Collecting Cigarette Lighter Charms and Charm Bracelets

Collecting charms is a field that a lighter collector may find intriguing and appealing. A charm is a small, especially gold or silver, object worn on a chain or bracelet as jewelry. Most charms are about the size of a dime which makes them very difficult to craft, especially the once with moving parts.

These tiny treasures have a rich history going back to antique civilizations like Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The modern “golden age” of charm jewelry was between 1930 and the early 1970s. A great variety of objects are replicated in charms – animals, furniture, kitchenware, automobiles, buildings, sports, technology and many others.

In general vintage gold and silver charms are available at different price levels. Simple charms are found in number jeweler stores and catalogs for as little as ten dollars. More elaborate made of gold, platinum, diamonds and rubies range from hundreds to thousands dollars and can be found for instance on eBay and at auction houses.

Charms that main theme is smoking accessories are relatively uncommon. The biggest collection on cigarette lighters charms I know counts 50+ different lighter shapes, mostly pocket lighters. Most of them was made in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and today (grand reappearance) mainly in the UK and USA. They are made of gold (mainly 9K, 10K, 14K, 18K and gold filled) and sterling silver. The identification marks if present are very small.

Part of a nice collection of lighter charms can be found in The Handbook of Vintage Cigarette Lighters written by Stuart Schneider and Ira Pilossof. The authors show also other jewelery like cuff-links, earrings or stickpins in shape of lighters.

The Handbook of Vintage Cigarette Lighters shows nice examples of charms in the shape of lighters.

More on collecting charms can be found in these lovely books:
PS. Charms might be a great gift for your beloved one and a memory trigger!


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