The bracelet is one of the world’s oldest and most popular articles of jewelry. Manufactured from a wide range of materials, its history stretches back several thousand years. According to historians, the first civilization to produce decorative bracelets that had cultural significance was the Ancient Egyptians. Before that time, ornamental accessories were made from primitive materials like shells, rocks, wood and bones. And they were purely decorative.
But the bracelet held a special place in Egyptian society. We know this because they often included Scarab Beetles, which were sacred to them. The insect was a popular symbol of regeneration and rebirth. Archeologists have uncovered Scarab Beetle Bracelets that are over seven thousand years old. They were worn by both men and women.
The elites of Egyptian society had special affinity for certain types of bracelets. Charm bracelets, for instance, were thought to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. When made with gold and precious stones, these accessories served as early ID bracelets for wealthy people who had passed into the afterlife. Many well-to-do Egyptians were interred or entombed with their most expensive bracelets and jewelry.
The bracelet was also popular with the Ancient Greeks, but for them, it was a more demotic piece. Worn by both men and women of all social classes, it was used as both a decorative and a utilitarian accessory. Greek soldiers often wore bracelets on both wrists as defensive bands. Since warriors often swung their swords for the wrists in order to disarm (literally) their adversaries, thick leather bracelets protected many a soldier.
But these defensive bands were also a sign of status or rank. High ranking soldiers often wore elaborate, highly decorative bracelets. Generals, for instance, often wore defensive bands that were made from precious metals and gemstones, while the average field soldier wore a thick leather bracelet with hardly any adornment.
Where are we now?
The bracelet remains one of the most popular and accessible accessories on earth. It is one of the few pieces of jewelry that men feel comfortable wearing. But as you might expect, the bracelet is far more popular with the fairer sex.
The reason women love bracelets is that they are arguably the most versatile article of jewelry. They can be constructed from just about any material, which means that can be worn on almost any occasion. Let take a moment to review a few of the most popular types of bracelets.
Because it is inexpensive and rather plain, both men and women feel comfortable wearing bracelets or bands made of colored silicone rubber. These accessories are commonly produced to raise awareness for a particular cause. The most popular model is the yellow Livestrong wristband that was popularized by champion cyclist Lance Armstrong. The bracelet was developed to raise awareness and money for cancer. At last count, over 70 million units had been sold.
This thin, in-line diamond bracelet is only for the girls. The tennis bracelet first attained fame and its name when it was worn by Chris Evert, one of the world’s best female tennis players. As a piece of jewelry, the bracelet is both elegant and extremely durable. It can be worn on the court or to an upscale cocktail party. When they contain real diamonds, tennis bracelets are quite pricey.
One of the world’s oldest bracelets, charm bracelets are popular with women of all ages. For many young girls, these accessories are their very first article of jewelry. Many parents buy the basic bracelet for their daughters and give them decorative pendants that can be attached to them on birthdays and holidays. These charms make great gifts because they often carry with them a personal meaning. For example, if your daughter loved butterflies as a girl, you can buy her a butterfly charm to attach to her bracelet.
A bangle is a bracelet that is in solid form and is generally made from some type of metal. They are often worn in pairs or in groups and only by women. In some countries, women wear bangles that are made of glass that make a pleasant sound, like wind chimes when they clink together.
Returning to our earlier question, why do women love bracelets? We have seen that they can be durable, versatile and highly personal. But where the bracelet truly excels is as an accessory. Made from metal, precious stones, glass, silicone rubber or beads, the bracelet can add elegance to any outfit. Women can wear them with tailored suits, evening wear or with a leotard at the gym. They are arguably the most popular piece of jewelry for women of all ages.
Bracelets are available in a wide variety of styles and materials and can compliment any ensemble. Find your favorite new bracelet now.