'Bracelet' is derived from the Greek Brachile meaning "of the arm", and from the Old French "bracel". It also denotes the “bracer” used in archery, also known as an arm guard. Bracers are used in order to keep clothing out of the way and to provide protection from string slap on your forearm.

There are a wide variety of bracelets. Bracelets are usually made from metal. However, they can also be made from leather, cloth, beads, stones, bones, shells, crystals, plastic, pearls, semi- and precious stones.

The idea of a bracelet is very ancient.

About 40,000 years ago Before Present (BP), in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, a "X woman" or the Denisova hominin was discovered to have been buried with a bracelet.

Ancient Sumerians depicted their gods and angels wearing a watch-like bracelet, very similar to the ones used by the Navajo turquoise-bracelet of today. Ancient Egyptians were also famously known to love wearing jewelries. One of the typical pieces is a gold cuff bracelet that can be opened by means of a hinge. Babylonians, Assyrians and some African cultures are also known to adorn their wrists with penannular cuff bracelets. Penannular means not completely closed. "A cuff bracelet is one that does not close on the wrist but simply rests on the wrist with a gap or open area on the inside of the wrist. Unlike bangles (closed circles) cuff bracelets are worn low on the wrist bone rather than pushed up the forearm.” - ALL ABOUT CUFF BRACELETS:

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and the Romans also wore Arm Ring Bracelets or Armlets which is wrapped around the upper arm.

Egyptians started using bracelets as far back as 5,000 Before the Common Era using as materials bones, metals, stones and wood. These adornments served a spiritual and religious purpose.

The most recognised symbol used by the ancient Egyptians was the Scarab Bracelet. The Scarab for the ancient Egyptians was the symbol for rebirth and regeneration. It represented the god Khepri who pushed the sun across the heavens. Scarab jewelry was often put in coffins to adorn and protect the beloved dead.

Ancient people decorated their bodies with jewelry, not just for show, but for protection against dark forces, black magic and the Evil Eye.

There is an ancient spiritual tradition in Bulgaria where a Martenitsa is given each Spring [March 1] to appease Baba Marta (who was a grumpy old lady with mood swings) so that she could let Spring arrive earlier and end the cold of Winter. A Martenitsa is a bracelet made of red and white yarn.

The Greek also has such bracelet of red and white yarn woven together. This March Bracelet is called Martis and is also worn by children and adults to celebrate spring from 1st of March to 31st of March. It helps to ward off evil spirits and protect against witchcraft. It also protects the wearer from being burnt by the glaring hot sun. This tradition is thousands of years old and can be traced back to ancient Greece.

In India, a choora is a set of bangles traditionally worn by the bride on her wedding day and for a period after, especially in Punjabi weddings. The choora is usually red and white; sometimes the red bangles are replaced with another colour but they are usually only two colours. They are traditionally made of ivory, with inlay work, though now they are made with plastic. Traditionally there are 21 bangles, although more recently the bride often wears 7, 9 or 11 bangles. The bangles range in size according to the circumference of the top of the forearm and the wrist end so that the set fits neatly. [Taken from: ]

In Sikhism, there are five items that Guru Gobind Singh commanded Khalsa Sikhs to wear at all times in 1699. These are known as the Five K's. One of the K's is an iron bracelet.

Azabache Bracelets are from the spiritual traditions of Puerto Rico and Cuba. It is made from Jet. Jet is a lingite and a mineraloid and is derived from wood that has changed over time under extreme pressure. It is a pitch-dark color and is used as a gemstone.

Azabache Bracelets are used primarily as a spiritual protective amulet to protect the wearer from the evil stare of envy, jealousy and all sorts of negative energies.

It is said to absorb the negative energy from the malevolent stare and many have testified that their precious Azabache stones sometimes cracked from shielding its wearer.

“Ojo de Venado” Bracelet or deer's eye Bracelet is not a stone or petrified wood but a seed coming from the Macuna Pruriens Tree. It is also known as donkey eye. This deer eye is made into a bracelet with red strings. In Mexican culture, the evil stare of envy, covetousness and jealousy can cause sickness. However only a very special few have the capability to give the evil eye stare.

Those gifted with the evil stare can cause sickness in people, animals and plants. For example, if they covet a lovely green plant, just their stare will make this plant wither and die. Thus, Mexicans usually hang a red string on their plants, animals and children. With children, they use a red string bracelet and adorn it with a deer eye seed.

Bracelets that have a beneficial or “alternative health” function include:

The Karma Bracelets which are made from wood and contain amulets such as the AUM symbol, or the six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra of Auṃ Maṇi Padme Hūṃ, and other charms, and are said to bring good luck and good karma to the wearer.

Ionized Bracelets or Ionic Bracelets which are metal bracelets are said to affect the Chi of the wearer. Q-Ray, Balance, Bio-Ray, IRenew, Rayma, and Rico's Bio-Energy brand bracelets are considered to be of the "ionized" family.

Note, Copper and Magnetic therapy bracelets, are not considered Alternative Health Bracelets.

Magnetic Bracelets are said to induce sleep, reduce inflammation, relieve pain and even help to effect weight loss.

A ring-shaped bracelet usually made from metal, wood, semi-precious stones or plastic are referred to as Bangles or Bangle Bracelets. Sometimes they are worn in twos so that they can make the ringing of wind chimes.

Beaded Bracelets are made from loose beads of different materials that include semi-precious stones, wood, pearls and seeds put together with a string or elastic band through a center hole made in the beads.

A Charm is a bracelet, chain, or trinket that confers luck, protection, invulnerability upon the wearer. Usually it contains a dangling ornament or decoration.

Charm bracelets hold ornaments, trinkets and other forms of amulets and talismans. It may contain adornments of sentimental value to its wearer. Little charms of dolphins, hearts, elephants, shamrock clover leaves are popular items on the bracelet.

One example is the Italian Charm Bracelets which is very popular today.

“Chainmaille (also known as chainmail, or simply maille) is typically armor or jewelry made by connecting metal rings to one another.” The Chainmail Bracelets look like the chain samples of medieval armor.

Link Bracelet is made of “several decorative components connected to one another to form the whole bracelet. The linking components are usually gems, beads or feature-points molded from precious metals.” [Taken from: ]

Penannular Bracelet is one that has the shape or design of an incomplete circle. Most often it is made from a single piece of metal or plastic. Copper and Gold Penannular Bracelets are very popular as well.

Sometimes called a Snap Bracelet, a Slap Bracelet is simply a flexible band of metal that has been somewhat padded and colored with colorful material. It was a popular fad in the later 80s and early 90s. It is usually printed in neon colors and life-like graphics.

Vintage Trifari In-Line Jewelry Bracelet, a.k.a. "tennis bracelet" is a bracelet that has small diamonds or gemstones made of 14K or 18K gold, platinum or sterling silver. It is an elegant piece of jewelry.

It is called tennis bracelet because of Chris Evert. During the 1978 U.S. Open he was heard saying, "I dropped my tennis bracelet!" From that time, a diamond line bracelet became known as Tennis Bracelet. Usually a Tennis Bracelet has round diamonds set in 4 claw settings.

Anklets or Ankle Bracelet are bracelets worn around the ankle.

Boot Bracelets are used to decorate boots.

Medical Bracelets contain the name of the person and his or her medical history. Tag Bracelets are those used for newborn babies.

Bracelets are also used to promote community awareness such as cancer awareness and also for spiritual or cultural purposes.