If you haven’t noticed Jewlr’s recently updated website then you’re in for a treat! While the new look makes customizing and buying Jewlr’s products even easier, it also comes with a brand new addition to the Jewlr family – charms!
While we’re extremely excited to share all the new charms on offer, we thought we’d first take a look back at the small trinket’s “charming” origins.
The history of the charm
The glittering charms we see today weren’t always so dazzling. In fact the original charms, which go back as far as the Neolithic era, were merely unusual stones or objects that were carried by men to ward off enemies and evil spirits.
It wasn’t until the Egyptian Age that the first recognizable charm bracelets and necklaces first appeared. Elaborate gold and silver jewelry, as well as jewelry embedded with precious and rare stones, were regularly buried with Egyptian Pharaohs on their death. These “charms” were not just for aesthetics – they were included as protective shields and signs of status. It was thought that these charms would help the Gods guide the wearer and his possessions to his proper position in the afterlife.
Charms evolved from protective amulets into personal symbols during the Roman Empire. Christians would hide tiny fish charms in their clothing to identify themselves to other Christians. The fish was chosen because the Greek word for fish (ichthys) was an acronym for Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ, meaning “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”. Jewish scholars of the same period would similarly keep their faith close to their heart by writing passages from Jewish law on tiny slips of parchment and carefully inserting them into small amulets worn around their neck. At times of war, men of all faiths would often carry a lock of their wife’s hair and other personal trinkets as a reminder of their life back home.
The role of charms became less symbolic and more aesthetic during Queen Victoria’s reign. It was the Queens’s personal penchant for charms that made them popular with the wealthier classes who used the opportunity to show off their fortune.
It was only at the end of WWII, however, that charms as we know them today became available to the masses. Soldiers returning home from their posts around the world purchased small trinkets as gifts for their sweethearts. These gifts included small-scale replicas of objects and buildings made be local craftsmen. Enterprising jewelers in the United States picked up on the trend and began to create charms for every occasion.
With so many charms available, contemporary charm bracelets were redesigned to allow charms to be added and subtracted at will. This meant that charm bracelet-wearers were able to change facets of their charm bracelets on a daily basis, becoming a place to express their changing hobbies, milestones and interests. It’s this evolving nature of modern day charm bracelets that make charm-giving one of the most popular gesture for families today.
Continuing the tradition of charms
Now that you’ve brushed up the history of charms, continue the age-old tradition of charms-wearing by giving one of Jewlr’s brand new charm bracelets and a selection of charms to a loved one this April. You can view and customize the entire collection right here.
Not sure what to buy? Check back next Thursday for a rundown on what’s on offer and how to choose the right charms for your loved one.
Do you own a charm bracelet? What’s your favorite charm? Tell us below!