Bracelets have always been one of the most creatively manipulated and popular forms of jewellery. The sheer number of variations on the theme that have adorned the wrist throughout history is astounding. The earliest recorded bracelets go back to Southern Mesopotamia and Egypt between 2000 and 2500 BC, which were worn by the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians. Bracelets in that time period were symbols of status and worn to indicate the wealth of the husband and family. Bracelets were also worn by ancient Grecians. They were called “bracels” from the word “brachium” the latin term for arm. Soldiers at the time wore cuffs of leather embellished with plates of silver and gold as a means of defence in battle. The women of the time found this feature appealing and began wearing a more delicate version termed a “bracel-et”. The concept became fashionable and was widely embraced. The bracelet’s humble beginnings spawned a trend that continues to the present in it’s many themes and categories.

In contemporary society the drastically different forms the bracelet takes is surprising and is a testament to the inventive and imaginative nature of individuals and cultures over time. In certain cases a type of bracelet is created to address a specific need. One of these is the copper bracelet known for it’s healing abilities. It was found that in the majority of people the body is deficient in copper which leads to ill health over time. Through the process of transdermal micronutrition the body is capable of absorbing the copper it requires through the skin. This is said to reduce stiffness in joints and inflammation associated with arthritis. In this category we also find the magnetic bracelet which has become a popular treatment for migraines, chronic pain and poor circulation.

Bracelets are also developed for purely sentimental reasons. The friendship bracelet is usually exchanged between adolescent female friends signifying the bond and are meant to be worn until they wear out or fall off. The bracelet itself is a simple band hand knotted by each girl out of coloured embroidery thread.

The charm bracelet is also usually worn for sentimental and nostalgic reasons as well. Charm bracelets never seem to go out of style and are great storytellers as jewellery. They are personal time capsules for the wearer recording important moments in a woman’s life as a charm is added to commemorate each event. The bracelet came into popular style in the 1950s and 60s but the concept was practiced in the Victorian Era as well.

Forms of bracelets have even been devised for spiritual purposes. The red string bracelet is usually worn by members of eastern religions. It was seen widely worn on the wrist of Madonna and has subsequently become a fashion statement in the west. In Buddhism it is tied to the right wrist of the man and the left wrist of the woman. A few of it’s purposes are to protect you, guard you and bestow success upon you. It is worn for it’s purported supernatural powers which are said to ward off negative energy, attract love and when worn by an entire family confer spiritual blessings.

The bracelet can even be found worn in the sports world. The tennis bracelet is a simple row of diamonds whose design was originally worn by Chris Evert during the US Open in 1987. The bracelet fell off during the match and became famous for halting the game while the bracelet was retrieved. Current tennis stars like Serena Williams have carried the trend forward.

Rubber awareness bracelets have become popular and are worn frequently by just about anyone to show affiliation and support for certain causes or charities. These wristbands are made of malleable silicon rubber which slide onto the wrist and are stamped with words related to the purpose of the bracelet. A certain colour is usually chosen as well to relate the cause.