During the Medieval Ages, particularly in the Dark Ages, superstitious beliefs were rampant. Amulets and talismans were often used to ward off evil spirits and to bring about good luck. Even though such charms were condemned by many religious sects during this time, fear of disease and other hardships led people to grasp onto their superstitions.
With the beginning of the age of science during the Renaissance, many people were able to shed their supposititious beliefs. Increased access to education led to a more grounded overall belief system. During this time of heightened erudite practices, the popularity of wearing charm bracelets and other jewelry adorned with amulets decreased.
In the early 20th century, Queen Victoria brought charm bracelets back into the public notice. She regularly wore these bracelets more as jewelry than for purposes associated with superstition. It is believed that the Queen initiated the modern-day use of charm bracelets as fashionable adornments.
Since this time, charm jewelry trends have fluctuated, but have never gone completely out of style. Since 2000, there has been a strong resurgence in the popularity of such jewelry.
Towards the end of World War II, soldiers would bring trinkets and charms home from the Pacific islands as gifts for their families. In the 1950s and ’60s, teenagers wore charm beads and the like to symbolize significant events in their lives, such as graduations, first loves, birthdays, and personal hobbies.
Currently, charm bracelets are worn by a wide variety of people from young to old, both male and female. People of varying income brackets wear this type of jewelry as the options are wide ranging. Interestingly, such jewelry was once only worn by the elite. There was also a period of time when it was only worn among children and made from cheaper materials. Nowadays, charm bracelets are increasingly worn by well-to-do women and are very fashionable.
The variety of charm beads and charms available today include those made of wood, Murano glass, silver, gold, platinum, and many other design elements. They are purchased as personal fashion statements, to show off one’s interests, or as gifts for a variety of occasions including birthdays, weddings, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.
The evolution of charm bracelets from ancient times to modern day is fascinating. The current number of charm jewelry enthusiasts is a sign of the lasting enjoyment and meaning that such jewelry brings to the lives of many people.