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From ancient talisman to nostalgic memento, charm bracelets have a rich history imbued with equal parts luck, lore, and luxury. The earliest charms date to the age of talismans, or objects that were believed to hold magical abilities to protect the person who wore them. Talismans were purported to guard against all sorts of ills from disease to death during battle, but they could also serve as a means to bring good luck to an individual.
Since then, charms and charm bracelets have grown in significance to become a means for the wearer to pick symbols of personal significance. Whether it is to commemorate a major accomplishment or as a memento of special occasion, charm bracelets tell a bit of the wearer’s story. They are cherished because of this history and also because of the oft-included precious and semiprecious materials incorporated into the bracelets designs.
The earliest known charm bracelet dates to ancient Babylon around the year 700 B.C.
The late 19th century ushered in style’s heyday, from England’s Queen Victoria adoration of her charm collection to Tiffany’s introduction of their own version of the bracelet at the Parisian Exposition Universelle in 1889
Famous actress Joan Crawford was particularly fond of her personal charm collection. An auction of her jewelry in 1995 revealed that each charm on her iconic bracelet bore intimate, and at times enigmatic, inscriptions that undoubtedly served as private memories for Ms. Crawford