The Adventurine Posts What’s Hot Now: Charm Necklaces

Gemfields x Muse necklace featuring charms by several designers including Elena Votsi, Nikos Koulis, Savannah Stranger. Holly Dement. Luis Morais and Ana Khouri Photo by Doug Rosa

Jewelry News

What’s Hot Now: Charm Necklaces

Designers are making their signature motifs in miniature

by Marion Fasel

Charms are one of those jewelry styles that are always around. It’s just that sometimes they are more fashionable than others. Right now, the look is on fire. More about that in a later, first a little history of charms.

Queen Victoria's gold and enamel charm bracelet features lockets and a portrait. Photo Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Queen Victoria’s gold and enamel charm bracelet features lockets and a portrait. Photo Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Queen Victoria of England, who ignited so many jewelry trends, made charm bracelets popular in the nineteenth century.  She had one that, according to the Royal Collection Trust, she wore “constantly.” Most of the gold charms on her bracelet were oval and heart shaped lockets with black enamel designs.

The Duchess of Windsor's Cartier charm bracelet feature Latin charms inscribed with dates of events in her life with the Duke between the 1930s and 40s Photo Sotheby's

The Duchess of Windsor’s Cartier charm diamond and platinum bracelet with Latin crosses.  Each charm is inscribed with important dates of events in her life. Photo Sotheby’s

Flash forward to the 1920s and 1930s, delicate charms covered in diamonds and semiprecious stones were the mode. Cartier made a charm bracelet of gem-set Latin crosses for the Duchess of Windsor.  Each charm was inscribed with a significant date or event of her life with the Duke.

Elizabeth Taylor's charm bracelet has an array of personal charms collected over many years. Photo Christie's

Elizabeth Taylor’s charm bracelet has an array of personal charms collected over many years. Photo Christie’s

The golden era for charms began in the 1950s and kept going strong through the 1970s. Elizabeth Taylor had a couple of charm bracelets from the period. Her pieces featured classic charm themes: humor, travel, children, good luck signs, birthdays, anniversaries. Like any great charm bracelet, the pieces were a personal scrapbook. When they hit the auction block with her estate at Christie’s in 2011, one of her bracelets had a high estimate of $35,000. It sold for $326,500.

So what’s inspiring the charm renaissance today? An interest in amulets, jewels and gems that promise some sort of protection, is at a peak of popularity. Charms also fits into the “new vintage” movement in fashion. Perhaps the biggest difference style-wise between the charm jewels of yesterday and today is that women are wearing their charms around their neck instead of around their wrist. A charm necklace brings everything a woman loves quite literally close to her heart. A necklace is also far more practical than a charm bracelet that could seriously interfere with the all-day typing away on computers and phones.

Following are some of the most dynamic charm necklaces around right now.  Somehow, I feel if Queen Victoria were alive today, she would be loving these looks. No question Elizabeth Taylor would have a few charm necklaces in her jewelry box.

Gemfields x Muse charm necklace featuring charms from several designers. Photo by Doug Rosa

Gemfields x Muse charm necklace featuring charms from several designers. Photo by Doug Rosa

One of the most impressive charm jewels of the season, indeed it has acted as an editorial lightning bolt to bring the style to the forefront, is the Gemfields x Muse charm necklace. A handful of designers, specially chosen by Muse showroom and Gemfields, created charms with responsibly sourced colored gemstones for the collaboration. (See all the charms on Moda Operandi.)  “We decided on charms for the collaboration because they are an eternal talisman and today that is something we all really need,” explains Jennifer Shanker from Muse “I don’t think you can have enough hearts or peace signs.  I particularly adore Elena Votsi Globe charm. You could special order the emerald to mark your favorite place.  She put the first example on New York City where Muse is located.”

A necklace with diamond and enamel charms, all by Jennifer Fisher. Photo courtesy

Jennifer Fisher has over 200 charms in her collection. The pieces come in a range of cool styles from little enamel unicorns to diamond stars and zodiac symbols. “I think people who choose to represent what they love in life on their jewelry, shouldn’t have to feel that they are confined to something they find in a case that everyone else already has,” explains Jennifer.  “We have a lot of loyal customers who have grown with us, and have charm necklaces they have been building for the past 10 years.”

Neckwire with gold and gemset charms from Dezo by Sara Beltran. Photo courtesy

Neckwire with gold and gem-set charms from Dezo by Sara Beltran. Photo courtesy

Dezo by Sara Beltran includes several charms that are a perfect reflection of the overall beachy aesthetic of the collection. There are shark’s teeth and shells carved from gems.  Sara put several charms together on a neck wire with some breathtaking stones to make a statement charm choker.

Necklace with diamond, ruby, lapis and turquoise charms by Jennifer Meyer Photo courtesy

Necklace with diamond, ruby, lapis and turquoise charms by Jennifer Meyer Photo courtesy

Jennifer Meyer’s collection has always been filled with classic good luck motifs including four leaf clovers and wishbones.  She put them several in one sensational charm necklace.

Small pendant gold and enamel charm necklace by Alison Lou Photo courtesy

Small pendant gold and enamel charm necklace by Alison Lou Photo courtesy

Alison Lou’s collection has dozens of pendants that could be added to a charm necklace.  In one jewel, she has assembled five emoji face pendants—Angry, Cry Baby, Tongue Out, Bashful and Party Animal—covering a full range of emotions.

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