Charm bracelets are more than just jewellery; they are an accessory that celebrates the wearer's individuality and accomplishments. Each charm is either reflective of one's hobbies and likes, or a memento from a major milestone. While traditional dangling charm bracelets once dominated the market, two new styles, the Italian and the European, have emerged in recent years. Instead of soldering charms onto a chain linked bracelet, these types of charm bracelets have interchangeable beads or links.
After settling on a style of bracelet, customers should learn about the composition of different charms; some are colourful and made of glass, while others are made from precious metals and gemstones. Becoming familiar with all the options available can help wearers make their charm bracelet the ultimate accessory. When it comes to assembling a charm bracelet and matching charms, wearers must know the differences between the three main types of charm bracelets; moreover, they should follow a simple list of do's and don'ts to ensure they are buying the right charms.
Type of Charm Bracelets
The first piece of information needed when buying a charm is the style of charm bracelet. Traditional charm bracelets dominated the market with its metal links and dangling charms. Italian charm bracelets have flat, rectangular charms that fit around an elastic band. European charms have rounded beads made of various materials that slide onto a metal bracelet. The sections below differentiate between the three main styles of charm bracelets.
Traditional Charm Bracelet
Traditional charm bracelets are a beautiful piece of jewellery, and a full one holds so many nostalgic qualities. The bracelet is chain link and typically made of gold, sterling silver, or other metals. There are an infinite number of charms available from animals to athletics, religious icons to commemorative moments. Charms are given one at a time on special occasions, and then a jeweller solders them onto the bracelet. Of the three types of charm bracelets, traditional model charms are fixed and permanent.
Italian Charm Bracelet
Italian charm bracelets are relatively new to the jewellery market, but they have been well-received by bracelet wearers. Unlike traditional charm bracelets, Italian charms do not dangle nor are they permanent. A typical Italian charm bracelet is made of elastic material and has room for 18 flat, rectangular links. A new bracelet has blank links that are to be replaced by whatever the wearer chooses. The charms are interchangeable and can be rearranged whenever the wearer chooses.
European Charm Bracelet
European charm bracelets take their cue from the Italian models in that the charms are interchangeable; however, instead of flat, square-like links, European charms are essentially rounded beads. Moreover, European charms can be made from glass and enamel, and the bracelet it usually made from metal.
When it comes to finding the right charm, either for personal wear or for a gift, buyers should know about all the options available to them. Before looking for a charm, shoppers should set a budget to avoid overspending. They are already aware of the different styles of bracelets, so they should also become familiar with the different styles of charms. In addition to varying styles, charms are made from a variety of materials.
The average charms are not too expensive, but it is also best to set a price limit before shopping. The materials typically dictate the price tag, although some name brands, such as Tiffany & Co, can be pricey. Gold, sterling silver, and platinum are the most expensive metals available, but wearers are encouraged to own a decent bracelet that can last for many years.
Buyers must know the type of bracelet in order to buy the right style of charm. None of the different charm bracelets are compatible with one another, so it is important to buy right the first time. Some charms, especially those designed to commemorate special occasions, such as graduation and weddings, have a blank space that can be engraved with a date or short inscription.
Charms are sold in an infinite array of options. In addition to the three styles of bracelets, buyers must choose between materials. High-end charms are made of gold, silver, and platinum, and inexpensive models are made from stainless steel or other alloy metals. The most expensive charms are adorned gemstones, such as diamonds or emeralds. All types of charm bracelets have enamel charms to add some colour. European charm bracelets are the only type of bracelet with glass beads.
Do's and Don'ts When Buying Charms and Charm Bracelets
Finding a charm bracelets and charm to fit the wearer's taste and budget can be a breeze if following a short list of advice. From choosing the bracelet first to trying something new, the list of do's and don'ts below can help charm bracelet wearers look their best and avoid fashion faux pas.
Do Select the Bracelet First
The colour and style of the bracelets dictates which charms are compatible. It would do no good to buy a European charm for a traditional bracelet or an Italian charm for a traditional bracelet. Therefore, before buying any charms, the buyer must know the kind of bracelet the charms are for.
Do Make It About the Wearer
When buying a charm for someone else, givers should think long and hard about the wearer's style. Shoppers should think about her favourite hobbies, animals, sports, and more, and buy accordingly. Colours are also a great way to personalise a charm bracelet. Know what the wearer's favourite colours are and choose a charm made of that coloured glass or a gemstone encrusted charm.
Don't Sacrifice Quality for Cost
While a less expensive charm may be appealing to the purse, many times buyers are sacrificing quality. A bracelet with an inexpensive clasp could break, and charms made of cheap metals could turn colours. Charm bracelets are kept for a long time, so it is important to choose one that can hold up for many years.
Do Add Some Colour
Traditional charm bracelets are made from silver or gold, and although they can go with nearly any outfit, some women like to add a little colour. Look for tradition charms with rhinestones or precious gemstones for a splash of colour. Women with Italian and European charm bracelets can add as much or as little colour as they want with these interchangeable styles. European glass charms can be the perfect accent for a top or dress. Italian charms with enamel coloured faces can really make the bracelet pop.
Don't Mix Metals
Another important element to consider when picking out charms is the colour of the bracelet. With traditional charm bracelets, gold charms and bracelets go together as do sterling silver options. Italian bracelets are typically silver in colour, but there are some there are some charms that have gold details; in this case, it is acceptable to mix metals.
Do Go With Instincts
When it comes to buying a charm for one's self, it is best to go with a gut feeling. Charms show off one's personality, which is why it is often easier to find one for personal wear. If buying a charm for someone else, buyers should find a charm that reminds them of the receiver. Shoppers should consider favourite colours, animals, sports, hobbies, and more.
Don't Be Afraid of Change
This rule only applies to European and Italian charm bracelets, the models that allow wearers to change and remove charms. Italian bracelets typically only have room for 18 charms, and many women have more than that in their jewellery box for special occasions or matching certain articles of clothing. There are also a finite amount of European charms that can fit on a single bracelet although the number depends on the width of the bead.
Do Buy Lots of Charms
Regardless of what type of charm bracelet the wearer has, one can never have enough charms. Even if not interchangeable, a traditional charm bracelet can accommodate dozens of charms. European and Italian charms can be swapped out at a whim. Moreover, there is no rule against wearing more than one charm bracelet; many women accessorise with several charm bracelets in complimentary colours.
Buying Charm Bracelets on eBay
Once you have found an item in one of eBay's listings or in an individual seller shop, it is best to get to know your seller before proceeding any further. First, take a look at the seller's approval rating and feedback comments to how see past transactions have been completed. Only buy from sellers with a decent reputation. If the seller has an About Me page, review it to learn more about her. Additionally check out the seller's preferred payment method and return policy to see if her terms are acceptable for you.
Sellers with a long standing history of outstanding customer service and satisfaction are awarded eBay's Top-rated Seller status. Sellers are consistently monitored by eBay, so if a top-rated seller does not deliver a spectacular performance, the honour is rescinded. Look for the top-rated seller icon next to a seller's username to know from which sellers you can expect superior service and quality.
Charm bracelets are a self-expressive piece of jewellery great for little girls and big girls alike. Traditional charm bracelets are fun to receive young, especially because collecting charms throughout the years is a great memento for the future. European charm bracelets can be quite lavish, even with the inclusion of glass beads. Italian charm bracelets may have a limit of 18 charms per bracelet, but that should not limit the buyer to only owning 18 charms. Many women like to wear more than one charm bracelet at once; they must remember to make sure the colours are all complementary.
While women are encouraged to own more than the minimum amount of charms, they should do so within their budget. Many stylish charms are available at a decent cost, but those with gemstones and made from precious metals can be quite expensive. Wearers should follow the few bits of fashion advice when it comes to the do's and don'ts of wearing a charm bracelet to get the most out of their jewellery.