A Charmed History: Charm Bracelets Provide Hope and Comfort Throughout the Ages
by Ron Peterson
As far back as the Neolithic era, humankind chose to carry unusual stones or a piece of wood as protection from enemies or evil spirits. During the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, the first recognizable charm bracelets and necklaces appeared. These were elaborate pieces of jewelry made of precious stones and metals. Charms were also used to identify an individual to the gods in the afterlife.
Much later during the Roman Empire, Christians identified one another with the “ichthys,” or fish charm, they carried beneath their garments to gain entry into secret worship meetings, held sometimes in the catacombs. Medieval kings and knights used charms with incantations for protection. Charms could also represent family origin, political standing and profession. During the Renaissance as superstitions faded, charms began to lose favor with the more wealthy and educated. However, in the early 20th century, it was Queen Victoria who began a charm bracelet trend among the European noble class during her reign. The Queen took to wearing a bracelet with tiny charm pictures of her children.
Charm bracelets again found an audience at the end of World War II. Soldiers returning home from overseas brought along trinkets made by local craftsmen to give their sweethearts. The charms represented miniature replicas of notable locations, such as the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben. Stateside jewelers quickly caught on to the trend and began fashioning charms for all occasions. Within a decade, the charm bracelet was the must-have accessory for girls and women. Charm bracelets became popular gifts for 16th birthdays, graduations, weddings, and births of children. These tiny links to one’s personal history became deeply valued for their sentimental and material worth.
More recently, Italian charms became the rage at the turn of the Millennium. A departure from the traditional hanging trinkets, these bracelets snap into the bracelet rather than dangle from it. The flat, modular charms link together to form a bracelet, keychain or other accessory. Zoppini and Nomination are two popular makers of Italian charm bracelets. Fashion gurus like Louis Vuitton and Juicy Couture have also launched their own Italian charms.
Meanwhile, in both Europe and North America, a new modular charm bracelet trend has emerged. These modular bracelets consist of a chain onto which various beads or charms can be placed. Charms are made from gold, silver or Murano glass. The bracelet’s design allows the wearer to interchange the charms and create a totally unique look. Beads can also be worn on necklaces, rings and earrings to make a complete set.
The modular jewelry concept enjoyed acclaim in Europe before coming to the States. Inspired by Greek mythology, it combines versatility with fashion to establish beloved charm and bead bracelets. This jewelry concept also encourages creativity and individuality through its beautiful designs.
Women can create their own look and style for every whim or special moment. For example, you can design the Bohemian romantic, the elegant chic, the raw grace, the 60′s flower power, the charmed sophisticate, the billionaire, the simplistic minimalist, or the pure feminine. Modular jewelry can be used to reflect a change in mood or to express personality.
What Mood are You?
written for SWCreations by Lisa A. Vella
In the 1970’s a new and interesting kind of jewelry became one of the biggest fads of the decade to hit the market. It was the first piece of jewelry that could supposedly tell what mood its wearer was in. This piece of jewelry was the mood ring—it was fun, it was fresh, and it was totally cool if you owned one! Today, mood jewelry comes in more than just the original form of mood rings. There are now necklaces, earrings, toe rings, and most recently, beads to become bracelets. Regardless of form, however, mood jewelry has an interesting history.
It is a bit uncertain as to who actually invented the mood ring. One story says that in the 1960’s a man named Marvin Wernick invented it. He had supposedly gotten the idea while watching a doctor friend of his apply a thermotropic strip to a child’s forehead during an emergency. The strip changed color according to how hot the strip became. After giving it some thought, Wernick, a jewelry designer by trade, realized that he could turn this into a fun invention for ordinary use. It wasn’t long before the mood ring came about.
Still others attribute the arrival of the mood ring to a man named Joshua Reynolds, who was also the inventor of the Thighmaster.
Apart from who invented it, it still works the same. The stone of the ring itself is either a hollow piece of glass filled with liquid thermotropic crystals, or a clear glass stone that sits on a sheet of liquid crystals. These crystals reflect different wavelengths of light based on the body temperature of the person who is wearing it. The stone then changes color according to the body temperature.
So how can you tell the mood by a person’s body temperature? People’s body temperatures tend to vary based on what mood they are in. For example, if a person feels stressed their body temperatures often drop. If that person is wearing the mood ring, it would typically be represented by the ring changing from the neutral green to black. When one is very happy, or even in love, body temperature rises, and the ring should change from the neutral green to dark blue or purple.
Whether mood jewelry actually works or not remains to be seen. There are a few different variables that can render them inaccurate. For one thing, individual companies calibrate the temperature of their rings slightly differently, so sometimes the colors are not completely universal. Another thing to keep in mind is that not everyone’s body temperature is the same in certain situations, like extreme stress or when in love. The following is a list of colors and their general meanings:
- Brown: Anxious, nervous, fearful
- Black: Stressed, tense or feeling harried
- Grey: Extremely nervous or anxious, scared
- Amber: Slightly nervous or anxious
- Green: Neutral reading, normal, not under great stress
- Blue-green: Emotionally charged, somewhat relaxed
- Blue: Relaxed, At ease, calm, lovable
- Dark Blue/Purple: Very happy, in love, passionate, romantic
Regardless of who invented it or how accurate they are, mood jewelry is still great fun to both own and wear. It is attractive, stylish and comes in many different forms. So why don’t you try it out for yourself, test out the accuracy—see what mood you are in! After all, that is part of the fun of owning mood jewelry.