Friday, October 18, 2013

Charming Charms

When we think of charms we probably think of this

Charms can be considered good luck. Charm bracelets and the wearing of charms were thought to ward off evil spirits. Particular shapes, material and even blessed charmed were all considered good luck. Many cultures have variations of charm bracelets such as the charm filled pouches of various American Indian tribes. These were probably more aptly named medicine bags and many tribes still make a variation today.

A snake can be symbolic

Charms may have begun their lives as symbols to ward off evil spirits or to keep religious sentiments close by, but now they are mostly worn for cosmetic purposes. Yes there are beads and charms that have significance and many charms mark milestones in our lives. Birthstone charms commemorate the birth of a child or grandchild. Various religious symbols proclaim our faith. Pink ribbon charms during the month of October support those suffering from cancer.

Ancient ornamentation was worn for cosmetic purposes as well as symbolic

It is interesting when you consider the long history of charms themselves. There is evidence that 75,000 years ago people wore charms made from shells in Africa. Christians wore charms shaped like a fish to help identify themselves to other Christians. The wearing of charms goes all the way to the Babylonians, Persians and Hittites to around 600-400 BC. So it appears that the wearing of charms has a very long history.

The Tiffany & Company single heart charm bracelet is iconic

The first modern charms can probably be attributed to Queen Victoria of England who made the wearing of charm bracelets popular. Tiffany & Company came out with their iconic linked charm brace with a single heart in 1889. This particular design is still popular today and I’m sure Tiffany & Company still sells quite a few each day. So when you put on that charm bracelet or necklace remember that you're engaging in a potentially ancient custom with long and strong roots and it just might ward off some evil spirits.

Charms can support worthy causes like Breast Cancer Awareness

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