Since the time of the Pharaohs people have been carrying charms as amulets to keep them safe from evil or for luck and prosperity. The use of charms attached to bracelets is thought to have been started by the ancient Egyptians who wore them as symbols of their faith and to carry with them to the next world so that their gods would identify them and give them their proper status.
The early Christians in Rome carried a charm fashioned as a fish to recognize each other. During the Dark Ages, charms were often used for political recognition and to designate the family of the bearer. Knights in the Middle Ages carried them to shield themselves during battle and the general populace also wore charms. All through the Renaissance their use faded, mainly by the wealthier classes, as they became better educated and much less likely to believe in superstitions. Nonetheless the less well-read poorer classes continued to wear charms as protection against evil and to bring them good luck.
The wearing of charms was revitalized in the UK by Queen Victoria who wore a gold charm bracelet with lockets which contained images of her family. This had a big impact on the wearing of charm bracelets by the people who began to wear them, not as talismans, but as decorative objects. Lockets, family crests and beads became the craze of the day. After the finish of World War 2 there was a huge outburst of charm wearing as soldiers brought home gems and beads to their sweetheart from different places of the world. Designers in America carried on the trend and began to make charms and silver charm jewelry. Since then wearing charm bracelets has continued to flourish.
In the present day a broad range of earrings, necklaces and charm bracelets are obtainable with bracelets being the most fashionable. The precious metals, gold and silver are mostly used although some people prefer bracelets made from seed pearls or beads with silver or gold charms. Bracelets vary in price from less than $100 to more than $1000 and are therefore within everyone’s finances. There are numerous types of religious charms representing saints and a considerable selection of charms depicting animals and objects including hearts, cupids, crosses, dolphins etc. One of the most popular are angel charms.