Although charms have fascinated humans for thousands of years, the interest and motivation for carrying them has changed greatly over time.
It’s a fair assumption that the charm bracelet’s roots can be found in ancient amulets and talismans. These were objects carried by ancient Chinese, Africans, Egyptians, and many more early cultures. Usually made from stones or bones, amulets were worn to provide good fortune and protection to the wearer.
These items were also worn as a kind of ‘dog tag’ indicating religious faith. The belief, in essence, was that the deceased wearer would be escorted to the appropriate afterlife. This use of charms extended into the Roman era, when Christians and Jews would wear items to indicate their corresponding faith as an act of piety.
Charms reappeared in the Middle Ages on the necks and belts of knights and warriors. They hoped that the donning of the charm, along with prayer and incantation, would bring the support of God to their battles.
Not surprisingly, this caused charms to lose favor during the Renaissance. These supposedly enlightened times saw the charm as a symbol of fear and superstition. It was not until Queen Victoria introduced a more modern use of the charm that they began to emerge as fashionable items for women.
Charms are now used to mark milestones in a woman’s life including her 16th birthday and her marriage. The bracelet of charms is often passed down from mother to daughter as a family heirloom.
This is the use of the charm that we love and encourage: one that represents your own personal journey through life. With time, your charm bracelet can grow and record your experience. And in a very real way, your time on earth can be passed down to your loved ones.