To build a customized charm bracelet, begin by deciding what you want the piece to represent. “It can be anything really—a piece of furniture, a person, a place you love, a significant moment in your life,” Jennifer Shanker, founder of MUSE showroom. A piece of jewelry should be embellished with a centerpiece charm first, which can be a charm that has been made by a special artisan and can be made to replicate a different style than the other charms. “That makes the most impact and makes it feel special and the focal point of the piece,” Shanker says.
To build a bracelet around that centerpiece charm, add smaller charms to the ends of the bracelet, each of which can be another unique item that’s meaningful to you.
While many designers emphasize that one piece doesn’t have to fit into an entire collection, the more customizable you make a charm, the more custom it can be. “Use a lot of different materials, colors, and textures,” Shanker says. “Mix metals, gemstones, or leather.” According to Shanker, “Best” in charm jewelry means “stunning, minimal, and unique.” It’s all about balance, and the more parts of a charm there are, the less interesting it looks. “Think about your favorite block of stone—what is the personality of that rock?” Shanker says. “Is it round or square? What color? I’m all about ‘less is more.’ One good thing to remember is that the more variety, the more customizable. It just makes it more exciting and individual.
Charms can be any type of metal, but for statement jewelry, you might want a bit of contrast to the rest of the piece. Cast brass or silver look great when compared to a pearl or rhinestone charms; bronze looks cool next to agate, clear quartz, and tourmaline, for example. You can have a lot of options when searching pandora charms sale online.
If you want a full metal look, Shanker recommends gold and copper, which she says feel especially cool when worn together. “To achieve this, you need to use more platinum or gold,” she says. If you want to take your charms in a different direction, try porcelain, for example, or even shells. The look is different but bold and beautiful.
Even small gold charms can add color to a full gold jewelry set.
If you’re not so into the idea of meticulously selecting charms—or if you want to create an heirloom piece that’s already been put together—retail stores like House of GBQ and The Downtown Store offer pre-made charms made from precious metals or biodegradable materials, but it’s worth shopping around for an in-house designer, too.
Julia Denbo of The Downtown Store (who, coincidentally, designed and handcrafted charm bracelets for the late Princess Diana) suggests Design Lab’s Czech cutout rings, DFM’s small, wide earrings, and Jill Reaves Jewelry’s lobster and leaf charms.
Or, if you’re shopping for a gift, Shanker says it’s better to let someone else take the lead.