Wednesday, June 23, 2010

History of the bracelet contributed by Shannon Mannone, CanterburyVinesStudios

I wanted to find the official definition between a bangle and a cuff since I have made several bangles recently. This led me to dig into the history of bracelets themselves and what I found was interesting.

Bracelets are one of the most versatile accessories available. Moderately priced yet they can make a bold statement.

The earliest bracelets date back to 2500 BC from southern Mesopotamia. The Egyptians and Romans furthered their popularity around 2000 BC. At one time men wore bracelets (or what I would call a cuff) as a defensive item for battle. The term for the defensive bracelet was Bracels. It didn’t take long for the women to adopt this ‘small bracels’ or ‘bracel-et’ as an adornment. Typical designs were snakes, twisted coils with lion heads, Hercules knots and in China dragons. Bracelets were seen as status symbols and made from a variety of materials mostly precious metals and eventually precious gems were set into the designs.

Bracelets held religious and spiritual meanings as well. Egyptians were often buried with their bracelets and some cultures used them to ward off evil spirits.

Now, back to my original quest of the difference between a bangle and a cuff. From my own knowledge and some research here is what I found. A bracelet is a generic term for any jewelry worn around the wrist. A bangle is a rigid bracelet with or with out a clap that completely encircles the wrist. A cuff is also a rigid bracelet but with an opening usually on the underside.

There you have it. Bracelet, cuff, or bangle, they are one of our favorite accessories. Check out a few of my more recent designs just to see the variety available.

Thank you Shannon for contributing to AJG Blogspot.
Please visit CanterburyVinesStudios on Art Fire

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