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Charm Bracelets History

The wearing of charms may have begun as a form of amulet to ward off evil spirits or bad luck.

Pre-historic man would make jewellery charms from shells, animal-bones and clay to adorn themselves. There is evidence from Africa that man used shells for adornments around 75,000 years ago. In Germany intricately carved mammoth tusk charms have been found from around 30,000 years ago. In ancient Egypt charms were used for identification and as symbols of faith and luck. Charms also served to identify an individual to the gods in the afterlife. During the Roman Empire, Christians would use tiny fish charms hidden in their clothing to identify themselves to other Christians. Jewish scholars of the same period would write tiny passages of Jewish law and put them in amulets round their necks to keep the law close to their heart at all times. Medieval knights wore charms for protection in battle. Charms also were worn in the Dark Ages to represent family origin, religious and political convictions.

Charm bracelets have been the subject of several waves of trends. Queen Victoria wore charm bracelets that started a fashion among the European noble classes. Soldiers returning home after World War II brought home trinkets made by craftsmen local to the area where they were fighting to give to loved ones, American teenagers in the 1950s and early 1960s collected charms to record the events in their lives.

Although interest and production waned through the latter part of the 20th century, there was a resurgence of popularity after 2000 and continues today.

This article (which may be a derivative work resulting from the collaboration of multiple authors) is published under the terms of a Creative Commons Compatible Licence. Legal Stuff....

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