Today the Italian charm business in the United States is a staple of the fashion industry and Italian charms are being made out of the most precious metals and being decorated with some of the world’s most precious gems. But while it may seem like charms have been here forever the truth is that it took a world war to bring charms to the United States and then it took the death of disco to bring them back to life after years of being forgotten. In the fickle fashion industry of the United States the Italian charm has been both a victim and a hero and everything in between.
Throughout the history of the world cultures have carved their stories on charms made of wood, stone, or precious metals and have passed those charms down from generation to generation. Native Americans would make beautiful necklaces adorned with charms that told the stories of their ancestors and the great history of their tribe. People would wear the pride of their culture and their heritage around their neck or their wrist in the form of a charm. But for the settlers that came to the United States the idea of charms was not popular and as the Native American started to disappear then so did the notion of charms in the United States. For generations people had never heard of charms and there was no charm business in the United States at all. After World War II soldiers returning home from the war had brought with them trinkets they had picked up in the Italian villages they had visited while they were fighting the war. These beautiful pieces of Italian jewelry soon caught on with the rest of the American population and soon there was an explosion in the American fashion industry of Italian charms. The meanings of the Italian charms were usually lost and the strict rules used to make them were replaced by the idea that they should be made out of whatever material the customer wanted, but it did not take long for Italian charms to find their way into stores all over the United States.
For decades people were buying and selling Italian charms but, as with anything else associated with the short attention span of the American public, charms soon fell out of favor with the public in the 1970’s when the fashions associated with disco became popular. Soon it was no longer the thing to buy Italian charms but rather people would find themselves buying bellbottom pants and vests adorned with shiny beads and designs on them. The 1970’s were a decade of over the top decadence and the Italian charm had no place in it. Soon the sale of Italian charms subsided to almost nothing and people were trading in their charms for platform shoes and cool sunglasses.
The old saying that is what old is now new started to come into play in the 1980’s after disco, and the 1970’s, finally faded off into the distance. People were rediscovering Italian charms and they were soon buying and selling Italian charms again as nostalgia. Smart jewelers knew that injecting new Italian charms into the market was the right thing to do and soon the Italian charm trade was up and running again.
Today Italian charms are as popular as they have ever been and the ever broadening Italian charm market indicates that their popularity is not going to subside any time soon. People are buying Italian charms like never before and while the charms seem to have lost their historical significance they are remain beautiful pieces of jewelry.