Charm bracelets are an acquired taste; my mother started one for me in my teens, but I abandoned it in my hippie days, rediscovered it decades later, but never revived the tradition of adding charms. Today it's a bit tight and jeune fille, so I'll save it for a granddaughter or great-niece.
My friend Christine came to dinner wearing an eye-popping 1950s-era bracelet of oversized, jeweled charms that knocked me out. Every time she raised her champagne glass, a charm glinted. She bought it at auction, sitting quietly till it came up, raising her paddle with determination.
Here's the thing: I'm 60, if I assemble a few charms each year, till I have enough to fill a decent bracelet, I probably won't remember where I put the damn thing.
So I'm on the prowl for an already-loaded bracelet with personality. Several options:
1. J Crew "Storybook"; resin, plated brass, acrylic beads, $125 I like the twist of a tortoise resin bracelet, and the colour. But I'd like to see it in person. It may not be the quality I want.
2. Victorian Snooker and Fob; 18k, agate, turquoise, coral, £550.
Pendant charms, spinning agate fobs and two snooker championship pennants (engraved 1928-1929, one with a hand-painted motif). The piece, ca.1900-1930, is someone's very personal snooker-sparkled story. Listed on eBay by seller w.associates2 as BIN.
3. Ruby Lane "Loaded Charm Bracelet"; 18k gold bracelet with charms of 18k, and 9k and jewels, $3, 500
This is really close to Christine's, same era, of English and Italian charms. It includes treasures like a Roman Empire gold coin, an ancient compass, a 1914 English sovereign, and an Etruscan 18k charm with turquoise. If you have a lavish Santa baby and don't like to defer gratification, it's a spectacular gift. But alas, at 7 1/4 inches a touch tight for me.
I'd better see what I like in silver!
4. Georg Jensen Henning Koppel; sterling, $1,160
I saw this superb bracelet in Paris. eBay seller silvergroup.dk's price is cheaper than the Jensen boutique, but still an investment. The seven silver Koppel charms dispel the cutesy image of this kind of bracelet.
5. Red Robin Antiques vintage silver charm bracelet, $295
A forty-year collection of charms (38 in all), many movable, such as a plane with propellers, candy box, a marriage license. Most charms are sterling, and the bracelet is a good heavy link. Lots of charm for the change; big clangy fun.