Italian Charm Bracelets

Italian charm bracelets
When I first saw a reference to Italian charm bracelets, it piqued my interest. I’d loved charm bracelets ever since I was a girl, when my great-aunt gave me a sterling silver charm bracelet engraved with my name and birthdate and sporting a charm that looked just like my little lab-mix pup. I think charm bracelets are a great way to wear a pretty piece of jewelry that expresses your own personality through your choice of charms. But I’d never heard of Italian charm bracelets, and vowed to learn more.

italian charm loveIt turns out that the main difference between a traditional charm bracelet and and Italian charm bracelet is that rather than dangling from a chain, the charms are flat links that attach to a stretchy bracelet.

Italian charm bracelets were first developed in 1987 in the village of Sesto Florentino, Italy by jeweler Paolo Gensini, founder of the jewelry firm Nomination. Called the composable charm bracelet, the bracelets were intended to appeal to both men and women. The bracelet quickly grew in popularity, helped along by professional soccer players who sported the charm bracelets. Other companies began producing the bracelets, which came to be known as Italian charm bracelets. By the 1990s the craze had spread to the United States, and today the bracelets and their charms are easily obtainable in shops and online.

italian charm photosBuilding a Bracelet
The first step to building an Italian charm bracelet is selecting a starter bracelet. Starter bracelets come with blank links that owners can pop off and replace with more personalized charms. They are available in small, medium and large sizes, with 17, 18 and 19 links respectively. After the bracelet is selected, purchase a few charms to replace the blank starter links. Bracelet owners can fill the bracelet all at once, or carefully select charms a few at a time. They can also switch charms on and off the bracelet for variety.

italian charm photosCharms
The charms come in a dazzling variety of styles, materials and prices. There are stainless steel charms as well as charms fashioned from 14k gold. Enameled styles are popular, as are engraved links. Charms can depict a favorite hobby or particular interest, feature the photos of loved ones, boast a colorful birthstone, spell out a name, serve as a medic alert or simply show a pretty flower or color.

Charm Companies
Nomination, the original Italian charm bracelet company, still produces some of the better quality options along with firms like Zoppini and , however there are numerous firms out there making fun charms for Italian charm bracelets.

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Persona Charm Bracelets

I am walking down the corridor of the mall, gazing at jewelry store displays as I walk past and spot a large advertisement that looks just like a brightly colored Pandora charm bracelet, but instead reads Persona. Persona? I decide to look into it.

The Persona line was launched in 2010 by jeweler Neil Travis and his daughter Alex, and features charm bracelets similar to the Pandora style bracelets. Unlike traditional charm bracelets, with charms that hang from a link bracelet, these charms resemble beads and slide onto the bracelet.

Jewelry lovers first choose a leather or silver charm bracelet, then choose charm bracelet charms to adorn it with, making their own unique creation. The company makes hundreds of colorful beads decorated with sterling silver, gems, enamel, crystals, murano glass and more, priced at around $15 to $60.

Head over to the Persona website to take a look at the bracelets or find a retailer located near you.

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Beaded Bracelets

Beaded bracelets are a way to add color to a neutrally toned outfit, show a bit of personality or simply show off a pretty accessory. Since prehistoric times people have worn beads as ornaments, although in those days they were thought to have magical properties as well. Some choose big, bright, chunky beads while others go for delicate seed beads. It really depends on the fashion, the occasion and the personal preference of the wearer. Beads can be made from materials as inexpensive as plastic or costly as salt-water pearls or cabochon gems. Beads are made from wood, gold or colorful glass. Beaded bracelets are easy to find, and are sold everywhere from the drugstore jewelry rack to fine jewelry counters.

Beaded Charm Bracelets
Beaded charm bracelets are currently trendy and seen on wrists the world over. The beaded charm bracelet is a marriage of traditional beaded bracelets and traditional charm bracelets, where the owner’s choice of charms creates a bracelet that is a unique expression of her personality and style. Pandora bracelets and Italian charm bracelets are two leading styles in this trend. Owners string together beads decorated in different styles to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. They could be in fun shapes that represent a favorite hobby, gem studded, crystal or plain silver or gold spacers. There are myriad bead options and bracelet owners can create a fun and funky piece or one of dazzling beauty.

Make-Your-Own Beaded Bracelets
A few years ago I purchased a beaded bracelet at an arts and crafts fair. It featured beads in shades of green, brown and tan and quickly became a favorite item in my wardrobe. I loved it so much that I wanted another just like it, but in blue and green. I searched and searched, but couldn’t find the bracelet I envisioned, with beads in shades like jade, aqua and Mediterranean blue, all the same size. Then I realized there was a bead shop downtown that I’d probably walked past a hundred times but never went in. They had hundreds, maybe thousands of types of beads, including the kind that I wanted. I chose beads and a clasp, then a sales assistant showed me how to lay out my design, string it, and then crimped the clasp on for me. Voila! I had my ideal beaded bracelet, exactly the way I wanted it to look. If there’s no bead store near you, most craft stores carry the items necessary for making jewelry.

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Pandora Charm Bracelets

My mother came over for Christmas dinner this year flashing her new charm bracelet. “It’s Pandora,” she said with a toothy smile. “I got it… I mean Daddy got it for me for Christmas.” Which I took to mean that she shopped for it, bought it, then gave it to my father to wrap.

The Pandora charm bracelet was pretty, with a hodgepodge of big, chunky links – some silver, some jeweled. “You see, I got one charm for each of my kids’ birthdays, and one for me and Daddy, and then some other ones to go in between.” She wobbled her wrist back and forth to show off her charms.

I had never noticed Pandora before, but after my mom told me about it I started seeing it everywhere. In one mall, there was an entire shop devoted solely to Pandora products. I decided to find out more.

Pandora is a Danish company, with headquarters in Copenhagen and production in Thailand. The company commenced operations in 1982, first finding unique jewelry and selling it to clients, then designing and producing its own jewelry. In 2000 they debuted their distinctive charm bracelet, which has become their signature item, in the Danish market. Following its success in Denmark, they introduced it in countries like the United States and Australia. Today Pandora’s products are sold in countries all over the globe.

Pandora charm bracelets are the company’s best known product, though they also make earrings, necklaces and rings. Rather than hanging from the links of a chain bracelet, the charm bracelet charms slide onto the Pandora bracelet. More than 600 charms are available, and the charm bracelet owner can choose and combine them as she wishes, creating unique patterns and a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. Charms are made from quality materials like gold or silver, and some feature semi-precious or precious gemstones like diamonds or colorful enamel. Rings, earrings and necklaces can be selected to coordinate with the charm bracelet.

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Charms for Bracelets

Charm bracelets have long been in fashion, and there are a multitude of charms for bracelets on the market.  Charm bracelets are usually made from a chain of interlocking links, and charms for bracelets attach to the links.  The charms are usually sold individually, and the bracelet owner chooses charms that have a special meaning to her.  One person might choose a Siberian Husky charm, a musical note and a soccer ball, while another might select a pagoda, the Eiffel Tower and a birthday cake.This means that each charm bracelet is a unique piece of jewelry that reflects the owner’s interests and personality.

Silver Charms for Bracelets

Many charm bracelets are made of sterling silver, and used with sterling silver charms for bracelets.  The charm is attached with a clasp or a small silver ring that can be opened and closed using the hands or a small pair of pliers.  Sterling silver charms and charm bracelets are generally longer-lasting than costume jewelry charms, yet considerably less expensive than gold charms.

Gold Charms for Bracelets

Gold charms and charm bracelets are some of the most beautiful and valuable types of charms for bracelets.  Gold charms are usually available in 10 karat, 14 karat or 18 karat gold.  Another type of gold charms for bracelets is gold filled or gold plated charms, which are naturally not as durable or valuable as charms made from gold.

Religious Charms

In addition to different types of materials, there are many different styles of charms for bracelets.  One popular type of charms is religious charms.  Those who want to create a bracelet using charms that represent their religion will find that there are a variety of charms, including cross and crucifix, star of david, Virgin Mary, Sanskrit om sign, and more.

Photo Charms for Bracelets

Carry the ones you love with you everywhere by wearing a bracelet bedecked with photo charms.  Most photo charms resemble a tiny picture frame, with a space for the owner to insert a small photo.  Some choose to have many photo charms on one bracelet, while others opt for several different charms, with one special photo charm as the centerpiece.

Italian Charms for Bracelets

Italian charms and charm bracelets are different from the traditional chain link style. Italian charms are rectangular with images on front depicting flags, dogs, sports, and so on.  The modular charms fit onto a stretchy bracelet, and can be mixed and matched.  There are usually 18 charms on an Italian charm bracelet.

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