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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Charmed, I’m Sure

Even as a young girl I adored old movies. Old films showcased everything I loved: divine movie sets, glamorous movie stars wearing wonderful wardrobes and gorgeous gems.

Elizabeth Taylor and her chunky charm bracelets had me at first clink.

As did Grace Kelly’s multi strand pearl bracelet with gold lockets featured in “Rear Window”.

I thought that nothing could be more romantic than the bracelet Humphrey Bogart presented his young bride, Lauren Bacall, which featured a whistle charm. It was inscribed “If you want anything, just whistle” ~ a nod to their first movie together, “To Have and Have Not”.

Talk about romance! I wrote about the Duchess of Windsor’s charm bracelet HERE.

Another famous fashion icon (and one of my favorites) also had a charm bracelet.

John F. Kennedy was charmed by his wife Jacqueline’s hard work. When he mentioned this to her she simply smiled and replied in Latin, "Labora non sumptus est," which translates to "labor is no cost." He then had a charm inscribed with the saying on one side and a tongue-in-cheek figure of Hercules on the other side.

A copy of the bracelet featuring six of Jackie’s favorite charms is shown below.

As a young girl I wanted a gold charm bracelet so bad I could taste it. Not silver, never silver. Gold.

For my 13th birthday I was presented with what was referred to as “a beautiful silver charm bracelet”.

I somehow mustered a polite “Thank you.” as I examined the nickel finish of the boys I.D. bracelet.

I never wore the bracelet. I’m a bit stubborn that way.

I often spot celebrities wearing charm bracelets. Ashley Greene’s Chanel bracelet features several lockets. 

Meredith Viera never takes off the one her husband Richard gave her.

Even Betty Draper was presented with a gold charm of the Roman coliseum by Don to commemorate their trip to Italy.

My adoration flickered once again and began to reach a fevered pitch last summer when I spotted another favorite style maven sporting a charm bracelet at a tennis match.

It appeared to be a flat oval chain that held a single charm.

A few days later I spotted the bracelet again but this time the chain appeared to be a rolo style.

Hmmmm. Were two made? It appears so.

The bracelet was a wedding gift from the Duchess’ mother in law.

It features Catherine’s royal cypher~ a cursive “C” topped by a crown. The opposite side has Camilla’s cypher~ a printed “C” surrounded by a circle and topped by a crown.

The tradition of Royal family members gifting charm bracelets goes back to Queen Victoria who presented her family with charms every New Year’s Eve.

The Duchess has also been spotted wearing a Tiffany & Co. three stone sterling silver diamond by the yard bracelet that has a single disc charm.

As well as a traditional double link bracelet with a heart padlock.

Kate Middleton Kate Middleton watches Prince William and Prince Harry play polo at the Beaufort Polo Club.

A few months ago my cousin T. went to New York City to view the Elizabeth Taylor jewelry exhibition before the gems were placed upon the auction block.  We burned up the phone lines as she described each of her favorite pieces in great detail.

I SO wished I could have gone with her. 

For Christmas she sent me the Christie’s Catalog.

Just one more reason why I love her.

I pored over that catalog from cover to cover for hours! You can keep the Elizabeth Taylor diamond. My favorite piece Liz owned was the 18th century ivory theatre token necklace that had once belonged to design great Edith Head.

The piece was estimated to sell between $1,500 and $2,000. It must have been a man doing the estimating…. it sold on December 13th for $315,000.

But my second favorite pick? A charm bracelet of course. Of the three she had, this one was my favorite.  It sold for $326,500… a bit out of my price range. :)

What was your hearts desire as a young girl?



Kristen said...

I LOVE charm bracelets...I received my first gold one when I was ten years old...each year I would receive a new charm for my husband has even purchased charms for is very very dear to me. I have a few others that I've purchased since that were all done, but the first one is the most precious. Loved this! :)

openid said...


I had a great aunt Henrietta ("Henny") who was a flapper in the 20s and remained a party girl the rest of her life, although she married, she chose travel over motherhood. Anyway, she had THE charm bracelet of charm bracelets. I remember sitting alongside her at each family function carefully examining every charm and hearing the story behind each. She eventually gave me my own charm bracelet one birthday. I still have it.


THE COOK'S said...

Hi, Laura! I'm a new follower and LOVE your blog. It's amazing! I recently found you via your comment you posted on my blog last month. Thank you for stopping by my blog! :)

BTW - I am adding you to my blogroll as one of my favorite blogs!


Liz said...

Oh Laura... I think you know I have a thing for charms and statement bracelets. Always have! My mom wore one that would captivate me on Sunday mornings during church. My dad was in the Navy for many years and she had an amazing bracelet. Her charms were from all over the world.
So I blame her! :) I even did a linky party once called Charm School Sunday.


Auntie Em said...

What a lovely post. I couldn't get to it until this morning, even though I could see it on FB. Ahhh...the wonders of Blogger!

I love my charm bracelet (even though it was silver and I can remember wanting a gold one) I love the sentimental charms on mine. It is overflowing with sweet memories. I also have my mothers and grandmothers, which aren't really very old. They are from the 70s and my grandmother's only has one charm, an amethyst birthstone which all three of us shared. They all mean so much to me, even though they will never be valued at what the other E.T.s are! Yes, those are my initials too! hehehe!
Maybe Catherine will bring back hose and charm bracelets to the masses but let's hope the topless swimming thing doesn't hit the NA shores! :)

White Ironstone Cottage said...

Love this post and love charm bracelets too
We just gifted our daughter for her 21 bday with a charm bracelet
Its exciting to see what charms she will collect cant wait for her to see this post Much Love

Mimi said...

I ALSO LOVE LOVE LOVE CHARM BRACELETS!!!MINE IS BY JUICY COUTURE......not terrible expensive just something whimsical and fun!!!!
thanks so much for your kind words and Prayer!!!
love ya

Hollace said...

Laura, you never cease to amaze me with the research and photos you find to tell your blog story. I loved this one about charm bracelets and the romance of them. It gave me the idea to send one to my daughters who are having babies this spring, with the baby's name on a charm.
To my great chagrin, the last picture on your blog won't open for me--the one that you say is your favorite! It's killing me! The rest opened up with no problem. Arrgh!

mississippi artist said...

I love all my silver charm bracelets-they are big here in the South.I wear mine mostly in the summer-don't know why-just do.I also link them end to end and wear as a chunky necklace.