* Prices may differ from that shown
My fiance bought my Links of London Amethyst Sweetie bracelet for me in 2010. These Sweetie bracelets used to be really popular back then, but although they are still around I don't tend to see as many people wearing them as they did a few years ago.
A Sweetie bracelet is a charm bracelet, consisting of several sterling silver rings threaded onto elastic. I guess the name Sweetie bracelet is because it looks similar to those candy bracelets that you can buy. My particular one also has four Amethyst hearts - three on one side, one on the other. If you don't fancy purple, there is also a pink version with rose quartz hearts, or you can buy just a plain one if you prefer. As they are natural rather than man made, the hearts may have slight imperfections (mine have a slightly cloudy appearance if you look close) and they also will not match each other 100%, which means your bracelet is unique. My bracelet came in a cream box with thick black ribbon and most of the charms have also come boxed, although one or two have come in black velvet pouches.
As well as the four hearts, the bracelet also has four split rings. These are like tiny little keyrings onto which the charms attach. As they are also silver in colour (I believe they are not real sterling silver unlike the rest of the bracelet) they blend in perfectly and do not look obvious or out of place even when no charm is attached. If you want more than four charms on your bracelet that's fine, you can just take it to a Links of London store/concession and they will add split rings onto your bracelet at a cost of just £1 each. I find attaching the charms really fiddly, as opening the split rings can take a bit of patience and prising them open has snapped my fingernails on more than one occasion! The good news is that if you take your bracelet to a Links of London counter they will attach them for you. As they're so fiddly I don't ever take them off, it would be too much hassle and I like having them all on together anyway.
There are a huge amount of charms available for the bracelet, so you should be able to find something to your taste. They also bring out charms for special events and occasions too. One thing you should know is that the charms are quite expensive. I think the value of my charms actually exceeds the value of the bracelet, which is kind of crazy thinking about it. I think the cheapest I have ever seen the charms is for around £25 in the sale, but generally speaking £45 is the cheapest but some of them are over £750. I currently have four, all of which were gifts from my fiancé and all which have some sort of meaning or relevance as they were all given on special occasions and I love that they make my bracelet personal to me. I have a shooting star, a silver and amethyst heart, a limited edition diamond encrusted heart and a small solitaire ring. You can also put the charms onto a chain to wear as a necklace, which I think maybe, makes the price more justifiable.
The bracelet is really comfortable to wear, although on rare occasions it has nipped my skin. I used to wear it daily but I found at work when typing the dangling charms would hit off the table, or just generally get in the way if I was doing things around the house, so I only really wear it for special occasions now.
In the two years I've had this bracelet, it has become a little worn and there have been some tiny scratches appear on some of the charms, presumably when it has scraped against the table at work when I type. Just two weeks ago my fiancé took it to Links of London to be cleaned (at a cost of £10) and it now looks almost as good as new. They also restrung the bracelet at the same time. Personally I didn't think it needed to be restrung but they do recommend this is done once a year. It normally costs £10 to restring it, but they both cleaned and restrung it for £10 rather than two separate charges of £10 so it's well worth asking for both to be done at the same time.
The actual bracelet itself costs £175 and can be purchased directly from Links of London at www.linksoflondon.com or from Fraser Hart, John Lewis, House of Fraser and pretty much anywhere else with a Links concession.
Finally, I should touch on fakes as there are a lot of them around. In fact before having this bracelet I had a copy, but obviously I knew it wasn't the real deal since I'd paid just £6 for it in Next! The real Links bracelets have a few things to distinguish them - firstly each will have one link, which is larger than the others, rounded and wider at one side than the other. This has the Links of London name printed onto it in text. There will also be a small oval shaped tag (on this bracelet it is next to the third heart) and this is imprinted with the logo of three, interlocking ovals. This logo is also printed onto the loop of each charm along with a hallmark. The easiest way to know is simply to purchase from a Links of London store or reputable jeweller.
Overall I'm very pleased with my bracelet and would happily recommend it. They may be expensive, but I personally think it was an excellent gift that will last for years and I can keep personalising it with my own charms as I go.