There is something so addictive about charms. You start by buying a few, or perhaps inherit or receive a charm bracelet as a gift, and all of a sudden, you can’t resist the urge to get more and more of them. You have officially become a charm collector.
Small, lightweight and useful in so many ways, charms make for great items to collect. Even if you amass hundreds of them, you’re not going to run out of space and there is always room for more. In order to keep the collection from getting completely out of hand, however, it’s a smart idea to select a particular theme and try to stick to it (it’s hard, I know!).
To help you zoom in on a specific theme, here are some suggestions:
A Specific Interest
There are charms in every shape you can imagine, some are more common that others of course, but if you have a passion in life (other than collecting jewelry!), focus your collection around that. It could be cooking, traveling, race cars, gardening, a sports team – you name it.
Fashion Designer Charms
Many of the famous clothing and bag designers also make charms in various forms. Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci all offer them, and for some that are a bit more young and playful, check out Juicy Couture.
You could build a large collection just around a certain holiday such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, Easter, etc. Or specific occasions like graduations, mother’s day or weddings.
Decide on a specific decade and go to town! Charms have been in fashion for so long that you can pick pretty much any time period and find plenty of them. You probably want to decide on a spending limit too, since prices in this category can range from a few dollars to tens of thousands.
You could also build your collection around a specific material. Silver and gold are obvious choices, but how about Bakelite or celluloid? Celluloid charms were very popular in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, and came in boxes of Cracker Jacks and in gumball machines. There are many available on the market, but make sure that what you buy is an authentic piece in good condition.
Shopping For Charms
The easiest way is of course online, and I would suggest starting with doing quite a bit of online research on the particular type of charms you want to collect before starting to buy (or buying more of them). Read what the experts have to say, get on forums and ask questions, learn as much as possible. If you’re shopping for gold or silver, read up on the different alloys and markings. Knowledge is key to buying the right items for your collection, and to be able to recognize a bargain or rare find when you see it.
Some other places to find unique pieces (both at home and abroad) are yard and estate sales, flea markets, antique shows and vintage shops.
Last but not least, let family and friends know about your new hobby. Tell them exactly what you’re looking for, and you have solved their gift giving problems for years to come.