Ever on the hunt to make antique and vintage motifs relevant and stylish, designers are busy updating their charm trinkets with diamonds, gems and pops of colour.
But why do charms hold such a strong appeal still? And what inspires jewellers to give their charming creations a thoroughly modern makeover? Charm jewellery was initially worn as a sign of faith and for its magical and protective powers. It had immeasurable personal significance for the wearer. The wearing of charms, perhaps, began as a way to ward off evil spirits and bad luck – and rooted in superstition. In the prehistoric period, charms made of shells, animal bones, wood and rocks were attributed to have talismanic powers. Strung up and strapped to the body, they became forms of adornment and symbolism – mammoth tusk charms, scarab motif charms, fish charms denoted religion. In ancient Egypt, charms were used to protect people and even in the afterlife. Taking cues from protective powers, mediaeval knights wore charms before setting out for battles. The evil eye charm, believed to have originated in Greece, is perhaps the most beloved emotional armour.
Furthermore, family origin and ancestry, convictions and emotions, fear and happiness informed wearable talismanic trinkets. Royalty, especially the English, turned out to be huge fans of charms made from precious metals – what was not to love about charms? Besides, decorative elements and diamonds made charm jewellery a thing of beauty.
Although talismanic charms had a moment in 2019, the pandemic increased the affection for charms. And it never quite waned away and became an escapist jewellery trend. Thereon, the emotional comfort that charms provided wearers nudged designers to come up with whimsical, tongue-in-cheek or even adoringly cute diamond charms. The diversity of the charm spectrum helps tell many different tales — from oceanic inspirations to celestial themes that spread positive vibes and good juju.
Charm jewels are intensely personal and are now a must-have jewellery style that are back in fashion in a big way. Perhaps, the significance of a four-leaf clover or peony worn is not lost on those who love floral and nature inspired charms. Take your pick from a menagerie of friendly designs or marine dwellers: charms dusted with diamonds for good luck and prosperity on your necklaces, bracelets, hoops – and even anklets. Channel in positive or fun vibes through eye charms or the hand of hamsa for protection and hope. If you tend to anxiously fiddle with your jewellery, take the fun route instead. Embrace the kinetics of playful charms: elements that move around, bob up and down or flip around will keep your nervous fingers busy.
Adding on charms to style a staple piece differently: a link chain or paperclip chain long necklace can be worn as a single link strand or wrapped up into a choker style neckpiece but sling on some diamond charms and it glams up instantly. A pair of gold hoop earrings can go from normal to luxe with teeny-tiny diamond charms – and for a good dosage of colour, pop on enamel or lacquer accented diamond charms.
From cute and stylish to classic and whimsical, the range of charm jewellery offering is huge, when it comes to shopping for the younger members of your family. With an array of designs, small charms make for delightful birthday gifts. Look for a magical mermaid or a miniature cuddly teddy bear. Other options include name charms in various languages, including Hindi and Arabic, while good luck can be harnessed turtle and horseshoe charms combined with enamel and diamond or textured gold set with pavéd diamonds. Talismanic eyes, gold gummy bears, unicorns in rainbow enamel – adorned with diamonds can be mixed and matched in fashionable ways. Celestial inspirations with motifs of moon, sun, stars help fortify the good times.
Subtle symbols of your roots and heritage, charms are also perfect for layering as well as reflect your individuality. You could also wear it as a statement piece, just go big and bold. And without a doubt, eye-catching charms jewellery can shine a spotlight on you. Reminiscent of memories and milestones, symbols and shapes help us deck ourselves in meaningful words as we journey through life. Adopt zodiac signs, compass and inspirations from the celestial world tricked out into charm motifs; have them peppered with dazzling diamonds to pair with your outfits. A champagne bottle might remind you of what you celebrated: a diamond globe or a compass charm shows you the path forward, while a cable car, book or binoculars serve as a reminder of fond memories that you’ve created with family, friends or perhaps, just by yourself trekking up mountains or a road trip in a foreign city. Fascinating cultures, people and even food (think burgers, sushi or wine: you get the drift?) that you encounter along the way could be turned into personalised charms that empower you and inspire you to march to the beat of your own drum.
Maha Al Sibai
Get a custom design for a special someone or a dear friend. There are great ways to turn the charms into personal markers: engrave your partner’s initials, a special message, quote or word that your loved ones will always cherish. Your charm could reflect a design or motif that means a lot to someone you love or has inspired you in life – it is a deeply emotional way of keeping memories alive. Want to wear a sentimental piece as a modern-day heirloom? Reimagine it as a never-take off charm jewel; it would serve as a daily reminder of love.
Anna Maccieri Rossi
It’s never been truer – ‘the little things are infinitely the most important.’ Although charms evolved from mystic symbolism and protective notions, new and contemporary designs in natural diamonds have become the best way to grow on and jumpstart a personal collection. Stylish twists and modern accents make diamond charms an everyday staple.