10 Best Bracelets | June 2017
- durable and long-lasting
- comes with tool for adjusting size
- not appropriate for pregnant women
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- eight inches in length
- lifetime warranty
- prone to tarnishing
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
- size is adjustable
- storage bag included
- crystals may fall out over time
|Brand||Alex and Ani|
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- recycled materials
- silver and gold options
- expensive price tag
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- lobster claw closure
- twelve stones total
- size is not adjustable
|Brand||Amanda Rose Collection|
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- solid one-piece construction
- won't snag on clothes
- made in the usa
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- good as a bridesmaid present
- made from brass
- less than 3 inches in diameter
|Brand||Kate Spade New York|
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
- plated in 18k gold
- suitable for sensitive skin
- money-back guarantee
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
- sterling silver beads
- clasp is easy to open and close
- arrives in attractive box
|Brand||Lily Brooke Jewelry|
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- also available in yellow gold
- five lengths to choose from
- 60-day return window
|Brand||The Pearl Source|
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
An Object Of Culture, Beauty, And Style
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.
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 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.