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A decorative gold charm bracelet showing a heart-shaped locket, seahorse, crystal, telephone, bear, spaceship, and grand piano. Gold charm bracelet.JPG
A decorative gold charm bracelet showing a heart-shaped locket, seahorse, crystal, telephone, bear, spaceship, and grand piano.
Chain mail bracelet, in Byzantine weave, with silver-plated copper rings and green aluminium rings Byzantine weave bracelet 31Oct2010 arp.jpg
Chain mail bracelet, in Byzantine weave, with silver-plated copper rings and green aluminium rings

A bracelet is an article of jewellery that is worn around the wrist. Bracelets may serve different uses, such as being worn as an ornament. When worn as ornaments, bracelets may have a supportive function to hold other items of decoration, such as charms. Medical and identity information are marked on some bracelets, such as allergy bracelets, hospital patient-identification tags, and bracelet tags for newborn babies. Bracelets may be worn to signify a certain phenomenon, such as breast cancer awareness, or for religious/cultural purposes.


If a bracelet is a single, inflexible loop, it is often called a bangle . When it is worn around the ankle it is called an ankle bracelet or anklet . A boot bracelet is used to decorate boots. Bracelets can be manufactured from metal, leather, cloth, plastic, bead or other materials, and jewelry bracelets sometimes contain jewels, rocks, wood, shells, crystals, metal, or plastic hoops, pearls and many more materials.


Ancient Egyptian hinged cuff bracelet, c. 1479 -1425 BCE Hinged Cuff Bracelet MET 26.8.129 EGDP018036.jpg
Ancient Egyptian hinged cuff bracelet, c. 1479 –1425 BCE
Penannular bracelet, Oxus Treasure, Achaemenid period, c. 500 BCE Ars Summum Tesoro Oxus brazalete.JPG
Penannular bracelet, Oxus Treasure, Achaemenid period, c. 500 BCE

Although the term armlet may be technically similar, it is taken to mean an item that sits on the upper shoulder: an arm ring. The origin of the term 'bracelet' is from the Greek brachile meaning 'of the arm', via the Old French bracel. A bracelet is also a small brace or bracer (an arm-guard used by archers).

Cultural and religious significance

The history of Egyptian bracelets is as old as 5000 BCE. Starting with materials like bones, stones and woods to serve religious and spiritual interests. From the National Geographic Society, the Scarab Bracelet is one of the most recognized symbols of ancient Egypt. The scarab represented rebirth and regeneration. Carved scarabs were worn as jewelry and wrapped into the linen bandages of mummies. Myth told of the scarab god, Khepri, pushing the sun across the sky.

In 2008, Russian archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Novosibirsk, working at the site of Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, uncovered a small bone fragment from the fifth finger of a juvenile hominin, dubbed the "X woman" (referring to the maternal descent of mitochondrial DNA), [1] or the Denisova hominin. Artifacts, including a bracelet, excavated in the cave at the same level were carbon dated to around 40,000 BP.

In Bulgaria, there is a tradition called martenitsa, which sometimes involves tying a red and white string around the wrist to please Baba Marta in order for spring to come sooner.

In Greece, a similar tradition, weaving a bracelet from a red and white string on the first day of March and wearing it till the end of summer, is called "Martis" and is considered to help protect the wearer's skin from the strong Greek sun.

In some parts of India, the number and type of bangles worn by a woman denotes her marital status [2]

In Sikhism, an iron bracelet is one of the most mandatory articles known as the Five Ks.

In Latin America, Azabache Bracelets are worn to protect against the Mal de ojo, or evil eye. The evil eye is believed to result of excessive admiration or envious looks by others. Having newborn babies wear an azabache (a gold bracelet or necklace with a black or red coral charm in the form of a fist), is believed to protect them from the evil eye.[ citation needed ]


Alternative health

Alternative health bracelets, such as ionized bracelets, karma bracelets, magnetic bracelets, Power Balance hologram bracelets, etc., are not distinguished by their design but rather the beneficial function claimed for them by their manufacturers and distributors. Karma bracelets are made from wood beads and may contain various charms, and are associated with bringing good luck and good karma to those who choose to wear it.[ citation needed ] No claims of effectiveness made by manufacturers have ever been substantiated by independent sources.[ citation needed ]


Metal bangles Metal bangles.jpg
Metal bangles

Hard material or rigid bracelets, usually made from metal, wood, or plastic, are referred to as bangles or bangle bracelets . They can be smooth, textured or set with stones. In India, glass bangles are common. Made from ordinary glass that is about 3 to 6 millimetres (18 to 14 in) in width, they are worn in groups so that arm movement causes them to make a gracious sound rather like the clinking of wind chimes. In India, it is also common that young children will wear thin gold bangles on their hands and ankles.


Amber beaded bracelet Baltic amber bracelet with mix of colors.jpg
Amber beaded bracelet

Usually made from loose beads with a center hole and connected by a piece of string or elastic band through the holes. Most often made with wooden beads, plastic, glass or even crystal beads.


A charm bracelet carries personal charms: decorative pendants or trinkets which are signifiers of important things, interests/hobbies, and memories in the wearer's life. The decorative charms usually carry personal or sentimental attachment by the owner. Are popular with all age ranges, but especially for children.

In recent history, Italian charm bracelets have become trendy. While traditional charms dangle, Italian charms feature individual pieces soldered flat onto the surface of the link.

Link bracelet Shadowkite-bracelet-lc.jpg
Link bracelet

Bracelets made from connecting or linking various or similar components or jewelry findings. Link bracelets can be made of a variety of materials including metals and gemstones.


Penannular, meaning an incomplete circle, has been a very common form for bracelets, especially ones made in a single piece of a slightly flexible material such as metal or plastic. It is particularly popular in gold.


In the late 1980s and early 1990s, "slap bracelets"—flat, felt-covered metal strips that curved around one's wrist when gently hit against it—were a popular fad. Often adorned with neon colors and vivid graphics, these bracelets could be found at inexpensive retailers. A false rumor emerged that "slap bracelets" caused bleeding and puncture wounds and thus they fell out of style.


Silicone and stainless steel emergency ID sports bracelet (2010). SILICONE & STAINLESS STEEL ID BRACELET.jpg
Silicone and stainless steel emergency ID sports bracelet (2010).

The use of colored silicone rubber as a material for producing sports bracelets was popularized by Nike and Lance Armstrong through the Yellow Livestrong wristband starting in May 2003. [3] Their success has led to the silicone bracelet becoming a low cost tool for various awareness, information, and charity campaigns. This can be likened to the use of awareness ribbons for similar purposes. These bracelets are also known as "baller id bands", "baller bands" or "wristbands".[ citation needed ] They can also be referred to as rubber wristbands, silicone wristbands or gel wristbands. [4] For sport climbing, bracelets are designed with climbing cords (dynamic rope) to serve as a mountain climbing gear.


Diamond and gold in-line jewelry bracelet, a.k.a. "tennis bracelet". 18K Yellow Gold Tennis Bracelet.jpg
Diamond and gold in-line jewelry bracelet, a.k.a. "tennis bracelet".

While playing a match at the 1978 U.S. Open, tennis player Chris Evert was wearing a diamond line bracelet, which fell from her wrist to the surface of the court. [5] [6] She said about this, "I dropped my tennis bracelet", and since then diamond line bracelets have also been called "tennis bracelets". [5] [note 1] The term tennis bracelet appears in print before this incident, but not necessarily referring to diamond line bracelets. An advertisement for a "sterling tennis bracelet" in The New Yorker in 1975, for example, shows a solid silver bangle featuring a tennis racket design, made by the Gorham Manufacturing Company. [7]

Tennis bracelets are made up of many identical settings, each of which incorporates a hinge. The links are usually riveted or soldered from the sides of the bracelet allowing it to flex freely around the wrist with minimal movement left-to-right. A typical tennis bracelet will feature round diamonds set in four claw settings. Tennis bracelets can be adjusted to fit the wearer by removing links, this must be done by a jeweller.

See also

Popular friendship bracelets (2007). Friendship Bracelet Four Classical Element.jpg
Popular friendship bracelets (2007).


  1. Many sources date the incident to 1987.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Costume jewelry</span> Jewelry used to complement a particular costume

Costume or fashion jewelry includes a range of decorative items worn for personal adornment that are manufactured as less expensive ornamentation to complement a particular fashionable outfit or garment as opposed to "real" (fine) jewelry, which is more costly and which may be regarded primarily as collectibles, keepsakes, or investments. From the outset, costume jewelry — also known as fashion jewelry — paralleled the styles of its more precious fine counterparts

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jewellery</span> Form of personal adornment

Jewellery or jewelry consists of decorative items worn for personal adornment, such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, bracelets, and cufflinks. Jewellery may be attached to the body or the clothes. From a western perspective, the term is restricted to durable ornaments, excluding flowers for example. For many centuries metal such as gold often combined with gemstones, has been the normal material for jewellery, but other materials such as glass, shells and other plant materials may be used.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Necklace</span> Jewellery worn around the neck

A necklace is an article of jewellery that is worn around the neck. Necklaces may have been one of the earliest types of adornment worn by humans. They often serve ceremonial, religious, magical, or funerary purposes and are also used as symbols of wealth and status, given that they are commonly made of precious metals and stones.

Bangles are traditionally rigid bracelets which are usually made of metal, wood, glass or plastic. These ornament are worn mostly by women in the Indian subcontinent, Southeastern Asia, Arabian Peninsula, and Africa. It is common to see a bride wearing glass bangles at weddings in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and in other Asian countries. Bangles may also be worn by young girls, and bangles made of gold or silver are preferred for toddlers. Some men and women wear a single bangle on the arm or wrist called kada or kara.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anklet</span> Ornament worn around the ankle

An anklet, also called ankle chain, ankle bracelet or ankle string, is an ornament worn around the ankle. Barefoot anklets and toe rings historically have been worn for at least over 8,000 years by girls and women in Indus Valley, in South Asia where it is commonly known as pattilu, payal, golusu and sometimes as nupur. They have also been worn by Egyptian women since predynastic times. In the United States both casual and more formal anklets became fashionable from the 1930s to the late–20th century. While in Western popular culture both younger men and women may wear casual leather anklets, they are popular among barefoot women. Formal anklets are used by some women as fashion jewellery. Anklets are an important piece of jewellery in Indian marriages, worn along with saris.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cufflink</span> Items of jewelry

Cufflinks are items of jewelry that are used to secure the cuffs of dress shirts. Cufflinks can be manufactured from a variety of different materials, such as glass, stone, leather, metal, precious metal or combinations of these. Securing of the cufflinks is usually achieved via toggles or reverses based on the design of the front section, which can be folded into position. There are also variants with chains or a rigid, bent rear section. The front sections of the cufflinks can be decorated with gemstones, inlays, inset material or enamel and designed in two or three-dimensional forms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wristband</span>

Wristbands are encircling strips worn on the wrist or lower forearm. The term may refer to a bracelet-like band, similar to that of a wristwatch, to the cuff or other part of a sleeve that covers the wrist, or decorative or functional bands worn on the wrist for many different reasons. Wristbands are often worn and used similarly to event passes such as lanyards to information or allow people entry to events. These wristbands are made from loops of plastic that are placed around the wrist and are used for identification purposes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Slap bracelet</span> Bracelets worn by slapping them on the wrist.

A slap bracelet was a bracelet invented by Wisconsin teacher Stuart Anders in 1983, sold originally under the brand name of "Slap Wrap". Consisting of layered, flexible stainless steel bistable spring bands sealed within a fabric, silicone, or plastic cover, it can snap around a wrist when slapped on it with some force. It can have many different colours and/or designs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charm bracelet</span> Chain bracelet on which collectible charms may be hung

A charm bracelet is a type of bracelet which carries personal jewelled ornaments or "charms", such as decorative pendants or trinkets. The decorative charms usually carry personal or sentimental attachment by the owner.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gel bracelet</span> Type of wristband

Gel bracelets are a type of wristband often made from silicone.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ring (jewellery)</span> Round band worn as ornamental jewellery

A ring is a round band, usually made of metal, worn as ornamental jewelry. The term "ring" by itself always denotes jewellery worn on the finger; when worn as an ornament elsewhere, the body part is specified within the term, e.g., earrings, neck rings, arm rings, and toe rings. Rings always fit snugly around or in the part of the body they ornament, so bands worn loosely, like a bracelet, are not rings. Rings may be made of almost any hard material: wood, bone, stone, metal, glass, gemstone or plastic. They may be set with gemstones or with other types of stone or glass.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arm ring</span>

An arm ring, also known as an armlet or an armband, is a band of metal, usually a precious metal, worn as jewelry or an ornament around the biceps of the upper arm. The arm ring is similar to a bracelet or bangle, though it must be shaped and sized to fit snugly to the upper arm.

Ionized bracelets, or ionic bracelets, are a type of metal bracelet jewelry purported to affect the chi of the wearer. No claims of effectiveness made by manufacturers have ever been substantiated by independent sources, and the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found the bracelets are "part of a scheme devised to defraud".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Silly Bandz</span> Shaped rubber bands

Silly Bandz are rubber bands made of silicone rubber formed into shapes including animals, objects, numbers, and letters. They are normally worn as bracelets. Silly Bandz retail in packages with themes, such as princesses or animals, and fashion accessories. Similarly shaped silicone bands are also available under other brand names from a variety of companies. Silly Bandz were especially popular in the early 2010s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hologram bracelet</span> Unproven performance-enhancing device

A hologram bracelet or energy bracelet is a small rubber wristband supposedly fitted with a hologram. Manufacturers have said that the holograms supposedly "optimise the natural flow of energy around the body," and, "improve an athlete's strength, balance and flexibility". Only anecdotal evidence supports these claims and tests performed by the Australian Skeptics, the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, and the RMIT's School of Health Sciences have been unable to identify any effect on performance.

Reminderband Inc. is an American international company that manufactures and sells customized silicone wristbands and bracelets for multiple markets, including healthcare, entertainment/recreation, law enforcement, and more. With its headquarters in Logan, Utah, Reminderband also has a logistics and development center in Hong Kong.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Power Balance</span> Hologram bracelet brand

Power Balance is the original brand of hologram bracelets claimed by its manufacturers and vendors to use "holographic technology" to "resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body" to increase athletic performance. Numerous independent studies of the device have found it to be no more effective than placebo for enhancing athletic performance. As a result, in 2010, the Australian distributor, Power Balance Australia Pty Ltd, was forced by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to retract any previous claims.

The salvation bracelet, also known as the gospel bracelet, witness bracelet, or wordless bracelet, is a bracelet used as a tool of Christian evangelism. The bracelet consists of a series of colored beads which represent key aspects of the Christian gospel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Waist beads</span> Traditional African jewelry piece worn around the waist

Waist beads are a piece of jewelry worn around the waist or hip area. Originating in Africa, waist beads are traditionally worn by women as a symbol of waist size, beauty, sexuality, femininity, fertility, well-being, and maturity.


  1. Phillips, Tom (10 May 2008). "The country of the future finally arrives". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
  2. "The role of bangles in a traditional Indian wedding". The Times of India. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  3. "Cycling Champion, Author and Cancer Survivor Lance Armstrong to Keynote Americas' SAP Users' Group Annual Conference - MarketWatch". Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  4. Mulligan, Sean. "Custom Rubber Bracelets" . Retrieved 24 October 2007.
  5. 1 2 Carolyn Williams. "Why Are Tennis Bracelets Called Tennis Bracelets?". Livestrong.Com. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  6. Marion Fasel. "The True Story of Chris Evert's Tennis Bracelet". Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  7. Ross, Harold Wallace; White, Katharine Sergeant Angell (1975). The New Yorker. F-R Publishing Corporation.

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