www.whyville.net Dec 4, 2011 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Brighton Collectibles: Charm Bracelets

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Charms can be dated as far back as the Neolithic Era when prehistoric man would acquire and save unusual rock or wood. Charms eventually became much more meaningful in the 40's and 50's. Women would buy charms for their bracelets to symbolize important events such as sweet 16's, graduations, engagement, etc. Although these bracelets were fine and dandy, they eventually disappeared. Recently, however, charm bracelets are making a comeback.

Tiffany & Co., Juicy Couture, and Louis Vuitton are companies helping to bring back charm bracelets. Each have a great selection and quality, however they tend to be pricey. The Tiffany bracelet costs over $400 on average because each individual charm costs $100+. So, how exactly can one get a nice charm bracelet without smashing the piggy bank? One word: Brighton!

Brighton Collectibles was created in 1991, a company selling belts. In 1993, Brighton began to advance by adding handbags. Today, Brighton delivers small leather goods, watches, jewelry, home accessories, eyewear, and luggage. My favorite part of Brighton as you can tell is the jewelry; specifically charm bracelets.

Brighton offers several jewelry pieces that you can add charms to such as bangles, earrings, bracelets, and watches. Today we're going to just be focusing on the bracelets.

Brighton?s bracelets are cast in either brass or zinc alloy and then dipped into silver. A protective layer of lacquer is added to prevent oxidation. Bracelets cost $22-32. Charms, spacers, and beads' prices vary.

The reason why I like Brighton is because although it is not sterling silver, it has not affected my sensitive skin. The lacquer also adds a brilliant shine and the handwork is nicely done. Brighton also has hundreds of choices to personalize your bracelet. My favorite charms are the holiday and bedazzled ones. They even have one for each state!

If you're interested in buying Brighton, you can visit their website and create a bracelet. The neat thing about this is you can print it out and bring it to a store where they will put it together right in front of you. However, if you'd prefer to do it by yourself you can always locate a store with the store locator and add the charms on individually throughout the years. Here are a few examples of Brighton Bracelets I created online.

The above picture represents xoxkitkat's (Melanie) bracelet.

Melanie lives in Ohio (ABC Ohio Charm) and her passion is Ballet (ABC Ballet Shoe Charm). Her all-time favorite animal is the peaceful panda,(ABC Panda Bear Charm) but she also loves butterflies (ABC Night Glow Butterfly Bead). Her Catholic faith is an important part of her life and her favorite holiday is Christmas (ABC Magestic Spacer & ABC Christmas Tree Bead).

Next we have Alex, aka PAINTING. Alex absolutely loves the color purple (ABC Glam Spacer) and traveling (Bon Voyage Charm). Alex likes to play piano and sing (ABC Music Note Charm). She also likes "The Big Apple" (ABC New York Charm). Alex thinks of herself as easy-going and funny. (Marquee Laugh Bead)

Finally, we have LoveAtWar (Bre) who's favorite color is pink. Bre enjoys shopping in addition to cars and animals. (ABC Crystal Voyage Bead and ABC Vintage Bag Charm). Bre also supports US troops. She thinks of herself as outgoing, nice, and respectful.

Hopefully, I have introduced you to an innovative company that will please you as much as it has to me. Brighton's charms are truly a work of art and a unique way to pretty much design your own jewelry. Have a 'charmin day! (He-he get it!)

Author's Note: Sources: www.brighton.com, http://www.mymotherscharms.com/history.htm


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