Thursday, 1 June 2017

Charms for life

gold bracelet and charmsA quality gold or silver charm bracelet will last a lifetime and will carry the individual memories of each of your achievements. Sometimes charms are collected just because they are beautiful, but much more often the reason is much more important. Birthdays, weddings, a love of a particular sport, the musical instrument or graduating with a degree are just some of the reasons your charm bracelet keeps growing.

If you are just getting the bug and starting out a charm bracelet from scratch, there are a few things to consider before taking the leap.

Most people once bitten, will wear their bracelet nearly every day, some never take them off. Any jewellery that is going to be worn 24/7 needs to be great quality. It is false economy to buy cheap bracelets, they just won’t last the test of time and they could never become the family heirloom. For this reason we only recommend and sell solid precious metal chains and charms. Gold filled, gold or silver plated, rolled gold, vermeil, gold layered and gold bonded are just terms for inferior jewellery, anything other than solid gold or solid sterling silver is really just costume jewellery, and certainly something that will never be passed down through your family.

The style of chain is also very important, to connect charms with a jump ring, the links in the bracelet need to be open and this is why the belcher chains are so popular with charm collectors. That’s not to say you couldn’t use any other style of chain that you find more attractive, just make sure that a jump ring can easily fit within the chain links. The other advantage of a belcher bracelet is that the links are short compared with other designs. This means that a belcher chain will have more links than a curb chain of the same length for example, the more links, the more ways you can arrange the charms.

Normally a jeweller will solder the jump rings closed to make sure the charms stay connected to the the bracelet. There are other ways to connect your charms though. Parrot clasps can be used to enable you to move charms around on a bracelet or to another bracelet. For Pandora style snake chains, traditional charms can be fitted to a ‘slider’ that the snake chain fits through allowing you to mix and match bead style charms with traditional charms on the same bracelet.

Link-Locks are an Australian invention that are just as secure as soldering, but you can fit them yourself. This is usually cheaper than visiting a jeweller, but it is sometimes good to have a professional look over your jewellery to spot and correct any small problems before any damage becomes a major problem. (A bit off topic, but engagement rings and other rings with precious stones should be checked yearly)

When choosing the charms to add to your bracelet you will very likely be influenced more by what is important to you than anything else. If you are buying for someone else, this should be the only reason you choose a particular charm. A charm bracelet is the very important story of one’s life and the events, achievements and loves that have shaped that life.

As with the bracelet chains, the quality of the charms is paramount. We only stock solid sterling silver and solid gold charms, anything else will not last, and a charm bracelet is a lifelong endeavour. If you purchase a bracelet and charms in one purchase, we can arrange them and solder the jump rings at the same time. You just have to let us know how you want your charms arranged.

Poorly made charms abound on sites like eBay and you may be tempted by the ‘great’ prices. In life, if something seems to good to be true, it is. Always. Due to very poor oversight on internet market websites, many charms are made of brass and silver or gold plated and then stamped (hallmarked) as being 925 silver or 375 gold. Only buy jewellery from a reputable site and you will be assured of getting what you paid for.

I’m sure we haven’t answered all of your questions, so feel free to call or email us. We are open everyday from 8am to 8pm and would love to help you to make the right decision when purchasing quality jewellery.


Charms for life

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