A What’s-What Guide to Our Popular Bracelet Styles

A What’s-What Guide to Our Popular Bracelet Styles

Whether you grew up wearing your grandmother's vintage tennis bracelet or don your bangles daily, one thing is clear: bracelets are an essential staple in every jewelry box. The simple addition of a gold or silver bracelet in the morning is more than just accessorizing—it can make or break your outfit. Understanding the different designs and styles may be the key to dressing your best.   

Learn more about the technical elements that go into designing a timeless bracelet and get the official definition of some of the most popular types. You may find a sophisticated silver bracelet or diamond tennis bracelet to add to your own jewelry collection today! Discover everything there is to know with our handy guide on all things bracelet.  

 

The History of Bracelets

Almost every culture throughout time has worn some form of bracelet, from the glowing jade bracelets of China to the protective silver bracelet armbands made for Ancient Roman soldiers and beyond. Gold bracelets, in particular, have been utilized as status symbols, as seen throughout history, whether on the arms of Ancient Egyptian pharaohs or the Queen of England.

Bracelets were often worn by the rest of the population, too. Other styles, typically made from natural materials, often were worn as talismans. These important bracelet designs have evolved for centuries into the beautiful tennis bracelets, cuffs, bangles, and more that we see today.

 

Why We Wear Bracelets

Building a jewelry collection is about more than deciding between a tennis bracelet or gold bracelet—the pieces you choose are the keys to showing off your unique style and personality. Adding a single accessory can instantly transform your outfit, whether rocking your staple silver bracelet, a dazzling gold bracelet, or a special diamond bracelet. When it comes to finding the perfect design for you, every single element, from the beaded embellishments to the type of clasp, matters.  

 

The 5 Important Elements of a Bracelet

From chunky silver bracelets to chained gold bracelets, all bracelets can be defined by these five essential elements:

 

1. Foundational Materials

Whether you wear a stack of silver bracelet bangles or sport a beaded friendship bracelet, anyone who understands jewelry can tell you that the material used to create the initial structure is an important aesthetic element of a design. This base material acts as the foundational layer for any extra ornamentation, charms, or gemstones and is often the main body of the bracelet itself—so the material choice means everything! Gold bracelets and silver bracelets are popular metal choices, but copper, platinum, fabric cord, and leather are often seen as well.

 

Can You Mix Bracelet Metals?

If you're interested in exploring the mixed-metal trend—you're in luck! Bracelets are one of the best accessories for metal mixing. Try creating your own layered silver bracelet and gold bracelet stack with individual pieces, or find one two-toned metal bangle to do the work for you. Tie those gold bracelets and silver bracelets in with your earrings and necklace for a matching mixed metal style. 

 

2. Charms, Ornamentation, and Embellishments

From gold bracelets that feature tiny diamonds to statement silver bracelets with dangly charms, ornamentation is an important design factor. Certain embellishments, such as precious gemstones, are often seen in gold or silver bracelets, acting as subtle yet sparkling accents to the piece as a whole. Other designs may have embellishments hanging off the cuff itself, whether a meaningful pendant charm, feathers, beads, or more.

 

3. Band Thickness

Many bracelets are designed with a similar range of lengths to suit any wrist, but the thickness of the band is what makes a difference. Dainty styles, such as an elegant tennis bracelet, tend to be less than 2 or 3 millimeters thick. Others, like a statement leather cuff, can be over 30 millimeters. With a wide range of band thicknesses, there's a gold bracelet or silver bracelet design for any occasion.

 

4. Clasps

The clasps are an often-overlooked part of a bracelet design for even the most experienced jewelry collectors, but it can make all the difference in how often and where you wear your piece. While some gold bracelet and silver bracelet designs don't have any clasp, allowing you to slip it over your hand and onto your wrist, many styles need some sort of attachment to help you easily get the accessory on and off.

Many people have a preferred clasp type. When choosing which you prefer, consider whether a specific type is easier for you to put on yourself, which may impact how frequently you’re able to wear it. Clasps can also add detail to a bracelet, so check out the different looks a clasp can add to your ideal gold bracelet.

 

Types of Bracelet Clasps

While this list is not all-encompassing, these are the most commonly used bracelet clasps:

  • Spring ring
  • Lobster claw
  • Barrel
  • Toggle
  • Magnetic
  • Open box
  • S-hook

 

5. Size and Fit

Too often, people overlook finding the perfect size for their silver and gold bracelets. Some styles, such as tennis bracelets, are meant to be tight enough that they don't leave much room for movement. You wouldn’t want it to easily slip off your wrist, that’s for sure!

Others, such as the bangle, are meant to be a little loose to give some movement to the outfit. As you shop for the perfect silver bracelet, consider what size and fit you would be comfortable styling.

 

Discover the Different Bracelet Designs

Before you start your search for the silver bracelet of your dreams, it's helpful to understand the differences between each beloved style, from tennis bracelets to cuffs. That's why we've gathered helpful definitions and tips about each of our favorite bracelet designs: 

 

Beautiful Bangle Bracelets

Bangles are defined by their rigid, circular design, but unlike other bracelets, there is no clasp for removal. Instead, the metal band is seamless and must be put on and removed by sliding it over your hand.

While bangles are traditionally made with metal, more contemporary pieces are often carved from wood or gemstone to add an earthy, rustic look to your outfit. Something like our yellow gold diamond bangle has a looser fit, making it perfect for stacking and bringing movement to your style.

 

Open Bangles

With this type of bracelet’s long history, it’s no surprise a few alternative bangle styles have popped up. The most popular is the split or open bangle. Unlike a typical design, it is made with a small opening on one side.

The ends on bangles in this style often feature different decorative elements and allow easy-on and -off movement. Ones with more flexible materials can be tightened and widened to create a personal fit for each wearer. 

 

Timeless Tennis Bracelets

Tennis bracelets are famous for featuring small, symmetrical diamonds lined up and connected by a thin, flexible chain. Traditionally, every gemstone on a tennis bracelet is the same size, shape, and color to create a completely cohesive, eternal beauty.

Certain designs may feature more rows, such as our beautiful gold 3-row tennis bracelet, but even in that case, every row is identical to the others. There are endless designs, so whether you prefer the look of a glittering gold bracelet look or a sophisticated silver bracelet, there’s a tennis bracelet to suit every style. 

 

How Do Tennis Bracelets Get Their Name?

Did you know that tennis bracelets were once known as "diamond line bracelets" and “eternity bracelets” more than a hundred years ago due to their studded gemstone design? The term "tennis bracelet" has become a household term—but why? 

Chris Evert, a famous professional tennis player in the '80s, was known for always wearing this bracelet style during her matches. One day, her favorite tennis bracelet accessory flew off her wrist, and the game had to be paused while players, referees, and spectators searched for the priceless piece. From then on, the tennis bracelet name stuck!

 

Stunning Wrap Bracelets

A wrap bracelet is an extra-long bracelet that, instead of being joined with one clasp and featuring one band, can be wrapped around your arm to create multiple layers. Wrapped bracelets offer an all-in-one stacked look, negating the need for multiple silver bracelets or gold bracelets to create a layered style. These are almost always made out of a more flexible material, such as leather or cord, but can also feature metals, gemstones, and beads for extra decoration, like in the John Hardy silver and leather wrap bracelet.

 

What’s a Bracelet Stack?

A common term in the fashion industry, a bracelet stack refers to wearing multiple bracelets on one wrist. This style offers unlimited styling possibilities, as you can pair together your favorite silver or gold bracelets, cuffs, bangles, gemstone designs, and more to create a layered look that’s uniquely you.

 

Contemporary Chain Bracelets

Also commonly called a "link bracelet," these silver or gold bracelets are created using repeating metal loops to form one long chain with a clasp closure. With many sizes and shapes of chains used in jewelry, there are tons of design possibilities for chain bracelets, making them staple standalone pieces as well as the perfect stackable style for a layered look.

Chain bracelets are often gifted to romantic partners, as the unbreakable chain has long been a symbol of eternal love. Whether you're looking for a wedding anniversary gift or a first Valentine's Day present for your new girlfriend, a silver or gold bracelet with a chain element is a perfect way to show you care.  

 

Types of Bracelet Chains

Each chain offers a different look, from chunky sterling silver box chains to delicate cable gold bracelet designs:

  • Box
  • Figaro
  • Ball
  • Wheat
  • Cable
  • Herringbone
  • Curb

 

Creative Cuff Bracelets

With a similar open style, cuffs are often confused with bangles, but one distinctive difference sets the two stunning styles apart—the band's width. Cuff bracelets are always thicker and wider than a bangle, making them a striking statement piece any day of the week. A cuff gold bracelet is made with an adjustable material and an opening in the side, enabling the wearer to easily slip it on and off and tighten it to their liking.

Cuffs are most commonly made with a solid metal, such as a yellow cuff gold bracelet, but can be made from leather and other creative alternatives. These wide bracelets offer many design opportunities for added decorative elements, such as engraved patterns or gemstone insets.

 

Personalized Charm Bracelets

A charm bracelet is an extremely popular style for all ages, consisting of a simple chain, easy clasp, and spaces throughout the chain meant for added charms. The chain is almost always made from a metal and can feature anywhere from one charm to a whole wrist full. Charm bracelets have been popular for centuries due to the personalization options—every charm can be changed and chosen based on the wearer's style, hobbies, and achievements. 

 

Who to Gift a Charm Bracelet To

Looking for the perfect jewelry gift for someone you love? Celebrate a special anniversary, birthday, or wedding crew with a striking charm bracelet. Decide if you'd like to choose a few starter charms for them or gift them the gold bracelet chain along with the experience of picking out their baubles for themselves.

Some people who may enjoy a charm bracelet are:

  • Romantic partners
  • Best friends
  • Bridesmaids
  • Nieces 
  • Sisters
  • Daughters

 

Beaded Bracelets

While some are made from more metallic, rigid materials and may need a clasp, beaded bracelets are most often made by stringing beads along a flexible string or cord. From an all-silver bracelet featuring tiny metallic beads to friendship bracelets made of colorful plastic beads, stunning carved gemstone bead bracelets, and beyond, there’s a beaded bracelet to suit your style. These pair easily with any casual outfit and can be stacked with other beaded pieces for a personalized style. 

 

Gifting Bracelets

If you're searching for a sentimental yet stylish anniversary gift for your partner or a stunning accessory that complements your friend's showstopping style for a birthday, look no further than our wide range of bracelet designs. Learn how to select the right bracelet for her, consider tennis bracelets, charm designs, and more, and you'll have a gorgeous gift every time. 

Pro tip: Give your gift a personal touch and explore different jewelry customization options for an extra-special sentiment that will be cherished.

 

Styling Men's Bracelets

If you're interested in introducing the men in your life to the world of jewelry or you are looking for ways to show off your unique style, a bracelet is a smart stepping stone to elevating your men's fashion game. Explore men's gemstone bracelets made from masculine materials, such as leather, dark sterling silver, or platinum, for the right accessories for any outfit. Don't forget to match them to your men's wedding band for a cohesive style!

When finding the missing accessory to your jewelry box, it's important to explore all the different bracelet styles available, and from tennis bracelets to bangles, there are plenty of options available. With our easy guide to each design, you can fall in love with a striking new style for an everyday piece, create customized layers with different designs, or discover the perfect gift for a loved one.