Bead charm bracelets have become incredibly popular, with many different companies making their own versions. The company that started it all, in 1976, was Trollbeads in Denmark.
Silversmith Søren Nielsen designed the beads and strung them on leather cords. Later, the family-owned company introduced a chain with a removable clasp, allowing wearers to add their own combinations of beads.
The Trollbeads collection continued to grow as interchangeable bead jewelry became a stylish trend. Today, Trollbeads come in a variety of materials, including silver, 18K gold, precious and semi-precious stones, colorful glass, and pearls.
The beads are known for their detailed craftsmanship and whimsical designs inspired by mythology, fables and nature. The chains can also accommodate beads from other companies such as Pandora, because it’s very simple to remove the clasp from one end.
Troll beads are sold online and at many jewelry stores around the world. Trollbeads.com is their official website, where you can order beads or look for a distributor near you. Another website, Trollbeadsuniverse.com, has a wealth of information about the company and its designers, and helps you locate your nearest retailer to place an order.
New bead collections are launched every season. The company avoids the big department stores to focus on selling in smaller boutiques, so unless there is one near you, it may be best to order online.
Pandora, on the other hand, is a company that also sells beads and charms, but their designs and distribution methods are different. Pandora was also founded in Denmark, in 1982. Now they sell their customizable bead jewelry in more than 65 countries.
Pandora’s silver and gold necklaces and bracelets have a patented “threaded” design that allows users to interchange the beads by threading them onto the chain, and also add clips to keep them in place.
The beads are available in murano glass, sterling silver, 14K gold and precious or semi-precious stones. Pandora.net allows you to browse the collections and find the store nearest you. Many major shopping malls have Pandora stores, and large stores such as Jared and Bloomingdale’s also carry Pandora beads.
Chamilia, another bead charm company, makes beads and chains that are also compatible with Pandora. Unlike Pandora, their chains do not have the threads for attaching clips.
Their collection includes many beautiful designs such as beads with Swarovski crystals. Chamilia designs are sometimes more cute and playful than Pandora.