One of the most popular markets for jewelry today are sterling silver charms. As the name suggests, they are made of sterling or 925 silver. The concept of a charm bracelet is a customizable piece of jewelry (usually worn around the wrist) to which charms can be attached. A charm can be anything; some examples of the most popular are silver hearts (to represent love), or small pairs of sterling silver dice (to represent luck). Also incredibly popular are Disney sterling silver charms, which allow people to display the timeless icons of childhood on their sterling silver charm bracelets.
The term ster or sterling refers to an alloy made of silver that is 92.5% pure, usually mixed with a 7.5% copper content. The reason for mixing the metals into an alloy rather than simply using pure silver is that pure silver is usually far too soft and malleable for use in jewelry – particularly jewelry that is meant to be worn frequently – as it can become bent and misshapen due to the constant contact with skin or other objects. As a result, jewelers most commonly use sterling silver for the creation of small objects such as charms for charm bracelets. For the same reason, high-quality charm bracelets themselves are made of sterling silver, particularly in Europe.
Maintenance of sterling silver charm jewelry is a must. The charms do tend to become tarnished over time from contact with oil from the skin (and other cosmetic products such as shampoo or conditioner) and the dust in the air. This leads to a visibly reduced shine in the object, which obviously makes it look much less attractive. Thankfully, the cleaning process is not difficult – a simple solution of soap and warm water will do the trick. Simply dampen a soft cloth (or tissue) with the soap solution, and wipe the silver charms clean. The entire process should not take more than a few minutes, but must be repeated every 3-6 months.
Purchasing sterling silver charm bracelets is not a problem, as they can be found at almost any jewelry store and are an extremely common purchase online. Can you imagine they were once quite difficult to find outside of Europe, but since the concept of sterling silver bracelets has caught on in the entirety of the jewelry world, silver charms have become much more common. An interesting side effect of this is that now there are literally hundreds of thousands of different styles of charms available. Whereas at one time it was hard to find charms outside the common style of silver heart charms, there are now so many variations that it is literally impossible to fill thousands of bracelets with them. There are silver charms representing Disney characters, charms that display the flags of various nations, even charms with national maps on them. And since the market of sterling silver charms has grown so large, it is now possible and easy to buy wholesale sterling silver charms, in large amounts, at very reasonable prices.
Many people think that sterling silver charms are a craze or a trend, but the fact is that they are not. If you examine the history of the silver charms, which arose in Italy hundreds of years before the rise of machinized jewelry manufacturing processes, you will see that they are actually a very enduring item of jewelry that has finally made it across the Atlantic Ocean into North America. The renewed interest in sterling silver charms shows an interest in taking jewelry back to its original spirit – uniqueness. No young lady wants a mass-produced piece of silver jewellery that everyone else has, but every young lady wants quality. With sterling silver charms, these two seemingly conflicting desires can be reconciled to create an item that makes a beautiful accessory, and a beautiful gift.