Charms - Lucky Stars, Green Clovers and Beetles...
Reads like a cereal box (I know) however, charms are more popular than ever! Especially bugs and critters! The wearing of charms dates back as far as 400 BC, as they were believed to hold special powers. They were worn (for the most part) for protection.
By the 1890's charms had evolved into a fashion statement and made their way into the mainstream as a popular keepsake. Charms are often given by mothers to their daughters as gifts or family heirlooms. Many women start collecting them as pre-teens and continue adding to the collection as they mature. Charm bracelets make an ideal gift because of their broad appeal.
Italian charms are the hottest trend right now and show no signs of slowing down. Silver, gold, and non-precious charms snap into place onto a bracelet similar to a watch band. The charms are like the "links" on the band. They're decorated with pictures, letters, symbols and designs that can be combined to create a message or theme.
Essentially, they are the gift that you can keep on giving, as they can tell the life story and/or milestones achieved by the receiver. On my most recent trip to a national jewelry show, buyer's were literally lining up to scoop up charms for the upcoming holidays. In fact, one manufacturer has over 8,000 charms in their inventory and only accepts special orders due to the sheer number of charms they carry.
Italian charms have grown even more popular as variations have come on the scene, one of which is a plastic and/or leather version. The charms slide onto the leather or plastic bracelet, which comes in a variety of colors. These charms are usually created in the form of letters, numbers, and popular symbols like hearts or butterflies. In addition, they can spell out a message or a name.
Animal charms are a huge seller (especially those created in high karat yellow gold and enamel). In many cases, these charms are made to order. Everyone loves their pets and as such, the creators of pet charms are creating pieces that are absolutely stunning.
Charm prices can be as low as a few dollars for silver charms and go up into the hundred's or thousands of dollars - depending upon the detail and craftmanship involved in creating the piece. If you seek a charm with gemstones or in Platinum, the price can go even higher.
Charms are also a great starter gift for children. There's a whole new market emerging in which manufacturer's are expending a great deal of time and money in creating jewelry lines for children.
However, depending on the age of the child, it may be prudent to purchase a starter charm bracelet in sterling silver due to the possibility of the child losing the bracelet. Links can be added as the child enters their teen years - straight into adulthood.
What makes charms a great gift is that you can find a charm for every occassion and the receiver (whether a child or adult) will appreciate the thought that went into picking just the right charm.
Think of shopping for charms like shopping for a greeting card. While a greeting card can say how you feel in just a few lines of words, a charm can speak volumes.
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