Things to beguile the charmless (Part 2)
Sunday 4 December 2011, 12.01am HKT
There are roughly 21 days to go before Christmas for you to blow your life savings on gifts for the ingrates and other assorted cattle in your overly extended family. One of the more fetching gifts to consider is a charm bracelet.
One for the boys
Charm bracelets aren’t just for women, you know. They’re okay for men too, though I wouldn’t go as far as to recommend the menfolk start wearing them at work. Kinda sends the wrong message in most cases, you know what I mean?
And if you happen to be a guy and a biker as well (of the motorcycle variety, like me), a charm bracelet just doesn’t seem to quite fit in with the image of a lean, mean and keen biker that you’re trying to project.
Protip: I reckon chopper bikers (such as yours truly) could get away with a charm bracelet — as long as:
- it’s worn on the left wrist
- the charms themselves are not too ‘dangly’
- the charms are either few or all-out massive in numbers
Barebones dingly-dangly bracie
First off, the bracelet itself should be sterling (925) silver at the very least, or 9-karat gold for the well-heeled. (Your bank balance may vary considerably downwards after the purchase.)
FACT: Carat (ct: 1ct = 200 mg) is for diamonds and gems, and karat (kt) for gold. Don’t confuse the two, as many jewellers still make that mistake. You would’ve thought that of all people…
Protip: Avoid electroplated bracelets. They’re a waste of money. The plating rubs off like mad after only a few wearings, and then the base metal underneath causes unsightly black stains on the skin that’s really hard to clean off.
A barebones charm bracelet should have three dingly-danglies at a minimum.
Protip: Every charm ideally should have a story behind it. But it doesn’t matter if there’s no story.
1. Astrological sign. Go by Western zodiac (e.g. Aquarius) or by Oriental animal sign (e.g. Rat for 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008), whichever works best for you.
2. Place of birth. Use your imagination a bit for this, although some places don’t exactly lend to the imagination. A cowboy hat for Texas is wee obvious, as is a junk for Hong Kong (where I was born). Much more interesting would be an adobe, which could mean anywhere from Arizona to Chile to Iran to Kyrgyzstan. If all else fails, go for the lowest common denominator: your national symbol or flag.
3. Weakness/strength. Everyone has something screwed up inside them. Word Nymph says in her article she has a crutch-shaped charm to represent brittle ankles. I’m having a hard time locating a brain-shaped charm for my birdbrain loopy mind. Call me if you have an ear charm for The Naked Listener.
Those three are the absolute minimum. If you can’t manage those, forget charm bracelets.
Interestingly, when it comes to charm bracelets, the Japanese often include a blood-type charm. This is not because their country is in constant danger from earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, which would make sense in having such charms. It is because the Japanese believe in the insane theory that your blood says it all.
Read the dedicated post on the Japanese obsession with blood types.
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Protips for buying the right charm
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© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.
Images: ‘Nicola’ bracelet via Welded-Bliss ♦ Chinese wristcord via chinese-zodiac-symbols.com ♦ Junk charm via Charmmakers ♦ Blood-type charms via Legacies Heirlooms at eBay. Juicy Couture Christmas crutch charm via ebeyss.