The 10 Best Bracelets
This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Whether it's for a birthday, a holiday, or just because, one of these stunning bracelets will make the perfect gift for your significant other, a friend, or a beloved family member. Our list includes shiny bangles and cuffs, as well as some that feature colorful beads and gemstones. There’s something to suit every fashion sensibility and at a range of prices to meet all budgets. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 30, 2020:
In today’s update, we rounded out the list by adding a colorful beaded model, the SpunkySoul Cuff Collection. You can choose from six vibrant color combinations, and each features ornate beading made from glass, metal, and mango wood. All of the materials are nickel- and lead-free, and since it’s made by hand, no two are exactly alike. You can buy it with confidence, thanks to its money-back satisfaction guarantee, and matching dangling earrings are sold separately. To make room for this new addition, we removed the Willis Judd Titanium Therapy, a magnetic bracelet that is no longer available at this time.
For a personalized selection, and one that also features beading, check out the Lily Brooke LBB-085, which has square silver beads that can be engraved with letters, and colored crystals that can represent birth months. It’s also rounded off with floating ring beads and yellow gold spacer beads. In all, a total of seven children or other family members can be represented with colors and letters. It arrives in an attractive gift box, which makes it easy to store in a drawer or a jewelry organizer.
The Alex and Ani Women's Cheers Color Infusion Champagne retains its top spot in this update, and it’s from a well-known brand in bracelets. This set of three shiny bangles are made from trendy rose gold and include both metal and crystal beads. They also feature eight charm accents, the largest of which reads “Cheers.” For a traditional, elegant look, consider the The Pearl Source Round Freshwater Cultured bracelet, which goes well with both casual and dressy attire, and comes with a clasp in your choice of white or yellow gold. It arrives with a printed certificate guaranteeing that all of its pearls are 100% genuine cultured freshwater varieties that haven’t been dyed.
March 18, 2019:
We know that many people are looking for jewelry they can wear with just about anything, to make the process of getting ready a little easier. Such buyers will like the Willis Judd Titanium Therapy, because its silver and gold magnets create a clean look that complements nearly any outfit. The Alex and Ani Women's Cheers Color Infusion Champagne is another good everyday option. Though it is rose gold, it is still understated and casual enough to wear to work, while also adding a little charm. Those who want something bolder and statement-making will appreciate the Laura Elizabeth Courtenay Leaf Cuff. This nature-inspired item features a chunky look you don't see every day. The Tulsi Genuine Italian Leather Wrap is another good choice for those hoping to set themselves apart, as it ditches the more traditional jewelry material. Anyone shopping for a special occasion, like a birthday or other milestone, will like The Pearl Source Round Freshwater Cultured. You just can't go wrong with it for monumental events. The Kate Spade Bridesmaids Idiom Bangle is another great option for important days, or rather a wedding day, as it's a lovely bridesmaids gift.
Cartier Pink Gold 4-Diamond Love Bracelet The classic Love Bracelet has been around since 1969 and is composed of two C-shaped halves that are held together by miniature screws that blend in seamlessly. It comes with the required screwdriver to adhere it to the wrist and remove it. This model features 18-karat rose gold, brilliant-cut diamonds that total 0.42 carats, and a width of 6.1 millimeters. cartier.com
Tiffany T Square Featuring a timeless design, this smooth, multifaceted 18-karat bracelet is made of yellow gold and is sold in five sizes to accommodate most wrists. It’s also available in a variety of other metals, with a variety of matching necklaces and rings available as well. tiffany.com
Chanel Bouton De Camelia This elegant bracelet showcases Mademoiselle Chanel’s favorite flower, the camellia, and features geometric curves in the band, as well as in the flower’s petals and leaves. It’s made of white diamonds and 18-karat white gold. A matching necklace and ring are each sold separately. chanel.com
Daphine Antoinette Inspired by the Victorian era, this 18-karat gold-plated chain bracelet sports a vintage feel, with a dangling heart bearing a white zircon stone. Featuring a series of oval-shaped links connected by round hoops, it closes with a lobster clasp and measures 18 centimeters in length. daphine.com
An Object Of Culture, Beauty, And Style
While people have their own definitions of the perfect bracelet, the undeniable fact is that the search itself is part of the excitement.
By today's standards, jewelry is synonymous with being a girl's best friend. However, for both men and women alike, the hunt for the perfect article of jewelry is a never-ending struggle and a thrilling search symbolizing a position of status, culture, health, love, religion or some combination of all of these. While people have their own definitions of the perfect bracelet, the undeniable fact is that the search itself is part of the excitement. Whether you're a dealer, a soon-to-be groom looking for an article of jewelry to please that special someone, or you consider yourself a historian of the arts, such objects represent thousands of years of evolution, history, and spiritual transcendence with a multitude of meanings associated with them.
In its simplest form, a bracelet is a cylindrical-shaped ornament typically worn around the wrist and adorned with any variety of objects that can include precious stones and gems, metal, rocks, wood, animal hair, and much more. Bracelets can be worn singly or in multiples by both genders as decorative accessories, religious symbols, and even for medical identity purposes. The term comes from the Greek word brachile, meaning of the arm, not to be confused with armlets, which are similar objects worn above the elbow, or anklets for the ankles and feet.
Bracelets fall into link, slip-on, and hinged classifications. Link bracelets are flexible, lightweight, and designed to fit the wrist loosely with each individual link allowed to drape downward. Slip-on bracelets are more rigid and offer either an open-ended or closed design. Depending on circumstances or preference, several different types of bracelets exist, including alternative health, beaded, charm, link, sports bracelets, and bangles. Alternative health bracelets (e.g. ionized jewelry and karma bracelets) are associated with psychological or spiritual health of the wearer instead of being focused on design.
Beaded bracelets are assembled with identical (or similarly-shaped) individual beads connected by a piece of elastic band or string. Charm bracelets are particularly decorative in style and usually feature a combination of personally-chosen pendants or trinkets that carry a special meaning to the people wearing them. For example, a woman might wear a charm bracelet that includes trinkets and objects that were special to her mother or grandmother, using it as an object to keep the memories of people alive after their passing. A high school student might also wear a charm bracelet as a symbol of friendship with a classmate, whereas a superstitious person could use such a piece of jewelry to ward off evil or bad luck.
Link bracelets are closely-associated with precious metals, stones, jewels, and are assembled in a similar fashion to beaded bracelets, but they're usually more expensive. Most recently fashioned by Nike and Lance Armstrong, sports bracelets are constructed from colored silicone rubber and have been used to both raise health awareness and to fund charity campaigns for certain diseases. However Armstrong's doping scandal had a significant impact on the brand and popularity of such bracelets.
Bangles are rigid types of bracelets made from metal, wood, plastic, or glass. They are traditional ornaments often worn by women in Indian culture and come in a myriad of different colors, each symbolizing a unique social value.
Charms And Bangles Aplenty
When you're on the hunt for a bracelet or bangle, chances are you're looking for one as a gift for a significant other or for yourself. For that reason, understanding the materials, colors, and styles that appeal to you (or the person for whom you're shopping) is key. Like most other forms of jewelry, a bracelet must speak to the wearer. While a focus on beauty and expensive stones can be a factor in one's decision, some people love bracelets for their ability to harness spiritual power, which means you don't always have to spend a fortune on precious metals or diamonds to make that happen.
The last thing you want is to spend hard-earned money on a beautiful, but uncomfortable bracelet and end up losing it on the street due to a flimsy clasp.
Determining the type of bracelet that suits you or your gift recipient is an important consideration. Colors, style and aesthetics all play a part when investing in a bangle and any other type of beaded or link bracelet.
When it comes to overall function, ensuring that a bracelet has a reliable closure, while maintaining superior comfort around the wrist, are additional factors to one's decision. The last thing you want is to spend hard-earned money on a beautiful, but uncomfortable bracelet and end up losing it on the street due to a flimsy clasp.
If both shine and strength of a bracelet are equally important to you without breaking the bank, finding one made out of silver or duragold (a hypoallergenic combination of 14 karat gold and other metals) can definitely fit the bill.
Adornment Through The Ages
Archaeological evidence suggests that the bracelet has an extremely long history dating back thousands of years and spanning virtually every culture across the globe. In 2008, for example, Russian archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Novosibirsk, and working at the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, uncovered a bone fragment from the fifth digit of an early hominin. Along with this artifact, the excavation also revealed a collection of jewelry on the same level of the cave, which included a bracelet carbon dated to around 40,000 years ago.
The latter part of the twentieth century also saw the rise of medical identification bracelets with text engraved onto flat metal plates.
The next significant finds stretches back to 7,500 B.C. to an obsidian bracelet found in Turkey in 1995, although additional evidence also points to the ancient Egyptians wearing bracelets as early as 5,000 B.C. These bracelets were fashioned from rudimentary items like bone, stone, and wood, while being used for religious and spiritual purposes. The scarab bracelet is one such example, as the beetle represented an Egyptian sign of rebirth and regeneration among the population at the time, so it was only natural that the creature would be revered and artistically adapted into their belief system.
One of the first charm bracelets was the Egyptian eye bead, which was used to charm, fascinate, or reflect away the negative intentions of others. The eye bead was later adopted by neighboring cultures and is still worn today in many Middle Eastern countries.
Charm bracelets gained popularity in the United States during World War Two and were fashioned from silver, gold, enamel, plastic, and shell, thanks to the use of mass production to increase material variety as well as overall availability. The latter part of the twentieth century also saw the rise of medical identification bracelets with text engraved onto flat metal plates.
Today, bracelets still carry the same cultural significance and spiritual power as they did in centuries past, while also having become synonymous with high fashion and wealth.