We all know that famous Marilyn Monroe line, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” But do you know why diamonds have remained so popular over the decades? This enduring stone has a long history of use in jewelry due to its superior hardness and versatility.
Diamonds don’t just come in sparkly white, either, though this color (or lack thereof) remains the most popular. You can get champagne, blue, pink, green, and even pitch black diamonds. And, of course, nothing says “I’m sophisticated” like a gemstone encrusted diamond bracelet.
Below, we dive into the brilliant world of diamond bracelets: their history, the different designs, and how to ensure whatever you buy actually stays on your arm.
History of Diamond Bracelets
People have worn bracelets as a status symbol and item of personalization for millennia. In fact, the word “bracelet” itself comes to English from the Ancient Greek word, “brachile,” meaning “of the arm.”
In 2008, Russian archeologists found evidence for bracelet wearing in early humans. The artifacts they found in the famed Denisova Cave in Siberia, which included a bracelet, were carbon-dated to an astonishing 40,000 BP.
The first evidence of a more contemporary style of bracelet wearing dates to the Ancient Egyptians. They were adorning their arms with circular jewelry made from stone, wood, and bone as far back as 5000 BCE.
The diamond bracelet is a decidedly more modern invention. Diamonds were used alongside other gemstones in early Indian civilizations and by nobles in the European Middle Ages. It wasn’t until the 1910s and 1920s that diamond fever captivated a population obsessed with what’s in.
By the 1960s, thanks to companies with big marketing budgets like Cartier and Tiffany & Co., diamond bracelets had well and truly found their place as a must-have accessory.
Choosing the Right Style for You
Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to styling with a diamond bracelet? When you can choose from classic or contemporary, dainty or dramatic, the sky’s the limit.
Diamond Tennis Bracelet
Today, a tennis bracelet is the epitome of sophistication. This bracelet style is best suited to formal events, paired with a classic LBD (Little Black Dress). The brilliant gemstones provide a simple yet decadent touch of glitter.
So, where did this slinky diamond and precious metal combo originate from?
Legend has it that 1970s and 1980s professional tennis player Chris Evert uncommonly wore a diamond bracelet when playing games. During one US Open match, the clasp on her bracelet broke. Famously, the referee called a stop to the game until they found the expensive adornment.
Her bracelet featured the well-known string of closely linked, claw set diamonds that we now refer to as a “tennis” bracelet.
Diamond Charm Bracelet
The nostalgic charm bracelet features a chain-link wristlet fitted with as many or as few whimsical tokens as the owner sees fit to add.
When it comes to styling with a charm bracelet, this is the kind of jewelry item that suits almost any outfit. Though if you have a bracelet with too many charms, you might not be able to wear it every day for fear of it snagging.
You can buy charm bracelets with the charms already added, or get a simple chain and add your own. Some people collect charms around a specific theme, say sweet baby animals, while others prefer vintage charms.
While charms are available in solid sterling silver or gold, they can also feature precious inset stones, from sapphires and emeralds to pearls and, of course, diamonds. Charm bracelets are often kept as heirlooms, with successive generations of women adding their own charms.
Examples of charm bracelets have been found dating back to prehistoric times, but the charm bracelets we are familiar with today date to the English Queen Victoria’s reign.
You can dress this popular style up or down thanks to the various designs of the infinity symbol. A jeweler might craft thin white gold circles fixed with tiny 0.02-carat white diamonds, or they might create a chunky (and pricey) platinum piece with half-carat pink and blue diamonds placed in prominent spots.
Infinity bracelets are so-called because the linkages resemble the ancient infinity symbol. This figure-eight pattern has no beginning or end and has come to represent eternal love in fine jewelry. Because of this meaning, these bracelets are often given as sentimental gifts to partners or beloved family members.
What makes a bangle different from a bracelet is its inflexible nature.
In a quality diamond bangle, what to look for is a piece crafted from solid silver or gold. Jewelry makers set the diamonds into this band on the side that sits on the top of your arm.
They’re usually held together with a firm snap clasp and bend at a hinge, or they resemble a torque, with an open space on the underside that fits over your arm. Alternatively, some diamond bangles are made of a solid band that you simply slip over your hand.
Due to their complicated closure and higher metal weights, bangles can be a pricey addition to your wardrobe. But thankfully, their durability also makes them safe for everyday wear.
Making Sure Your Diamond Bracelet Fits You
Don’t be shy to try on a few different styles or, if shopping online, carefully compare your arm shape to the models. If you think you need to make the bracelet longer or shorter, chat with the jeweler before you finalize the purchase to see if that’s possible and how much the service will cost.
And remember, getting the right style is not only about what looks good on your arm. You need to take into consideration the style that fits you well, too. You don’t want your diamond bracelet slipping off your arm because it’s too loose!
Take Your Budget Into Consideration
As much as there’s a diamond bracelet style for every arm, there’s also something for even the smallest of budgets. That’s because diamonds are available in a wide range of sizes and qualities.
If you’re cash poor but style-savvy and craving that bit of bling around your wrist, look for bracelets that have more metal and more petite diamonds. You can also look for reputable second-hand or vintage jewelry dealers in your area. For those with higher budgets, shop around for designs that suit you and go for diamond quality over quantity.
Are you looking for more ways to up your fashion knowledge? Be sure to browse the other articles on our blog.