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The Art of Composing a Jewelry by Cari Charm Necklace

a guest blog post for our local retailer, Chemistry Jewelry

When Christine asked me to write a guest blog post for Chemistry, on a glorious sunny day of snowboarding powder at our local Mt. Hood, I immediately knew the topic to explore. I’ve been fantasizing for a very long time about a way to communicate my strategy for composing a charm necklace. So, here goes.

One of the best things about Jewelry by Cari is that it is interchangeable and all of the charms are designed to complement one another. A person can customize individual charms and then wear multiple charms together on a chain, mixing and matching to their heart’s desire. I always say, “There are no rules,” encouraging people to be creative and express their own unique style. While there certainly are no rules, I definitely have a strategy for how I arrange them, to create an aesthetically pleasing look.


First, set your charms out in front of you on a surface and arrange them in the order they will go on the chain. Start with a centerpiece, the biggest and/or longest charm(s), and build around on either side of the center. Add smaller charms as you go out in each direction from the center. Try to create a balanced look. You can balance out a medium charm with a couple of smaller charms on the other side.


I love the way gemstone briolettes look clustered together on one side. If you are including briolettes place them together on your left, smallest to largest, and slide these onto the chain first. Briolettes are lightweight and sliding them onto the chain first prevents them from falling off unnoticed when taking the necklace off.


Mixing metals is super stylish and adds yet another dimension of creativity. You can’t go wrong. You can freely mix silver/white gold, yellow gold and pink gold charms and chains together.

When you add a single gold charm to a silver ensemble it dramatically enhances the overall appearance. That little pop of color and the warmth of gold adds vibrant beauty and luxury to the necklace.

If your necklace is yellow gold try adding a single pink or white gold charm. Beautiful!

Another favorite mixed metal look is pink gold with silver/white gold. So pretty!


Some of our charms, like the horseshoe, angel wing and open heart, tilt in one direction or the other. I usually place them so they tilt out. Play around with the arrangement of tilting charms and see what you think looks best.

Some charms, like the halfmoon, wire letters, music note and the bird charm face in one direction. I would put the moon on the left so the open side faces out. I usually arrange the bird, angel wing, music note and wire letters so they face out.


Now that you have your balanced arrangement laid out in front of you get your chain and start feeding the charms onto the chain. Start with the farthest left charm and slide each charm onto the chain, one by one from left to right. When you are finished pick it up and hold the clasp in your right hand. The charms will face out, ready for you to put the necklace on. (Switch this and slide charms on right to left if you are left-handed).

Hold it up and decide if you love it. Take your time to rearrange and try different compositions. Does it have an overall balanced look? If you prefer asymmetry play around with this and see what you like.


It’s true that the more charms and chains you have the more fun you can have mixing and matching. These are just guidelines and strategies. Every charm combination takes on a life of it’s own and is completely unique. The best thing to do is to play around with different arrangements and see what speaks to you. Enjoy!



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