Friday, 9 November 2018

The History Of Bangles And Bracelets

Bracelets and bangles have been worn for centuries to adorn people and bring attention to their wrists and hands. The difference being that bangles are rigid and bracelets are flexible being made of an ornamental band, loop or chain.

It was thought for years that the Egyptians invented the bracelet, being crafted from stone, bone and wood but the history of wristwear goes back further, and in 2008 a collection of jewellery was found in a cave in Siberia which included a green stone bracelet carbon dated to be 40,000 years old.

Bangles and bracelets have been found in many civilisations including ancient Mayan, Roman, Indian and Mauryan ruins and have been worn by many cultural groups for different reasons. 


In China bangles and bracelets made from jade have been given to children from their parents for years as jade is thought to protect them. The ancient Chinese also valued bracelets with intricate carvings of animals and nature. 

In Indian culture, different types of bangles are worn depending on the area, but it is common to see a new bride wearing glass bangles at her wedding, the traditional view is that the honeymoon will end when the last bangle breaks. Gold bangles are also coveted in Indian culture and are a sign of wealth and prosperity.

Bracelets and bangles today are more popular than ever with the mass production of fashion led pieces made of cheap materials, however, gold and silver bracelets are still hugely valued and adored.



Two popular designs today, that are still going strong, are friendship bracelets and charm bracelets. Friendship bracelets are a decorative symbol of a friendship given by one person to another, traditionally made of thread or a textile material. There are various styles and patterns, but most are based on the same simple half-hitch knotCharm bracelets have symbols or good luck charms attached to personalise the bracelet, traditionally to ward off evil and bring luck and prosperity. 

My collection

I personally like the charm bracelet design and have a charm bracelet by Thomas Sabo as well as two charm bead bracelets by Pandora and Lovelinks.  Although they have been around for thousands of years charm bracelets were made popular by Queen Victoria in the 1880's.  As gold is so expensive these days, the most popular type of charm bracelets today are made of silver. 




What I like about charm bracelets or charm bead bracelets is the ability to personalise the bracelet and tell a story through them - your story. 

Of course, some of the charms are purely decorative, like the starfish which I thought had a lovely texture, but the cocktail glass was from my son on my 40th birthday, and the lucky clover charm was a gift to bring me luck as I like entering competitions.  I bought myself the Las Vegas charm when I was in 'sin city', whilst the M was from my husband on my birthday. That is the great thing with charm bracelets, if you have one, people can easily think of a charm to get you on special occasions and you can decorate it with charms that reflect your life, your loves and your passions.



My Pandora charm bracelet is purely decorative. I wear blue a lot and love a little sparkle. It's not a full bracelet, and I like wearing it with only that amount of charms, however, I also have space to expand it in the future as I see charms I like. My son bought one of the heart charms for Mother's Day for me and the other heart charm was bought by my husband.


My new bracelet is a smart and stylish bracelet gifted from Joshua James Jewellery. I wanted a classic bracelet that I could wear on a daily basis but also that could be worn out in the evening. Made of sterling silver, the loop design is a modern classic and the adjustable chain means it fits a range of wrist sizes. I also think this bracelet will work well in layers with my other silver bracelets. 

Joshua James Jewellery offers worldwide delivery with free delivery in the UK. With a range of classic wedding rings and watches as well as fashion brands like Nomination, Hot Diamonds and Trollbeads, it's a jewellers that is well known and trusted in the UK.

Tell me, do you have an item of wristwear that you covet? What do you think of my bracelets?

*Collaborative post

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18 comments

  1. I had no idea about the history behind them, but that's fascinating!

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  2. I love jewellery especially when you each piece has a significant memory or person associated with them x

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  3. I really like your Thomas Sabo charm bracelet. I have a charm bracelet that was bought for me by an ex partner and I’ve added to it over the years with charms bought for me by friends and family over the years, as well as charms I’ve treated myself to on my travels.

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    1. The good thing about charm bracelets too is that you can change them. So if you wanted to get rid of a memory (ex perhaps?) remove their charm!

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  4. I have to admit I love a good bracelet but I have no idea at all about the history. It is always interesting to hear more about how they have changed over the years and become a much loved piece of jewellery.

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  5. I had no idea about the history, so that was really interesting. I like wearing lots of bangles.

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  6. I love your collection of bracelets and your charm bracelet that you’ve added charms to that mark special occasions in your life is awesome. I didn’t know there was such a big history behind them!

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  7. Wow thank you for sharing that history. I haven't worn bracelets in years due to being a massage therapist, but my partner has been saying he might treat me to one soon (fingers crossed).

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    1. That would be a lovely Christmas present Laura.

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  8. Great trivia for me today. I love bangles and bracelets and didn't know the history up until now. But besides that, I'm envious of your collection. Keep 'em coming!

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  9. What an interesting post. I'm always wearing bracelets except for when I'm typing on the computer xxx

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  10. WOW I had no idea there was so much history and culture in bangles and bracelets! I love seeing charm bracelets that tell a story and think they are so beautiful.

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    1. It's an item of adornment that has been around for thousands of years.

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