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Bracelets have been worn throughout the ages to draw attention to the beauty of the
wrist and hands. Women throughout history have worn decorative bracelets
from Cleopatra to Marilyn Monroe to Michelle Obama. The history of the bracelet dates
back to the Ancient Egyptians in 5000 B.C, although a bracelet found by archaeologists in
Turkey in 1995 was dated to about 7500BC!. Researchers were astounded at the detail
and craftmanship found in the 9500 year old bracelet.
The word bracelet comes from the Greek “brachile” which means “of the arm.”
Bracelets have been made from a wide variety of materials over the years, such as
leather, cloth, plastic, and metal amongst others. They are typically adorned with jewels,
rocks, shells, metal, crystals or pearls, to name just a few. Bracelets come in many
different styles. Our guide below covers all you need to know about the different types of
vintage and antique bracelets.
A cuff bracelet is usually a rigid wide bracelet that does not close together but just
rests on the wrist with a gap on the inner side of the wrist. Cuff bracelets are
generally worn low down on the wrist rather than further up the arm. In the early
19th century Zuni and Navajo silversmiths made cuffs for tourists who were travelling
westwards from Chicago to Los Angeles on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.
with the train making several stops in the South West USA. The cuffs were dominated
by large pieces of turquoise while others incorporated small stones as highlights or in
grid formation. The William Spratling company in Taxco, Mexico, were silversmiths who
also designed cuffs. Early cuffs from the 1930s and ’1940s were often set with amethysts
while later vintage cuffs from Taxco made in the 1950s and ’60s included common stones
such as obsidian and quartz. Postwar modernist jewellers from New York such
as Frank Rebajes and Paul Lobel favoured cuff bracelets because they offered good wide
surface areas for their designs. The same motivation probably applied to Scandinavian
jewellery designers from Jacob Hull to Georg Jensen . Cuff bracelets were also in fashion with
contemporary Americans designers like David Yurman and acclaimed jewelers such
as Tiffany and Van Cleef and Arpels, whose gold cuffs were worn by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Victorian sterling silver Georg Jensen Harald Nielsen Vintage Mexico Taxco silver
cuff bracelet sterling silver cuff bracelet cuff bracelet
Victorian silver charm bracelet 9 carat gold arts and crafts 9 carat gold vintage charm bracelet
Gate bracelets became popular during the Victorian era, although their exact
origins are hard to establish. The term ‘gate’ bracelet refers to the unusual chain style
of interlocking barred panels. These panels are said to resemble the gates and
fences of English castles and country estates . The style of chain of the gate bracelet
is similar to both belcher link and fetter link chains. The main distinguishing feature
of a gate bracelet is the large sized heart shaped charm. The charm has a lock and key
which is the closure of the bracelet. It is a perfect representation of Victorian ideas about
chastity and romanticism. They were usually made out of 9, 10, or 14 carat gold. Silver
was not particularly fashionable during the Victorian Era and platinum had not yet been created.
Victorian turquoise and seed 9 carat rose gold gate bracelet Sapphire and seed pearl gate bracelet
pearl gate bracelet
Rare Ciner crystal panther bracelet 1940's laurel wreath clamper 1950's crystal costume jewellery
bracelet clamper bracelet
Ciner faux ruby and pearl torsade Tiffany and Co sterling silver ball Rhinestone and bead torsade bracelet
bracelet and chain torsade bracelet
The chain link bracelet is exactly as it sounds. A bracelet made from
chain. The chains can be a multitude of different metal chain types and
they can be chunky and strong or thin and delicate.
Napier vintage chain link bracelet Yellow gold wide chain link Hermes silver chain link bracelet