I have mentioned my glamorous GF Christine before, and how I admire her magnificent vintage gold charm bracelet. Christine: French teacher; considerate, funny, frank friend; avid traveler, bombshell.
I was at her home recently, and asked if I could photograph it. Here it is in one view of its gorgeousness.
Many of the charms are jeweled, and all are overscale– huge, really– dating, we think, from the '40s to '60s. It's the bracelet of a traveler, with charms from most continents, with an emphasis on Europe, and one University of Toronto charm, so we're guessing she's an alumna.
The photo at left is a bit blurry; I will blame the Manhattan her partner, Jim, served me. But I wanted to show the carved ebony Blackamoor head (just to the right of centre, and on its side) and a jade and gold disc.
It's the lavish jewels on most charms (jade, turquoise, tanzanite, tiger's eye, amethyst, pearl, and ebony) and high-carat gold that make her bracelet remarkable.
Christine found her treasure at a Toronto art and jewelry auction, and asked the imperturbable Jim to bid for her, a great strategy when your heart is racing and palms sweating. The bracelet sold for more than the estimate, but not (as Jim recalls) hugely over.
A charmed life
Beladora has a honey of a charm bracelet on her site, with an assortment of enamel and 12k and 14k gold charms dating from the '50s to '80s, $2,450.
Here's another world-traveler's trove, a collection from the '30s through early '60s from Ruby Lane seller 2 Sisters Jewels. Twenty seven charms, many jeweled or movable, in 10k and 14k on a 14k bracelet, $1,850.
Christine, though a mere child (not quite 50) did what I'd do: chose the most stunning bracelet she'd seen.
But starting your own is always an option. Your investment can be done in increments, and your friends or family can have the fun of choosing charms for you.
I'd start with this tailored vintage 14k bracelet from Ruby Lane seller Vintage Jewells, $450. (Silver charm bracelets are appealing too, but, captivated by Christine's, I'm partial to yellow gold.)
Then I'd go to town buying sentimental antique charms, like this petite 18k disc with a white enamel terrier ($235 from Ruby Lane's The Three Graces) or a jeweled Tour Eiffel (which needs some pearls replaced), $85 from Ruby Lane's Mur-Sadie's Jewelry.
A charm bracelet is the story of a life, yours or someone else's. Either way, it is a lighthearted, and personal accessory, unique to it's collector. Christine's is, according to her, a pleasure to wear. And each time, she thinks of the unknown adventuress whose memory endures, on her arm.