History of the Charm Bracelet
Originally charms were worn to ward off evil, sickness, toment from demons and spells. These days they are worn, in most instances, as fashion jewelry.
I have worn charm bracelets yet I can't say my life has changed in any way. I still get the flu and I lost my purse a while back, lol. Having said that, there are still people today who believe that certain charms or talismans help ward off evil and many of them are what I would consider educated people who are not caught up in superstion. If you don't believe me, just google "do magic charms work" and see what comes up.
I don't believe in the power of magic charms or amulets. I did when I was a child, but as I grew older I decided that my own thoughts and my belief in myself had the most effect on the things that happened in my life. Many people call religion a crutch, alcohol and drugs are a crutch and I think believing that charms have a power of their own is a crutch--something to blame when things don't turn out well and something to have faith in and cling to when wanting to improve your life and future. I personally don't feel I need that. I don't judge people who do either although I do feel sorry that they don't have enough confidence in themselves to actively change their own life.
In any case I am fascinated with jewelry and charms and I have found it a pretty interesting study. Charms have been worn ever since the time of the Ancient Egyptians and while their popularity has come and gone, they seem to pop up on the fashion scene every so often.
Their original purpose was specifically to ward off evil. Egyptian pharohs and other important rulers were frequently buried wearing charms and were surrounded by charms and amulets. Apparently they would help the Gods know where to guide the soul of the wearer to in the afterlife. And for the living Ancient Egyptians they were worn as a signal of their status in life, and, yes, to ward off evil.
Do Charms Ward off Evil?
Do you believe that charms or amuluts can ward off evil?See results without voting
Charms and the Middle Ages
Charms and Knights and Wizards fit together perfectly! I think, of all time in history, that the Middle Ages is my favorite period to study and read about. I love the romanticism of that time and I thoroughly enjoy reading about what those days were really like. I wouldn't, however, like to live during those times. Realizing that people could die from an untreated toothache is enough to make me cringe. I am not a very good sufferer at the best of time, and the lack of medical care available those days scares me. I suppose that's one reason why there was such belief and trust in the power of charms, there was little else they could turn to when faced with sickness or other ill-fortune.
Charms were used during the Middle Ages to protect and to heal. They were also widely used, along with spells and incantations, to cast a spell on enemies or to protect knights and warriors during battle. After some time they were also worn on belts and came to represent family trees, political views and alliances and even the person's profession.
So strong was superstition those days that charms were an important part of life for most people, not only the knights and ladies. Soon, even the common folk bought charms and depended on them for their health and well being.
Charms and magic are, to me, part of the mystery of the Middle Ages. I delight to read stories about knights riding in tourneys, wearing their lady's charms and colors. What saddens me, though, is the reality of how many people trusted in these charms to heal their children, to protect them from disease or to heal their sick. How disappointed they must have been when their charms didn't work.
Of course, people made a lot of money from selling charms then too, including the religious institutions of their day. Charlatans abounded and the poor people, who had nothing else to cling to, often invested all of their savings into buying a charm.
Medieval and Queen Victoria CharmsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Supernatural Power, or Just Jewelry
With the increased learning during the Renaissance, superstitious beliefs were cast aside and charms lost their popularity amongst the ruling classes of that time. Still, though, lesser folks clung to their faith in charms, even though they were deemed to be 'of the devil' during this time. People's ignorance and lack of learning kept them shackled to their superstition.
Gradually, as people became better educated, the popularity of charms faded from the scene.
They next appeared on the scene during the early 20th century, when Queen Victoria began wearing charm bracelets. These bracelets, however, were not worn as charms and amulets but rather as jewelry. Thus began wearing charm bracelets as fashion jewelry, a practice which continues today.
Since the early 20th century charms, worn as jewelry, have come in and out of popularity. There was a resurgence of popularity in charm bracelets towards the end of World War II when soldiers returning home from the Pacific islands brought bracelet charms and other trinkets with them.
Since that time it seems that Charm bracelets have re-emerged on the fashion scene every ten to twenty years. They were very popular during the '50s and then again in the 80's, becoming popular once again in the '90's. Jewelers capitilized on this trend, and now you have a plethora of charm bracelets including Troll beads, Pandora charms, Italian charms and Chamilia charms to name but a few.
Charm bracelets nowadays are not only a popular fashion statement, but they are also fairly expensive fashion accessories. Hand crafted, highly detailed charms are in great demand and are seen on the wrists of many well-to-do women these days.
They've remained on the fashion scene for a while now, and it seems as though they're here to stay, at least for the time being.
Where to Buy Charm Bracelets?
Charm bracelets can be found in most jewelry shops, and in many fashion accessory shops as well. These are usually name-brand charms such as Pandora charms, Troll breads, Italian charms or other known jewelry namebrands.
If you're looking for a cheaper version of the charm bracelet, just check out your local markets or local hand-made jewelry and handcraft stores. There is a huge variety of bracelets available, with many gorgeous, unique bracelets on sale for a tenth of the price of what you would pay for a completed name-brand bracelet. If you don't have a big budget and you're looking for accessories to dress up your everyday clothing, you really don't need to pay big bucks to get a nice looking charm bracelet.
Of course, we all know that 'name-brand' is a fashion statement, so you may want to start your own charm bracelet with either pandora beads, Italian beads or one of the other type of beads. If that's the case, remember that you can start of small, just adding three beads to the bracelet looks fine too. Then you can add more beads as you have money to do so--or you can put them on your birthday and Christmas wish list so that other's can buy them for you!
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History of Charm Bracelets
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