Do you have a habit of simply getting ready in the morning and putting on your favourite every-day jewellery without knowing how that piece of jewellery came to be, where the style originated from or why you even wear it? Well, we want to delve into the depths of jewellery and tell you how your favourite jewellery became, exactly that – your favourite jewellery.
We’re starting off with the Bracelet, a hugely diverse piece of jewellery that has evolved over many, many centuries to the present day, where we now have a whole list of bracelet styles to choose from, but first, what is a bracelet and how did it become to be?
To be completely honest, the actual pinpoint moment someone decided wearing something around their wrist was the latest fashion statement, is unknown, however most origins of jewellery seem to derive back to the times of ancient Egypt (they clearly knew how to accessorise) and it’s no different with bracelets, so let’s head back around 7000 years ago when bracelets may have been created from materials such as shells and other natural materials found within the environment.
If we head into the Bronze Age (2000, 1400 B.C.) when materials with a higher value such as copper, gold, silver etc. were being used, these were transformed to create decorative pieces of jewellery which quickly became a symbol of wealth and beauty for those who were lucky enough to wear them. This continued within ancient Egypt and although they may have been included in tombs for the deceased, bracelets were mainly worn purely as decoration and expression.
In other areas of the world such as Greece, you may have noticed on TV shows and similar historical references that bracelets were worn by soldiers as cuffs on the upper or lower part of the arm, these were part of their uniform and although a decorative piece, showed exactly who they were.
Modern Day Bracelets
Over time the bracelet has changed from being made from materials such as shells, gold, ribbon, leather and many others materials, but the actual style of the bracelet has adapted so much more. As jewellery started to become hugely popular and easier to get hold of, bracelets for women and bangles were a statements pieces that would include charm bracelets, bangles and chain bracelets. By the 1970’s men also started to wear jewellery as fashion pieces rather than just a show of social status.
As silver became mass-produced and affordable, it was a popular choice of metal for bangles, bracelets and cuffs. Aside from common jewellery metals, you can find all kinds of bracelets made from rubber and leather, as fashions and trends change for men, women and children, naturally so has jewellery.
What’s Your Style?
Now we’ve covered the history of the bracelet, we’ve put together a quick guide to a handful of brilliant styles of bracelets and bangles you can find on the market, there may even be a style you’ve not seen before!
You may already be familiar with the Anchor chain style; its design is uniformed through the repetition of oval links which tend to be the same size and are angled horizontally and then vertical with a bar in the center of each oval link. Although a simple design, it’s a strong one and is clearly inspired by the chains used to anchor ships – hence the name.
This style of chain actually originated in Britain during the 18th century, similar to the anchor chain it has identical uniformed links, however they’ve much wider than they are thick. The belcher chain adopted its name for Jem Belcher (the bare knuckle boxer) who from 1800-1805 was Champion of All England.
Charm bracelets are designed very similar to the Anchor and also has links that are uniformed and identical, however most chains can be used to create a ‘Charm bracelet’. However charm bracelets tend to have more layers that are not necessarily connected to each other, so it creates plenty of space to attach charms.
The curb chain has uniformed oval links that have been twisted and cut in a particular way so that they lie flat on a surface, they can be crafted in a variety of widths and can often be referred to as a gourmette chain.
Filigree link bracelet
Similar to a curb chain, the filigree style has added decoration that has a distinct design known as a Florentine pattern, which is lace like.
The rope chain is a very delicate and intricate design that includes several strands of the chain to be spiralling round together. This particular chain is created by weaving the metal links until they have the resemblance of rope.
A little different than the rest, the Tennis bracelet design is typically created with a thin flexible band that is decorated with diamonds and usually made with platinum or gold. It’s a very lightweight piece of jewellery and is meant to simply rest on the wrist giving a very elegant finish.
Torque bangles have a very distinct design as they have an obvious gap on one side instead of the bangle joining together. This allows for the bangle to be slipped on with ease onto the wrist or arm. You may even see in most cases the bangle is finished with round balls or decorative finishes at the end of each bangle, this is to prevent pointed ends to catch the skin.
If you want to explore more bracelets and bangles, shop today at Jollys Jewellers where we specialise in fine jewellery.