Sterling Silver Charms
- Types Of Charms
- Our Web Site Descriptions
- Charm Finishes
- Charm Designs Available
Charm; That which exerts an irresistible power to please and attract; that which fascinates; any alluring quality. Any small decorative object worn on the person, as a seal, a key, a silver whistle, or the like.To attract irresistibly; to delight exceedingly; to enchant; to fascinate. To make a musical sound.
History; Charms have been used and collected since prehistoric times, crafted from bones, shells, clay and animal tusks. They were worn for good luck, for protection from evil and some were buried with loved ones to accompany them to the afterlife.
Charms have existed for centuries, although the charms of today really originate from those of Victorian times. Queen Victoria had a series of charms designed and made to give as gifts to her extended family and circle of friends every New Year. In the 1950's soldiers returning from foreign lands bought momentos back for their loved ones and many of these were sterling silver charms that wives and daughters wore upon bracelets. The popularity of charm bracelets continued through the fifities and into the early sixties. Many people have memories of the bracelets their grandmothers wore, mostly memories around the tinkling sound the bracelets made. These bracelets were quite chunky and often held large charms. Whilst the popularity of charms wained early in the 60's, many grandmothers bracelets have been passed down and the symbolism of the charms upon the charm bracelet has continued to pass memories through the generations.
Whilst charms of today maybe made from a wider range of materials, charms today do no less than the charms of Victorian times. They evoke memories for the beholder. With age, memories fade, but just as our mother's and grandmother's charm bracelets can live forever, so today charm bracelets may do just the same and become the heirlooms of the future.
Types Of Charms; Today charms can be found made in many different materials; precious metals such as platinum, gold and silver and other are made from pewter and other such non-precious metals. Some are encrusted with precious gem stones or crystals and others are enhanced with glass fired enamel. Charms can be as large as those worn by our mothers and grandmothers and some are tiny, more suited to the more delicate appearance that jewellery has today.
At Jewellery Enchantments we specialise in Sterling Silver charms. Our web site with over 8,000 charms touches lightly upon the number of designs that are available. In addition, charms are not just available in plain sterling silver, but are also available set with Swarovski Crystal, semi-precious gem stones and with glass fired enamel. Many designs are also available in different forms; flat backed, hollow, 3D, 2D, hollowed-backed. Many charms on our web site are available exclusively from Jewellery Enchantments.
Charms are created by the lost casting method. Once removed from the moulds, the charm is cleaned, polished and finished. Charms may also be stamped from sheets of sterling silver. The process used has much to do with the pricing and quality of a charm. The majority of our charms are purchased and sold according to their weight and the weight is dependant upon the process used.
Our charms are generally supplied with a sterling silver open jump ring, but some enamel charms are supplied with a sterling silver split ring. Where a split ring is supplied instead of sterling silver split ring, it is detailed in the product description. The majority of charms are supplied with an Open Jump Ring. An Open Jump Ring is simply a circle of silver with a cut in it. Whether this cut is on the diagonal or straight, the gap in the Open Jump Ring must be soldered close to provide a secure attaching ring for any charm fitted to any holder.
For info on how to attach charms to charms holders and the options available, please click here
The important part;
NB Jewellery Enchantments do NOT supply a sterling silver split ring with every charm, as many charm web sites do. This is because the size of Split Ring required by a customer is dependant upon the link size of the bracelet the charm is to be attached too and, we are not able to determine the size each customers requires with each charm. Therefore, we sell all our Split Rings seperately and customers needing Split Rings can add them to their order, as and when they are required. What we do not do, is send out a completely useless Split Ring with every charm and charge customers for an item that, in many cases, they have no need of, or is the wrong size! This principal also applies to our packaging. Each order is dispatched using a small blue hard shell box for safe delivery only. We do not make a charge per charm for packaging, we simply include one small blue box in our packaging charge. For customers who require addtional boxes, these are available by typing 'extra' in the Quick Search box.
Our charm measurements are for the charm alone, they do not include the attaching ring as the size of these vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Small Charms; Please note that we sell small and tiny charms. All charms refixed with an ELF code are small charms, most measuring just 8 x 8mm, most start at just £2.10 and each product title will contain the word 'small'. These charms have their own place and are in very high demand, especially by children. However, these charms cause sizing complaints because customers are not reading the product description. Customers must ensure that they click on the product titles, or small thumb-nail pictures, to access the full product description and much larger photographs.
Exclusive Designs; Many of the charms found on our retail web site are supplied to us exclusively. That is to say that either the manufacturer only supplies Jewellery Enchantments or Jewellery Enchantments have designed the pieces. These pieces may not be resold on another on-line out let and may not be adapted for resale either. Trademarked charms may also not be used for resale.
Our Web Site Descriptive Terms;
Charms come in a variety of finishes. Please see the pictures and descriptions below.
Makers Marks; The majority of our charms are stamped with a makers mark, a .925 mark and a copyright design mark. On many charms, this means the backs of the charms are not suitable for any form of engraving. Most marks are applied to charms during the moulding process. This often means that on some charms, the makers marks can be quite faint to the naked eye, as the marks are often 'rubbed out' in the charm finishing process. Customers in need of very clear marks, or customers looking for engravable charms, must contact us before purchasing, to ensure that the charms they are purchasing meet their needs, as every charm can vary from piece to piece. Whilst we check the charms we dispatch, for any very visable flaws to the front surface of the charm, we do not consider faint makers marks or heavy makers mark to be a 'fault' as the level of marks are as a result of the casting process.
Charms are hand-made. Each charm is individually cast and finished. No two charms are guaranteed to be identical.
Charm Designs Available; As we hope you will appreciate, from our web site, there are simply thousands of charm designs available. From Pea Pods to Baby Shoes; speaking charms that express emotions and names in word form; and from Violins to Hamsters. When searching our web site, please do not enter plurals. "Stars" will not list all the star charms and "Hamsters" will return no such product. If you can not find what you are looking for simply e-mail us. Our range increases because customers have asked for a design not currently on our web site. So please e-mail us and ask, we are happy to help. firstname.lastname@example.org
Charms are versatile. They maybe used to create beautiful and unique pieces of jewellery. If you think of a Meccano set, the finding are the nuts and bolts that hold together a piece, the charms are the metal pieces that build the piece and a bracelet, bookmark, ring, keyring, chain, mobile phone finding, brooch or bail are the pieces upon which the charms are mounted. At Jewellery Enchantments, we create pieces for customers, from their choice of charms and mounts. We do not charge for creating pieces, just the components needed to form the created piece. Where does your imagination lead you? Please see our Gallery page for inspiration.
*NB - We do not advise customers to EVER dip their jewellery in sterling silver dipping solutions. Dipping solutions contain chemicals that can strip some of the finishes from sterling silver charms, (such as 'antique' finishes) and they can create a reaction with sterling silver that will dull and even blacked sterling silver. For cleaning advise please e-mail us, as the advise we give will be given based on the finish of the piece and whether it is gem set, enamel finished or sparkle set.
|Antiqued - The majority of our charms are 'antique' finished. After finishing and polishing, the charms are dipped in an antiquing solution that serves to highlight the detail of the charm and to provide a protective coating that prevents the charms from tarnishing as easily as plain sterling silver charms. On the Bee Charm shown in the picture, the segmented body and the definition in the wings is enhanced by the antiquing process. Please note that if antiqued charms are placed in silver jewellery cleaning solutions the solution will react with the antiquing solution (liver of sulfur) and the entire charm will become matt grey.|
|Plain - The charms finish is purely dependant upon the manufactures personal preference. All charms with order codes beginning SP, RW, AH, CME, CMT, BU, EC, BTC, BJM, WARD and PIC are plain polished sterling silver. They are not dipped or coated. These charms do have a tendancy to tarnish more quickly than antiqued charms and depending about the subject matter, can appear 'flat' in photographs as the detail is not as defined as those that are antiqued. RW, BJM, CME, WARD, PIC, BTC, AH and EC coded charms are made in England. CMT charms are exclusive to Jewellery Enchantments. BTC are exclusively sold on-line by Jewellery Enchantments.|
|Satin - Satin finished charms have a more matt appearance. The surface of the charm is finely 'scratched' to produce an alternative finish.|
|Enamel - Our enamel charms, except charms beginning with order codes PIC and SHC, are enhanced with glass fired enamel. After a sterling silver charm has been finished and polished, vitrious glass enamel is applied to the charm and then the charm is fired in a kiln. The glass powder melts and adheres to the sterling silver, producing a very strong and hard wearing coating of enamel to the charm. Depending upon the shape of the charm, the application of the glass powder is not always precise and on very close inspection the enamelling is not always 'perfect'. Some charm shapes better lend themselves to the enamelling process than others and this becomes clearer in the larger picture available on our web site. PIC and SHC charms are hand painted with vitrious enamels. Whilst this enamel is not as hard wearing, on the designs from these manufacturers, the enamelled parts are within opening charms where the enamel is unlikely to come in contact with other charms. Enamel charms are more expensive, due to the additional work required to produces these charms. Enamel charms add warmth and colour to a bracelet.|
|Gem and Stone Set - We offer a wide range of gem and stone set charms. Whilst gem set charms are most commonly used as Birthstone Charms, these charms add a touch of glamour and vibrant colour to a bracelet. Our gem set charms are prodiminately claw set, like the heart shown in the picture. The stone is held strongly in place by claws and protected around it's outer edges with sterling sliver. Therefore, these charms have the strength to endure the 'knocks' that are expected when wearing a charm bracelet. Please consider that charms do knock into each other and therefore, gem, bead, crystal and natural stone charms must be choosen carefully if you have a bracelet laden with heavy charms.Many of these charms, if soldered to a charm carrier, need special consideration to avoid the heat from the soldering torch from touching the charm. We do not recommend that any charm created with a head pin is silver soldered to a charm carrier, but that the supplied Split Ring is used only.|
|Treasure CharmsTM are made in-house at Jewellery Enchantments. Beautiful beads and crystals are used to create charms that provide an inexpensive way of making a bracelet more personalised. We source our bead shapes from around the world, enabling us to create charms from natural stones, such as Amethyst and Moonstone. Please note that all Treasure Charms are created from crystal or natural stones and they are not as durable as sterling silver charms. Many stones do not like exposure to water, nor chemicals such as perfume. Treasure Charms are supplied with Split Rings and should only be fitted with Split Rings.|
|Gold Plated Charms are made of sterling silver and the plated with 14kt gold, they are also known as Vermeil charms. These charms are supplied with a vermeil open jump ring. It is not recommened that vermeil charms are cleaned with a sterling silver polishing cloth, but a gold polishing cloth. New to our range on a trail basis, we can not current report on the longevity of the plating, so we have made these charms available at lower prices so that customers can try them for themselves. They would look very pretty with an accompany sterling silver charm on a sterling silver chain to create a charm necklace.|
|Most charms have a hollow or plain flat back. As this is how the majority of charms are made, any charm that does not include one of the specific descriptions below in the products title, will be hollow or flat backed. The hollow or flat backs form charms lighter in weight and therefore, these are some of the least expensive charm to purchase. They are also suitable for other crafts, such as adding to embroideries, as they will lay flat against the fabric. It must also be remembered that some flat backed and hollow backed charms are 'true' charms. A hat charm for example, is more realistic with a hollow back than it would be if it did not have one.|
|Hollow - hollow charms are created from two pieces of 'charm'. The two pieces are soldered together to form a 3D charms that is filled with air. These charms weigh much less than solid charms and therefore, are much less expensive. We do not stock a great number of these charms, as larger pieces can be 'squished' and often the charms are lacking in detail because the sterling silver 'shells' are very thin, but smaller pieces like the heart shown, provide inexpensive 3D charm that are especially suited to creating earrings.|
|2D - these charms have the same design on both sides of the charm. This Muffin Charm is identical both back and front. The charm would not be described as 3D because the charm does not have a flat bottom, enabling the charm to 'stand'. 2D may also mean that the charm has an appropriate but different design on the back. In example a cat may have a tail on the back of the charm, but because he does not have four feet upon which he can 'stand' he would be described as 2D rather than 3D.|
|3D - a miniature version of the object that, when viewed from any direction, will depict that object, just as it would in real life. Unless stated as "Hollow" in the charms title, these charms will be solid Sterling Silver. Some 3D charms, such as the Witches Hat Charm will have a hollow centre, just as a hat would in real life. The difference being that these charms are made from one complete mold and pieces are not 'joined' to create the charm. The detail on a 3D charms is much superior to a hollow charm and the weights of these charms are much higher, making the price higher.|
|Flat, Stamped or Tag - these charms are literally cut or machine stamped from sheets of sterling silver. They are generally quite thin charms and may 'bend'. We do not stock large charms that are stamped, however, the little heart shown in the picture is cut from quite thick sterling silver and makes a perfect little charm to set next to the clasp on a bracelet. Some of our tiny charms are stamped, but are ideal for anklets and for finishing earrings. Starting at just 95p each, these charms are the least expensive and weigh the least. Due to demand, we now stock a range of stamped charms with enamel enhanced surfaces. Whilst these charms are not suitable for placement within a bracelet of heavy sterling silver charms, they make superb earrings and mix well with small ELF charms on a childs bracelet.|