Intro: The Charm Bracelet
Before mother’s rings and pendants, long before celebration rings and rows upon rows of anniversary bands…there was the charm bracelet. Think all the way back to your grandmother’s charm bracelet. There is a reason why you remember it. Because she cherished it. It meant something to her. It told her story.
And now, we can tell your story too.
When a woman looks down at her jewelry, chances are she could tell you all about the moment she received it. Who had gifted it to her, the meaning behind it, what occasion was being celebrated, and even where they were when she acquired her new treasures.
This is why we wear jewelry! Everything about jewelry is an expression of sentiment and emotion, a celebration of life and love. Some of our most cherished memories are worn like hearts on our sleeves- engagements and anniversaries, births and deaths, promotions and private moments. You can tell a lot about a woman by the jewelry she wears… because jewelry tells a story- one that women love to tell over and over again.
I often think back to one of the first clients I ever had the pleasure of working with. He came into the store on his lunch break, hoping to pick something out in a hurry for an anniversary gift, confident that he would have success with his go-to jeweler. He walked around the store, eyes glancing over all of our baubles, waiting for that right piece of jewelry to catch his eye.
He did his first lap around the cases. Nothing. Second lap produced the same results. He bounced around the store, diamonds to gold to gemstones to pearls, looking for something he hadn’t presented to his wife in the past. The woman had it all. She was a lover of jewelry, as was he, and they had a collection any woman would be envious of. But she didn’t have a charm bracelet.
He had walked by them earlier, but had ruled them out based on their price points: He felt obligated to spend a little bit more than $50 on such a momentous occasion. However, when we walked past them again, I mentioned that I really loved my charm bracelet because my boyfriend at the time had commemorated so many occasions with it, and that I could recall each charm and what it meant to me.
He paused in front of the beads for a moment.
I asked him how many years that they had been together- 13 years of marriage, 14 all together. I asked him if he could recall where they had met. With a distant look, and a smile-yes, he remembered it was at a baseball game. He joked about their first date at the fair and how he held her hand on the carousel; how they played tennis in college and about how she loves lilacs and red wine. He talked about the moment he proposed… And their wedding. Her big promotion at work. And when they traveled to Paris. The birth of their children, and when they adopted their black lab, Bailey.
After awhile, we had a whole mess of charms out, 13 to be exact, plus a bracelet for that first year together. And we had their whole story written out on little cards that went with each charm, with a bead representing each year that they had been together, signifying a moment in time, a snapshot of their story. This gentleman was excited, now, graciously extending his lunch break to see this gift of love come together. We wrapped his gifts up, he shook my hand, tears in his eyes. He couldn’t wait to present this to her. We both hoped she would like it.
I came back to work after the weekend to a bouquet of flowers and a thank you card from the same guest. He had presented the gifts over dinner and red wine, of course. The letter claimed how nervous he was, since she didn’t have anything like this, if she would like it at all. He started with the bracelet, to which, she was confused at this, albeit plain, gold bracelet. He handed her the next box, the charm of a baseball and the note said “Where we met…” The next box held a carousel charm. And the next a tennis racket. Then a charm of a lilac flower. There was a charm of a wine glass, the Eiffel Tower, a solitaire ring, and a 3-tiered wedding cake, two baby bootie charms for the kids, and a dog bone for Bailey- just some of the charms he had picked to represent such specific events.
The card went on to read that by the 3rd box, they were both crying. He thanked me for spending so much time with him, and for showing him the charm bracelet and a way to document each tender moment together. I have yet to forget that warm fuzzy feeling I had from reading that card or working with that guest, or most of all, knowing how she felt when she received them. Like every moment mattered. And they were all right there, for her to look at and enjoy, like a wearable photo album on her wrist. And to add to, when the next moment arrives.
Charm bracelets are a timeless, classic option and have transformed over the years. We’ve come a long way from your grandma’s bracelet, from dangles to beads to bangles and back again. They really are a long lasting, affordable and versatile option for jewelry gifts.
Now days, the fun is just beginning in this world of charms and individualized jewelry. Of course we still have your grandma’s charm bracelets and they are still very popular. But now, they are coming up with all kinds of ways to wear charms. Stackable bangles have made a statement recently that allow us to mix, match and stack. So instead of wearing all your charms at once on one bracelet, you can pick and choose which ones you want to wear each day depending on the meaning, the overall “outfit” look or to match your mood.
Explore our selection of Rembrandt Charms available in store at J. Anthony Jewelers along with custom bead options for your most cherished memories.
Charm bracelets can also make wonderful gifts for moms and children, as it can often grow with them, meaning that you can add charms for momentous occasions, like christenings, birthdays and graduations. At that point, they can be kept through adulthood and passed on to the next generation as heirloom pieces, when they go through those same traditions themselves. Family keepsakes, like your grandmother’s charm bracelet, are often prized possessions- telling the stories of multiple generations. Truly, these are a gift that keeps on giving for years to come, with fond memories relived every time you look at your charms.
Keep this personalizable gift in mind as Mother’s Day is coming up! Sunday May 14th, 2017