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?

  • Yes, of course. That's why they're called "Magic charms"
  • No,
  • Only if specifically made for that purpose
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 Charms

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Medieval Charm BraceletKnight Charm BraceletCoin Charm BraceletQueen Victoria's Charm Bracelet
Medieval Charm Bracelet
Medieval Charm Bracelet
Knight Charm Bracelet
Knight Charm Bracelet
Coin Charm Bracelet
Coin Charm Bracelet
Queen Victoria's Charm Bracelet
Queen Victoria's Charm Bracelet

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.

Pandora Charm
Pandora Charm
Chamilia Charm
Chamilia Charm
Italian Charm
Italian Charm

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!

Comments 8 comments

midnighteden profile image

midnighteden 7 years ago from UK

This is a brilliant hub - I love learning about all the history of where these charms originated - thank you

Charmnbeads.com 6 years ago

Wow! Medieval charm bracelets. What an amazing article. Thank you!

jewellery channel 6 years ago

great hub Susanwesty...thank you

charmstotreasure profile image

charmstotreasure 6 years ago

Very enlightening, thanks. History buff ;)

CarolRucker profile image

CarolRucker 6 years ago from Cincinnati

Nice article. Great research.

amybradley77 5 years ago

I really used to be a very highly imaginative child, I had whole make believe worlds and friends and magical items there, including jewelry and other items, but as an adult that has faded into the background, I still remember it all as if only yesterday but as a spiritual person, I believe in the power of ones own spirit and personal will power to overcome problems in our lives, so I cannot put much belief in such childish things any longer, but absolutely the interest has not died for me at all, it's very interesting what are minds can imagine, really if kept as a positive outlet towards some personal growth, as an adult this may be used as a very good tool for personal healing and to overcome battles or other issues in your everyday adult life as well, so I keep right on imagining some benefits usually do come of this too.

Brandon B. 2 years ago

I have what I am very confident is a medieval charm bracelet. It bears 6 charms and appears to be the size of a woman or child. The charms include: two lilly defluers (One is smaller and in a circle), To Quinn type charms larger about the size of a quarter .. Both are one sided one bears a horse head the other A coat of arms. The charms appear to be lead and at one time gold plated Though it is probably 90 percent rubbed off. I would love to provide you with pictures maybe you know what this thing is

Brandon B. 2 years ago

My contact information is


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