This is a bit of an ongoing saga for me - Making vintage charms a more wearable and instant use product à la Thomas Sabo.
I think this is really important and I am going to break it down into why, how and when this will be happening .
Back when I first discovered vintage charms ( way back when ), one of the first things that put me off was the lack of attachment; Patiently waiting to receive my charm, I wanted to wear it instantly . I was also unlikely to go rushing out to the local jewellers to get my charm soldered on in a time frame that was convenient or satisfying for the customer experience . Something I really love about the charms by Thomas Sabo, is the ease of quick attachment- all of their charms are already equipped with a lobster clasp so you simply clip the charm straight on to your bracelet - so much simpler than finding the time to go and get the charm soldered.
I also think that more people would be excited about and want to wear vintage charms, if they are as accessible as the modern charms . Looking at the Thomas Sabo, Alex Monroe designs of today, and how popular they are indicates there is still a real market and audience for the sweet and whimsical original designs by past charm makers. An added bonus of wearing vintage is the rarity and better craftsmanship, something I believe most will appreciate.
I have been ordering some samples from a supplier and playing around with a few different ways of attaching the charms. This is something that has been on my mind from the start of my adventure into collecting and selling vintage charms, and I have really enjoyed trialling these pieces to work out which is the best fit for my customers.
The first thing to try was the lobster clasp . I got on fairly well with this but a family member did not . It could of been due to the size of the clasp because I trialled the smallest size first, to get a feel for how easy it would be to attach and for use. Sadly because of that experience I am just not confident offering these as a viable way of attaching vintage charms . Something to also remember in comparison to the modern charms, is the weight and size of vintage charms . These older charms are heavier, more detailed and occasionally I find myself catching my vintage charm bracelet on clothing etc. which of course, pulls at the charm . My concern is that 'one pull too many' combined with the heavier weight will just result in the vintage charm being lost - Something that isn't easily fixed considering how rare and precious they are . It does happen, I have lost a charm myself , but I would really like to minimise that risk as much as possible .
The next option I considered was the twist and lock jump rings . I use these for attaching charms to necklaces and have found great success - You simply twist each end of the jump ring to meet in the middle and it permanently locks and closes into place . This is perfect for necklace chains, the jump ring is small enough (but plenty sturdy!) to offer a delicate way of hanging the vintage charms from our lovely 18" fine trace necklace chains . A big difference here though is again, your necklace is less likely to be coming into regular contact with situations that might pull on the charm in contrast to your charm bracelet .
So where does that leave me with creating a suitable cost effective way for my customers to attach their vintage charms to their bracelets ? Fear not, because this is where 6mm Sterling Silver split jump rings take centre stage ; Sturdy, easy to use at home, looks like a regular jump ring, a solution I am confident in . I have personally trialled these myself with the charms I received for my birthday last year and they are still going strong . No signs of pulling, warping in the metal or any indication I am about to lose a beloved vintage charm - Success! ( A friend has also used these and has reported back with the same results )
When will this option be on offer?
For now the charms are still being sold with their normal jump rings . If a jump ring looks like it has lost its shape over years of use, I replace with a brand new sterling silver one before sending it out to you . I am hoping to be offering the split sterling silver 6mm jump rings in the run up to Christmas, but I haven't yet decided if this will be a separate option for you to purchase on top of the charm (the same way our necklace option is currently available in the shop) or if it will be automatically built into the price of every vintage charm, sent out along with a normal jump ring so that customers can decide themselves if they want their vintage charms to be a permanent fixture through soldering, or want a quick and interchangeable way using the split rings .
I am leaning more towards offering the split rings as an optional extra and then still including a regular jump ring regardless so the option for soldering is always there . I would love to hear your thought and feedback on this issue and if it niggles at you as much as it does with me .
Thanks for dropping by !
p.s. If anybody is interested in testing the split rings out before I offer them as a product, just email me a note after you have placed your order and I will include one FOC for your feedback .