Whether you’re buying jewellery as a gift, or simply treating yourself, here’s your ultimate buying guide to bracelets. Use our rundown of the 11 different styles of bracelet as inspiration for your next purchase.
The Affirmation Bracelet
Affirmation jewellery (our speciality) is jewellery that sends a positive message. Affirmation bracelets contain a written statement which has the power to change your beliefs about yourself. When you see (and say) positive affirmations again and again, you internalise the statements and come to believe them as true.
Favoured by Indian and African cultures, the bangle is a rigid and circular band with no opening. It’s also the oldest form of bracelet. Archeological digs have recovered statues over 2000 years old whose arms are adorned with bangles.
They come in a variety of styles from plain to jewel encrusted or brightly painted. And they can be made from all manner of materials.
Due to the fact they’re not adjustable and must slip on over the hand, it’s best to try before you buy and measure your wrist size.
The chain bracelet is having a huge come back in 2022. Another bracelet with a lengthy history, the chain has been worn throughout the ages to symbolise human connection. The interconnected loops of a chain traditionally represent eternal love.
These days, chains can be maximalist or minimalist. Chunky chains on the wrist make a statement, while small, thin chains are understated but stylish. Opt for the best of both with our pretty Dual Chain Affirmation Bracelet.
Chain bracelets can be worn as they are, or small items can be attached to the links to create your own personalised charm bracelet (see next).
The Charm Bracelet
Popularised by Pandora in the early 2000s, charm bracelets consist of a chain or rope decorated with a variety of trinkets known as charms. Usually these charms are symbolic or carry meaning for the wearer.
In the UK, early charm bracelets were first worn by members of the gentry after Queen Victoria donned something similar around her wrist. Then in WWII, soldiers collected small mementos from the towns and villages they’d visited which they then attached to chains.
Eventually, the idea of keeping symbolic trinkets on a chain around the wrist was adopted and brought to the fore by jewellers like Pandora.
The Tennis Bracelet
One of the newer bracelet styles, the term tennis bracelet was coined after an infamous US Open match in 1987. US player Chris Evert wore a diamond-encrusted bracelet by George Bedewi. During the match, it broke and fell off her wrist. She requested the game be stopped while she searched for her bracelet.
Following this memorable match, George Bedewi bracelets flew off the shelves and other jewellers began replicating them: The tennis bracelet was born.
Similar to the bangle in its rigidity, the cuff differs in that it isn’t completely closed. Cuffs have a small opening that allows you to push the bracelet over your wrist. Usually cuffs can be widened to fit over the wrist and then pushed to tighten once they’re on.
Cuffs can be thick and chunky or thin and delicate like our classic affirmation bands.
The Beaded Bracelet
Beaded bracelets have been worn for thousands of years. At the fine-jewellery end of the spectrum, the beads are either fashioned from precious stones or are whole pearls. In costume jewellery, beads are generally coloured plastic sometimes made to look like gemstones.
The 90s and early 2000s saw a resurgence of beaded bracelets as neon beads and karma bracelets became hugely popular among millennials.
The Friendship Bracelet
Woven or knotted pieces of string, the strong rope-like nature of the friendship bracelet denotes the strong bond between two friends. Given as a gift from one friend to another, they are a symbol of everlasting friendship.
Their origins can be traced back to the indigenous people of South and Central America, but friendship bracelets rose to prominence again with the hippy movement of 1970s America. At that time, these symbolic bracelets were worn to unite those spreading peace and protesting against war.
An innovative and relatively new jewellery concept, slider bracelets allow you to tighten and loosen a bracelet around your wrist. They contain a silicone-lined clasp which sticks to the bracelet rope or chain allowing it to stay in place but be moved when you apply force.
The Hololith Bracelet
A hololith bracelet is one that’s carved from a single piece of stone – usually jadeite. As such, hololiths (whether in bracelet, ring or pendant form) are usually defined as fine jewellery and err on the expensive side because of the rarity of the stone.
The Charity Band
These brightly-coloured silicone bands represent a particular charity with the name written across the band. In wearing one, you show your support for the cause.
Charity bands became popular in the 80s and remain so today with many people decorating their wrists with a multitude of colourful bands.
The selling of charity bands has helped raise hundreds of thousands for individual charities around the world, as well boosting awareness for the cause.