Charms come in many shapes and forms, and so far we have talked about European charms (such as Lovelinks, the Chamilia beads, Troll beads, and perhaps the most famous of them all: the Pandora bracelet) and traditional charms, both “regular” and those “with a twist” (such as the the Thomas Sabo charm collection). Today, it’s time explore the Italian charm bracelet.
Paolo Gensini (from a small town near Florence in Italy) is credited with inventing the Italian charm bracelet (he is now doing business under the name Nomination), but there are lots of other companies and designers who make them as well (among the most well known are Zoppini, Charisma, Firenze, and Talexia).
Italian charm bracelet charms are different from all the ones mentioned above, and is yet another take on a charm bracelet. Instead of being round or in the shape of something, they are rectangular flat links with different designs on top (either horizontally or vertically placed). A bracelet is put together by connecting the links with each other (a standard size Italian bracelet usually consists of 18 links) with the help of a built-in spring-loaded clasp mechanism.
They come in different sizes and designs, and while most do not have anything hanging from them, there are some with a little charm dangling from the flat link. The regular sized charms are 9mm; other sizes offered are 15 and 18mm, and megalinks, which are square 18mm links you can hook two strands of regular links to (so you end up with a double bracelet).
The designs consist of pretty much anything you can think of (Elvis, pets, good luck charms, medical alert messages for example), so you can mix and match or create a themed bracelet (such as a Christmas, anniversary, favorite pet, Hello Kitty, or Disney Italian charm bracelet), and are most often made from stainless steel with a variety of other materials (enamel, titanium, 18K gold, crystal, semi-precious stones) used in the designs on top. You can also get customized photo, logo or text charms made.
Here is one that I put together, and the final price came to $795.00 (to see it larger, click on it, it will open in a new window):
Prices vary quite a bit on these, depending on if you get the precious metals and stones links, or simple plated ones. I have seen them priced from $0.25 on sale (stainless steel with enamel) to $71 for a tourmaline stone dangle link.