|Photo by Matt O'Gara|
People of many cultures made and wore amulets or talismans, which were associated with magic, protection, and spirituality. Today we wear charms simply for their beauty and the pleasure they give us.
The Babylonians may have been the first to wear charms on a bracelet, from around 700 B.C. Ancient charms were made of many materials—shells, stones, clay, bone. Later the tiny figures were carved of ivory and semi-precious stones, and still later they were cast in metal.
Queen Victoria helped popularize charms and charm bracelets in the mid-1800s. Wealthy people at the time wore small, custom-made “charms” as pendants or ornaments on their watch fobs and clothing. The queen wore small lockets containing miniature portraits and locks of hair of her deceased loved ones. After Prince Albert died, she led the trend in “mourning charms” and bracelets carved of jet to be worn with the black dresses she favored for the rest of her long life.
With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, charms were machine-made and mass-produced. Now the middle class could afford the ornaments that used to belong only to the wealthy.
In the United States, Tiffany and Co. introduced its first charm bracelet in 1889. This link bracelet held a dangling heart. People could add more tokens to the bracelet.
|Photo by affinity1|
Many women collected charms that symbolized important events in their lives. Hearts, graduation caps, baby shoes, and tokens engraved with significant dates were a few. The bracelets remained very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, with movie stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Crawford seen displaying their own bracelets.
You can read more about charm bracelets on the website of Rembrandt Charms, the company that made the bracelet for the cover of my new book, The Charm Bracelet, at: http://is.gd/cdNSrN .
This week I’m giving away two copies of the e-book The Charm Bracelet, a light Christian romance. Winners who do not use e-books can wait a few weeks for the print copy of this book or choose another of my books.
Susan Page Davis is the author of more than forty published novels. A history major, she’s always interested in the unusual happenings of the past. She’s a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and also a winner of the Carol Award and the Will Rogers Medallion, and a finalist in the WILLA Awards and the More Than Magic Contest. Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com.