A Beautiful Way to Ward Off Evil
During the time of the Pharaohs in Egypt, precious metals were regularly in use to make things. Gold was used to make drinking vessels, pots and plates and these items would often follow the owner to the grave. It was also extensively used to make what we now term,
jewelry. Striking necklaces in the shape of snakes or asps as they were known, would adorn wealthier individuals necks.
Another word for gold charms is 'amulets' which were very popular in these times. They were often inscribed with a verse or incantation to prevent the wearer coming to harm. Amulets along with any other kind of gold jewelry were seen as status symbols and wearing one of these beautiful objects would show the rest of the world that the wearer should be respected because he or she was either very wealthy or held a position of authority or responsibility.
Because there were many superstitions at this time regarding life and death, the Egyptians believed that the gold charms they wore were in some way markers to the Gods for when they died. It would ensure that in death they would be treated with the same respect and reverence as they were in life.
Christian Identity Charms
The first Christians would use charms called
'ichthys' or fish charms to identify themselves to other Christians. Because the early Christians were much maligned and threatened with exposure and execution, their meetings and places of worship were hidden well away from other sections of their communities. They needed a way of identifying each other and the fish charm was used because it represented the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
The Charming Knights
Knights riding into battle would often carry gold charms with them. The ancient traditions of believing that carrying a lucky talisman had not changed and they would carry small pieces of jewelry made from gold and sometimes studded with gems. The small gold charms had often been given to them as a gift from a loved one before they went into battle.
During jousting tournaments, a maiden would often give the knight the ribbon from her hair or her scarf as a lucky charm or talisman, hoping that it would bring him fortune in the tournament and prevent him from sustaining injury.
The Charming Victorians
Queen Victoria, with her love of opulence was one of the first of her time to wear charms purely for decoration. Gone were the superstitions and concerns of protective symbolism. Royal wrists were sporting bracelets with charms of family crests, lockets with little locks of hair and Victorian bead work.
gold charms bracelet