Once worn exclusively by children, charm jewelry, especially charm bracelets, is finally being giving the adult attention it deserves. Many designers are now recreating the classic jewelry piece but with a modern twist and bringing people to love charm jewelry all over again. They’re also perfect for the upcoming gift season.
In our opinion there really isn’t enough attention given to charm jewelry. The pieces can be very personal and they tell a story, with mismatched personalized and customizable charms that reference a sweet memory or tale. Charm bracelets are really a classic style to add to your wrist game and Queen Victoria is even said to have had a charm bracelet so exquisite and popular that it inspired the creation of Tiffany & Co.’s iconic bracelet in 1889. Vogue magazine even dedicated an entire article in October to explaining why charm jewelry “is perfect for all generations.”
While a charm with an engraving, date marker, birthstone or picture plate is “a perfect way to mark a milestone,” single charms “can be used as memory markers—when strung together, they tell a personal history,” said Vogue, describing it perfectly. The magazine added, “In the world of charm jewelry, more is more. Each piece is symbolic, and often sentimental—like the jewelry equivalent of a scrapbook, charms are collected as wearable memories that can be added to necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings. And while charm jewelry is booming, it’s a genre that’s been around for centuries.”
Also a fan, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate has a charm necklace that features three dangling charms engraved with the letters “C”, “G,” and “L.” The initials are a nod to the three children—Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis— she shares with her husband, Prince William.
Also popular now is the “understated charm,” as explained by Marie Claire magazine: “For those not ready to entirely dip back into the world of charm bracelets, understated and simple bracelets with a single charm have become a must-have piece among the style set of late. From pearls to personally picked charms, these are the perfect addition to any jewelry arsenal.”
Designers who are incorporating modern charms include Simon Porte Jacquemus, whose new season charm his namesake label’s iconic mini Le Chiquito bag. Modernized charm bracelets can be easily stacked or worn alone, and provide a fun spin on an old classic. Other modern takes on charm bracelets, once only adorned with friendship symbols and infinity signs, often feature statement pearls or other fun symbols.
“With a distinctive vintage aesthetic, it’s easy to see why the chunky charm bracelet has seen a resurgence,” said Marie Claire. “Namely in gold, statement chain jewelry has been the breakout trend of the season—which has extended into the form of its bracelets. From Saint Laurent to Jennifer Behr, designers have proved the trend is not limited to your rings and necklaces.”
Some might also like to choose whimsical and artsy charms that don’t necessarily have a personal meaning but are beautiful to look at.
Premade vs DIY charm bracelets
Buying a premade charm bracelet is an option but if you plan on creating your own charm jewelry, here’s some advice: “[Find] a larger charm that can be an anchor: a piece that the other charms can all be built around,” says Jennifer Shanker, founder of MUSE showroom and frequent collaborator on charm collections with independent designers, according to Vogue. “The most important thing is to find charms that speak to you. If you can find personal meaning in a charm, you will never want to take it off.”