Archive for the ‘Charm Bracelet’ Category

Elizabeth Taylor’s Charm Bracelets Fetch Top Dollar

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

There was much excitement when it was announced that Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection was going to be sold at Christies, and expectations were high. The auction, held Tuesday, did not disappoint. The total sum for the 80-lot collection came to a record-setting $115,932,000, making it the most valuable privately owned collection of jewelry ever sold at auction.

The most expensive piece ended up being the Cartier-designed necklace “La Peregrina”, a gorgeous pearl, ruby and diamond piece, which went for close to $12 million (Richard Burton bought it for $37,000 in 1957 – talk about a great investment!).

Elizabeth Taylor of course loved jewelry (check out her fabulous book “My Love Affair With Jewelry”) and amassed a great collection during her lifetime, in large part thanks to her generous (and plentiful!) husbands. The collection is just breathtaking – gold, diamonds, pearls, countless other precious stones – and it also included five charm bracelets, for which she collected charms throughout her life, all with special meaning and memories.

The first item sold last night was this gorgeous loaded, and very personal, gold and multi-gem charm bracelet (to the right), which was estimated at around $25,000 and ended up selling for $326,500! It includes charms like a locket with her children’s names inscribed, a directors slate inscribed “The taming of the shrew”, etc.

This charm bracelet (to the left) was estimated at $15,000 sold for $194,500 and has fewer personalized charms, but is obviously spectacular nevertheless. It does include one saying “Happy Anniversary, 1971, Raymond”, but my favorite on this bracelet is the rabbit charm.

And this one (to the right), which is my favorite, has (among other charms) one heart inscribed “Elysabeth, Alexandre, Love Fevrier 1972”, another saying “E.T. Happy Anniversary, 1974, Raymond,” and a locket with two photographs of Elizabeth Taylor’s father. It was estimated at a pretty affordable $4,000 – $6,000, but it also went for $195,400.

This bracelet (left)  includes a key charm inscribed “To Elizabeth, with Love, Poker Alice, 1987” another key with the inscription “Elizabeth” and a sombrero charms with several gemstones and the inscription “Easter 1970, With Lots of love, Raymond”. It was estimated at $12,000 and sold for $158,500.

And last, but not least, this one (right), which includes a charm inscribed “To Elysabeth, Love from Claudye e Gianni”; another with “Just to Remember Palm Springs”, and a Star of David charm with the inscription “Love Sophie” ended up at $116,500

Pretty amazing, and of course people are willing to pay these prices not just for the jewelry, but to be able to own a piece of a legend. But even if you’re not Elizabeth Taylor, it’s worth taking good care of, and holding on to, your charms! You never know what will happen one day. 🙂

All photos: Christie’s

Links Of London – Charms, Bracelets, Rings, Cufflinks And More

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Links of London is a jewelry company based in the UK (as one would assume from the name). The company got started on what can best be described as a whim: in 1990, founder Annoushka Ducas designed some fish-shaped cuff links to be given as Christmas presents to the top customers of her Mothers’ fish business. After the holidays, she still had a number of them left, so she went into the luxury London department store Harvey Nichols and asked if they would be interested in selling them. They said yes, but only if she designed an entire collection, and Links of London was born.

Ducas started the company together with her husband John Ayton in 1991, and it became a huge success and recipient of many awards. In 2006, the couple sold Links of London for £50 million to Greek jewelry company Folli Follie, and in 2009, Annoushka Ducas started a new jewelry business – “Annoushka”.

Links of London continues its success story: their products can now be found in over 300 stores across the globe as well as online; the company was recently asked to create the official London Olympics 2012 jewelry line; and their pieces are worn by many celebrities, including Kate Middleton (or the Duchess of Cambridge as she is known these days) who wore their “Hope” white topaz earrings in the official engagement photos.

Two new collections are released each year, and there are currently 10 different lines of jewelry (each with a very distinct look), in addition to watches, a bridal collection and various gifts (frames, bags, bag charms, etc.):

The Links of London Jewelry Collections

The Sweetie line consists mostly of bracelets (but there are also a few necklaces, earrings, ringsand a watch) and the signature look here is rings stacked to form a bracelet or as part of one.

As you would assume, this line consists of friendship bracelets, made from sterling silver and threads in various colors. There are single and double-wrap versions, most have silver “pins”, some have other silver designs like hearts, strawberries, and a tad startling, skulls. One really fun one that caught my attention is the Wimbledon Tennis Ball Friendship bracelet, which is made from tiny silver tennis balls woven together by thread in that neon yellow-greenish color of tennis balls.

This collection is made up of silver and gold “bubbles” and includes some really substantial bracelets, a few friendship ‘bubble bracelets” (my favorites), rings, earrings and necklaces.

The 20/20 line consists of interlocking rings in various designs and sizes.

The Hope collection is designed to emulate stone shapes and includes earrings, rings, pendants, a charm, and bracelets.

Camden is all about skulls – woven into bracelets, as pendants, charms and cufflinks.

The signature collection is one of the most understated and consists of charms, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and a ring in shiny silver with moonstones in gorgeous shades of orange and grey.

Silver Palm
Another discreet collection, this one inspired by bamboo. It’s all sterling silver and includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings.

Love Note
Love note features hearts, hearts and more hearts in white, yellow and rose gold, and the charms have amethysts and amazonites.

The 2012 collection features the Olympics jewelry – charms, bracelets, necklaces, cufflinks, key rings, earrings, charm beads, rings and more – most celebrating Britain and/or sports in some way.

Feed Bracelets
A new line of friendship bracelets called “Feed” was recently launched. The bracelets are made from different colored cords with a single sterling silver bead in various shapes (water drop, dove, heart, etc.), each supporting a different hunger-fighting program through the FEED foundation. And if you happen to be in London, you can get your hands on one design with an 18k gold heart that is sold only at Harrods and supports food for kids in high HIV/AIDS areas.

Links of London for Men

As you would expect from a company that got started thanks to a pair of cufflinks, the men’s jewelry include a quite extensive cufflink collection in fun, unusual and manly designs 🙂 such as skulls, moustaches, barbells, etc. The moustache cufflinks were created specifically for “Movember” – a yearly worldwide charity event that help raise money for research specific to men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, etc. – and 10% of the sales proceeds are donated to Movember.

The Men’s collection also include several friendship bracelets, rings, necklaces, watches and accessories (wallets, collar bones, etc.).

Links of London for Kids

There is also a line for kids, which includes jewelry (sterling silver charm bracelets sized for babies and young children), gift items (keepsake boxes, etc.), and these darling little miniature animal couples, each with the most adorable names: Harry and Helena Hedgehog, Percy and Patricia Pig, Orlando and Olivia Ostrich, etc. Too cute!

Links of London Charms

And last, but not least, there is of course their extensive collection of charms – which currently consists of around 350 designs. The charms are made from sterling silver and 18k gold, many are enameled, some have precious stones (diamonds, topaz, sapphires, etc.) and the designs range from cheeky to chic.

All photos: Links of London USA

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Sundance Charm Necklaces And Bracelets

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

I have always loved pretty much everything I see in the Sundance catalog (and have been the lucky recipient of many a birthday and Christmas present from there). I just got the latest one in the mail and was extra delighted to see that there are more charm necklaces and bracelets than I have seen from them in one catalog before. There is definitely a trend going on right now with personalized jewelry in general, and charm necklaces in particular, and there are some of those in this catalog as well.

For those who haven’t heard of them before (oh, are you in for a treat!), Sundance is a jewelry, clothing and home decor company in Utah, founded by Robert Redford (yes, the actor) in 1969. What started as a small local store has grown into a major mail order company (but they still have three stores: one in Utah, one in California and one in Colorado). The first catalog was sent out in 1989 to a small group of people – today the company publishes 35 catalogs/year and they are sent out to millions of customers. And the Sundance Group now also includes the film festival, TV channel, a resort, Sundance Cinemas, and the Sundance Institute.

What I really like about their products (aside from how beautiful they are in their rustic, slightly rough and bohemian way) is that most are handmade by (amazing) artisans. And you can read their bios on the Sundance website, so you get to know a little bit about the person who made your piece of jewelry.

Anyway, here are some of the gorgeous charm necklaces and bracelets from the latest catalog that are definitely going on my wish list (which you can set up right on their site and then share with potential gift-givers. 🙂 )

Collage: Charms Guide
Photos: Sundance Catalog

New Chamilia Bracelets And Beads

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

It’s not just the Pandora charm people who stay busy during the summer. Chamilia has made several new exciting announcements recently.

In a recent collaboration with Swarovski, they created 205 new silver charm beads, all set with Swarovski crystals. They will be available in Swarovski stores starting in August, and prices will range from $30 to around $100.

There is also another new group of beads and bracelets, the “Siena Collection”. It consists of 24 silver beads and charms with Murano glass and Swarovski crystals in autumn-like reds, greens and browns and a whole new style of snake chain bracelets called Terrazzo. The bracelets are made with tiny beads and come in silver ($160) and mixed gold (which consists of silver, yellow and rose gold beads and retails for around $1,200). There are also Terrazzo necklaces (same type of design) which sell for $250 and $2,500, respectively.

Miss Chamilia
The new Miss Chamilia collection consists of twelve silver beads with purple, turquoise, white and pink crystals, and three gorgeous Murano glass beads in blues and pinks.

At JCK Las Vegas (at the beginning of June), Chamilia announced a whole brand new line ofjewelry called the “Sojourn Collection”, to be released in the fourth quarter of 2011. Sojourn will consist of bracelets, rings and “accents” – interchangeable gemstone pieces (citrine, peridot, amethyst, etc.) that are clasped onto the rings and bracelets.

The design has definitely been taken in a new direction with this collection: sterling silver mesh bracelets, mesh hammered and fluted sterling silver rings, and pinstripe leather bracelets. Each piece will be sold individually, and prices are set at $50 to $95 for the accents, $75 for the leather bracelets, $100 for the rings and $200 for the silver bracelets.

Photo: Higashi Pearls & Fine Jewelry

All this hard work has not gone unnoticed: In June, Camilla’s founders, Killian Rieder and Jeff Julkowski received a very special recognition: the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (for the Upper Midwest region).

Fall always bring new, fun designs to the market, and I have to say that Chamilia’s new lineup does not disappoint. I love what I’ve seen so far.

All photos: Chamilia (unless otherwise noted)

The Charm It Bracelet

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Charm It charms first saw the light of day in 2000. The jewelry line is a part of High IntenCity, a family owned company founded by Renee Levy in 1993. Entrepreneurial from a very young age, Renee started designing hair accessories and jewelry already when she was in elementary school and started her first company when she was a high school freshman.

Today, she is the president of High IntenCity, and Charm It has celebrated its 10th anniversary. The jewelry is geared towards young girls, tweens and teens, and the charms are colorful, adorable, and very “girly”. They are all clip-on, so even the youngest wearers are able to easily change charms and move them around as they please.

There are several different collections of charms: The Signature line, which includes a huge variety, from a wedge of cheese to a little pink VW bug with a peace sign; the Disney charms, which obviously consists of Disney characters; the Hello Kitty which features Kitty in a variety of sizes and settings (Beauty Queen, Birthday Cake, Rainbow Kitty, etc.); and the Contest Charms.

What are the Contest Charms? For their 10th anniversary, the company held a contest where girls entered by submitting designs (drawn on paper) that they would like to see made into charms. 36 winners were chosen, and as you can imagine, the collection consists of everything under the sun. Some of my favorites include the “I’m A Taco” (where 10% of the proceeds go to the World Wildlife Fund), the “Be Green Tree” (10% goes to Kids for Saving Earth) and the Cow (also supporting WWF).

All the charms are made from base metal, enamel and resin, and are very affordable – they retail for $5.00 – $6.00.

There are 14 bracelet designs to choose from (ranging in price from $7.00 – $16.00), all made from base metal, some with acrylic and enamel as well. They range from plain chain links to rainbow colored smiley faces, safety pins, frosted cupcakes, and my favorite, the pink flower bracelet. They also have 2 necklaces – one metal colored and one rainbow colored chain, which you can also hang charms from.

And since they’re all clip-on, the charms can go on anything – keychains, bags, zippers, etc. A cute idea is to add one or two to a ribbon around a gift, which both makes it two (three) gifts in one, and really unique gift packaging.

All photos: Charm It

Pandora Charm News

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

The people at Pandora do not rest on their laurels – they keep coming up with not only new charms and designs, but also features by the handful.

In early June, they released a new collection of charm beads with birthstones. The beads are really cute, a flower design in oxidized silver with a tiny stone. They tell you a little bit about each stone too; mine is garnet (for January) and it is supposedly thought to protect travelers and it’s color (red) symbolizes courage, love, joy, warmth and energy. Nice to know, and especially nice to include if you’re giving one as a gift to someone. You can also download an image of your birthstone charm as a desktop or cell phone wallpaper.

In mid-June, the first edition of their bi-monthly online magazine (simply called Pandora magazine) was published. The premier issue featured Penelope Cruz, several “inspiration board” pages where they tell you who made the clothes, shoes, etc. and you can click on the jewelry pieces to get more info (they’re all Pandora, of course), styling tips, behind the scenes, etc.

They also recently introduced a new line of great looking macramé charm bracelets (I just started dabbling in knotting macramé myself, so I was very excited to see this). They come in several colors (black, gold, red, natural, navy, orange, grey, and my favorite, dusty pink) with 14k gold or sterling silver endings, and there is a little indentation in the middle of them where you can add a clip-on bead if you want.

Then there is the new jewelry matching tool where you pick one piece of jewelry from a “wheel” on the left hand side of the screen and then a matching piece on the right and add to your wish list. This is obviously a way to make you buy more, but it’s fun to play with nevertheless, and useful for holiday and birthday wish lists.

Also check their website (or sign up for their newsletter) for competitions and other ways to potentially receive or win free stuff. Right now, there is the Ring upon Ring competition, where you create a set of rings to be stacked (with the help of their online tool) and enter to win the stack you designed.

And I recently answered one of their customer research questionnaires and as a thank you got a leather Pandora charm bracelet with a Murano glass charm on it sent to me in the mail. Nice!

All photos: Pandora

For more on Pandora, see my Pandora Jewelry Story, Investing In A Pandora Bracelet, New Anniversary Pandora BraceletsThe New Pandora Charms For Spring and Summer 2012, and the Authentic Pandora Charms And Bracelets vs. Pandora Style Beads posts.

Make A Charm Bracelet From Silver Rings

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

This step-by-step project is inspired by a technique called chainmaille (sometimes spelled chain maille, chain mail, or chainmail) – a really fun and relatively easy method to create both simple and very intricate pieces of jewelry from jump rings. I have been dabbling in it for a little while, and it is very addictive!

The charm bracelet we’re creating today is even easier though, and it’s not technically chainmaille, just inspired by it. It is a low-cost, super easy project with (I think) a very nice end result. You can either use sterling silver rings, or if you want to keep the cost even lower, use base metal or silver plated jump rings. For a more colorful version, try using a mix of gold and silver rings, or jump rings in different colors (black, red, copper, etc.)

My bracelet is 6.25″ long, and to create it, I used:

Two pliers (I use pointed flat nose ones)
74 open jump rings (5.5 mm)
1 lobster clasp

Optional additions:
Tiny lobster clasp(s)
Jump ring(s) for the charm(s)

Start by opening all your jump rings (but keep one of them closed to start the bracelet with).You want to hold each ring with both pliers and then bend one side of the ring away from or towards you. Do not pull the ends apart – very important! You want them to connect again as close to seamless as you can get, and you it won’t happen if you pull. Always bend.

Once they’re all open, you’re ready to start. Hold your one closed ring with one plier and hook two of the open rings onto the closed one. Close them by bending the ends together (as described above). Then take two more open rings, attach them to these two rings and bend together. Keep doing this until you get to your desired bracelet length (remember to factor in the clasp as well). End with a single jump ring and hook your lobster clasp onto it before closing.

(Click on the photos to see them larger)

That’s it! How unbelievably easy was that?

Now you can add charms if you want, either several, or as I did, just one large. For several, layout your bracelet flat, position the charms where you want them, and just hook them on with jump rings.

For my bracelet, I took an old earring apart (old costume jewelry pieces make great charms!) and used this fleur-de-lis piece as my single large charm. You can hook that on with a jump ring too, but I’m always changing my jewelry around, so I attached it to a small lobster clasp first and just hooked that onto the bracelet. It makes it so easy to move it to another bracelet, necklace, or anything you want to add it to.

There you have it – a simple, but stylish silver charm bracelet.

Jewelry Men Gifts For Father’s Day (And Beyond)

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Since Father’s Day is coming up soon (Sunday, June 19 in the US), I thought I’d do a post all about men’s jewelry. It’s always such a struggle to figure out what to get men – you can only use so many socks, grilling utensils and ties – and I think many forget about jewelry as an option.

Today’s featured artists are all sellers on Etsy, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you must! There is an incredible amount of talent on the site and it is the best place to shop for almost everything. You buy straight from the artist which means that you support a small business, and you get to communicate directly with the person who made whatever it is you’re buying, which makes it such a unique and fun experience. I have bought lots of things there, many of them customized just for me (a camera bag, a fleece wrap cardigan, charms, etc.). I can honestly say that my expectations have been exceeded every time.

But enough of my gushing and on to the featured items, which are obviously great for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions too, not just Father’s Day:

Rustic Bracelet

Athens-based (Georgia, not Greece) artist Laurel Hill works manly in sterling silver and copper, and I love her rustic, slightly rough and rugged-looking pieces. This 3/8″ wide sterling silver cuff bracelet can be customized with any text you want.

Photos: Laurel Hill


Photographer and designer Joanne Simmons of SilverSculptor is originally from London but these days, she lives and works in New Jersey. She has been making jewelry since she was a young girl, and her favorite medium is precious metal clay. These adorable cufflinks are made from recycled pure silver (99.9%) and customized with text and your child’s (or children’s) hand and/or footprints.

Photos: Joanne Simmons/SilverSculptor

Key Ring with Charm

The personalized key ring from Chicago-based artist Jen of Jeneri Jewelry is not only cute – it is perfect for men who don’t like to wear jewelry. The tiny charm is made from sterling silver with a 14k gold “frame” and can be personalized both on the front and back.

Photos: Jeneri Jewelry


California artist Heather Ellis of sTuck in the Coop started making jewelry in the hopes of being able to be self-employed and stay home with her two children. It turned out to be a great decision – she has been hugely successful (her work has been featured in places like US Magazine) and is living her dream. The gorgeous hammered band is made from sterling silver and can be customized with your children’s names, birth dates, or any message you want.

Photos: sTuck in the Coop

Leather Bracelet with Charm

The triple-wrap bracelet from Toronto artist CM of SPUNKbyCM is made from braided leather with a customizable sterling silver charm. The bracelet comes in black, dark brown or tan, works for both women and men, and is great for layering with other bracelets, which is such a hot trend right now.

Photos: SPUNKbyCM

For more gift ideas, also see my Unusual Pendants and Charm Bracelet Charms post.


Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Spanish jewelry company Tous, based in Barcelona, was founded in 1920 by husband and wife team Salvador Tous Blavi and Teresa Ponsa Mas. What started as a small watchmaker business eventually became a jewelry company. In 1961, their son, Salvador Tous married Rosa Oriol, and they both became part of the family business, which they later inherited (in 1965).

In 1990, they opened their first Barcelona store, and it was a hit from the start. In the mid-90s, they decided it was time to expand the business outside of Spain, and started with Japan and Germany. It turned out to be a good decision – they were very successful in both places – and the company kept expanding. Today, Salvador and Rosa still run the company, together with their four daughters. They employ around 1850 people, and have close to 400 stores in 42 countries.

The Jewelry
Tous is famous for its teddy bear jewelry; it has almost become the company’s unofficial logo. The idea to use the teddy bear image in jewelry was born in 1965 when Rosa was inspired by a collection of teddy bears in a shop window she happened to walk by. The first one was made from gold, and today, the Tous bear pieces and images can be found in almost all their collections: as charms, on rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings, on watches, bags, sunglasses, even imprinted in some of their cosmetics.

Apart from the teddy bears, the jewelry consists of several different collections and many styles in a variety of materials: Earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, cuff links, charms, pendants, andchokers in sterling silver, gold, stainless steel, Murano glass, enamel, leather, diamonds, semi-precious stones, and pearls. They release between 5 and 8 new collections every year, and have also added a myriad of other products to their jewelry lines: handbags, perfume, watches, baby clothes, cosmetics, etc.

What About Charms?
In addition to their many different pre-made charm bracelets (and a few charm rings), they have a collection of charms with a whole new attachment method they call “toric joint”. The charm bracelet (and rings and earrings) come with a number of “fasteners” already attached (they look like little bells almost), and the charms have a ball-like extension up top, and you just snap the ball into the fastener. And when you want to switch charms, you just remove it.

Tous selects different celebrities to be the “image” of the brand – previously it was Kylie Minogue, and this spring (2011), it is Jennifer Lopez.

Their recent work with Manolo Blahnik is a celebrity collaboration of a different kind (and one that I love). Together, they have created pendants in the image of Blahnik’s famous 1994 Campari shoes (one of the styles Carrie Bradshaw wore in Sex and the City), complete with the MB label on the insole! The pendants are totally adorable and come in sterling silver, 18k gold (with a diamond button) and vermeil. There are also a miniature pair in sterling silver. Prices range from $155 to $1,499.

The Future
What does the future hold for the company? Further expansion, both when it comes to locations, jewelry and other product lines. The new spring/summer 2011 jewelry editions include the gorgeous Protégeme collection designed by Eugenia Martinez de Irujo (a.k.a. the Duchess of Montoro) which has a wonderful earthy, unpolished zen look (she is currently working on the Fall/Winter 2011 collection, can’t wait to see it!), the adorable and practical DAI collection, which consists of mirrored pieces with a Japanese flower design, and the colorful sterling silver and enamel Ganesh collection.

All photos: Tous

A Chamilia Bracelet For Spring

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Spring is finally here (although when I’m writing this it’s only a few degrees above freezing and raining hard here in the Northeast – but at least the trees are getting greener and the flowers are in bloom), and I’m sure everyone is as excited as I am about being able to put away those heavy winter coats and layers and layers of clothing. I love wearing my bracelets year round, but in the winter, they’re mostly hidden under long, warm sleeves. The warmer months is the perfect time to show off your favorite charms and new bracelet creations and acquisitions (those cute little three-quarter sleeve tops are ideal for this purpose!).

In light of that, I thought I’d start a little mini-series of posts where we take a look at the various companies’ new collections for spring, and first out are the new Chamilia bracelet beads.

The Chamilia bracelet charms spring collection is girly, light, flowery and most definitely inspired by the season. There are 26 new beads: four 24k gold glass beads, all in warm, golden tones, 8 different flower bead designs, three “entwined jewel” beads with clear and colored Swarovski crystals, 7 “miscellaneous” designs (morning dew, sun showers, serve and protect, etc.), and finally, my favorites, 4 little purses (with lids that open) – 2 silver and enamel in red and pink, and 2 in silver with sparkly cubic zirconia.

Here are my top picks from each of these “categories”:

And here is a bracelet I created with beads from the new collection (at a total of $1,640):

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

All photos: Chamilia

Chamilia bracelet prices vary quite a bit (from $35 for the plain leather to $1,500 for the longer 14k gold bracelets), and of course the final price also depends on the beads you put on them. The charms in the new collection range from $30 (for the basic silver charms) to $420 (for the 14k gold charms).

For more on Chamilia, also see my Chamilia charmsChamilia beads and Chamilia bracelets posts.