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Charm School

Charm School

With an incredibly long history woven into the fabric of our cultural evolution, it's difficult to label the renewed interest in charms as a trend, but from eclectic statement necklaces to...socks, we can't deny the surge of added flair lately. What began in the Neolithic Era as talismans of bone, shell and wood, charms have evolved alongside us over time. By Ancient Rome and Egypt, they began to map the life of the wearer, or served as protective talismans to take into the afterlife. Queen Victoria popularized the use of gold charms as personalized symbols, separating them from their original protective context, and the rest is history. Now the options are seemingly endless - if you have $11,000 lying around, you can get a pink sapphire encrusted charm of Patrick from SpongeBob (but hurry, it's in one cart already). 
Stephanie Windsor padlock charm holder

Some of our favorites from the shop include Wwake's origin birthstone charms, and Stephanie Windsor's gold charm holders, which happen to pair perfectly with her chains. Boulder-based jeweler Erica Simon, who specializes in vintage, heirloom and French jewelry, has a special affinity for charms and was kind enough to share her insight on their popularity. 

Tell us about your history with jewelry, and what draws you to charms in particular. 

I was fortunate to start my jewelry career as a 17-year-old working with a very talented custom jeweler who believed that jewelry is not only adornment, but wearable works of art. The intention and love that goes into making jewelry is a felt experience. Often, jewelry design is about conveying an idea or a feeling, and connecting a client with something meaningful to them. 

I lived in southern France and discovered Médailles d’amour (love medals) charms that were created to express one’s love through a gold charm based on a love poem or a riddle. They are lovely tokens; I wear mine as a reminder of that time, and to always keep love close. 

What do you think attracts people to charms? Why do you think there has been a resurgence in their popularity? 

They still hold meaning and power, but now it’s a story of our own making. It feels like now more than ever, people are purchasing fewer objects and the ones they choose have more personal meaning.

Charms are also fun, you can choose one that suits your mood! I have friends who wear the zodiacs signs of their children (fur babies, too) symbols, initials, and animals. 

What is your favorite way to wear charms? 

I love wearing vintage pocket watch chains. Worn as necklaces, they have old clasps and fobs that make them fun to layer and wear with multiple charms at once. It’s like wearing a story around your neck.  

Thank you Erica!

If you've explored low end, high end and antique charms, and still aren't finding quite what you're looking for, the ultimate personalized charm is one custom made for you! Our neighbors at Jay Albrecht Designs, in addition to being excellent humans, are highly skilled goldsmiths that can bring any idea to life. If you've ever noticed the double-sided gold tiger/lily charm Christie wears daily, it's their incredible handiwork!
Jay Albrecht charm
Ultimately there's no wrong way to incorporate charms into your wardrobe if they speak to you - as someone who doesn't wear a lot of jewelry but has collected some special charms over the years, I added mine to one of my daily accessories: a beanie. The sky's the limit! 
charm beanie

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