The Reader's Digest Version of a Very Long Story
we start at the beginning? Wed have to go all the way back to the
Stone Age to track down that first charm, made from an animal bone, or
shell, and worn on a thong to protect the wearer from Saber Tooth Tigers,
or evil spirits, or just plain bad luck. So lets skip ahead a few
Well pause briefly with the Babylonians, who receive the honor
of being the first recorded culture to wear charms on bracelets, in around
700 BC. But now lets fast forward all the way to the mid 1800s,
because, until then, charms, amulets, actually any piece of jewelry was
always made by hand, one at a time. If Fashion is a glove, then the Industrial
Revolution is the hand it fits over. The machine age afforded the growing
middle classes the opportunity to own and wear articles of beauty that
had, heretofore, been out of reach, financially. And when it comes to
the Charm Bracelet, no single person drove that popularity like Queen
Victoria (reigning 1837-1901). She loved Fashion, and she loved to wear
and give charm bracelets. When her beloved Prince Albert died, she even
made mourning charms popular; lockets of hair from the deceased,
miniature portraits of the deceased, charm bracelets carved in jet. In
1889, Tiffany & Co launched their first charm bracelet at the Paris
Exposition--a chain link bracelet with a single dangling heart pendant.
It was a hit. The Charm Bracelet was officially here to stay.
The 1920s and 30s brought another wave of charm innovation,
as the allure of platinum and diamonds brought a new level of elegance
to the charm keepsake. In the World War II era, there was a resurgence
of popularity for the charm bracelet, when soldiers brought home charms
as souvenirs from the European cities they had been stationed in. This
trend continued well into the 1950s, fueled by images of Elizabeth Taylor
or Joan Crawford on the silver screen, impeccably dressed, and accessorized
with a beautiful charm bracelet. Women of all ages wanted charm bracelets
to add to, throughout the years, as they traveled, or marked important
events in their lives, or the lives of their children.
Extasia charm bracelet featured in Lucky Magazine, 2005
soared in popularity in the 1990s with the general economic boom. Vintage
everything else, including vintage jewelry, charms and charm bracelets
that harkened back to Old World craftsmanship became more popular. Over
the past decade most of the Fashion giants have climbed on board, when
it comes to offering their own interpretation of this timeless classic.
Extasias Charm Du Jour, first launched in 2000, offers
everything we all love in a charm bracelet--its loaded with charms,
all distinctly beautiful in their design, craftsmanship and colors. An
instant heirloom, as it were, linking together 3,000 years of history with
the hottest trend in contemporary fashion.
Du Jour" bracelet (RB5)
Extasia is a company of American artisians, committed to re-inventing
Victorian Jewelry for Contemporary Fashion. We use hand-carved Italian
shell cameos, hand-pressed German glass intaglios, jet, vintage glass,
and semi-precious gem materials, combined with the gold plated, bronze
and sterling silver settings we design and manufacture, here in northern
*Images used in this essay incorporated Extasia products.