A charming notion

Claudia Jewelry sells a variety of bracelets and charms, from the pictured Island themed charms to the well-known Trollbeads and Pandora. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

According to such websites as Wikipedia and mymotherscharms.com, charms go way back in history (think Neolithic era) and have been relevant in societies from then to now. In the Neolithic era, men would choose unique stones or pieces of wood to carry with them to ward off enemies, where more current metal and gem versions of charms began with the Egyptian Pharaohs as a way to identify their level of status/wealth for the afterlife.

Throughout the ages, charms have come and gone with the newest resurgence beginning in 2001, which was spring-boarding on the 1990s hobby to collect the previous charms from the 1950s. Despite the variations, one thing has stayed consistent for the bearer of the charms: they tell a personal story.

Our newest lines seem to lean towards events and personal preferences. Whether it is a fish charm for the fisherwoman or a cupcake for the baker, people can find a set of charms that tells their story. Included in the traditional charms that hang from the bracelet, current versions also include beads that are designed to also tell the same story. Beads are made from a variety of materials, as well as shaped in many different ways, and designed to be layered on a band to help with the story telling.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, why not give a gift to your loved one with a special charm? Better yet, if they don’t have one started, start one for them and then it can be a gift that keeps on giving in the years to come.

First you will have to decide if you will be going with a charm or a bead version. From there, what is it that you want to convey? Keep it simple by choosing a heart charm or a red bead for love, or perhaps choose something that depicts an event or task that you enjoy together, such as one of the new gingerbread charms from CB Stark to honor your favorite summer, even Illumination Night, or perhaps a wampum bead from Moonstone to remind her of the moonlit beach stroll you took together.

To find your favorite charm or bead, you will not have to go far. On the Island you will find several places that carry well-known lines as well as specialty, Vineyard-specific selections. In Vineyard Haven, CB Stark (cbstark.com) and Moonstone (moonstonejewelers.com), both on Main Street, carry their own specialty-designed charms and beads, along with bracelets that fit both their own designs and that of the popular Pandora and Trollbead lines. In Edgartown, next door to each other on Main Street, both Claudia Jewelry (claudiamv.com) and Vintage Jewelry (508-627-5409) also carry charms and beads, though their bead lines are that of the well-known Pandora and Trollbeads. Claudia carries the Pandora line and even has the new lariats to place them on should you be starting a new bead line for someone. Both stores have sister locations in Vineyard Haven that are currently open.

Vintage Jewelry carries the original Trollbead line, which includes the new organic heart and the coffee mug. Whatever your choice, you will be sure to charm your loved one when he or she receives your special selection.

Also in Edgartown, on Winter Street, is Alex and Ani, a unique jewelry store that has centered their collection of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings on their mission “to design products that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit.” To accomplish this, they utilize a lot of various charms that can be moved from any one of their products to another, though keep in mind they are not interchangeable with other lines. Visit alexandani.com for more information.

In other Valentine’s news, three of our wonderful hotels are offering you specials to get away for the holiday evening, which means no boat required to get away. In Edgartown, the Harbor View Hotel and the Hob Knob Eco Boutique Hotel are both offering Valentine’s packages. The Harbor View Valentine’s Day weekend package, on Saturday, Feb. 11, includes sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries upon arrival, a room for two, Sunday brunch for two, and a late check out on Sunday. You may also add Friday night at a discounted rate.

The Hob Knob is offering a culinary weekend for two from Friday, Feb. 10, to Sunday, Feb. 12, and can be for either a one- or two-night stay. This weekend, titled A Feast of the Senses, features locavore education and cooking demonstrations by Jan Buhrman, Friday and Saturday tasting dinners, accommodations for two in one of their king-bedded guest rooms, full farm made-to-order breakfast and afternoon tea, a $50 credit toward any spa treatment, and a 20-percent discount in the gift shop.

In Vineyard Haven, the Mansion House is offering a romantic getaway special between February 10 and 20. Mention “sweetie” when you are making your reservation and they will have a bottle of Prosecco placed in your room.

To learn more about these offers, contact the hotels directly at: Harbor View Hotel, 508-627-7000 or harbor-view.com; Hob Knob, 508-627-9510 or hobknob.com; Mansion House, 508-693-2200 or mvmansionhouse.com.