What Are Charm Bracelets & What Do They Mean?

August 25, 2021

What Are Charm Bracelets & What Do They Mean?

We've all seen how the popularity of charm bracelets has skyrocketed in the past few decades. Not only are charm bracelets an amazing way to express personal style and show off what's important to you, but the ease with which charms can be replaced means you can customize bracelet styles to match whatever outfit you're pairing them with. If you're looking to learn a bit more about what charm bracelets are, what different types of charms mean, and how to decide which charms to buy your loved one, we've compiled an amazing guide to help you with your charm bracelet journey! 

Charm Bracelets Throughout the Ages

In the present day, we might automatically think of a charm bracelet as some type of silver chain with different sterling silver charms of animals, gemstones, or geographic landmarks. However, if we consider a charm as any type of small trinket or significant decorative element, then the actual practice of having charm bracelets dates back thousands of years. One of the earliest known occurrences is of a delicate twine bracelet decorated with shells found in Africa over 75,000 years ago. At the peak of the ice age around 30,000 years ago, bracelets with charms carved from mammoth tusks were also found. Throughout many different cultures across history, charms were often used as symbols of faith, allegiance, and as amulets to ward off evil spirits. 

The more modern chain-link bracelet with charms is generally thought to have come onto the scene sometime in the Victorian era. Queen Victoria actually owned some charm bracelets, which helped fuel their popularity throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, as they became extremely popular with the upper and middle class.

Charm Symbolism

When we think of our modern-day charm bracelets with little figures and tokens attached to a chain around the wrist, we realize there is truly an infinite number of possibilities as to what types of charms might exist. While it can be difficult to sort through what types of charms you might want to be attached to your bracelet, here are some common themes when it comes to looking for sterling silver charms that might give you some ideas.

Religious and Spiritual: One of the most popular choices for charms is spiritual or religious tokens. Given how important spirituality is in many people's lives, charms might be worn as a symbol of faith or to bring comfort or blessings to the wearer. Traditional Christian symbols such as the Cross, a Sacred Heart, or a Dove are quite popular, with symbols from Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, among other major religions, also being commonly used in charm bracelets. These charms can make great gifts during religious occasions, in remembrance of a passed family member, or as an additional sign of comfort during a challenging time.

Zodiac: Another common type of charm include pieces that draw inspiration from the 12 signs of the Zodiac. Whether it's through using the different birthstones associated with the different star signs, or maybe even through the unique shaping of the sterling silver charm to represent the zodiac figures, these types of charms make an excellent gift for celebrating a birthday or to congratulate someone on the arrival of their new child.

Nature or Geographic Charms: Another popular choice for charms is nature or geographic charms that symbolize something to the wearer. For example, maybe a child has the nickname honeybee or perhaps has a deep love of dogs or flowers. These would all make exceptional gift choices for charms. In terms of geographic locations, think about what places might be significant to the wearer. Honeymoon in Paris? Maybe an Eiffel Tower Charm. Born in California? Perhaps a palm tree charm. Both geographic and natural charms are often significant to the wearer in some way and make beautiful additions to a sterling silver charm collection.

Passion or Hobby Charms: Many of the charms out there today have been created to help charm bracelet wearers show off some of the many things they are interested in or passionate about. An avid tennis player, for example, might sport a little tennis racket charm, or someone who loves working with their hands might have a little hammer charm. Passion or hobby charms make excellent gifts for friends, as they are small reminders of what makes each person unique and are a great expression of one's interests. 

Guide to Buying Charms

If you're buying charms for a friend, loved one, or just someone special, it can often be tricky to know where to start, as there are so many different types out there. We often find the best place to begin is by looking at your relationship with that person and exploring your intention behind the gift.

For Your Wife or Partner: If the charm you're looking for is for a special occasion as an expression of love, whether it be for an anniversary or as a celebration, then there are a few different directions you can go. There are many charms that signify love and commitment, such as a lovers' knot, hearts, or a bride and groom charm. If you're looking for something a bit more significant for you and your relationship, then try pairing important dates from your relationship with gemstone charms or significant places from your relationship with geographic charms.

For Your Daughters: If you're looking for the perfect gift for your daughter, then helping her build her own charm collection for a charm bracelet is a wonderful idea. Not only will she be able to cherish these gifts as keepsakes as she grows through the years, but her collection of charms will also help remind her of the moments, passions, and hobbies she had growing up. When looking for a sterling silver charm gift for your daughter, think about what she's interested in, places she'd like to travel, different parts of nature that she enjoys, and anything sentimental such as nicknames or birthdates.

We Have Sterling Silver Charms & So Much More

If you're searching for the perfect sterling silver charms for either yourself or a loved one, come take a look at all of the incredible pieces we have to offer at Wellesley Row. Our charms are selected to help the wearer make a statement and show off some of their style. Our pieces are made from durable and long-lasting silver to ensure that your charm bracelet will stand the test of time and be a beautiful investment for many years to come.

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