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The ESSENTIAL HISTORY of Bracelets Through the Ages

“Jewellery UK

As we sell men's and women's bracelets, a website such as this would not be complete without some detailed information and further history on our jewellery, so we have put together an old article we wrote some time ago on the history of the bracelet that was very popular and was distributed quite widely around the internet. You don't see it very often these days, so here it is again.

Throughout the ages, bracelets have always been popular, and the styles seem to have varied according to dress styles, made from many different materials such as leather, iron, copper, beads, bone and teeth as well as precious metals and gemstones. In cultures where people wore sleeveless or short sleeved attire, such as the Romans and ancient Greeks, the wearing of bracelets both on the upper and lower arm became popular with both men and women.

The wearing of bracelets and bangles has been popular with both males and females, not just as decorative pieces of jewellery, but as potent symbols of a person's standing in society as well as powerful protective shields against enemies or evil. The earliest bracelets date back to around 2500 BC and were those worn by the Sumerians in southern Mesopotamia. Bracelets, necklaces, anklets, finger rings and earrings made the women of Sumer into show windows of their husband's prosperity. The bracelets found in the tombs of Ur tell us it was customary to bury royalty with their jewellery and unfortunately their poor servants. By about 2000 BC, in Ancient Egypt, bracelets emerged as major pieces of adornment. It was during the age of the Egyptian Pharaohs that charm bracelets became popular, although charms themselves dated back as far as the Neolithic era when men would gather significant bits of wood or pieces of stone and carried about their person to ward off their enemies. So these charms were considered lucky charms and powerful protectors against evil.

It wasn't until the time of the Pharaohs though that these charms became incorporated into elaborate pieces of jewellery such as wrist and neck bracelets. These were not only deemed to offer protection but were also as a sign of how wealthy the person had been in life and after death so would be an indicator to the Gods of this person's proper status in the afterlife.

In Grecian times bracelets were popular with men and soldiers wore bands of leather, often decorated with gold, silver and or gemstones, on their forearms. They were known as Bracel's, from the Latin Brachium, meaning arm. When women caught on that they would look great on them; they started wearing smaller versions called little Bracelos...or Bracel-ets. The history of bracelets stretches forward through the Middle Ages of medieval Europe through the Baroque period of the 18th century, and on through to the present.

Additional reading


The ESSENTIAL History of Jewellery