Charm Bracelets: An Expanding Definition

Charm bracelets, bracelets that display motifs personal to the wearer, constitute a category of jewelry that itself has come to embrace an ever-increasing collection of significantly different styles.

The classic traditional charm bracelets consisting of open-link style bracelets to which charms are attached by means of small rings, are a perennial favorite and are on the fashion radar again this season. Three versions are featured in the December 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. The bracelet themes are “celestial,” an oval link bracelet punctuated by embellished globes from Monica Rich Kosann; “classic,” a textured rope weave bracelet adorned by Maltese cross charms from Verdura; and “modern,” smooth elongated narrow links to which are attached a variety of charms designed by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co.

Recent years have seen the introduction of charm bracelets consisting of bracelets that themselves are constructed of customized combinations of elements. For example, bracelets of flat panels strung together that can be replaced with picture links, typically made of stainless steel accented with gold, have been popular.  

As reported earlier this week here on, “Pandora charms” is among one of the top Google searches in the Gems and Jewelry category reported in Google’s own retail blog. The Pandora charm bracelet is a style in which three-dimensional charms slide onto a thin bracelet made of precious metal or other material such as leather. The above photo is from a four-page Pandora ad published in the December 2010 issue of Glamour magazine.

The concept of charm bracelets has now taken a new turn. Marion Fasel writes in the February 2011 issue of InStyle magazine that “Solo motifs are a modern twist on the classic, every-piece-tells-a-story accessory.”

InStyle illustrates the article with nine examples of the new charm bracelet style. As shown, from the top, the bracelet designs are from Pandora, Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Chanel Fine Jewelry, Penny Preville, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jamie Wolf, Stephen Webster, and Jennifer Meyer.

The latest style of charm bracelet is delicate on the wrist, and can be worn singly or in multiples or can be  layered with other pieces, such as a wristwatch, providing an extra dash of charm to an ensemble.

A charm bracelet with a meaningful theme or motif might be the perfect Valentine’s gift this year.