What is a Bracelet ?

A bracelet is a type of jewellery that is worn around the wrist. There are many different types of Bracelets and many different materials are used for bracelets, we will discuss the different bracelet styles and bracelets for men and bracelets for women.

What is the difference between an anklet and a Bracelet

A bracelet is a type of jewellery worn on the wrist and an anklet is similar to a Bracelet but is a type of jewellery that is worn on the ankle.

A history of Bracelets

Bracelets have been around for thousands of years, some experts believe that the first bracelet was created around 8,000 years ago. Those living in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and China were amongst the first civilisations to create bracelets. However, these traditional bracelets were made out of materials such as grass bracelets, tree bark bracelets and shell bracelets. As tools improved bracelets were upgraded and there were now copper bracelets and bronze bracelets but it wasn’t until after the Bronze Age that we saw gold bracelets and silver bracelets. Bracelets were seen as a sign of wealth and status amongst communities and as such were often elaborately decorated with beaded bracelets, shell bracelets and precious stone bracelets.

Ancient Egyptian Bracelet Influences

Egyptians were the first community to make gold bracelets and silver bracelets, they also decorated the bracelets with precious stones. Whilst many ancient Egyptians were buried with their beautiful bracelets, experts believe this was not because their bracelets had religious or spiritual meaning but instead bracelets were worn as purely a decorative element.

Mediterranean Bracelet Influences

In ancient Greece the style of bracelet which was prevalent was the cuff, both the wrist cuff and the upper arm cuff or bicep cuff. Cuff bracelets in ancient Greece were worn even by soldiers who would wear wide leather cuffs and metal cuffs as part of their uniform and also for protection. Thick leather cuffs as part of an armour was adopted also by the Romans. The Romans however, also wore coiled gold bangles which sometimes had decorative engraving such as snake bangles or circles engraved bangles.

Asian Bracelet Influences

Intricate and elaborately decorated cuffs and decorative bracelets made with precious stones such as jade first came from parts of Asia, mainly in China. The ancient Chinese used bracelets to symbolise important part of their ancestry and culture, for example engraved animal bracelets and mythical creatures which were engraved out of gold. Gold bangles were also very popular in India where they used colourful metals and glass beaded bracelets which are still popular today.

European Bracelet Influences

Ever since the 17th century bracelets in England have remained a popular style choice, in the beginning bracelets consisted of tied ribbons and thin bangles which would layered up to create the appearance of a chunky cuff. In the 19th century thanks to an increased ease to travel influencers from other countries were melting together and in Europe we were starting to see decorative bangles and engraved bracelets as well as medallion bracelets. Charm bracelets in Europe were also very popular and were used to hold important memories and meaningful experiences close.

20th century Bracelets

21st century bracelets – Due to the industrial revolution and improvements in technology and travel consumers could now find every style of bracelet imaginable. Charm bracelets in the mid 20th century were very popular, precious charm bracelets such as gold charm bracelets were often giving as gifts and would stay with recipients for years as they could collect gold charms to add to their charm bracelets. Cuffs, wide cuffs, bangles, beaded bracelets and thin bracelets were all very popular in the 20th century. In the 21st century silver bracelets took over and silver cuff, silver bangles and chunky silver bracelets were prevalent. The reason silver bracelets were extra popular was because silver bracelets were cheaper to make than gold bracelets.

Cultural and Religious Bracelet Facts

  • Rosary Bracelets or Rosary spring bracelets

  • Amen Bracelets

  • Decade Bracelets

  • Silver charm Bracelets

  • Multi image wooden Bracelets – These religious bracelets were seen a lot in the late 20th century and would feature many wooden squares which would be adorned with various religious images such as Jesus. These bracelets would often be elastic bracelets.

  • Multi image metal Bracelets – These elastic bracelets were similar to the wooden bracelets and would also feature religious images held together by elastic but the images were on metal squares instead of wood.

What are the different types of Bracelets

  • Bangle- A bangle is a type of Bracelet that is often rigid and inflexible. Most of the time a bangle is a solid circle that the wearer pushes on their arm rather than there being a clasp that is the attached.

  • Cuffs

  • Friendship Bracelets

  • Sports Bracelets

  • Charm Bracelets or Beaded Bracelets

  • Fitbit or Apple Watch Bracelets and Wristwatch Bracelets

  • Alternative Health Bracelets

  • Awareness Bracelets

  • Hospital Identification Bracelets

  • Medi Alert Bracelet

  • Affirmation Bracelets

  • Mood Bracelets

  • Pearl Bracelets

  • Tennis Bracelets – Perhaps one of the most sort after bracelet style, the tennis bracelet often refers to a delicate diamond bracelet.

Different Bracelet Materials

Different Countries Bracelets Trends

Indian Bracelets Trends

Often Indian jewellery is very decorative and stands out, jewellers spend hours crafting delicate and intricate designs from gold bracelets, silver bracelets and precious stone bracelets. Indian jewellers often also create ornate anklets which are like charm bracelets and feature dangling stones.

Thailand Bracelets Trends

In Thai jewellers much of their design inspiration comes from the world around them so many bracelets with see engraved elephants and other nature. The main materials used in Thailand are silver bracelets and leather bracelets.

Balinese Bracelets Trends

Silver is one of the most popular Indonesian materials to work with the Balinese jewellers are very skilled at created ornate and decorative silver bracelets.

Mexico Bracelets Trends

Mexican jewellers create the more ornate bracelets and intricately cut silver cuffs. The delicate designs have given Mexican Jewellers a place at the top of the accessory map.

Different Bracelets Trends through the years

  • In 1995 delicate cuff bracelets were everyone’s go to bracelet style. Celebrities and consumers loved wearing delicate diamond bracelets and delicate gemstone bracelet.

  • In the early 2000s, late 1999 the bracelet of the moment was a cuff. A cuff bracelet looks more like wrist warmers. The chunky bracelet style was seen in many different materials from a leather cuff to diamond cuff, the diamond cuff bracelet was a great accessory that many celebrities would use at premiere or on the red carpet to add a bit of glamour to an understated outfit.

  • In 2001, there was a shift from the cuff bracelet to a chunky statement bracelet. The chunky bracelets were seen in bright bracelets and statement beaded bracelets and were worn everyday to add an extra bold element to a casual outfit and also as a statement bracelet on the red carpet.

  • In 2014, the bracelet trend was seen through delicate layering and just more mean more in terms of bracelets. Everyone was wearing a bracelet of some sort, from delicate bracelets, bangles, clasp bracelets and lots of different layered bracelet looks.

Bracelets for Women

There are many different bracelets for women but the most popular bracelet styles are:

Bracelets for Men

Popular Bracelets for men include:

  • Metal Bracelets, the chunky metal bangle is a popular mens bracelet. The simple metal bracelet can be engraved to create a truly unique gift.

  • String Bracelet or Cord Bracelet is popular amongst those more alternative individuals. Travellers often have a cord bracelet as a symbol of where they have been. Hemp Bracelets have increased in popularity in recent years too. These cord bracelets are simple and often just feature several pieces of rope plaited together or plain.

  • Rubber Bracelets or Rubber Bands which are often referred to as charity bands. These charity bracelets are used to promote a cause or show support for a cause.

  • Chunky Cuff Bracelets. In the rock n roll scene many men wear thick leather bracelets similar to those worn by the ancient Roman army.

  • Health Bracelets. In recent years there has been a push on mindfulness and taking care of yourself in particular amongst the male community who are being encouraged to share their emotions more and not bottle them up. With this drive health bracelets have risen in popularity, some health bracelets are said to help the wearer sleep or aid in seasickness.

Radley Bracelets we Love

Fountain Road- Crystal Stone Adjustable Bracelet

You can’t go wrong with this crystal stone silver bracelet. Adding the perfect amount of shine to your everyday wardrobe, this piece provides practicality with its toggle fastening, so you’ll be able to pop it on with ease.

In a Flutter – Gold Bracelet

This gold bracelet is ideal for adding to both your day and evening wardrobes as an elegant finishing touch. The textured finish and rose quartz detailing gives an instant lift to those extra-special ensembles.

Kew Gardens – Gold Plated Charm Bracelet

Shining in 18 carat real gold plating, this delicate take on the iconic charm bracelet features two flowers and our signature Radley the Scottie dog. A timeless piece of jewellery that balances the fun and frivolous with the classic and everlasting.

How to clean your Jewellery and Bracelets

  • How to clean your silver Bracelets - If your silver bracelets become tarnished then get a silver polish which will have your silver bracelets looking brand new again.

  • How to clean your leather Bracelets – Use a Leather Care Protective Foam to protect your leather bracelets and keep them looking brand new for longer.

  • How to clean your gold Bracelets – In a bowl of warm water, mix some soap and then plash the gold bracelet into the bowl, leave for a few minutes and then gently dry the soapy water off your gold bracelet. This should help to dislodge any dirt and if your gold bracelet is particularly dirty try getting a toothbrush and gently scrub the marks off.

Jewellery and Bracelet Tips

  • Make sure you remove your jewellery in particular any rings or bracelets when you are washing your hands, cleaning or in general when you will be coming into contact with anything but water.

  • Take your bracelets off when swimming, generally tap water is ok for your jewellery but salt water and chlorine in swimming pools can damage your jewellery and leave it tarnished. Also, when swimming it is easy for bracelets to fall off and possibly be lost forever.

  • When wearing pearl bracelets make sure to remember how delicate the precious stone is. Pearls need to not be exposed to too many oils so don’t spray perfume or deodorant around your pearl bracelet and also take off your pearl bracelet if you plan on swimming, putting make up on, cleaning and also if you happen to be playing sport or getting particularly sweaty.