An enamel charm is a charm of gold or silver metal that has been painted on with a fire-resistant paint. This painting process is very similar to that done on a ceramic surface. As the paint must be fired after it is applied, the enamel charm will become entirely unique in its own way, as the colors of the paint inadvertently always vary in some degree. The enameling process used to create these charms makes them maintain their color, shine, and vibrancy for a very long time.
Enamel is created by mixing extremely finely powdered glass with a colored oxide, which is then applied to a prepared metal surface. The enamel-painted charm is then placed in a firing oven at an extremely high and regulated temperature. This melts the glass, causing it to adhere to the metal surface. This surface of an enamel charm is nearly maintenance free and requires no polishing.
The popularity of the enamel charm verses the traditional gold or silver charm is credited to the contrast in the hues of the enamel paint. The traditional gold and silver charms simply have the sparkle of the metal from which they are made. The shine of the metals contrasts with the hues of the colors of the enamel, making them appear more brilliant.
An enamel charm offers versatility. Not only do they look attractive as an addition to a charm bracelet, but they also can be worn on a gold or silver chain as a pendant. They also are purchased as collectibles and remembrances of a specific time or an event.
Enamel charms have gained popularity, not only because of their varied hues, but because they are a reminder of important things in a person's life. The popularity of wearing of charms has existed for centuries, although decades ago they were made from different metals and jewels than they are often made of today. Beside being enameled, charms can be encrusted with jewels, gems, and even diamonds. They may even have movable or workable parts.
Charms reached heightened popularity in the aftermath of World War II. Many soldiers brought back charms from the cities where they had been stationed for their girls. As this tradition grew within the United States, jewelers increased their production of various charms, and their popularity further increased. Along with a host of other types of charms, the enamel charm creates a unique and colorful marker of any occasion.