening. It is recommended to have this charm made in porcelain or ceramic, and to not only wear it about your wrist but to hang a few ceramic or clay dove sculptures inside your home.
Fish — this is the amulet for harmony that will also give you the force and energy required to accomplish all your goals. It is advisable to wear this charm in silver and to keep your body in motion as much as possible. Aside from the pagan and mythical powers of the fish, it is also an ancient symbol of the early Christians.
Pyramid –the pyramid and the triangle have always been symbols of divine power. If you place a pyramid shape over your head during meditation, it will help you to gather wandering thoughts. Triangular shapes and pyramids are powerful for attracting positive energy in almost all cultures of the world.
Arrow head — this is an ideal amulet to distance ourselves form resentments. It is also said that the one who wears this charm will be able to impose authority and obtain triumph. It is best if this amulet is given or received as a gift and not purchased.
Wheel – it is recommended that this amulet be made of wood. It should also be placed in such a way that it can turn to help with progress and aid that there be no conflicts within the home.
Magical Creatures — these amulets of mythical or magical creatures such as elves, fairies, unicorns, or salamanders are effective in attracting abundance, fortune and harmony in the home. It is recommended that be made of resin (amber jewelry), porcelain or ceramic.
Sun – this amulet is for all things pertaining to fertility, good crops, economic abundance, happiness and general good fortune. Naturally, it is best if the charm is made from gold or a golden or yellow color metal or stone. It can be worn on a charm bracelet and also placed at the entrance of a home (or painted on the walls) to bring abundance to those within.
Tiger – this animal as a whole or in any of its parts such as its claws or teeth are strong amulets for good fortune. Tiger claws are especially effective charms for attracting love and for a strong, passionate life.
Charming Pieces of Jewelry
A charm is a form of talisman, which means a consecrated or sacred object and also an amulet, which is an object that offers protection from harm. In most parts of the world it is generally agreed that it is not just the effigy or the charm and what it symbolizes that offers protection or wards off evil, but the time, the exact auspicious moment the talisman/amulet/charm was created, so as to imbue it with power, or endow it with some enchantment by a white or black witch, sorcerer or sorceress.
If it was not created by someone with power at the precise moment to capture energy or magical power or to become aligned with astrologically dominant forces, then it will likely have no supernatural effects, which is why most manufactured or mass-produced charm bracelets are nothing more than charming pieces of jewelry.
Charm Bracelet Trends over Time
Charm bracelets that appear less mystical and seem to be a faddish trend of the young modern generation are not entirely new fads, since waves of such trends have come and gone throughout society for centuries. In fact, there was a European trend that swept through the noble classes during the reign of Queen Victoria, and another that swept the world during the second world war, and again another in the Americas in the ‘50’s, which had less to do with magic and more to do with trinkets to record the events that marked milestones in people’s lives. Again, this trend has reemerged, in part, due to the resurrection of all things that are considered vintage.
Charms that forever remain popular are Venetian munroe glass charms and the new interlocking Italian bracelets that snap together instead of having dangling charms from chains. However, the tendency toward collecting small souvenirs and tokens of travels or life events and attaching them to a basic chain bracelet still remains popular as evidenced by the massively fashionable Pandora charm bracelet and the Juicy Couture bracelets that are taking the jewelry industry by storm once again, reviving what began in the 70’s with Trollbeads, lovelinks, and the ‘add a bead’ craze of the 80’s.
Making Your Own Charm Bracelet
Many online jewelry companies offer “your own charm bracelet” creation areas, where you can select a basic bracelet and then virtually add charms (using your mouse) that automatically are shown on the bracelet, along with a tally of the price as you add items. Most are not at all cheap. The Pandora bracelet I created for myself, with just four gold letters for my name and the chain ended up being priced over $1,000. Another bracelet I created with travel trinkets was priced over $500.
Simple Tiffany bracelets and charms are gorgeous but also come with a high price tag. Neiman Marcus, Links of London and many other jewelers offer similar gold or sterling silver bracelet options, with crystal Swarovski charms or even gem studded trinkets with rubies and emeralds. Others have tiny cubic zirconia engagement rings as charms, or high-heeled shoes, or even little notebooks or mobile telephones.
Silver bracelets in costume jewelry settings still tend to be the least expensive choice, but many silver charms come encrusted with very detailed enamel or jeweled designs that make the trinkets charming but not too cheap. Silver jewellery in general is easiest to match, and since charm bracelets are all about adding pieces, this may still be the best and most affordable way to go. I have found silver charms in almost everything from cowboy hats and boots to vintage jewelry amulets and talismans from the turn of the century.
Although gold cz tennis bracelets with rubies or emeralds intermixed and silver bangle bracelets are still the best sellers for women, teen and tween young ladies are mostly going after wristlet handbags and wholesale costume jewelry charm bracelets and cubic zirconia bracelets that can be embellished with charms like the ones form Juicy Couture.
One big seller is the Deco Charm Bracelet which includes blocks of letters, and the juicy signature puffed heart. This version of charm bracelet is amongst the least expensive from this line, perhaps the best value since it offers a gold or silver plated chain with a toggle closure and the letters J-U-I-C-Y made from cubic zirconia, glass and colored resin. The whole set costs $98.00.
Discount Jewelry for Charms
There are a few discount jewelry and wholesale jewellery outlets that carry less expensive options for charms and bracelets for young girls that start at about $10 or $12. They offer a large selection, but the problem is that most are very cheaply made and fall apart or lose their shine or the gold or silver plating wears off quickly. And the idea behind a charm bracelet is to have something to add to that will last years. Wholesale fashion jewelry outlets that sell super cheap charms are often not such a bargain if the basic bracelet isn’t of good quality.
It may be better to search through some antique jewellery centers or second hand jewellery shops to find a good white gold bracelet as a starter and then build from there. Especially if the bracelet is to be a gift, it should start it’s charm life as best as it can. Then a young girl can build upon it for years and have something to remember and not just a bunch of junk that ends up in the trash.
Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelets
A good option for a meaningful charm bracelet that may have magical properties for women who suffer from cancer is the Breast cancer Awareness Bracelet. Many jewelers who make delicate cancer bracelets or awareness bracelets promote breast cancer awareness and raise funds for research by contributing a portion of what you pay for the jewelry to the cancer foundations.
There are many retailers and jewelers who make these awareness bracelets such as a company called Rembrandt that supports Breast Cancer Awareness and Research with proceeds from the sale of its Pink Ribbon charm. They will launch new “Pink Ribbon” charms and bracelets for the campaign during the month of October, which is breast cancer awareness month. The campaign is said to be able to promote the bracelets through more than 7,500 retail jewelers, who offer thousands of handcrafted charms in both sterling silver and karat gold options.
To find other jewelers who also participate in promoting cancer awareness bracelets you can go to the breast cancer facts websites at www.breastcancer.org
Rubber Bracelet Charms
For very little children there are also rubber bracelet charms. One is called the Zig-A-Roo’s adjustable charm, which is a small custom bracelet onto which children can mix and match 52 different charms. There is also a teen rubber bracelet, known as silicone rubber bracelets and wristbands, which do not usually have charms, but can be customized to have names or logos or designs. These are usually sold in packs of multicolored or wild neon bracelet assortments.
Another use of charm bracelets that dates back to charms being astrologically powerful amulets and talismans are the birthstone charms that come in all the stones pertinent to the zodiac signs, including gorgeous lavender and purple amethyst jewelry charms and semi precious garnet jewelry. Here is a list of birthstones (I have included the Tibetan mystical stone for each month as well):
- January – Garnet Jewelry – Rose Quartz– for mystical use – Emerald
- February – Amethyst Jewelry, Onyx, Moonstone – for mystical use – Bloodstone
- March – Aquamarine Jewelry, Bloodstone, Rock Crystal – for mystical use – Jade
- April – Diamond Jewelry, Quartz, White Sapphire –for mystical use – Opal
- May – Emerald Jewelry, Agate, Chrysoprase, Beryl –for mystical use – Sapphire
- June – Pearl Moonstone Jewelry, pearl, Opal, Alexandrite –for mystical use – Moonstone
- July – Ruby Jewelry, Carnelian –for mystical use – Ruby
- August – Peridot Jewelry, Sardonyx, Sapphire, Jade –for mystical use – Diamond
- Sept. – Sapphire Jewelry, Moonstone, Lapis Lazuli, Diamond, Chrsolite –for mystical use – Agate
- Oct. – Opal Jewelry, Tourmaline, Pink Tourmaline, Zircon, Aquamarine –for mystical use –Jasper
- Nov. – Yellow Topaz Jewelry, Citrine, Topaz, Diamond –for mystical use – Pearl
- Dec. – Blue Topaz Jewelry, Turquoise, Tanzanite, Zircon, Lapis–for mystical use – Black Onyx
Christmas Charms and Fish
A charm bracelet is a another ladies accessories option that should be kept in mind for the upcoming holidays since charms make good Christmas presents for the ladies and young girls who collect them. Some charms that are fun for very young children are Christmas reindeer, small Santa jewelry, little snowmen and other cute Christmas character charms.
Christmas charms can also take on a more symbolic meaning when giving fish jewelry, which is thought to be the original symbol used by early Christians to represent that they followed Jesus. Fish Jewelry has again gained popularity for modern Christians who wish to keep religious topics foremost on their minds (or jingling from their wrists) during the Christmas holiday season. An unusual Christian Christmas bracelet could include crosses, religious icons, fish, small loaves of bread and other ancient Christian saints.
Italian Charm Bracelets
Charms for bracelets, as I have said, needn’t be dangling charms. There is a very unique silver charm bracelet and gold charm bracelet made in the Italian style that has resurged in popularity since about 2001. These Italian charm bracelets can be added to by snapping charms onto the body of the bracelet rather than being dangled from a chain because individual pieces, or charm icons, have been soldered flat onto the surface of each link or portion of jewelry.
There are many design houses that now carry these styles of charms, which include Louis Vuitton and his teen line of Juicy Couture. In some cases the added charms are snapped onto a flat bracelet and/or popped onto a stretchy bracelet. The base bracelets that are stretchy are made from stainless steel and usually have 18K gold charms soldered on top. They can hold between 17 to 19 charms. These Italian bracelets are almost all quite expensive, and each genuine charm can be hundreds of dollars. Italian charm bracelet collection is not for the poor or very young who support their jewelry habits on small allowances. This is serious jewelry.
Disney Charm Bracelet and Michael Jackson Charm Watch
The Classic Disney charm bracelet with 37 Disney character charms, from Mickey to Pooh, costs about $200. And they are not real gold charm bracelets, but just plated, so take that into account.
And speaking of hot items that can be added as charms to Italian bracelets or worn as a charm on its own, there is a Michael Jackson Heart Italian Charm Watch that fits on Italian charm bracelets or can be worn alone. The charm bracelet watch is a collectable Michael Jackson Italian Charm Wrist Watch that costs about $16.
Searching for Charms Online
Because there are so many styles and kinds of charms and bracelets you should be as specific as possible when searching for what you need online.
Sterling silver charm bracelets and a white gold charm bracelet may bring up the widest choices from Italian to a childrens charm bracelet watch, so if you want something more specific try looking for a twilight charm bracelet, which is the theme of a popular book and show, or for more mature looks, try searching for a vintage charm bracelet or go directly to Italian charms. A heart charm bracelet search will net you everything from $1,000 diamond hearts to teeny little red hearts made of enamel for a dollar or two.
Gold charms still remain the most expensive ones you can buy even though they’re small. Often the work involved in making gold Italian charms is extensive because many of the gold bracelet charms are highly detailed creations of minute animals or people or even cars or replicas of famous monuments. Chamilia charm bracelets, a relative newcomer to the market, are also more expensive than average and start at around $30 per charm.
The least expensive charms are for children and can be made of rubber or plastic or very cheep brass or tin. These can cost as little as a couple dollars, and are not intended to be keepsakes so it is best not to invest in a costly starter bracelet for these charms. Any $5 or $10 link bracelet will suffice to start a childs charm bracelet just to teach them how to collect pieces. Later the cheap bracelets can be replaced with something that will be more lasting and where they can collect more meaningful personalized charms.
Talisman and Amulets for Energy
For some of the most unusual charms, try searching for Tibetan or ancient Chinese or Buddhist symbols that have been created in monasteries or by shamans who have imbued them with energy.
They may not be magical in the storybook sense, but stones and metals are known to hold energy from people and the earth and they can retain these properties, not as talismans or amulets like for a sorcerer, but as small sources of natural power that lingers within earth’s elements and can be felt by humans.