Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana recently revealed their new fine jewelry collection, and it is stunning. We have seen charms from Dolce & Gabbana many times before, not least in this amazing wool clutch, but nothing quite like this.
The new 80-piece collection is all handmade 18k gold – white, rose and yellow -embellished with rubies, sapphires, black jade and freshwater pearls. The designers say they were inspired by their heritage, and Sicily in particular (one of the lines in the new collection is even called “Sicily”), and wanted to create jewelry that had the look and feel of heirlooms that have been passed down for generations. Italian supermodel Bianca Balti stars in the sultry ad campaign, and the pieces will retail for just under $1,000 to around $25,000.
The collection includes charm bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings, and is indeed loaded with imagery that is classic Italian, both religious and superstitious. There are both gold and handpainted ceramic charms with pictures of the Madonna, bejeweled crosses, charm necklaces that resemble rosaries, as well as hearts, beautiful filigree, and lots of good luck charms such as horseshoes, four leaf clovers, cornicellos, etc.
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. )
Charms can obviously be used in many other ways than on a charm bracelet – in scrapbooking, attached to gifts, on necklaces, etc. – and the other day, I came across a fabulous new way of using them that I have never seen before: attached to mugs.
These adorable mugs are made by French-born artist and founder of Ligne Ceramique, Jacqueline Igestedt. She began her career as a furniture designer and also worked as an interior decorator in Casablanca, Morocco. She now lives in Stockholm, Sweden and focuses her creative powers on ceramics.
The mugs (3.3” high) come in off white and black with either a heart charm or tiny glass beads, and can be used for both hot and cold beverages. Or be used as anything really – pencil cups, small flower pots, candy bowls, vases, etc.
So cute and creative! I especially love the ones with the heart charms. I have not been able to find them here in the US, but they are available online at Inreda.com.
What is the difference between charm beads and beads with charms? Charm hangers and charm holders? What are charm drops and charm carriers? It’s time for another terminology post to help bring some clarity to these terms, which are often used interchangeably, making searching for them somewhat of a challenge at times. To see the description of the pictures, hover over them with your mouse. To see a picture larger, click on it – it will open in a new window.
Beads with charms can mean either beads beads with a dangly part (a.k.a. dangle beads or dangle charms), or a bead bracelet (or necklace) with charms. You can find the European-style “beads with charms” ready-made (like the Pandora charm pictured on the left here), or you can get a charm hanger and make one yourself.
Charm hangers (sometimes also called charm hanger beads, charm drops, bead bails, and sometimes charm holders) are European-style beads in various sizes. They can be just thin disks or inch-long tubes, all have a little loop on the bottom where you attach your charm(s). Since most have pretty large center holes in order for them to fit on all (or most) European-style brands, they also work great on necklaces, either homemade or bought (provided the clasp is small enough that you can get the charm hanger over it). I personally really like leather charm necklaces, and you can fit several strands of leather (or any string or thin chain you want obviously) through one charm hanger, which creates a great multi-strand look.
I touched on charm holders briefly in the “Pendants…” post, but here is a more thorough explanation: They are usually round or oblong thin loops (in gold or silver, or plated) with a pretty design and a little opening mechanism up top so that you can open it and slide charms onto the holder. They are intended to be put on necklaces (they don’t work on bracelets, they are too big) and are confusingly sometimes also referred to as charm hangers
Charm drops, as we saw earlier, can be the same thing as charm hanger beads, but you often see the term refer simply to hanging charms as well. The charm drop in the photo on the left is from Rembrandt charms.
Charm carriers are very similar to charm hangers, but they usually come in two designs: for use on either necklaces or European-style bracelets. The ones for bracelets have the exact same design as the charm hangers, and the ones for necklaces have a ring up top (which slides onto the necklace), a design in the middle, and a loop on the bottom where you attach the charms. The Thomas Sabo charm one pictured here is intended for use on a necklace.
I hope I have helped to shed some light on the actual products behind these terms and made it a bit easier to shop for them.
For quite some time now, I have been “collecting” names of artists, designers and manufacturers of charms and charm bracelets. Then it dawned on me: perhaps others could also benefit from this list, and find new favorite designers and styles? I asked a few friends, who all said YES! so I decided it would be a good idea to share it with you all.
You will see that it is a wide variety – everything from famous fashion designers to relatively unknown artists working out of their home studio. The list is constantly growing and I keep finding new and exciting designs all the time. However, I don’t put “just anyone” on the list – only original designs and I have to like them. So I guess you can say it’s a “curated list”.
As I mentioned above, this list is by no means complete, and I will keep adding to it on a regular basis. If you have a favorite designer you think belongs on this list (from anywhere in the world), please contact me and I will check them out and if I like what I see, I’ll add them.
Since charms come in several styles these days, I have created a little style “key” so that you can easily find the types of charms you are looking for:
European-style = bead charms Vintage = no longer in production, but can be found at auctions, etc. Traditional-style charms unless noted otherwise Traditional = Regular charms (with jump or split ring attachments. NOTE that traditional does not necessarily mean traditional looking bracelets; it just describes the type of charm Clip on charms = Traditional charms with a clasp attachment Italian charms = Modular link-style Craft = mini charms suitable for scrap booking, etc. Kids = charm bracelets for children Rings = interchangeable charm or bead rings, or rings with charms attached Earrings = interchangeable charm or bead earrings Necklaces = interchangeable charm or bead necklaces Mobile = cell phone charms Pre-made = already assembled charm bracelets, usually with the charms soldered on. Pre-made in parenthesis means it is the only type they offer, Pre-made on its own means they offer that in addition to separate charms Slide = slide charms Watch = charm watches
A Aaron Basha – Traditional (kids) Accessories & Beyond – Traditional (pre-made) Accurist – watch (European-style) Adamantus – Clip on Affinity - Clip on Ajda Lampwork – European-style Alengio - European-style Alex and Ani – Traditional (pre-made) bangles Alex Monroe - Traditional & Pre-made Alex Woo – Traditional (pre-made) Alia Jewelry – European-style Altruette - Traditional & Pre-made Amore & Baci – European-style, Kids Amore La Vita – Clip on AmuletGifts - Traditional & Pre-made (lucky charms) Analece Design – Traditional, Clip on, Anna Rose Jewelry – Traditional & Pre-made Anna Sui - Traditional (pre-made) Annika Bertilsdotter - Traditional, Clip on Annina Vogel – Pre made (from vintage pieces) Anson - Vintage Archive Jewelry – Traditional (pre-made), Vintage Art-Charms – Traditional (custom made from kids art) Ashley Pittman – Traditional (pre-made) Assya - Traditional (pre-made) Astley Clarke - Traditional (pre-made) Aurélie Bidermann – Traditional (pre-made) Avindy - Traditional (pre-made) Avon - Vintage Azendi - European-style, Traditional Azuni - Traditional (pre-made)
B Baby Phat – Clip on, Pre-made Baci Beads – European-style Bacio- European-style, Kids Badgley Mischka – Traditional (pre-made) Baglady - European-style, Traditional, Clip on Barbara Bixby – Traditional Basch - Traditional (pre-made) Bates & Klinke – Vintage Beau Sterling – Vintage Bell Trading Post – Vintage Belleek Living – Traditional (pre-made) Bellina Beads – European-style Betsey Johson – Traditional (pre-made) Betty Design – European-style Beverly K – Traditional (pre-made) Beyond Words – Traditional Biagi beads – European-style, Clip on, Kids Bill Levine – Traditional Bing Bang - Traditional (pre-made) Birdland Creations – Traditional (pre-made) Blee Inara – Traditional (pre-made) Blossom Copenhagen – Traditional Boho Soho – Clip on Bombay Duck – Clip on Bongo - Traditional (pre-made) Bon Bon Charms – Traditional Bonn Bons – Slide Bottega Veneta – Clip on Boxing - Italian Boucheron - Vintage Breadner - Vintage Brighton Charms – European-style, Clip on Bruno Zanetti – Italian Bugard Studio – Rings Bulgari - Clip on, Pre-made, Burberry - Traditional (pre-made)
C Carl Art – Vintage Carolee - Clip on Carolina Bucci – Traditional (pre-made) Carolyn Pollack – Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Cartier - Vintage, Clip on Casa d’oro – Italian Cassandra Erin – Traditional (pre-made) Cath Kidston – Traditional (pre-made) Catherine Canino – Traditional (pre-made) Catherine Michiels – Traditional Cathy Dailey – European-style, Traditional Cathy Waterman – Traditional, Pre-made Cellini - Traditional, Vintage Chamilia beads – European-style, Kids Chanel - Vintage, Clip on, Traditional Charity Charms – Clip on, Pre-made Charles Horner – Vintage Charm Barn – Craft Charm Factory – Traditional, European-style, Pre-made Charm It – Clip on (kids) Charmco - Traditional Charmed Memories – European-style Charming by Ti Sento – Clip on Charming Life - Traditional & Pre-made Charmology - Traditional (pre-made) Charms UK – European-style, Clip on Charmworks - Traditional Chelsea Taylor – European-style, Clip on CherieO - European-style, Traditional Cherished Time Designs – Traditional, Pre-made Chim - Vintage Chloe - Traditional (pre-made) Creed - Vintage Christie Martin – Traditional Christy Lea Payne (CLP) - Traditional & Pre-made Chrysalis - European-style, Clip on, Necklaces ChuBo Beads – European-style Clogau Gold – European-style, Clip on, Traditional, Pre-made Coach - Traditional (pre-made), Clip on Coloured Rocks – European-style, Clip on, Pre-made Coro (Corocraft) - Vintage Courtney Simmelkjaer - Traditional (pre-made) Cousin Claudine - Traditional (pre-made) Crea - Vintage Crystalbead888 - European-style
D D for Diamonds – Traditional (pre-made) for kids Damas Jewellery – Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Danecraft - Vintage Dangerous Goods – Traditional, Clip on David Andersen – Vintage David Yurman – Traditional DaVinci Beads - European-style Dazzlers - Clip on Dazzling - Traditional (pre-made) De-ani, Inc. – Clip on Deffego - European-style, Italian Diddi Design – Traditional (pre-made), Clip on Dinky Fingerprint Company, The – Traditional, Pre-made, European-style Dinny Hall – Traditional (pre-made) Dior - Clip on & Pre-made Disney Couture – Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Dogeared - Traditional (pre-made) Dolce & Gabbana – Traditional (pre-made) Donatella - European-style, Traditional Doriwallace Jewelry – European-style Dower & Hall – Pre made & Traditional Dyrberg/Kern – Traditional (pre-made)
E Edblad & Co – Traditional (pre-made) Ecuus Designs - European-style Elco - Vintage Elle Jewelry – Clip on Elsa Peretti (for Tiffany) – Vintage, Pre-made Elsa Schiaparelli - Vintage Embracelets - Traditional, Pre-made Erickson Beamon – Traditional (pre-made) Essenza Beads – European-style Ettika - Traditional (pre-made) Evolve New Zealand – European-style Extasia - Clip on
F Fabergé - Vintage Femme Metale – Traditional & Pre-made Field & Rose (Laura Love Rose) – Traditional & Pre-made Fiorelli - Traditional (pre-made) Florenza - Vintage Formia Design – Traditional (custom made from kids art) Forstner - Vintage Fort of Providence – Vintage Fossil - Clip on, Pre-made Free People – Traditional, Vintage
G Garold Miller – Traditional (pre-made) George Jensen – Clip on, Vintage George Shiebler – Vintage Gioielli Italy – Mobile, Italian Giorgio Martello – Clip on Glassbeadstudio - European-style Glitzy Girls - Traditional (pre-made) for kids Good Charma – Traditional (pre-made), Necklaces, Kids GP Firenze - Italian Granchelli - European-style Gucci - Traditional (pre-made) Guess - Clip on, Traditional (pre-made)
H Halia - European-style Harrods - Mobile Heather Moore – Traditional, Pre-made Helen Ficalora – Traditional Hellobead - European-style Henry Dankner & Sons – Vintage HighChi – Tradtitional & Pre-made High IntenCITY – Clip on (kids) Hilla Design – European-style Hint Charms - Traditional Hot Diamonds – Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Hultquist-Copenhagen – Traditional (pre-made)
I Ideal Jewelry Manufacturing Company (trademark Theda) – Vintage Individuality - European-style Intercast - Vintage Ippolita - Traditional
J James Avery Charms – Traditional Jay Strongwater – Clip on Jayposon - Vintage Jemma Lulu – Traditional (pre-made) Jennifer Zeuner – Traditional (pre-made) Jessica Elliot - Traditional (pre-made) Jewelart Sterling – Vintage Jewellery Tree, The – Traditional (custom made) Jill Schiff - Traditional & Pre-made JM Fisher Company - Vintage Jo for Girls – European-style, Traditional (pre-made) for kids Joan Rivers – Traditional (pre-made) John Hardy – Traditional (pre-made) John Lewis – European-style (pre-made) Jon Richard – Clip on, Pre-made, European-style JouJou - Clip on Joulberry - Traditional (custom) Joy Everly - Traditional, Pre-made, Kids Juicy Couture – Clip on Just Divine – Traditional (pre-made) Just J – Clip on
K K&Company – Craft Kalassmycken - Clip on, Pre-made (kids) Karen Foster Design – Craft Karen Hill Tribe Silver – European-style, Traditional KC Designs – Traditional (pre-made) Kelly Waters – Traditional Kieselstein Cord – Traditional (pre-made) Kinney - Vintage Kirks Folly – Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Kit Heath – Traditional (pre-made), European-style (their own version, only fits their chains), Kids, Clip on Konstantino – Traditional (pre-made) Kranz & Ziegler – Traditional
L La Vie Parisienne – Traditional (pre-made) Lacey Ryan – Traditional (pre-made) Lagos - Traditional (pre-made) Landmark Beads – European-style Lauren Sigman – Traditional (pre-made) Les Néréides – Traditional, Pre made Leslie MacInnes – Traditional (custom made from kids art) Lilyme - Traditional Links of London – Traditional Linx & More – Tiny charms to go in their lockets, Italian Liz Claiborne – Traditional (pre-made) Lois Hill – Traditional (pre-made) LOLA of Paris – European-style, Clip on London Road Jewellery – Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Loop Collection, The – Traditional (pre-made) Louis Vuitton – Clip on Lovelinks- European-style, Kids LovingTheBead - European-style, Clip on, Rings, Earrings, Necklaces LTD Art Glass – European-style Lucky Brand – Clip on Lulu Guinness – Traditional (pre-made) Lunch at the Ritz – Traditional (pre-made bracelets) Lutrick - European-style Luv Links – European-style
M M & B Vintage – Vintage, Traditional Magdalena Ruiz Pasieka – European-style Maisel’s Indian Trading Post – Vintage Maloa - Traditional (pre-made) Manolo Blahnik (for TOUS) – Traditional (launches in March 2011) Marc Jacobs – Traditional (pre-made) Marcus Max Design – Rings Mark Poulin - Traditional (pre-made), Necklaces MarMalaid – Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Martick - Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Maryann Wilkin Designs – Traditional & Pre-made Mathot Design – European-style Me to You – Traditional (pre-made) for kids Medical Alert Link – Italian (medical alert bracelets) Mercedes Salazar – Traditional (pre-made) Mi Lajki – Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Michele Baratta – Traditional & Pre-made Mikey Jewellery – Clip on Milly - Traditional (pre-made) Molly Brown – Traditional & Pre-made Monet (aka Monocraft Products Company) - Vintage Monica Rich Kosann - Traditional, Necklaces, Pre-made Monserat de Lucca – Traditional (pre-made) Moritz Glik – Traditional (pre-made) Muano - European-style Muru - Clip on
Nagara by SeaZen – European-style Napier - Vintage Nelle & Lizzy – Traditional, Pre-made Nick Hubbard – Traditional, Pre-made Nicky Vankets – Traditional (pre-made) Nina Designs – Traditional Nina/STHLM – Traditional (pre-made) Nomination - Italian Nuvo - Vintage
O Oh la la – Traditional (pre-made) using ribbons instead of chains OHMBeads - European-style Ole Lynggaard – Traditional & Pre-made OneJewels – European-style for their own line of rings and necklaces Oriana Jewelry – European-style Oscar de la Renta – Traditional (pre-made) Otis Jaxon – Clip on Oxxo Design – Traditional, Clip on
P P & B Sterling – Vintage Page Sargisson – Traditional, Necklaces Pandora Jewelry – European-style Pastiche - Clip on Paul Morelli – Clip on
Peace of Mind - Traditional Pearl Affection, The – Clip on Pearls for Girls – Clip on Pedro Boregaard – Traditional Penny Preville – Traditional Perlamore - European-style Personality - European-style Personalized Boutique – Clip on Peruzzi - Vintage Pia Jewellery – European-style, Clip on Pianegonda - Clip on Pick Up Sticks Jewelry Co. - Traditional Pilgrim - Clip on, Traditional, Necklaces, Earrings Playboy - Traditional (pre-made), Mobile Pnut Jewelry – Traditional (but very unusual!), Pre-made Polkadot Magpie- Traditional Privileged - Traditional & Pre-made Pugster - European-style, Italian, Clip on, Traditional Puzzle Collection – Italian
Q Queen Baby – Traditional (pre-made)
R Raymond Yard – Vintage ReFlorence - Italian Rembrandt Charms – Traditional, clip on Reller - European-style, Traditional R.L. Griffith – Vintage Romano Passavinti - Italian Rosecraft - Vintage Royal London - Clip on RYLDesigns - Traditional RYRY - Italian
Sacred Charms – Traditional (pre-made), Clip on SarahDipiti – Traditional Saskia Rose Design – Clip on, Pre-made Satya Jewelry – Traditional (pre-made) Scribble - Traditional (pre-made) for kids Seidengang - Traditional (pre-made) Serena’s Beadery – European-style Shane Co – Traditional (w option to add clip on) Shanti - Clip on, Pre-made, European-style Siena Jewellery – Clip on Silver by Mail – Clip on Silverado - European-style, Kids Simstars - European-style Slane & Slane – Traditional (pre-made) SNÖ of Sweden - Traditional (pre-made) Sparkling Sage – Traditional (pre-made) Spencer - Vintage Spinning Jewelry – European-style, Rings Stella & Dot – Traditional Stephen Einhorn – Traditional, Pre-made Storm Jewellery – European-style, Clip on, Necklaces, Pre made Storywheels - European-style Stuller - Clip on, Traditional (pre-made) Style Naturale – Traditional (pre-made) Sundance Catalog – Traditional, Pre-made Suuz Design – European-style Svane & Lührs – Clip on Swarovksi - Clip on
T Talexia - Italian Talkatoo - Clip on (recordable!) Tarina Tarantino – Traditional (pre-made) Taxco - Vintage Tedora - European-style Temple St.Clair – Traditional, Pre-made TerraCast - Traditional Terranova - Vintage Thea Grant - Traditional (pre-made) Theda - Vintage Theo Fennell – Clip on Thomas L Mott – Vintage Thomas Sabo Charm Club – Clip on Three Sisters Jewelry Design – Traditional Ti Sento – Clip on, Pre-made Tiffany & Co – Traditional Timebeads - European-style watch beads Tina Tang – Traditional TLM (Thomas L Mott) – Vintage Tous-Traditional (pre-made), Toric joint Trifari - Vintage Trina Turk - Traditional (pre-made) Troll beads- European-style Truth - European-style, Clip on, Necklaces, Kids (“Truth Cutie”) Tur-Agamo - European-style
U Unodomani - Italian
V Van Cleef & Arpels – Vintage Verdura - Vintage, Pre-made Viva Beads – European-style Våga - Clip on
W Walt Disney Productions – Vintage Walter Lampl - Vintage We Three Designs – Traditional, Necklaces Wells Sterling – Vintage WellsWare - Traditional & Pre-made William Ruser – Vintage
X Xenox - Clip on, Pre-made Xixis Beads – European-style XOXO - Traditional (pre-made)
Z Zable - European-style, Earrings, Necklaces Zoppini - Italian
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 charm “Anything 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.
Even if you’re not a collector (yet!), it is fun to hunt for charms and amulets (good luck charms) in other countries. They are great souvenirs for yourself and make fabulous gifts for those back home. Pick up a bunch and put them on a bracelet to give at a holiday or special occasion. You can make these really personal too. For example, if the recipient loves to read, look for charms depicting books, pens, famous libraries, etc. Another advantage of charms is that they are lightweight and take up virtually no space in your suitcase.
Even if you don’t speak the local language, it is helpful to know what charms are called in other languages, both when shopping in other countries and browsing the internet. Sometimes, going to the Google page of a particular country and doing a search for an item in the local language can yield great results, and you may discover treasures that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
This is what “Charms”, “Amulets” and “Talismans” are called in a few other languages (where there are only two words, the word for amulet and talisman is the same):