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Types of Bracelets
With so many different types available, bracelets are one of the most versatile pieces of jewellery and bracelets make popular gift purchases. Made up of any type of chain link, or with added emphasis like marcasite, they are incredibly adaptable.
Bracelets also look great stacked, a style which is very on trend at the moment with layering looks being so popular, so you never need avoid buying for a friend or loved one a bracelet in case she’s already got one, as it really doesn’t matter if she has!
Whilst there are so many different types of bracelets available today and we have highlighted the most popular bracelet styles below, including a few which used to be hugely popular but have fallen out of favour, although we’re sure will make a comeback someday soon, as these things often do.
Bangle bracelets are rigid and/or solid types of bracelets and are worn loosely on your wrist. Whilst bangles have no clasp, some are hinged so they open for ease of putting on and removing. Therefore most bangles slide over your hand onto your wrist. They can be available in multiple sizes.
Bangles can be made in a metal, like silver or gold, stainless steel, wood or even resin.
There are many different bangles available, some with fabulous engraving on the surface, some in an openwork design – see our separate blog on varieties of bangles here.
Cuffs are a solid bangle with an open section, enabling you to slide the bangle onto your wrist sideways on. They can also be gently squeezed to fit.
The tennis bracelet is a silver or gold bracelet made up of a series of diamonds, or other precious stones or crystals set next to each other, in a continuous row, along the entire length of the bracelet. The gemstones used in these types of bracelets can be claw-set or in a bezel (rub-over) setting.
The name “tennis” bracelet has a funny little story attached to it, which we talk about in our blog on Tennis Bracelets which you can read here.
The bead bracelet is a string of beads, gemstones or crystals on a string or wire.
These types of bracelets are made up of links, from which you can hang charms which hold special significance to the wearer, often given as gifts for, as an example, a significant birthday or occasion. Traditionally a charm bracelet would be fastened with a padlock and a safety chain, although now they are often seen with an ordinary bracelet lock.
A cross between a bead bracelet and a slider bracelet, the Shamballa bracelet features crystal-set balls, or gemstone balls, which are held together with woven silk or cotton thread.
These types of bracelets became hugely popular in the mid-2010’s, made famous by Tresor Paris, until many imitation Shamballa bracelets flooded the market. The rest of the bracelet is also beaded and has a slider and toggle clasp.
Traditionally made of multi coloured string which was woven to product types of bracelets which would then be given to your friend as a symbol of your friendship. The thoughtful idea behind it was that you thought of your friend as you designed and made the woven bracelet. Every bracelet was therefore unique and a heart-felt gift.
Sometimes called slider toggle bracelets, sometimes simply referred to as a friendship bracelet, the slider bracelet features a beaded or stone-set section on the front of the bracelet and the ends of the bracelet which swing loose and can be adjusted by a sliding toggle.
A classic pearl bracelet is technically a bead bracelet, but is worthy of a section on its own.
Traditionally, a “string of pearls’, whether in a necklace or a bracelet, was made in a different by knotting the string between each pearl.
This differentiates it from a bead bracelet where the beads slide onto jewellers wire or string. Nowadays many modern pearl bracelets are made like a bead bracelet (rather than knotted).
Charm Bead Bracelets
Trollbeads were the first company to introduce a charm bead bracelet to the world. A charm bead bracelet is a form of modern day charm bracelet but features beads (the modern-day charm) made from molten glass or a precious metal.
The beads are shaped like little barrels or rounded beads or glass with a silver or gold inner core. Many companies make beautifully intricate patterns within the glass beads – a type of jewellery making called “lamp working” with Trollbeads leading the way in lampworking skills.
Just like different chain link necklaces, there are a variety of different links that can be used to create a bracelet. Curb link bracelets like the one below, available in a variety of weights are a popular bracelet chain.
If you are interested in the types of chain links used in bracelets or necklaces, please read our blog post about it here.
A T-bar bracelet fastens with a T-shaped metal clasp which slides into an open ring. It holds securely and looks very decorative.
Available in a variety of styles, from flat to plaited and in many colours, leather bracelets looks great with casual wear and are very one trend.
Watch Strap Bracelets
The watch strap bracelet looks fabulous on and makes a slightly different, flat type of bracelet with fits a little more closely than other bracelets.
Expandable bracelets were made famous as Christening gifts, the idea being the bracelet could grow as the child grows. But expandable bracelets have been adapted to incorporate slightly different design like the one on the right. They are perfect for those who find their wrists swell or contract throughout the day. There are many variations on expandable bracelets, including expanding bangles much like a child’s Christening bangle but suitable for adults.
Or linked bracelets which are expandable – many SOS Medical ID bracelets are made with an expandable bracelet.
A wrap or wrap-around bracelet is made of multiple strands of bracelet, either in fabric or precious metals, which wraps around your wrist, normally twice or even three times.
The Best of the Rest…
Whilst the following bracelet have faded out of mainstream trends, there is still a good demand for these bracelets in antique and vintage stores. We are sure it won’t be too long before there is a revival of interest in these styles when they may well hit the High Streets again.
Gate bracelets were highly popular in the 1970’s and featured wide links in the design of, you’ve guessed it, a gate.
Made in silver or gold they often featured a padlock lock and a safety chain.
Whilst these bracelets were popular in the 1800’s and whilst they aren’t current modern day fashions, antique Albertine bracelets seem to be snapped up.
The tassels which form part of the style of Albertine bracelets are really attractive and the T-bar sets it off beautifully.
There is growing popularity in men’s (and ladies) pocket watches, so we think the Albertine bracelet may soon grown in popularity again.
We hope you’ve found plenty to whet your appetite for which style bracelet you chose to wear next. Mixing and matching could be an excellent choice …