Archive for Charms
One of the rarest and most fascinating vintage silver charms Ive seen. It has also reminded me that the first world war was almost 100 years ago now – strange to think as my Grandfather fought in it. 100 year anniversaries always renew interest in a subject, just think of the recent anniversary of the Titanic. This tends to drive the price of related collectables to rise rapidly so now is a great time to acquire WW1 memorabilia .
A most fascinating silver charm. This is in the shape of a box which opens and so can be used as a locket charm. The four sides are each enamelled with a flag design. On the base it reads ” Success to our Allies 1914″. The charm is also stamped as silver. I presume that this was a good luck charm for the 1st world war and its the first Ive seen like this so must be very rare. The box measures about 1.1 cms high and is in excellent condition
The 1960s and 1970s are often considered to be when the best English gold charms were produced. These charms have great quality and there is a huge variety of shapes and sizes to be found.
The vintage charms vary in size from about 1 centimeters to three centimeters. Any more and the piece of jewellery is more like a pendant than a charm. English charms from this time are normally made of nine carat gold although you may find some of eighteen carat. Look for the hallmark on the charm to determine the carat gold. Most English gold charms dating from this time should be hallmarked but the hallmarks can be very tiny and often hidden in out of the way places. You can read the hallmarks with a 10x loup magnifier.
Gold charms make nice gifts as you can buy them to suit the interests of the recipient and add an extra charm to the collection every birthday, Christmas, wedding , Valentines day or other cellebration.
AntiquesAvenue offers a great selection of vintage gold charms which you cannot easily find elsewhere. Here are some recently added charms:
A high quality vintage gold charm (9ct) in the shape of a hand bell. This bell rings nicely and so will add sound to your charm bracelet. This bell is large enough to be hung from a chin round your neck and worn as a pendant. The bell is fully hallmarked as nine carat gold and the hallmarks date it to 1977.
The 1970s are often considered to have produced the very best English charms and this one certainly is excellent quality. The gold charm measures about 2.5 cms high
What a wonderful romantic gold charm. Here is a pair of gold bells with heart shapes pierced into them. They hang from a gold bow. The bells are articulated from the bow so that they move whilst being worn. This gold charm is hallmarked as nine carat. It measures about 2 cms long including the hanging loop
This vintage gold charm dates from the 1970s. It is a £5 emergency money charms. These charms came in all sorts of money denominations , you will find that £5 is one of the most rare. The case is hallmarked as nine carat gold. This charm measures about 1.4 cms long. The blue colour of the £5 note will add a splash of colour to your charm bracelet
Antiquesavenue also has an exclusive selection of original gold charm bracelets from the 1960s and 1970s .
British vintage charms from the 1960s and 1970s are most often seen in silver. The gold charm we see are sometimes smaller or less interesting than the silver ones however I am delighted to have found some truely excpetionaly vintage gold charms. These charms are all fully hallmarked as nine carat gold and are all well detailed , large and chuncky charms. Take a look, these charms realy are specilal.
Antique clock charm
Heres a 1960s gold charm in the shape of an antique clock. This clock has two hands which move when you turn the knob at the back of the clock. As you can see the sided of the clock are very decorative. This clock has nine carat gold hallmarks for London 1968. The clock measures about 2.2 x 1.4 cms and comes with the O ring to add it to your own chain or bracelet.
This charm is quite heavy and would suit a chunky chain
Fairground ride charm
A rare vintage cold charm in the shape of a fair ride. There are multi coloured horses and riders which move around the ride – they spin as in a real fairground ride. This is a nine carat gold charm which has full hallmarks for London 1969. This is a large, heavy, chunky charm which you could wear on a necklace or bracelet. It measures about 1.9 cms high and 2.2 cms diameter.
Fortune teller charm
A wonderful gold charm in the shape of a fortune teller. This is made of nine carat gold and carries full London hallmarks which date it to 1971. The fortune teller is gazing into a crystal ball which is faceted and has an aurora borealis finish and so sparkles well.
This gold charm is quite chunky and could be attached to a bracelet or a necklace. It measures about 2 cms high and 1.8 cms long. As you can see in the picture , there is an attached O ring, a chuncky and heavy gold charm
One arm bandit gold charm
One of the most amazing vintage gold charms I have ever seen. This is a working one arm bandit charm, you click the leaver forward and the three drums actually spin just like the real thing. This charm is large and heavy and it comes complete with an O ring ready to hand from your own choice of chain or bracelet.
This one arm bandit charm measures about 2 cms high and 1.9 cms wide ( maximum dimensions. The nine carat gold London hallmarks date this unusual jewellery to the 1970s
Giant prawn charm
Heres a giant prawn charm, articulated into five sections so that it move when on your gold charm bracelet or chain. This is a vintage prawn being fully hallmarked for London 1970 and nine carat gold. This is a very large and heavy gold charm measuring about 4.5 cms long. There is lots of detail to this vintage jewellery and it is very cute
AntiquesAvenue has a fresh selection of vintage charms for you, mainly silver charms dating from the 1960s and 1970s including some by the famous maker Nuvo. The selection includes articulated and opening charms as well.
Included in this fresh selection of vintage charms is an opening handbag charm, an opening baby in pram charm ( Nuvo), an articulated cat on dustbin charm and a Nuvo market stall with colourful crystals.
One of the most unusual charms I have just added is a silver church set with a stanhope ( also known as a peep). A stanhope is a magnifying lens which covers a tiny picture or in this case the Lords prayer. You look into the stanhope and then can read the prayer.
The cow jumped over the moon is a line from the Nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle. I have the cow jumping over the man in the moon immortalized as a silver charm.
Hey diddle diddle,
The cat played the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the Spoon
What fun it would be to have a whole charm bracelet made of charms representing nursery rhymes. By the way I also have a cat playing the fiddle available so these would make a great start for the collection.
Ive also added some fresh silver vintage charm bracelets over the last few days . More unusual vintage silver and gold charms coming soon.
Time for a look at some vintage gold charms suitable for gifts this Christmas. Vintage Gold charms make great Christmas present as you can buy one each year to gradually build into a larger piece of jewellery full of special memories. Remember all the gold charms available from AntiqusAvenue are vintage and as such better quality than most new gold charms available today.
Animal Gold Charms
Cats, Dogs, horses. elephants, fish, three wise monkeys, lion, snake, deer, chick in egg and even a Dinosaur. All these are available as vintage gold charm. Choose your favourite animal or how about a gold charm bracelet full of different dog breeds or cartoon animals?
Character Gold Charms
Town crier, ballet dancer, Indians in Canoe, Highland dancer, Buckingham Palace guard, China man, Eros, Postman with letter, lovers on bench. I think that a gold charm bracelet full of character charms would make a great talking point. How about adding an articulated suit of armour too?
Household objects as charms
Have you seen the range of household objects which are available as gold charms? I can find the following in my web shop at the moment:
Iron, Hoover, bellows, teapot, coffee pot, telephone, first aid box, weighing scales, bible, wine bottle, Toby jug, globe, hour glass, jewellery box, champagne bucket, cigarette lighter, bird cage, table lamp. What a great selection
Quirky gold charms
Under quirky gold charms I’m listing things you wouldn’t see everyday and which have been captured in gold as a charm.
Roulette, wheel, Money bag, antique Miners lamp, light house, cornucopia, fire engine, Cinderella’s coach, accordion, golf bags and club, harp, Aladdin’s lamp, penny farthing, wedding cake, skeleton in coffin, queens crown, traffic lights, water wheel, Swiss Chalet.
Whichever gold charms you are looking at remember these are much rarer than silver charms. They are also frequently hallmarked and their exact date can be determined by reading these hallmarks. Gold charms can be of solid or puffed construction – puffed charms are hollow and therefore lighter and cheaper than gold charms which are solid. Most vintage gold charms are made of nine carat gold but occasionally higher carat charms are seen.
When you are a collector or dealer in vintage charms there are some which you regularly come across. For example many charm bracelets have an opening church, a key, a 21 disc, a dog, a cat, a horse, a pair of ballet shoes, a horse shoe and a wedding and engagement ring. There are other charms which you dont often come across. I’ve come across a few recently which I have just seen for the first time and I thought you would like to see these.
Articulated mermaid charm
Here is a mermaid sitting on a rock with one hand playing with her hair. Her tail is articulated and so this charm will provide a little movement to their bracelet. Have you ever seen this vintage charm before? I haven’t so she is quite well made and detailed. The base of this mermaid is stamped as silver. The mermaid charm measures about 2 cms high plus the O ring and the mermaid is 2.5 cms long.
Moving train in station charm
A cute vintage silver charm in the shape of a station with a moving steam engine in front. This train engine slides across the front of the station. This is the first time I have had this particular charm available for sale.
Dating from circa 1970s, this silver charm measures about 1.6 cms long
Lady in grass skirt charm
Another silver charm I’ve not seen before. This little lady is dancing and wearing a grass skirt with a necklace of flowers round her neck. You cant see it in my picture but she does have a loop behind her head so that she can be attached to your vintage silver charm bracelet.
This silver charm looks a bit older that the ones I normally offer here , perhaps it 1930s / 1940s. She measures about 2.3 cms high
Charms coming soon to AntiquesAvenue:
Amongst other vintage jewellery I’m going to be adding more vintage charms to antiquesavenue this week, especially vintage gold charms. I’ll be back to show them to you when I have photos. Look out for crystal set gold charms, and articulated gold fish charm, a skeleton in a coffin gold charm and a roulette gold charm.
How old is my vintage charm bracelet? Charm jewellery is unique in that it is often a personal collection which has been built up over the years. Some of the pieces can be a lot older than others, parts may be new, parts inherited and the bracelet is often added to throughout a persons lifetime. This article examines 5 ways that can help you decide how old an antique or vintage charm bracelet is.
1. Hallmarks and Makers Marks
Hallmarks can often be found on British gold and silver charm bracelets and vintage charms too. These tiny little marks can be translated in a table to give the exact date a charm or the bracelet was made. The first place to look for hallmarks is on the bracelet padlock. If there are no marks here look on the first large O ring. It would be very rare to find the hallmarks elsewhere on the bracelet .Hallmarks are more common on gold charms but you can still find them occasionally on silver charms especially the heavier ones.
If you find silver charms stamped .925 or gold charms stamped .375 they are likely to be newer within the last 25 years. Silver charms stamped “silver”, Silv”, “sil” or “sterling ” will probably date from between the earlier 1900s to the 1970s. A number starting RD or reg can tell us the date a design was registered and normally a piece of jewellery is made within a few years of the date of registration.
Some makers were active at different times so finding a makers mark on a charm or bracelet does give us a clue. Nuvo and Chim were both making charms int he 1960s and 1970s. I have been looking for information on the exact dates these produces charms but have not been able to find this. It is quite possible that some of their charm date form the 1950s and even into the 1980s. TLM stamped on a charm is for the marker T L Mott who made silver novelties and charms throughout the 20th century up until the 1970s. Many of the TLM charms are from the 1920s and 1930s. Their enamel charms and shields are from circa 1970s.
Note it is most common for vintage silver charms to have no hallmarking or markers marking clues to dating so other factors will need to be taken into account.
Silver and gold charms can be any age. If the charms are made of other materials it is likely that the charm dates from when that material was popular in jewellery manufacture. For example a Jet charm is most likely going to be Victorian. A bakelite charm from the art deco era ( as is a charm set with butterfly wing). Silver and enamel charms can be any age through the 1900s but most are 1950s to 1970s.
3. Style and Appearance
This is sometimes the only clue we have to dating a silver or gold charm. As most British silver and gold charms we see today date from circa 1950s to 1970s you can learn what the style and appearance of these charms is like and then match your charm to these. Most of the charms from the 1950s to 1970s are well made especially the silver ones. The detail is sharp and clear. Poorly made charms with fudged detail may indicate reproduction, newer charms.
Vintage silver charms from the 1930s and 1940s tend to be smaller than those of the 1950s to 1970s. The bracelets themselves are usually less chunky and the charms more delicate . The detail on these charms from the 1930s / 1940s is often not as good as that on bracelets dating 1950s to 1970s. Charms from this era can have a more art deco influence to the style than later ones.
Victorian charms have a unique appeal of their own – engraved coins as love tokens are usually Victorian or Edwardian.
4. Specific charms and Theme
Sometimes the charms themselves help us to date them. Money charms having pre-decimal currency are from before 1971. Charms used to commemorate Royal events help us to date them accurately too and do those from the British Empire exhibition of the 1920s . Finding a coin on a charm bracelet can give us a date but often the coin is many years older than the bracelet and the rest of the charms.
A charm commemorating the Beatles is not going to date from before the mid 1960s – this type of logic can be applied to other charms commemorating famous music groups. I have seen charms from hovercraft , space rockets, mini cars and other objects which cannot date from before the time the originals were invented.
The popular “Fums up” charm is normally from the first world war
5. Reference works
If all other clues fail to help us date a charm bracelet, it can be helpful to flick through a reference book or trawl through the Internet to help find matching charms.
My favourite reference work for this is Charms and Charm bracelets by Joan Schwartz. This is an American book but much of it is relevant to British charms too. Antiquesavenue.co.uk has hundreds of charms for sale and I always try and provide an approximate date on these , perhpas you can match one of your charms to mine.
Happy charm hunting
Now this may seem simple to those of you who have been collecting and wearing vintage charm bracelets for some time. Recently I have had two customers receive their silver charm bracelets and then not know how to open them. The little heart shaped padlocks can be quite a puzzle unless you know the trick to them.
These heart padlocks do not normally come with a key, in fact it is extremely rare to find a charm bracelet padlock. I’ve only had one in over ten years.
Take a look at this heart padlock closed and open. Do you see the tiny leaver to the side – I’m pointing to it in the second photo.
You squeeze this little leaver towards the loop . You do not press it into the heart but sideways towards the loop. This action releases the catch which then articulates upwards.
Top close the heart padlock just lightly push it back into place , it will snap into the lock.
So for those of you new to vintage charm bracelets, I hope you now know how to open and close them.
I believe that AntiquesAvenue offers the best selection of Vintage silver Charms bracelets available anywhere 0n the Internet. There are some great silver vintage charms and gold charms and bracelets too. The gold charm bracelets normally fasten with padlocks just like these silver ones.