No one knows exactly when the vine was wrapped around the wrist for the first time, but the bracelets as decorative pieces have been worn for many centuries.
Ancient time bracelets
The early bracelets might have appeared about seven thousand years ago. China and Egypt are supposedly the birth countries of modern bracelets predecessors. At first the bracelets were crafted with various natural materials like tree limbs, grass, shells and later with bronze or copper. The gold and silver bracelets appeared after the Bronze Age.
Bracelets with stones crafted of silver and gold date back to the times of Ancient Egypt during the times of the First Dynasty. Those bracelets were found in tombs and are considered to be decorations rather than being just specific jewelry for burying rituals.
The Middle Ages time bracelets
The fashion was followed by the Mediterranean citizens who wore cuffs. Those made of leather and various metals were a part of the Greek soldiers’ uniform, which was later spread to Roman soldiers as well. That was the time when this jewelry type was able to get known in Europe, but moving into the Middle Ages made this fashion stay in the background for many centuries until it reappeared in the 1700s. Ribbons or bangles forming bracelets became a common type of wrist embellishment during the 18th century and the fashion continued to evolve during the 19th when chain bracelets started to be used for style. Victorian era gave an impulse to the development of bracelets complimented with charms.
During the 1900s the fashion has seen a lot of changes:
- Fashion bracelets became way more affordable with the development of mass production;
- New materials started to be used for production with plastic bracelets becoming the booming fashion among youngsters.
The second half of the century saw the increased variety of fashion jewelry products with various chains, extended width cuffs and wrap bracelets, beaded bracelets and other shapes and forms being of high demand. That was the time that brought men back to this type of jewelry as well. High quality sterling silver is becoming the most common choice for bracelets production as it is cheaper than gold yet very bright, shiny, eye-catching and durable. The first years of the 21st century brought the fashion for various natural materials bracelets like leather, coral, shell or pearl ones as well as the trend for combining and stacking several bracelets for achieving a dramatic look.