Home News The Rise of the Charm Necklace Trend: A Unique Path to Personal Expression

The Rise of the Charm Necklace Trend: A Unique Path to Personal Expression

by Madonna

In the ever-evolving world of fashion and jewelry trends, serendipitous matching may be a common occurrence. However, a captivating paradox has emerged with the latest jewelry trend, one that allows individuals to follow the crowd while retaining their distinct uniqueness: the charm necklace.

The core of this trend is individuality, an attribute deeply ingrained in the history of charms. Dating back to the Neolithic Era, charms were originally utilized as protective talismans, evolving into a means of mapping the wearer’s life during the Ancient Roman Empire. By the time of Queen Victoria’s reign, charm jewelry had transcended its original protective context. In recent years, the spotlight has shifted from the iconic Tiffany & Co. charm bracelet to a newfound fascination with eclectic statement pieces, particularly necklaces. As consumers recognize necklaces as perfect sentimental accents for any personal style, jewelry designers are witnessing the profound impact of the charm necklace resurgence.


Susan Korn, the visionary jewelry designer behind New York-based label Susan Alexandra, was pleasantly surprised by the swift popularity of charms when she introduced them in her store approximately a decade ago. “It became a really, really popular offering right away,” Korn explains. “It’s still the number one best seller—and it’s been several years.” Korn’s ornaments, initially created as symbols of protection and gratitude during a challenging period in her life, resonated deeply with strangers. “They’re very personal, and nobody else in the world will have the same one as you,” she asserts. This enduring fascination with charm jewelry significantly influences Korn’s business approach. While customers can customize necklaces in her store, she recognizes that people also desire the freedom to mix and match with other cherished trinkets in their collections. “We’re going to have them as little clips so you can take them on and off your own jewelry,” she reveals. “Our number one best seller of the whole year is just the loose charms.”


Alexis Nido-Russo, founder and CEO of the jewelry brand Local Eclectic, recently introduced charms under the company’s in-house label, Family Gold. “We bought what we thought was two months of supply, and we sold out within 48 hours,” she marvels. Nido-Russo created a TikTok video outlining the baubles and talismans she would include on a necklace for her now-4-year-old daughter, envisioning it as a keepsake for her college departure. These necklaces serve as timeless vessels for emotions and memories, allowing individuals to grasp onto specific moments in their lives. “Going away to college is going to be a very emotional time, and that my daughter would have something to remember the past with is just very beautiful and magical,” Nido-Russo reflects.


Three years ago, Heather Hurst embarked on curating a necklace encapsulating symbols of her most cherished memories. “I have a motorcycle charm for my grandpa, who used to ride Harley Davidsons, a diamond ‘H’ that I got after a breakup, a fish milagro from jewelry designer July Rose, and the locket from when I was a baby, which is so sweet,” she recounts. “I also recently purchased a vintage Snoopy charm that reminds me of childhood. The last one I have is half of a broken heart. I gave the other half to my best friend.”

The contemporary emphasis on genuinely unique personal style has driven increased interest in customizable jewelry. “Customization is all the rage right now. Many people want something that’s trendy yet not exactly the same as what everyone else has,” Hurst notes. “Charm necklaces strike a balance between being something you can build yourself while staying aligned with larger fashion trends.” Korn shares this perspective, stating, “People with fantastic personal style are generally very unique and true to themselves. Charm necklaces are uniquely tailored to you, and I find that aspect incredibly appealing.”

Hurst argues that charm necklaces provide one of the best means of expressing individuality. “It’s intentional but effortless to wear,” she says. “Many of us want to express ourselves through clothing, personal style, purses, and shoes, but these items can be challenging to match and create cohesive outfits that truly reflect who we are. While charming jewelry may come at a cost, it can be purchased gradually, offering longevity that clothing cannot match. “Wearing charm jewelry is more recession-proof because it’s an easier way to collect jewelry over time,” Hurst adds. “It’s like having Afterpay for jewelry.”

For those seeking immediate satisfaction with a complete necklace, some brands offer pre-assembled options. The Sage Vintage is one such label, with fans including Gigi Hadid, who adores its chunky style. Kate Sullivan, the creative force behind the brand, began crafting jewelry during the early stages of the pandemic. “My dad and I bonded over jewelry-making when I was a child,” she reminisces. Sullivan’s necklaces, while premade, are crafted from vintage jewelry, ensuring each piece remains unique. However, The Sage Vintage’s customers expressed a desire to customize their own necklaces without enduring a lengthy collection process. “People want to tell their own stories and choose charms that hold personal significance,” Sullivan explains. “It’s a one-of-a-kind piece—you essentially create it, and I simply put it together.”

When Gigi Hadid appeared wearing one of The Sage Vintage’s necklaces, which Sullivan assembled at her home in Northern Idaho, it was an unexpected turn of events. While the supermodel’s endorsement boosted the brand’s popularity, Sullivan is cautious about the potential downside, where a lifelong investment could turn into a fleeting trend piece. “People have been liking charm necklaces for a while, but I am concerned that it might become a micro trend if all these celebrities start wearing it,” she admits.

Nevertheless, the charm necklace’s inherent individuality and sentimental value endure. “You can add pieces to your necklace that help you remember a specific moment in time, a person, a place, or a trip, and you can build that story over time,” Nido-Russo reflects. “That’s the beauty of charms: the idea of giving someone something they will carry with them.”


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