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Charmed, We’re Sure

Let The Met collection inspire, protect, and enchant you: introducing our new collection of charms

The galleries of The Met offered endless ideas for our latest line of collectible jewelry. Designed to be mixed, matched, and stacked, our charms look to mystical sources from across continents and cultures. Available as bracelets, necklaces, and earrings they provide plenty of style inspiration—and perhaps a little protection, too.

The Snake

Left: Egyptian Snake Charm Necklace, red ($35). Right: Gold bracelet in the form of a snake. Greek, Ptolemaic. Gold, 3 5/16 in., ca. 300–250 B.C. Gift of Norbert Schimmel, 1988 (1988.22)

 

Snakes aren’t all bad. When Egypt was ruled by the Hellenistic Greeks, the serpent’s sinuous form evoked Asclepius, the helpful god of medicine and healing.

 

The Cross

Left: Byzantine Cross Charm Bracelet ($35). Right: Cross. Byzantine. Cloisonné enamel (red and blue), 15/16 x 7/8 x 1/8 in., ca. 1100. Rogers Fund, 1998 (1998.542)

 

Christians have adorned themselves with this symbol of faith and protection for millennia. The cross had become an emblem for Byzantine jewelry as early as the 5th century.

 

The Ba-Bird

Left: Ba-Bird Charm Earrings ($35). Right: A pendant depicting a ba-bird with outstretched wings. Egypt, Late Period, Dynasty 26–30. Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, 1 15/16 × 1 1/8 × 1/4 in., 664–332 B.C. Anonymous Gift, in memory of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1913 (13.184)

 

To ancient Egyptians, the ba was the part of the human spirit that lived on after death. The ba-bird could visit the world of the living—and also help in the passage from this world to the next.

 

The Cat

Left: Egyptian Cat Charm Necklace ($35). Right: Cat amulet. Egypt, Late Period, Dynasty 26–29. Faience, H: 7/8 in., 664–380 B.C. Bequest of Mary Anna Palmer Draper, 1915 (15.43.26)

 

People went crazy for cats well before the Internet era. The ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats—and revered them as symbols of the benevolent goddess Bastet.

 

The Scarab

Left: Scarab Charm Bracelet, red ($35), Right: Scarab of the Storehouse Overseer Wah. Egypt, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12. Silver, electrum, glazed steatite, linen cord, 1 1/2 in. (scarab), ca. 1981–1975 B.C. Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1940 (40.3.12)

 

This is one powerful bug indeed. The ancient Egyptians believed the scarab helped push the sun across the sky every day—and represented the mighty beetle on protective amulets.

 

The Ankh

Left: Ankh Charm Bracelet, red ($35). Right: Ceremonial Implement in the Shape of an Ankh. Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18. Faience, H: 10 7/8 in., ca. 1400–1390 B.C. Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915 (30.8.29)

 

This hieroglyph was originally associated with the divine life force granted to the pharaohs of ancient Egypt—and has remained a mystical symbol of power ever since.

Discover more Charms of The Met at store.metmuseum.org.

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