A Charming History: Charm Bracelets Through the Years

By | September 17, 2018

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall shows off her charm bracelet while visiting Portugal on March 29, 2011. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

One particular style of bracelet has stood the test of time. Although there is archaeological evidence that charm bracelets were worn as long ago as 600 to 400 BC, the charm bracelet, in various forms, is still popular today. The jewelry item has evolved over the decades, but still retains its basic concept…a bracelet with personalized charms, talisman or trinkets attached to it that have a special meaning or importance to the wearer. Let us look at how charm bracelets have changed over time. 

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Prehistoric Charms

The charms that have been unearthed from prehistoric times were most likely a type of talisman or amulet worn to keep evil spirits away, to bring good luck, or to make the spirits happy. These early charms were carved from animal bone, wood, or stone or were crafted out of seashells or gemstones or other found items. Ancient, prehistoric charms have been discovered in Africa, Europe, and other parts of the world, but not all of these charms were worn on bracelets. Most often, the charms were worn as necklaces or places in protective pouches and carried tied to the wearer’s clothing.