Bangles are bracelets ornaments that are circular and made from rigid materials like metals, wood, and plastic. In India, bangles have a cultural significance and are mostly worn by brides to symbolize good fortune and luck in marriage.
If you are obsessed with fashion, jewelry plays an important role in your style aesthetics. Jewelry pieces such as earrings, necklaces, and anklets are very popular accessories.
Among these jewels, there is one that I am particularly obsessed with. Can you guess which statement piece it is? If you guessed bangle bracelets then you are right.
If you have ever been to an Indian wedding, then you will realize that brides wear a lot of bangles. The bangles are more than an accessory and have cultural significance used to symbolize different things based on the region. Red bangles signify prosperity while glass bracelets signify luck and safety in marriage.
Lately, bangle bracelets have become a hit among fashion influencers and you are probably wondering what they are.
I will explain that shortly.
A bangle bracelet is a ring-shaped, rigid piece of jewelry with a closed design that you wear on your wrist. Their sleek, well-polished, and modern designs have become the perfect go-to accessory that will add glamor and elegance to any outfit. And yes they can be worn by people of all ages.
If you are looking to buy a bangle bracelet then this article is for you. Keep reading to find out all there is to know about bangle bracelets.
Bangle bracelets history
Bangle bracelets are rigid, well-polished jewelry pieces made of wood, metal, glass, or plastic usually worn on the wrist. They have a cultural significance in most parts of the world.
Bangle bracelets are mostly worn by women in India, Asia, and Africa. It is also common to see a bangle on a bride in any of these areas.
Bangles can also be worn by both men and women due to different reasons e.g. Sikhs wear bangles to honor their religion. But where do they originate from?
The first popular bangle bracelet was discovered back in 2600 BC. This statement piece has a cultural significance and was discovered in the Mohenjo-Daro settlements— present-day Pakistan 5, 000 years ago. In 1973, a British archeologist discovered and excavated a statue of a teenage girl in the Mohenjo-Daro.
The statue found was a teenage girl who was completely nude except for the arm which was fully adorned with bangles. This statue showed evidence of the existence of bangles among humans.
Bangles can also be found in ancient civilizations such as the Mayans, Indians, and Chinese. Bangles were used as accessories in ancient times and had cultural significance depending on the region.
Bracelets were discovered 7,000 years ago. Early versions of bracelets were made from shells and tree limbs. Later, artisans used precious metals to make decorative bracelets pieces. The bracelets were later adorned with precious gemstones and this caused their value and was only available to the upper class.
The bangle also has cultural significance in different communities. The significance of bangles varies from region to region. Indian brides wear glass bangles as a wedding accessory to bring luck and safety to the marriage.
Depending on the region, brides may wear gold bangles, glass, gold-plated, or ivory bangles.
Why Is It Called A Bangle Bracelet?
Bangles are circular-shaped bracelets worn around the wrist but they are very rigid accessories. Generally, bangles are made from different materials such as gold, gold-plated, silver, ivory, plastic, and wood.
So, how did they end up with the name bangle bracelets?
The word bangle is derived from the Hindi word bangri which means a colored bracelet or anklet. The word bracelet is derived from the French word brachialle which means belonging to the arm or anklet. Since the bangri is worn around the arm, this may be how the bangle bracelet got its name.
Bangle bracelets are commonly worn by women in different cultures. Brides wear special types of bangle bracelets. For instance, Indian brides wear different colored bangle bracelets. Glass bangle bracelets signify luck in marriage, red signifies prosperity, and the green represents fertility.
Types of bangles
Bangles are classified based on the bangle design, bangle structures, styles, and metals used to make them. There a two basic types of bangles: solid cylinder type and split cylindrical opening/closing bangle.
Bear in mind the style of bangle you select should be comfortable when you choose to stack them. Below are the different types of bangle bracelets in existence.
1. Glass bangles
The classic glass bangles are a timeless accessory and beautiful in all aspects. Glass bangles are mostly worn by women in India.
Glass bangles can also be worn by women of all ages from mothers, grandmothers, to young girls who have stacks of bangles in their jewelry boxes.
The glass bangles are an eye-catching accessory and can be worn with any outfit. Glass bangles are old fashion statement pieces that will continue to be worn throughout time. Glass bangles are available in different colors and sizes and worth purchasing.
In India, glass bangles are more than just an accessory. The bangles have a cultural significance and can be found in every Indian woman’s jewelry collection.
They can be paired with any festive outfits. Brides also wear different colored glass bangles to signify prosperity, luck, and fertility in their marriages.
Glass bangles are the best to accessorize any outfit as they never go out of fashion. Next time you attend an Indian wedding, the glass bangle will be perfect to adorn your wrist. You can also match your bangle to your earrings or necklace.
2. Metal bangles
Gold bangles are the most commonly type of jewelry worn by women across all cultures. Valuable and fine pieces of jewelry are mostly made from gold metal.
The gold metal has different variations depending on your preference. You can choose either rose gold, yellow gold, or white gold depending on what you can afford.
When selecting a metal bangle, you should choose the metal that complements you best in terms of your skin tone or the clothes you are wearing.
If you don’t like bright jewelry and prefer a more subtle option, you can opt for a dull gold metal instead of bright yellow gold jewelry.
3. Quirky thread bangles
Thread bangles are soft and colorful accessories that pair well with any outfit. They are made from thin threads to give a nice and unique distinction to the bangle.
Thread bangles have a variety of colors incorporated into them. They can be custom-made to match any outfit you choose to wear. Silk thread bangles are bright and can be made in any color and design.
4. Precious stones bangles
Dating back to ancient times, bangles and bracelets were made from wood, glass, and shells. As time went by, artisans made them from metals, and eventually, they became more exaggerated and became linked to status.
Nowadays, bangles have been modernized and delicately embellished with different colored precious gemstones. From diamond-encrusted, rubies, and emeralds, these precious stones add color and value to your bangles.
If you don’t like gold or silver bangles, then this precious bangles are the right fit for you. Colored gemstones add glamor and dazzle to your outfits.
They are available at different prices depending on the gemstone they are encrusted with. Even though you cannot wear colorful bangles every day, you can pair them with your festive outfits.
5. Kundan kadha
By now you are aware that bangles are mostly worn by Indian women as they mostly originated from India. The Kundan kadha is a beautiful traditional bangle worn with formal Indian outfits.
They are made of gold and come in different sizes. If you love ethnic jewelry, then your outfit is incomplete without the Kundan Kadha statement piece. These bangles are the perfect glam for your outfit and can be paired with earrings.
6. Cuff bangles
Cuff bangles are flatter bangles made from metals such as gold, silver, or materials like leather.
Cuff bangles give any outfit a trendy vibe and they are perfect and comfortable for stacking. They are also easy to put on because of their easy-open design.
Bangle Bracelet features
Bangles bracelets are usually circular in shape and rigid. Bangles are made from a variety of precious and non-precious materials such as gold, silver, platinum, wood, glass, and plastic. They are traditionally worn by Indian brides.
Bangles can be worn by women of all ages. For toddlers, they can wear bangles made from gold or silver. Bangles come in different colors such as red, green, golden, and ivory.
Pros and cons of Bangle Bracelet
Bangles are traditional bracelets made from different materials. Below are the pros and cons of bangle bracelets.
Advantages of bangles
Bangles can be used to identify the origin of a person. Different cultures wear different types of bangles. Tribal bangles are worn by ethnic people from different regions while Indian women wear different bangles based on their region.
Bangles can be used for protection against aggressors. Bangles made from iron can be used to protect yourself in the case of an attack
They enhance the look of the person wearing a bangle. They can go well with any outfit to bring elegance and glamor to your outfit.
Surprisingly, bangles have health benefits too. The wrist has pressure points that help to maintain hormonal balance. They also improve blood circulation.
Even though bangles are beautiful ornaments they also have their drawbacks which include:
- Glass bangles can hurt you. When glass bangles break they can pierce your wrist leading to blood loss.
- Plastic bangles are not eco-friendly. When thrown out carelessly, they pollute the environment
- Copper bangles make you prone to allergic reactions. They begin to itch and irritate your arms
What does a bangle represent?
A bangle represents traditions and culture. In India, a bride wears colored glass bangles to symbolize her hopes for her marriage, luck, and stability. Red bangles symbolize prosperity and luck while green symbolizes fertility.
A beaded bangle bracelet signifies good luck. People who believe that they will acquire good luck wear beaded bangles. They are available in different colors and designs based on preferences.
Gemstone bangles are worn for aesthetics or status and also represents spirituality. They can be customized with scripture verses that fit an individual’s preferences.
What is the difference between a bracelet and a bangle?
Bangles and bracelets are both fashion accessories worn around the wrist. Despite this, they have differences that can help you to differentiate between them. Bangles can be differentiated based on: origin, flexibility, and who wears them.
A bangle jewelry item is usually worn around the wrist. The bangle is a circular ornament that lacks a closure clasp. A bracelet is a jewelry piece made from materials such as gold, leather, and wood.
The bracelet is flexible and is usually fitted with a closure clasp such as a magnetic clasp, or toggle clasp depending on the type of bracelet.
Bangles are solid and rigid pieces of jewelry while bangles are flexible and based around a chain closed with a clasp.
Bangles have Indian origins and are derived from the Hindi word bangri which means colored ornaments while bracelets originate from the French word brachialle which means armlet.
Bangles date back to the early 2600 BC when archeologists discovered the statue of the Dancing Girl. Bracelets originate from Ancient Egypt 5000 BC.
Women can wear both bangles and bracelets. On the other hand, men can only wear bracelets depending on the bracelet design.
Which is better bracelet or bangle?
When choosing between a bracelet and bangle, personal preference should always be a factor to consider. Even though both suit different people, some factors make one better than the other. People who have large wrists should wear a hinged bangle as it gives a more breathable room.
If you are someone who prefers a subtle piece of jewelry that is not noticeable, you can consider wearing a bracelet as they are the best option.
In terms of flexibility, bracelets are more subtle, flexible, and softer and are not easily noticed. Bracelets’ sizes can also be adjusted when wearing them but bangles are rigid.
If you are looking for a statement piece you can pair with your necklace, bracelets are the best option for you. Bracelets are much more flexible and versatile compared to bangles thus making them the better option.
Bangles are rigid pieces of jewelry usually worn around the wrist. Bangles can be made from materials such as gold, silver, wood, and plastic.
They date back to the early 2600 BC when an archeologist discovered a statue of a teenage girl who was adorned with bangles on her arm.
Bangles are derived from the Indian word Bangri which means an ornament. This ornament is mostly worn by women of all ages.
The bangle has a cultural significance and brides usually wear different colored bangles to signify prosperity, luck, fertility, and good fortune.
If you are looking to get a statement piece of jewelry, then consider getting a bangle bracelet.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.