A Complete guide to bracelets

The bracelet is one of the oldest fashion statements. It is one of the various ways to complement our outlook. It is an article of jewelry worn around the wrist. It serves different functions such as a religious symbol, for adornment and for charm. Some bracelets such as allergy bracelets, hospital patient- information tags and bracelets for new born babies could be used as symbols of medical and identity information.

The exact period when it was first discovered that a vine around the wrist is an adornment is unknown. However, wearing bracelets as a form of adornment or religious symbol may have started as far as 7,000 years ago as archaeologists have discovered evidence that people from Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China wore bracelets. Bracelets were mainly for decoration and religious purposes while the affixation of a jewel made a sign of wealth and status. Bracelets are worn in different ways and they called different names. For instance, when a bracelet is worn as a single loop it is known as a bangle, when it is worn around the ankle it is known as anklet or ankle bracelet, a bracelet worn to decorate a boot is called a boot bracelet. Taking as a plural, “bracelets” is often regarded as slang for handcuffs.

The term bracelet originated from the Greek word “Brachille”. The bracelet has its history embedded in many cultures. In Greece, wearing a bracelet made with red and white strings on the first day of March and wearing it till the end of summer is called “Martis” and regarded as a form of protection from the harsh Greek sun

In the ancient Egyptian history, the bracelet is as old as 5000 BCE with the use of materials such as bone, stone, wood amongst other to carve bracelets which served religious and spiritual purposes. In Ancient Egypt, bracelets are sometimes the tomb as a part of the deceased possession.

In Latin America, the “Azabache Bracelets”, a gold bracelet or necklace with a black or red coral charm in form of a fist is worn to protect against the “Mal de Ojo” or Evil Eye which is believed to be a result of excessive admiration or envy by others. Newborn babies are specially made to wear the “Azabache Bracelets” to protect them from the Evil Eye

In some Asia countries, the type of bracelet a woman is putting on will enable people to determine her marital status. While in Sikhism, a bracelet is one of the mandatory articles known as the Five Virtues.

In the 21st century, bracelets have become a constant fashion trend that is wearable by both men and women. With the rise of several innovations in bracelet designs, it has become more popular, silver became the most common material for bracelets, and bangles from the 20th century mostly because it was less expensive than gold and still had the sparkle of a precious metal that lovers of bracelets appreciated

There are different types of bracelets, these include:

Bangle Bracelets: They are solid bracelets that slip over the hand; they tend to fit loosely on the wrist. While very thin bangles can be worn in groupings, the wider ones are usually limited to just a few. The materials used to make the bangles could include precious and less expensive metal, natural materials or even plastic. They are often easy to assemble in various colors and materials. In India, glass bangles are the most common, they are worn in groups to cause a gracious sound like that of the clinking wind chime when moving the arm

Cuff Bracelets: They are one of the most classy bracelets as they a made with precious metals such as gold, it could also be made from flexible materials like cloth or leather. Cuff bracelets are wider than bangles and fit snugly to the wrist with snaps, clasp or a fastening with buttons. The cuff bracelets got their popularity from the period of Cleopatra and are famous in the royal families.

Charm bracelets: they are one of the most sought after bracelets, they usually carry other personal charms such as pendants. In recent fashion trends, the Italian charm bracelet has become a fashion statement, while originally, it features individual pieces soldered on the surface of the link, several innovations and designs have been added to it to appeal to covers of charm bracelets.

Beaded bracelets: they are one if the most common fashion accessories. They have changed over time n appearance and value. Replicating antique, original and traditional, as selling and buying and selling beaded bracelets have become a famous trend. The beaded bracelets are usually made from loose beads with a center hole connected by strings or elastic band through the hole. Beaded bracelets cut across all culture as it is commonly used by people from different place. For instance, beaded bracelets made from glass, wood, and gold were found on the Mummy Tutankhamun.

In American history, beaded jewelry was highly significant as the prehistoric Indians from Southwest America mined Turquoise and used its shell to create beaded bracelets which is still being worn till today. It served several purposes apart from decoration, it was used by them as a form of currency, symbol of religious membership and to accessorize their clothing

There are different features that distinguish the beaded bracelets from other bracelets. Most beaded bracelets are made from seashell along with stone, amber and turquoise. Some traditional designs incorporate glass, however, newer bead designs could include pictures or other forms of art

Beaded bracelets also serve as religious bracelets which are used in prayers or worn for protection, an example is the rosary bracelets in which each bead symbolizes a specific prayer.

Pearls are also considered as precious bead bracelets, it is produced from shells oyster and calms and is usually very expensive and regarded ad sophisticated.

Leather Bracelets: they are usually cuff bracelets made of leather. The Leather bracelet is one of the oldest types of adornment, it is especially popular because of its affordability and availability. Its resistance to breakage and the comfort it gives when wearing it has also made it become more appealing.

Native American leather bracelets have a long-standing cultural history, traditional Native American bracelets were crafted as an important part of their belief system while some were designed to influence fortune and good weather, other leather bracelets were meant to be a symbol to honor an important member of their tribe

Over time, leather bracelets have been created to suit the modern designs, it has become a viable venture since there is a clamor of the use of natural materials for the production of bracelets. It has become a fashion trend especially among men and several designing companies have tapped into the profitability of leather bracelets to create their own designer brands.