Bracelets: How to Shop Them, How to Wear Them

Image of 14k Yellow Gold Swiss Blue Topaz, Rainbow Fire Australian Black Opal DoubletIf you are thinking about buying a bracelet, there is a lot to consider. Bracelets can make a fun fashion statement and many jewelers offer great deals on bracelets. Bracelet sales tend to be a little slower than other types of jewelry such as earrings and rings and this makes them excellent game for bargain hunters. If you are planning your upcoming bracelet purchase from an independent retail jeweler, we dare you to ask for a discount! Shopping at a jewelry liquidator? Ask for the cash price- it is often lower, but don’t expect to be able to return it. If you are shopping online, scour the internet for coupon codes. Often, they work! And don’t forget to sign up for newsletters and mailing lists from jewelers you like. You will often discover valuable savings that way.

Now that you know how to shop, we will walk you through the basic types of bracelets, how to select and how to wear them so you can decide which ones are the best for you.

Bracelets are generally sized by the length in inches with the standard size defined as seven to seven and one quarter inches. This is the size that will fit most women. For men, the standard size increases to eight inches in length. The exception is bangle bracelets which are rigid in form and are measured by the inside diameter instead of the length. Common bracelet styles include:

Link bracelets: Link bracelets have connecting rings, settings, or other sculptural stations. Choose a link bracelet with a sturdy clasp such as a lobster clasp or a box clasp with a safety. Wear one to three at a time.

Tennis bracelets: Tennis bracelets are relatively thin line bracelets of continuously set gemstones or diamonds. Choose a tennis bracelet with a hidden box clasp with safety chain for security as well as a streamlined appearance. Wear one at a time.

Bangle bracelets: Bangle bracelets are rigid, open circles and may have a hinge mechanism with a hidden clasp. Bangles without a hinge are forced over the hand and dangle freely on the wrist. Bangles are a popular choice because they lend themselves well to stacking. Wear as many as you like!

Image of Bracelet in Sterling Silver

Cuff bracelets: Cuff bracelets fit close to the wrist, are often wide, and have an opening. The opening is place on the side of the wrist and the bracelet is rotated into place. Cuff bracelets can make a bold fashion statement. Wear one at a time.

Charm bracelet: The classic charm bracelet is an open link bracelet upon which the wearer attaches sentimental pendant charm. The current trend in charm bracelets is different: expect to see simple line bracelets with rondelle gemstone or textured beads in place of the traditional dangling charms. Wear up to three at a time, but no more.  You will be too noisy!

Pearl or bead bracelets: Pearl bracelets are ultra-feminine. Just be sure that there is a knot in between every pearl or you could risk losing individual pearls should the bracelet get snagged or pulled. Filigree “fish hook” clasps are common on this type of bracelet. Bracelets are also subject to a lot of wear and tear, so it is best to choose a tough gemstone with a high Mohs scale rating to ensure durability. Wear one or three, never two.

ID bracelets: A bar of polished metal, often engraved, is connected by two equal lengths of chain in this perennial popular bracelet style. Wear one.

Are you ready to shop for bracelets now? Consider your fashion choices, particularly as they relate to the length of your sleeves. Bracelets are best worn against your skin, not your fabric. Which type of bracelet will you buy next?

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