The Charm Collector
By their very nature, charms are collectibles. Since the reign of Queen Victoria, who is attributed with the huge popularity of the classic charm bracelet, it has been de rigeur to decorate one’s bracelet with a wonderful assortment of these miniature curiosities and, thankfully, there seems to be a charm out there to represent almost everything.
Charms are the quintessential souvenirs, special symbols by which to remember passions, places, romances and rites of passage. And, the adornments on a bracelet are as unique as the individual for whom it was created, whether they be a nomad or a scholar, a man of the cloth or a mother of five. A lifetime in the making, the complete charm bracelet tells its owner’s story.
For the serious charm aficionado, there are a number of celebrated makers from a bygone era whose creations are now extremely desirable and often not easy to come by. The maker’s marks of Walter Lampl, Thomas L Mott, Nuvo, Chim and Wells Sterling (aka Top Hat) are some of the most highly prized by private collectors.
Part of the appeal of acquiring vintage charms is the possibility that each pre-loved piece once represented a romance or some other special significance for its original owner. They are tiny pieces of history whose stories are rarely revealed, but seem somehow to be kept alive by their inclusion in cherished collections.
Most collectable of all, however, are perhaps the sets of vintage charms, such as David Andersen’s zodiac charms, which depict the twelve signs in colourful enamel, and Walter Lampl’s floral hearts, each representing a month of the year. Patented in the early ‘40s, Lampl’s twelve sterling silver hearts each have decorative enamelling depicting that month’s flower and are inset with a single corresponding gem. These may have been inspired by Thomas L Mott’s twelve octagonal flower charms produced during the ‘20s. A bracelet displaying a complete series of vintage designs is a rare find and will command a high price.
Of course, themed bracelets do not have to be made up of vintage charms and the possibilities for creating charm jewellery to celebrate a particular penchant or a cherished pastime are unlimited. For example, for those with a love of dogs, there is a charm for almost every breed. For the tourist, a bracelet of travel shields can serve as a wonderful reminder of their life’s itinerary. And what better way to commemorate an unforgettable African safari than by wearing the Big Five around one’s wrist?
Stay tuned for our own selection of themed charm bracelets soon to be offered on Silver Star Charms. And, if you would like guidance or inspiration in compiling a themed bracelet of your own, we will be happy to help.
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