When my blog was in its infancy, and long before that, I often wore a Pandora bracelet. I loved it almost to the point of obsession. I would eagerly await new product launches and would spend hours arranging and rearranging the charms. It continued a long held fascination. As a child, I would sit on my grandmother’s knee to play with her traditional gold charm bracelet. She gifted it to me when I was in my early twenties; I inherited my love of jewellery from her and she knew I’d treasure it. Even in their late eighties, my grandparents could remember when and where each and every charm was from. Every continent is represented on the piece of jewellery I hold so dear.
My grandparents have both passed away now, but this gold charm bracelet is a journal of two lives well-travelled. It represents enduring love and a marriage that lasted 70 years. I wish they were here to see me marry the love of my life. Maybe I’ll wear my grandma’s bracelet on our wedding day.
Falling In And Of Love With Pandora
About a year into writing my blog, my life and lifestyle changed overnight. Consequently, my choices in everything, including the jewellery I wore, reflected this. To be truthful, Pandora’s ubiquity was a little off-putting too. I sold the charms that had no sentimental value, and with the exception of a grey leather bracelet and a few charms, I put the rest away and forgot about them.
I redecorated my dressing room recently and it was when I was emptying drawers that I rediscovered my Pandora. Immediately, my own memories came flooding back. Memories of celebrations of happy times with family and friends. There are several Christmas charms that my parents bought for me over the years. A church that my brother and sister-in-law chose for a birthday. And a beautiful dangly sparkly star, a 40th birthday gift from my university friends.
My most-treasured charm though, is a little house; a simple, almost naive design. Poppy and Harry gave it to me just before we moved house almost five years ago. I remember them giving it to me so vividly. I was sitting on Harry’s bedroom floor dismantling his cabin bed, surrounded by wood, screws and power tools. Poppy chose it with her friend, the first time I’d let her go to Leeds on the train. She was only 13 and she bought it, (with equal financial assistance from Harry), to thank me for staying strong during a traumatic divorce and the consequential house move. The charm represents the home I bought for us, the awesome threesome.
I sat for some time, holding it and reliving some memories while simultaneously feeling immensely grateful for my children and my new life.
And then I began to build a bracelet.
The Story Of My Life
I realised just how much I’d missed wearing my Pandora bracelet. Being able to see memories on my wrist is akin to wearing my heart on my sleeve. If jewellery represents the story of my life, then my exquisite engagement ring symbolises a whole new chapter. This silver bangle with a gold heart clasp compliments my ring. It looks beautiful with openworks charms on it but looks chic and elegant unadorned. There are a lot of new Pandora charms since I last looked and most of mine must have been discontinued. Some of the new ones appeal to me. Others, (the Disney ones), do not. But that’s the beauty of charm jewellery. One can create their own unique story built around whatever their heart desires. Just like I have.
This jewellery represents my past, my present and my future.
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The picture of your grandparents is so lovely. I can see true love in their faces. I will have been married 25 years in 2020 and hope my marriage is as long as theirs was. God bless xxx
Thank you Louise. Yes, it’s a beautiful photo. My grandmother passed away just a few months after that so we were all so thankful that they were able to celebrate this wonderful milestone. Congratulations on your upcoming silver wedding anniversary too. How lovely for you both xxxx
Your Grandmothers charm bracelet is just beautiful.
I avoided Pandora bracelets for years as everyone seemed to have one…..I changed my mind as we were coming up to our 25th wedding anniversary and the husband wanted to buy me a gift. I decided on a Pandora bracelet for the memories I could create….we love to travel and have lots of places on our list!! I have 3 charms on it to represent us as a couple and every time we travel I buy a charm to add to it.
I love your charms and the memories you have attached with them especially the house bought by your children xxx
Hi Kareema, thank you so much. Yes, it’s beautiful and I treasure it. Part of the reason I stopped wearing my Pandora was because of how ubiquitous it was. Everywhere I looked, someone was wearing a Pandora bracelet. But seeing it again after it being away for a few years was so lovely and the memories returned. My life is so different now and so very happy. It makes me want to share the moments even more. Your bracelet will be a wonderful symbol of you and your husband’s travels and life. Something to treasure and keep in the family. Lots of love and happy travels xxxx
Oh goodness Liz this was SUCH a lovely post – the story of your grandma made me a bit teary!! My mum also has a charm bracelet with charms representing places she’s been or events in her life… when I was young I used to pore over it and long for one myself. She did start one for me, and as the years went on the lightweight bracelet became too light for all the heavy charms that were building up and my family bought me a new chunky bracelet for my 40th. I’ve had the soldered onto the new bracelet by a jeweller and couldn’t love it more. Whenever we go somewhere I try and find a charm that represents that place, or something that’s happened. I have the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, dice for Las Vegas, a sighthound for Riley, musical notes for when I learnt the piano, that sort of thing.
It’s lovely that you rediscovered your own bracelet and that P&H contributed to it – it must be so special. Right, off to find a box of tissues…! 😉
Aww thank you Catherine. How lovely that you got a charm bracelet for your 40th. It’s so lovely isn’t it to look at it and to remember happy times, occasions or places. And yes, the house charm from Poppy and Harry is my most treasured, not least because of the sentiment behind it xxxx
I have 2 charm bracelets. One silver and one gold. Both are the “old fashioned” kind. I like it when they look like things. Yours are so pretty. Thanks for the article.
Thank you so much Christine. yes, I agree. it’s nice when the charms are like an object rather than abstract. They mean more don’t they. How lovely that you have a gold and a silver. They will look super with everything xxxx
I have a Pandora bracelet too, and like you I stopped wearing it because they were everywhere!
However like you it has huge sentimental value as lots of the charms were bought for birthdays and Christmases etc by my dad who is sadly no longer with me.
And I purchased the original bracelet and spacer clips with money my mum left me, so now I’m thinking I should start wearing it again because of all the lovely memories
Thanks for sharing this
Aw, Sally. How lovely that you have something to remind you of your late parents. It is so nice to look at a piece of jewellery and remember people and places. I hope you love wearing it again just like I do xxx