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What are Some Different Types of Charm Bracelets?

By M.R. Anglin
Updated May 21, 2024
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Charm bracelets are desirable because they allow the wearer to easily customize their jewelry. Several charms, each having a special meaning to the wearer, can be attached to base bracelets in order to show off the wearer’s interests or history. Three of the most popular types are the dangling, the Italian, and the European charm bracelet. Each type of bracelet has its own unique style of charms. Dangling charm bracelets are more traditional and have more traditional charms, while the Italian and European versions are recent additions to the market and have more unorthodox charms.

The base of a dangling charm bracelet is made from interlocking links. The base bracelets can be made from a variety of materials including silver, yellow gold, white gold, and stainless steel. The charms attach to the bracelet’s links and dangle on the wearer’s wrist. These charms can be cast in a variety different shapes that commemorate a part of the wearer’s life. Examples of shapes include birthstones, initials, baby booties, and engraved hearts.

Children’s charm bracelets are often dangling bracelets. The links allow the bracelet to be adjustable and grow with the child. As with all charm bracelets, the charms on these bracelets can be customized according to the child’s interests. Sanrio characters, such as Hello Kitty®, and pop singers, are two popular examples.

In contrast to dangling charm bracelets, the Italian version features flat charms that interlock with each other to form something that looks like a watch band. The charms on these bracelets feature cartoon characters, musical motifs, religious symbols, and many other subjects. Charms are able to be interchanged which allows the wearer to change the bracelet at any time he or she chooses. The bracelet’s unique design also allows it to be used as a personalized charm watch. Once a charm has been placed on a charm watch, however, it may not be able to be interchanged.

The European charm bracelet uses beads rather than flat or dangling charms. Charms beads are snapped on around a rope-like bracelet that can be made from gold, silver, or other materials. The wearer can mix and match a variety of charm beads depending on their preference. These beads can be made not only out of silver and gold but out of glass as well. The bead’s designs feature motifs such as initials and gemstones that further personalize the bracelet.

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Discussion Comments
By Mae82 — On Jun 28, 2011

If you have been shopping around for different types of charm bracelets you can try and look for a watch version. A watch charm bracelet is a great purchase because not only can it hold lots of memories but also it adds a lot of functionality to the piece. The watch face that is part of the bracelet can be chosen separately so you can go with any style you like.

There are also charms that you can buy that offer miniature compasses and mood stones, so you can make your fashion piece even more interactive. I think having some nifty functional features on a charm bracelet is a good way to keep your interest in the piece.

By manykitties2 — On Jun 25, 2011

Having a charm bracelet in your collection can be a great way to keep a unique record of the things you love in your life. I have found that with the dangling charms it is fairly easy to get custom ones made online for low prices.

With the online services that make charms for bracelets you can select text, shapes and even add photos to the pieces. I love the idea of making a wearable record of your loved ones and important events in your life.

For myself I have lots of photo charms of my family and pieces that mark things like graduations and my first international trip.

By Animalz — On Jun 25, 2011

@omgnotagain – Your mom has good taste. Cuff charm bracelets are so beautiful! I think I have five, all in different colors. They’re shaped like a circle with a hole in it, so you can easily slip the bracelet onto your wrist. On either end of the hole is usually a ball. One of the balls comes off, so you can put on and remove your charms. Sometimes the balls have crystals in them.

My favorite thing about cuff charm bracelets is that they can be playful, cute, casual, or elegant, depending on what they’re made of and the charms you put on them.

As far as which one’s best, it all depends on your mother’s preferences and what you can afford. They’re made out of sterling silver, surgical steel, gold, and whatever costume jewelry is made of. If you have a lot of money to spend, you should get your mom a simple silver bracelet. If you shop around, you can get one for under $60.

I prefer surgical steel because it’s as pretty as silver, but costs less and doesn’t tarnish.

By omgnotagain — On Jun 25, 2011

Has anyone heard of cuff charm bracelets? My mom said she wants one for her birthday, but I have no idea what they look like or where to buy one. Also, what’s the best one to get?

By kangaBurg — On Jun 24, 2011

@qwertyq – Hey, I do that too! A new bracelet every day! My sister just got me a bangle charm bracelet. But the name is deceiving, because it comes with the charm already attached, and you can’t take it off. That means I can’t redesign it every day. It’s really pretty though, and it’s real silver, so I’m keeping it.

I think I’ll try using some of the snap-on European bead charms the article mentioned. Maybe I can personalize the bangle bracelet with those.

By qwertyq — On Jun 24, 2011

I absolutely love bead charm bracelets! My favorite type is the Italian Murano glass beads, because they’re so beautiful and unique. I really love the wisps of white and other colors that you can see embedded in the beads. I think it’s called “Latticino”.

My favorite thing about them is that I can customize my bracelet every morning. I get bored with my jewelry quickly, but don’t like to waste money buying new stuff all the time. So, every morning, I set my beads out and pretty much design a brand new bracelet for the day! It’s so fun!

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