The Wonderful World of charm collecting. Vintage Travel Shield Charms, NUVO,CHIM, Movers and Openers.
Charm collecting has made a BIG comeback but I have always collected charms even when it wasn't the "in" thing to do. I appreciate what a charm represents because each one was bought for a reason. Whether it was for a vacation, first communion, confirmation, wedding, birth, memorable celebration, or a hobby, it was chosen with love and as a constant reminder of that special event or hobby. Admiring someones charm bracelet is like taking a glimpse into the person's life. I like to think of my charm bracelets as "silver comfort food". Every time I wear one, I can't help but get a little smile when I look down and remember those special occasions that are jingling like music on my wrist.
Travel Shield Charms
My recent charm "passion" is the little travel shield charms. These adorable charms are like little silver postcards and miniature pieces of art for your wrist. They are very collectible because they are not made anymore. Travel shields were made from the 1940's to the 1970's and are known to some as GI charms. When our GI's were over in Europe, they would buy these little charms and bring them home to their mother, sweetheart or wife. Women who traveled abroad also collected these charms from each town that they visited.
The travel shield charms are made with 800 REU silver or silver plated. They are flat, shaped like a shield and the front of them are decorated in enamel. They usually have the name of the city or country with the coat of arms or a pictorial scene painted in enamel on the front of them. The scenes could be a landmark, small town, scenery or a historical person. Travel shields charms are small and can fit on a dime.
Unfortunately, when I traveled through-out Italy, the days were so "busy", that buying charms didn't even enter my mind.......until I got home. This turned out to be a good thing because I would not have stumbled upon the wonderful travel shields. Although they were probably available in some of the quaint antique shops in Europe, I know I wouldn't have had the time to discover them. As it turns out, many months after my "European Tour", I was shopping in my home town and noticed a woman's colorful charm bracelet. After following her around and trying to figure out what type of charms she had (I felt like a stalker), I finally got up the nerve to ask her about it. She explained that it was her travel charm bracelet made up of travel shields and she told me that you could find the adorable travel shields "online" .
I have since looked for and collected travel shields for all of the cities that I visited in Italy. My Italy travel bracelet is complete minus one charm.....Mt. Vesuvius. It is my "holy grail" charm that I have been searching high and low for. Pompeii was also a difficult charm to find but after 2 years of vigilant searching, I finally found one! The picture below is my Italy travel bracelet in which I used a vintage English heart padlock bracelet to wear the charms on.
I have been working on collecting travel shield charms for my travels through-out the beautiful country of Germany. I have one more charm left to find......Rothenberg. I want a travel shield that shows the giant clock that Rothenburg is known for. I might be getting picky though because I don't know if such a charm was even made. Oh well, the search is half the fun!
"Been there, done that, but forgot that charm" is my slogan for those who went to that "special" place but forgot to buy a charm. As long as there are vintage charms out there for sale, it's NEVER too late! The wonderful thing about travel shield charms is even if you have never traveled to these particular parts of the world, they are a great way to show your family heritage. Many Americans have ancestors who came over from the "old" country and these charms are a great way to share this fact. You can also create a "dream" vacation bracelet, collecting charms for each place that you want to go. Don't just think of charms as something that you give yourself! They make wonderful, sentimental gifts for that special girl.
My love of traveling is what started me on charm collecting and it is because of my passion for charms as well as other collectibles, that I have decided to start "Enchanted Gables". I enjoy buying and selling charms such as travel shields, souvenir charms, NUVO, opening charms and movable charms. My goal is to chat here about a special charm or collectible that I have for sale at Enchanted Gables because some things deserve more introduction than what you can put in the description when you list it for sale. I hope to give a little insight and a mix of personal experiences, so the charm or collectible can be appreciated a little bit more.
If you see anything you like here, please come visit my store Enchanted Gables at www.enchantedgables.com or www.bonanzle.com/booths/enchantedgables and see if there is a "charm" for you. Have a great day!