If you enjoy collecting jewelry with personal significance or giving it as gifts, consider Italian charms! They are the most affordable way to create a personalized bracelets with unique meaning. And, there is an amazing variety to choose from.
Whether you love dogs, cats, or want something signifying your family or hobby, it's all there! And, unlike their classic dangling counterparts, Italian charms link together to form a flat bracelet; for a more sophisticated look enjoyed by women of all ages.
It's no surprise, then, that tens of thousands of women each year collect Italian charms and give them as gifts. How to get started?
Easy! Whenever buying for yourself or as a gift, the first thing you need to do is get a "starter bracelet" containing blank links. Then, get an additional 4-5 charms to start the bracelet. The recipient can easily replace blank links on the starter bracelets with the charms you give them -- and any others they get in the future -- to develop a unique bracelet over time.
The Secret to Selecting Quality Italian Charms
When looking to buy Italian charms, it's important to consider quality. Indeed, there are so many places selling these things that sometimes it's difficult to separate the good from the bad.
Here are some things to watch out for:
* Make sure they are made of stainless steel (the place where you buy them should say that.) If you really want to get technical, ask them what grade of stainless steel their charms are. They should know, especially if they claim to sell "direct", because on the manufacturing end stainless steel has exact grades. Usually, it's a number (like 304) followed by a letter. You'd see them labeled as 304L or 316.
* Charms marked with a logo or brand-name on the back are considered higher quality. You never know, but generally avoid links that are "blank" / have no logo on the back. What about charms that say "Stainless Steel" on the back? Well, I've seen a few that were definitely NOT stainless steel… so use caution.
* Make sure the site you're ordering from has a money-back guarantee and check any customer comments posted on there.
* It's important to order charms that are covered with protective epoxy. Otherwise they'll rub off! If the site doesn't state whether they are or not, ask them.
* You'll find that many site sell "18kt gold" Italian charms. Well, with very few exceptions, it's a gold-tone and not sold 18kt gold. Just make sure that if you're paying 18kt gold prices ($18+ per charm) that you indeed getting 18kt gold. Again, nearly all sites sell 18kt gold-tone (or gold accented) charms. Why pay $18 for the same product if you could get for under $3… and even for $2, and sometimes $1/charm?
* A note about care: Even stainless steel charms can change color when exposed to chemicals, cleaning solutions, and solvents. Avoid chlorine and any harsh chemicals.
What about the Chinese-Made Italian Charms?
Yes, a lot of people ask that question. Very few merchants admit it… but, nearly all Italian charms sold on the Internet are manufactured in China.
Now, what about charms that say "imported from Italy?" Well, that's nice, but did you know that many of these places simply buy Chinese-made Italian charms through an import company in Italy. So, yes, they're "imported from Italy" but if you think you're getting a handcrafted Italian product… think again! They're still manufactured in one of the three main factories in China.
Which Charms are Great For Gifts?
Well… really, all of them! Charms that are especially popular are, in no particular order: 1) Heart charms, 2) Ribbon (esp. pink ribbon) charms, 3) American flag, 4) Flowers, 5) Family and I love my kids-type charms, 6) Birthstones, 7) Various words and phrases… like "DREAM", "Family of 5", "Child of GOD", etc. 8) Religious charms, like crosses, etc.
As you can see, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!