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Bracelets are popular items of jewelry that can enhance your everyday wear or add glamour to a special-occasion dress. Sometimes the term "bangle" is used interchangeably with the term "bracelet", but a bangle is a particular style of bracelet and the term does not refer to all styles of bracelets. Read on to find out more about the bangle, how it originated, what it looks like, and what makes a bangle so special.
You can recognize a bangle from its circular rigid form. Many other styles of bracelets have a fluid form, made from a chain or links, so bangles can be easily identified as they are a solid, round band. Bangles can be made from a range of precious metals, such as gold, silver, or platinum, but they can also be made from materials such as wood or plastic.
Findings from archaeological sites show bangles have a long history and actually date back to around 2600 BC. Archaeologists have found bangles crafted from bronze, gold and copper as well as other materials, such as seashells. In Asia, Africa and India, bangles are very popular, and it is traditional in Indian cultures to adorn brides' arms with bangles on their wedding day.
Although bangles can be identified by their rigid form, it does not mean that all bangles are the same. There are several different types of bangle available.
A solid cylinder-style bangle is probably the most common and well-known example of a bangle. A solid cylinder can be created from a range of materials, and this style can be simply slid over the hand and worn around the wrist. This style has to be slightly larger, so expect it to move around a lot because it has to fit over the hand. Solid bangles can be plain or have jewels, like this 14k Yellow Gold Classic Bangle with Diamonds. Solid bangles, especially flatter styles, are suitable for engraving and are a popular choice as a gift.
Open bangles can be closer-fitting around the wrist, so this may be an option for you if you’re annoyed when your bracelets move around a lot. These bangles are usually more secure, too, and there is less chance of them falling off as the fit is more snug around the wrist.
Because they have an opening on one side, the bangle can be slid onto the arm directly above the wrist. Bangles such as this Crystal & Sterling Bangle have rounded edges on the opening for comfort.
Wider and flatter in design than other bangle styles, cuff bangles can come in a range of widths. Cuff bangles can make excellent statement pieces of jewelry because they are often large and chunky, such as this Elephant Cuff Bracelet Tibetan Silver.
Like open bangles, clasp bangles can be closer-fitting because they have a hinge that can open and close to allow the bracelet to fit around the wrist easily.
With an opening on one side like the open-style bangles, the torque variety is a popular style of bangle that features a ball on the ends of either side. This makes the style particularly comfortable as the rounded edges of the bangle mean it can be slipped easily over the wrist. Torque comes from the Latin word meaning to twist or turn, and the original torque bangles twisted to fit on the arm. However, many styles nowadays have a larger opening to allow the bangle to slide onto the wrist.
Some torque designs do still feature a twist in the form of multiple strands of metal twisted together, while other designs feature a solid band of metal. Like solid bangles, the solid torque style bangles are suitable for engraving and make ideal gifts. Torque bangles can vary from delicate to quite chunky in style and are a popular style with men and women. Solid silver, chunky designs are particularly popular with men.
A teardrop bangle encircles the wrist and features a teardrop at either end. The teardrops can meet each other or overlap slightly, creating a beautiful and elegant design.
A wrap bangle has a longer spiral design and wraps around the wrist several times, as shown in this beautiful Wrap Bangle with Black Onyx & Gold Beads.
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