Archive for the ‘Pendants’ Category

Charmed Bracelets And Necklaces For Mother’s Day

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

When I was (much) younger and asked my Mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day, she always replied “a hug and nice children”. Easy to give and I was happy to do so, but of course she deserved more than that. Even at a young age, I realized that being a Mom is not an easy job, and I was always looking for something special that would surprise and delight her. Sadly, my Mom is not with us anymore, but I still send her a (mental) hug on Mother’s Day.

For those who are lucky enough to still have their Mothers around, here are some recent finds that I think any Mom would love to receive:

Art-Charms

Who doesn’t love kids’ drawings and paintings? They are so creative and honest. I have one on the fridge that my best friend’s daughter did of me and my dog 4 years ago and it still makes me smile every time I see it. Cleveland-based company Art-Charms, founded by goldsmith Chad Verhoff, make adorable charms, pendants and cuff links from your child’s drawings (using only recycled precious metals). They come in circle, oval, heart or square shapes with the drawing engraved into the charm. I love the idea, and the final results really do look like the original drawing.

Photos: Art-Charms

Cut-out Art Charms

Swedish-born goldsmith Mia van Beek started her company Formia Design in Stockholm in 2001, but fate and love brought her to the US, and since 2004, she operates her business out of Virginia. Mia also creates jewelry from children’s’ art, but with a different look. Her charms, earrings, brooches, pendants, bookmarks and key chains come in gold and silver, and instead of being engraved into the pieces, they are cut out of the metal. The idea for the art jewelry came to her when she was trying to think of a personalized gift for her 3-year old daughter’s pre-school teacher. Her daughter drew a scribble, called it earrings, and that’s exactly what Mia turned her daughter’s drawing into.

Photos: Formia Design

Charmed Necklaces

Zoe, founder and owner of Three Sisters Jewelry Design, used to be an attorney, but a series of life-changing events made her change course. She opened a photography studio in one of my favorite places on earth – Solana Beach, CA – and also started taking metal smith classes. Eventually, Three Sisters Jewelry (named after her three daughters) was born, and today, she creates a large variety of hand-stamped silver and gold charm bracelets and necklaces. My sister-in-law has a charm necklace from Three Sisters, the “gigi’s jewelry box”, which has a locket with the silhouette of her daughter and two hand-stamped charms with initials. It is absolutely adorable, and my niece loves opening the locket to look at her own profile.

Photos: Three Sisters Jewelry Design

Recycled Charms

Retired TV and movie costumer Suz of Polkadot Magpie turns metal scraps from her custom knife maker husband’s workshop into these adorable personalized hand stamped charms and pendants. They come in several different shapes: hearts, cats, stars, birds, bunnies, etc. The bunny charms have a very special story: Suz worked on the set of Crash with the late Dennis Hopper (whom she called “The Bunny”) and when he told her that his illness had taken a turn for the worse, she created these charms to help raise funds for ACS (and still donates the profits from the bunny charms to them).

Photos: Polkadot Magpie

Fingerprint Charms

Therese and Sandra, the two artists (and Moms) behind London-based company Joulberry create these darling silver fingerprint charms and pendants. When you place an order, you first receive a print kit so that you can take an impression. The charm is then created from the print, and can also be engraved on the front and/or back with your child’s name, birth date, or any other message you would like.

Photos: Joulberry

Also check out the baby teeth charms on the Unusual Charm Bracelet Charms post, and don’t miss my post about Men Gifts for Father’s Day


New Pandora Charms and Beads

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Everyone is releasing new items and holiday collections this time of year, and Pandora is no exception.

Their new holiday collection is all about glitz and glam, and I really like it. New beads include five new Pave beads – round beads pave set with glittering cubic zirconias in different colors (clear, blue, black, brown and pink), and a sterling silver Christmas stocking bead. (more…)

Green Jewelry Designs: Living Pendants

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

This time of year, I always start longing for a house in the country, or at least a house of my own with a garden where I could grow vegetables and herbs and spend sunny afternoons weeding and pruning and picking homegrown lettuce for a dinner salad. Maybe one day… for now, I’m in an apartment in a large city, and the only green around me are the trees in neighboring yards.

To add a bit more living nature to my life, I have house plants and plans for a windowsill herb garden. But I recently found another awesome way to add more greenery to my everyday life: plant jewelry. Crafty (and green-thumbed) jewelry designers have come up with a variety of styles that admittedly do need a little bit of maintenance (some are to be watered on a regular basis; others should get just the right amount of sun to stay healthy), but that’s a small price to pay to be closer to nature! :-)

Here are some fabulous finds:

1. Self-sustaining terrarium curve necklace from With Roots

2. Tiny handmade pendant vase for use with any plant of your choice. By Melinda Cunningham of Nature’s Adornments Pottery Studio

3. Short-lived, but very pretty (and an easy DIY) flower petal necklace. Idea and photo from Manekis pärlblogg

4. Maintenance free silver and plexiglass “twigs and moss” terrarium pendant by Tiny Terrains

5. The bold statement pieces from the Invenki line by Viola Living Jewels are made from a variety of metals, stones, feathers, and fairly sizeable plants

6. Potted succulent in a tiny handcrafted pendant pot (other plants are also available) from Recologies

7. The translucent acrylic polymer planter by Colleen Jordan works for both tiny cut sprigs and flowers as well as plants (you add the greenery yourself)

8. The wedding favor plant pendants from GemSprouts are created with recycled plastic and organically grown plants

9. The silver and Icelandic moss necklace by Hafsteinn Juliusson looks like a little window box – so cute!


The New Pandora Charms (and more) For Spring And Summer 2012

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The new Pandora spring/summer collection for 2012 was just released with a bunch of new beads and rings, as well as a few earrings and pendants. The recurring themes in all of them are flowers and hearts. And the possibility to mix and match – clip beads can be used as pendants, the rings can be stacked, etc.

Beads
The new bead collection consists of lots of sterling silver charms (the camera bead is a favorite), several with dangles (love those!), some with cubic zirconias or enamel, and a few mixed metal.

There are three new gold charms (my favorite is this clip with a dogwood flower set with a black diamond) and several very pretty Murano glass beads in “happy colors” and two different designs – the subtle “looking glass”, and the retro-feeling “Stepping stones” beads.

Pendants
There are 7 new pendants, 6 in silver with various stones (spinel, rhodolite, Quartzite, etc.), one mixed metal, and one in 14k gold with a white opal. They are all gorgeous and I’d be hard pressed to choose a favorite, but if I had to pick just one, it would have to be the the mixed metal – it’s sterling silver and 14k gold with a pretty, feminine and understated flower-carved mother of pearl.

Earrings
The new earrings collection (four in sterling silver with stones and two mixed metal) features three new stud designs (which match some of the pendants), three earring charms (also matching) and one pair of silver and 14k gold ear wires with a pretty little flower and loops to hang charms from.

Rings
The new ring collection is so pretty! It consists of 12 sterling silver rings set with birthstones, 5 sterling silver and 5 mixed metal rings that match the pendants (yes, there is one that matches that adorable flower mother of pearl) and two gold. Most of the rings can be stacked.

There are also some new watches, but to be perfectly honest, I never wear a watch, so I’m not really interested in those.

In conclusion, it’s a very pretty collection, spring-inspired both in colors and designs, and price-wise, there is something for every budget, from (the surprisingly affordable) $20 spacers and $25 sterling silver beads to the $720 gold dogwood flower clip above.

All photos: Pandora


Guinea Pig Charms And Pendants

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

In honor of March being Adopt a Guinea Pig Month, I thought we’d do a post featuring Guinea Pig charms and pendants. I love guinea pigs, they are so adorable, friendly and personable. It’s so cute how they start “talking” to you (more like squeaky happy little guinea pig sounds) as soon as you walk into the room, and how they sometimes jump straight up in the air (“popcorning”) when they are excited or happy.

Guinea Pigs, whose scientific name is Cavia porcellus, (they are often called Cavies) originated in South America where they were domesticated around 5000 BC already (although not so much for their cuteness but as a food source). The Peruvian Moche people worshipped them and often depicted them in their art, and statues of Guinea Pigs dating back to 500 BC to 500 AD have been found in both Peru and Ecuador.

They made their way to Europe in the 1500s where they became popular pets (Queen Elizabeth 1 of England was very fond of them). Today, they are popular all over the world, and it is estimated that there are around 3.5 million guinea pigs kept as pets in the US.

Unfortunately, many of those pets end up in shelters for a variety of reasons – changing family and living situations, unplanned guinea pig babies, lack of time, failure to understand the extent of the commitment of owning a pet before getting one, etc. It is such a shame, because guinea pigs really are wonderful pets, quite low-maintenance, and so much fun.

Typical guinea pig life expectancy is around five to seven years (although they can live longer) and they are very social animals (they live in large herds in the wild), so if you consider adopting, please don’t get just one, your cavy needs a friend.

They will need a large cage with a solid floor to live in, toys to play with and a house to hide in, bedding to sleep on, and lots of time to exercise outside of the cage. Their diet should consist of lots of top quality hay, pellets (especially made for guinea pigs) and a variety of vegetables, especially those that contain a lot of vitamin C – guinea pigs do not produce vitamin C on their own, but they need it for their survival. The ASPCA has lots of great information about caring for guinea pigs, and a downloadable pdf with care tips.

If you are interested in adopting (or fostering) guinea pigs, contact your local shelter or go to Petfinder.com and type in your zip code to search for available pets in your area.

Collage by Charms Guide

1. Sterling silver necklace with a tiny handmade guinea pig charm by California artist Sue of Lulu Bug Jewelry

2. 3D charms in 14k yellow or white gold from Esquivel & Fees

3. Sterling silver necklace with a trigger clasp pendant by Graham Gillett. From The Winking Cavy

4. Sterling silver charm bead (fits most European-style bracelets) by Ohm

5. Sterling silver clip-on charm from Charms by Carol

6. Custom-made (from your photo), hand painted Polymer clay charm by Michigan artist Jen of Blue Desert Rose

7. Pendant with a Beatrix Potter illustration of gardening guinea pigs by Funck Love Designs

8. Fused glass pendant with a tiny painting of a guinea pig. Handmade by Canadian artist Fanny Dallaire

9. Stainless steel Italian charm bracelet link by Clearly Charming

10. Sterling silver necklace with a hand detailed guinea pig pendant by Rochester-based artist and metalsmith Mary Walke

All content: © Charms Guide


February Birthstone Charms And Pendants – Amethyst

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Amethyst is a member of the Quartz family. Quartz is a mineral, the most abundant on earth, and not only does it make up around 12% of the earth’s crust, it is everywhere. Even those of us who are not living under a rock :-) have quartz all around, perhaps without realizing it. Your TV, computer, watch, cell phone and granite kitchen counter top all contain quartz.

Quartz is commonly divided in two groups – Macrocrystalline (which has visible individual crystals) and Cryptocrystalline (which has crystals you need a microscope to see, sometimes also called Microcrystalline). Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz, and it is part of the Macrocrystalline group.

Amethyst is the birthstone for February (except for in the Mystical tradition, where it is Bloodstone. We will cover Bloodstone in the March birthstone post, because it is the birthstone for March in several other traditions), the astrological birthstone for Aquarius, Pisces, and Sagittarius and the 4th, 6th and 17th wedding anniversary gemstone. It has been known and used “forever”, and it was one of the stones in the breastplate of Aaron. It is mainly found in Brazil; other locations include the US (Arizona), Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia and Russia.

Amethyst

Amethysts range in color from pale pinkish purple to deep violet and they are the most popular of the quartzes. In spite of that, they are very affordable (the darker the stone, the more expensive it is, generally), and if you’re shopping for the high end variety, you want to look for nice, clear transparent stones without inclusions (i.e. things like bubbles, crystals, graininess, cracks etc. inside the stone). In jewelry, you most often find them faceted or cabochon cut.

Amethysts are sometimes heat treated to alter the color slightly, and when lighter varieties are exposed to heat, they “turn into” citrine (so most citrine on the market is amethyst that has been heat treated).

Amethyst Folklore

The ancient Greeks thought amethyst could prevent intoxication and instill a sober mind. The name comes from the Greek “amethustos”, which means “not drunk”. In traditional dramatic Greek fashion, there is the story of Bacchus (a.k.a. Dionysus) and the young maiden Amethyst. A mortal had insulted Bacchus, who as revenge decided to let tigers go after the next human who happened to come along. It turned out the be Amethyst on her way to worship the Goddess Diana. Diana knew of Bacchus’ plan and to spare Amethyst turned her into a quartz pillar, which made Bacchus so remorseful that he wept tears of wine, which turned the now quartz pillar Amethyst purple.

Amethyst Healing Properties

Amethyst is one of the most important stones in crystal healing, believed to get rid of negativity and promote a more positive view on life, protect its wearer, aid in meditation, help when going through major life changes, heal a broken heart and make the wearer able to trust others and fall in love again.

It also helps with addictions, stress, nightmares, insomnia, anger, grief, and feelings of being victimized. On a physical level, it alleviates arthritis and balances the thyroid, helps with headaches and strengthens the skeleton.

And it might be worth it to invest in some amethyst jewelry even if it’s not your birthstone. Crystal Energy Therapist Karen Ryan says “If you could choose only one crystal to wear for healing, Amethyst is the one – it heals all things at all levels”.

Luckily, there are tons of gorgeous pieces to choose from. Here are some of my recent favorite amethyst charm and pendant finds:

Collage by Charms Guide

1. Sterling silver and amethyst clip-on charm from Pia Jewellery

2. Antique Victorian 15 and 18k gold and amethyst pendant (can also be worn as a brooch). From Fourtané Estate Jewelers

3. This is such a unique pendant! A slice of swirly Oco geode with an amethyst “focal point” set in sterling silver. By Glimmering Gems

4. Sterling silver and amethyst charm from The Black Bow

5. 18k white gold raja Meditation bell clip-on charm, set with black diamonds and amethysts. By Paul Morelli

6. Oxidized Pandora silver charm bead set with 3 amethysts

7. Sterling silver necklace with amethyst bear charm by Honeywild

8. 18k gold amethyst “Sweet Drop” charm (with one tiny diamond) by Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen

9. Small antique (ca 1900) Edwardian suffragette pendant in 14k gold set with an amethyst, a peridot and 22 diamonds. From The Three Graces

10. Customized sterling silver and amethyst charm by Lauren Grace

All content: © Charms Guide


Heart Charms And Pendants

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought a post about heart shaped jewelry would be in order.

The Heart – An Ancient Symbol

The heart as a symbol was used as far back as 10,000 BC, although scientists are not exactly sure what it symbolized at that time. In more recent civilizations, it was long believed that thoughts, reasoning and the soul were housed in the heart, and in ancient Egypt, the heart was not only the center of life, but morality and character as well, and your heart was judged to determined your future in the afterlife. The Egyptian Book of the Dead illustrates how after death, a person’s heart is taken to the judgment area and put on a scale opposite the feather of Maat. If the heart was lighter than the feather, the person was all set to enjoy whatever came after, but if it was heavy with sin, the heart would be eaten by the demon Ammit and the person would cease to exist. (so dramatic!)

But why is the heart symbol shaped the way it is? It doesn’t look anything like an actual human heart. And why do we associate that shape with love?

There are many (possible) explanations: Some say it’s because it resembles several different female body parts (use your own imagination here); some claim it is because of a vision Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque had in the 1600s (although that one doesn’t really hold up, because there are stained glass windows with heart symbols that way predates that – maybe she was just commenting on the decor!); it has also been suggested that it’s the heart in the Book of the Dead that inspired it (although I personally think that looks more like an urn or sometimes an actual anatomical heart, but…).

Then there is the theory of the Silphium plant. The seeds from this now extinct variety of wild fennel are shaped just like the heart symbol we use today, and they were widely used as a natural contraceptive. The plant grew in Cyrene (an ancient Greek colony where Libya is today), and was a great source of income for the area. It was extensively commercially traded and the seed pods were even depicted on their coins. It also had a slew of other health benefits (Pliny the Elder wrote that it could be used as an antidote for poison, re-grow hair, cure leprosy, sore throats, etc.), and unfortunately, demand was larger than supply, and it was picked to extinction.

And why it’s associated with love – well, we all know what the heart feels like when you’re in love (or going through a breakup). No mystery there.

Time for the visual part of the post – my selection of some favorite heart charms and pendants:

Collage by Charms Guide

1. Sterling silver filigree heart charm by Rembrandt

2. Vintage (ca 1945) Walter Lampl sterling silver and enamel charm from Morning Glory Antiques.

3. 10k rose gold charm with set with a red stone (they label it garnet, then say it’s labradorite in the text. Red labradorite has been much debated and a source of both great controversy and lawsuits in the professional gem world. I just wanted to mention that so you can make an informed decision about the piece. Regardless of the quality of the stone, I like it, and I think it’s pretty, so I included it). From Sundance.

4. Sterling silver heart chakra charm from Shanti Boutique Fair Trade Designs

5. Tiny connected custom stamped brass hearts on a sterling silver chain by MomentusNY

6. Brass and silver-tone base metal charms by Fossil

7. Anatomical heart charm by Pnut.

8. 18k white gold and diamond heart charm necklace from Tiffany & Co.

9. Sterling silver, brass and resin pendant by Waxing Poetic.

10. Sterling silver, cubic zirconia and rhodolite dangle charm bead from Pandora.

All content: © Charms Guide


Unusual Pendants And Charm Bracelet Charms

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The holidays are approaching with the speed of light, and I don’t know about you, but I’m already thinking (ok, slightly panicking) about my Christmas shopping. It’s not easy to come up with new, brilliant ideas for what to give year after year, so I thought I’d start a mini-series of posts featuring items that would make perfect gifts. First out are some very unique pendants and charms. Happy shopping!

Baby Teeth Charms

Oregon-based Kim Kovel has designed clothing for many of the most well-known sports brands, and came up with the idea for these charms when her son lost his first baby tooth. She made a gold version of it and wore it on a necklace. People started asking her where she got it, and soon, a new business was born: Le Knockout. The company makes custom charms from baby teeth using the lost wax casting method (i.e. a mold is created from the actual tooth, the tooth is removed and the mold is then filled with precious metal). This creates an exact replica of the tooth, and they are available in 14k gold or sterling silver, either plain, engraved with a letter or set with a small diamond. If you love the idea but don’t have kids, no worries: you can get your own teeth made into a charms too.

Photos: Le Knockout

Diamonds Are Forever

It’s People! (and pets)
The colorful diamonds from LifeGem are actually made from either a lock of hair or the cremated ashes of the customers’ human or animal family members. While one’s first reaction may be (and certainly was in my case) Yuck! you can’t deny that they are pretty to look at, and most of us do want to have some sort of keepsake to remember our loved ones by. The stones are created by collecting carbon during the cremation process (you get to keep the ashes) which is then put into the company’s diamond presses. The presses are made to replicate what the earth does naturally (apply heat and pressure) to create the stones. While they are man made diamonds, the final result has the exact same hardness and molecular composition as the real thing. You can get them in ¼ – 1 ½ carats in many different cuts, set in rings and pendants. Strange? Yes. Creepy? A little bit. Pretty? Most definitely.

Photos: LifeGem

Brains and Hearts and…

Pnuts’ creations are (thankfully) not made from the real thing, but unusual nevertheless. The charms and pendants are made from silver, 14k and 18k gold, some have precious stones, and all are handmade by Rusty Pistachio, the man behind the Pnuts brand. He also makes rings, cufflinks, earrings and key chains. When he’s not making jewelry, he tours with H2O, a hardcore/punk band.

Photos: Pnuts

Tentacles

San Francisco artist Deana Fukatsu of OctopusMe creates pendants, bracelets, rings, earrings, cuff links and tie tacks from real octopus tentacles, using the lost wax method. The pieces are hand cast in sterling silver or gold, textured and finished by hand. The silver pieces are oxidized, and some have precious stones (diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc.).

I find Diana’s work intriguing to say the least, and asked her “Why octopuses”? How did you come up with the idea?” She replied: “The octopus is a sensual, cunning genius…. a master of disguise. I think they are one of the most amazing creatures. I like the connection of the octopus as a symbol of transformation and their powers to regenerate limbs. I feel people also have healing powers but often times we forget...”

I came up with the idea while eating at a Sushi restaurant in San Francisco. I was working with a Master Jeweler at the time doing his casting and wax. I had this Aha moment when I saw the Tako (Octopus). The earrings in the first photo was my flagship piece. I was thinking it was a fun play on the half hoop earring and if you were someone who worked in corporate America who wanted to express your own style, it could be as subtle as an earring. I think the jewelry people wear tells about them. So I made a pair for myself. The amazing energy really came from Etsy though. I posted them up right before I went to Burning Man in 2007. The rest was magic and OctopusME was born. Thank you so much to Etsy and all of the Etsians!

Photos: OctopusMe

For more gift ideas, also see the Cupcake Charms, Jewelry Men Gifts for Father’s Day and Charmed Bracelets and Necklaces for Mother’s Day posts (and stay tuned for more to come!)


Tous

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.

Celebrities
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


Pendants or Charms?

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Pendants and charms come in all sizes, designs and materials. Sometimes, there is a bit of confusion about what makes a piece of jewelry a charm vs. a pendant, and to add to the befuddlement, some people use both terms interchangeably.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a pendant as “A jewel, bead, tassel, or the like, attached loosely to clothing, etc., so as to hang down as an ornament; an ornamental fringe (obs.); (now) esp. a loosely hanging piece of jewellery worn on a chain around the neck; a necklace with such a piece of jewellery attached” or ” The hanging part of an earring; an earring with a substantial hanging part, an ear-drop.”

and a charmAnything worn about the person to avert evil or ensure prosperity; an amulet” or “A small ornament or trinket worn fastened to a watch-chain or girdle.

There are no set standards, but generally speaking:

Pendants are larger than charms

Pendants often have bails. A bail is the “loop” on the pendant that you use to hang it on the necklace. Bails can be “built-in” parts of the pendant, soldered on, or separate findings that you attach to the pendant in a variety of ways (depending on the design of the bail).

Bails are normally not used for charms. It is possible to attach a charm to a bracelet with the help of a bail and a jump ring, but it gets bulky and can look a little bit clumsy. It can be done though – I put a bail and a jump ring on a tiny briolette (photo on right), and it is small enough that it could comfortably fit on a charm bracelet.

Pendants are usually too large to comfortably wear on a bracelet, however, if we look at vintage jewelry, there were medallion charm bracelets (especially popular during the 40s), which had one huge (by bracelet standards) medallion, large enough that I would label them pendants, so it is essentially up to the wearer where to draw the line.

Charms are smaller than pendants, often designed especially for use on bracelets and come with jump rings, split rings, link locks or lobster claw attachments, or if you buy a finished bracelet, they may be soldered on.

Charms can easily be put on necklaces (as well as rings and earrings). You can attach your charm just as it is, or use a charm holder – a ring with an opening where you can slide your charms on and a bail up top – specifically designed so that you can put one or several of your charms on a necklace.

The word charm can also describe European-style beads, like Troll beads, Chamilia beads, Pandora charms, etc. They are often round beads (but come in other shapes as well) with a hole through the middle (some with dangles), and can be put on both snake chain bracelets and necklaces.

Then there are Italian charm bracelets, which with their interlocked link system do not look like what you normally think of as charms at all (although some of them have dangles as well).

You sometimes see terms such as “pendant charms”, “charm pendant”, “mini charm pendant”, “bead charms”, “mini pendants”, “mini charms”, “cake charms”, “fob”, etc.

Pendant charms are usually pendants, i.e. too large to use on bracelets.

A charm pendant is a smaller pendant, sometimes with a bail, sometimes with a jump ring or even just a hole up top, so some of these can work both on necklaces and bracelets. On necklaces, charm pendants are often seen in clusters of 3 or more.

A mini charm pendant is also usually a pendant with a bail (or sometimes just a hole), just a bit smaller.

Bead charms are almost always European-style beads (for Pandora bracelets, etc.)

Mini-pendants can be anywhere from ¼” to over 1”, and come with the usual variety of attachments, so all can be used on necklaces and the smaller ones can be used as charms on bracelets.

Mini charms are even tinier charms, mostly intended for use in crafts (scrapbooking, card making, for wine glass charms, etc.), but I like them for children’s bracelets, or as part of a “regular sized” one too.

Cake charms are smallish, often good luck charms intended for use in wedding cakes. The tradition goes back to Victorian times, and what you do is tie a ribbon to each charm, put the charms underneath (or inside) the cake, and let each member of the wedding party pull out their own charm (sometimes this is done at the shower instead of at the wedding itself). And you can of course use them on bracelets and necklaces as well.

Fobs were popular in the late 1800s and are essentially charms that were intended to be put on a watch chain or chatelaine (but work equally well on a bracelet). They were sometimes just decorative, sometimes utilitarian (like a key for example). Today, they are popular collectors’ items, and often used on charm bracelets.

For more terminology, also see the “Charm Beads and Beads With Charms” post