Don't have any gift ideas for one of those most important women in your life? How about a gift that fits no matter what size your Mom is? It's one of the best ways to give the significant women in your life a present they'll really appreciate — just think charming bracelets!
There are lots of ways to say "I love you" with jewelry that becomes an heirloom and are one of the most personal gifts you can give. Personalized bracelets have always been a great way to celebrate special occasions. I still cherish a special bracelet from high school dangling with sterling cheerleader megaphones and tennis racquets.
Every generation has a new way of collecting these wearable memories — Moms have been wearing charm bracelets since the days of ancient Egypt.
"People seem to have always had the need to adorn themselves with beautiful, symbolic or magical things," says Tracey Zabar, artist and author of "Charmed Bracelets" (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 19.95).
"Ancient peoples relied upon amulets and other lucky charms to ward off the "evil eye" and other bad spirits, and then they held fast to religious charms promising fertility and love," acknowledges Zabar, who has designed bracelets for Barneys New York and Kate Spade.
Indeed not since the '50s when Lucille Ball collected gold charms celebrating the musical career of her husband, Desi, to Jackie O's single-charm bracelet, charms are once more making a big comeback, and Mother's Day is the perfect time to give your mom a gift of history on her wrist. It's one of the most personal gifts you can give and pass on to the next generation.
Here are some of Zabar's tips on composing your own charm bracelet:
— First, decide which side of the fence you are on: do-it-yourself or prefab. Are you the type of charm braceleter who enjoys the thrill of the hunt and collects charm mementos over time? Or are you the instant-gratification type who sees a gorgeous ready-made bracelet that stops you dead in your tracks and that you must have immediately? Determine which category your mom fits into.
— Commit to a metal. If you are starting a bracelet for your mom, you might want to take a cue from the jewelry she already wears — mostly gold (often, more expensive) or silver (more casual). Zabar recommends sticking to 14-karat gold for charm bracelets.
"It will stand up to the clinging and clanging of the charms." There are also lots of alternatives now for moms who want a different look — check out all the woven leather bracelets that have more of a hip vibe.
— More is more. Try to choose real stones and pearls as often as possible, says Zabar. "Since most of the stones are tiny, they aren't that expensive. You don't need the perfect color or quality; just make sure that the stones are pretty and you don't see any obvious inclusions or chips."
— Pick a theme. If you are starting a bracelet from scratch for your mom, consider buying charms in just one category — fashion, family, travel landmarks, dogs, hearts, buildings or flower charms, for example. Or your mom may prefer a hodgepodge of charms — You may want to start with one charm and let her dictate how she wishes to build the bracelet.