This is a lovely sterling silver 1940’s World War II forget me not bracelet with an enameled military service star in the center with USN links on either side, a rare find! This very collectible sweetheart bracelet from the second World War era is just as appropriate and sentimental today as it was 70 years ago. During World War II these were very popular, a way to keep far away loved ones close to the heart. This is a wonderful way to show your patriotism, support for our sailors/US Navy personnel, and a special way to show you have a loved one serving our country. This beautiful bracelet is a total of 6 and 3/4 inches long end to end, with a total of 9 links plus the clasp. Each link is just over 1/2 of an inch long and 3/8 of an inch tall. The glossy in service link has a red enamel border and blue star in the center that signifies 1 son/loved one serving our country, with a white background. The 2 USN links on either side have an oxidized finish and the USN on fouled anchors. Each of the other links has pretty forget me not flowers and leaves bordering a rectangular area for inscriptions. Common on these older "homefront" war bracelets, friends and family members often gifted the recipient with a link they had put their names on for remembrance. A jeweler can easily buff out and/or engrave for you if desired. The names are: Mary A., Jack, Martin, USN, in service link, USN. Alice,Peg, and Joseph. The clasp has the letter M engraved on it. All links are marked Sterling and forget me not, except the in service and USN links, which are only marked Sterling. Each link is connected with sturdy sterling silver connector bands. Lightweight yet sturdy, this marvel weighs .5 of an ounce, or 15 grams. It has a warm vintage patina, is very smooth on the skin, and so comfortable to wear. This marvel was virtually black with tarnish, so I cleaned it up a little with a polishing cloth, but it retains a warm vintage patina, and can be polished more for a high shine if you wish.
A little research revealed that the first “in service” symbol for military families and sweethearts was made by R. L. Queisser, a former U.S. Army officer, in honor of his two sons who were serving in Europe during World War I. It caught on, and was made commercially; an ad appeared in a 1917 issue of the National Geographic. After that, a variety of this type of jewelry became very popular. It was during World War II, however, that they really took off, and in the 1940’s became a common sight across America.
These bracelets have been featured in "A Century of Jewelry, Classy, Flashy and Trashy", by Deborah Crosby, 2005, Page 128, as well as on page 80 of the book, “Charms and Charm Bracelets: The Complete Guide”, by Joanne Schwartz, 2005 ed. Such a gorgeous and meaningful piece in excellent condition, this is very special!
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