What Is A Bangle?
We all know that a bangle is a type of bracelet, but what exactly constitutes a bangle and what makes it different from other styles of bracelet? Read on to learn all about bangles and what makes them such special and unique items of jewelry.
Bangles are a specific type of circular bracelet that have a rigid form and can be made from a range of materials, including metal, wood, and plastic. Their history goes back to around 2600 BC, and excavations of many archaeological sites across the Indian subcontinent have found bangles formed from copper, seashell, bronze, and gold, among other materials.
Bangles are particularly common in Africa and Asia. In Indian cultures, it is common for brides to wear bangles for their wedding. Different provinces have their own traditions and favor varying colors to signify different meanings, such as wearing gold for prosperity and white for new beginnings. Bangles are also traditionally worn by young girls and toddlers.
In addition to still being valued for traditional and cultural reasons, bangles are also favored in many places for their beauty and style. Bangles differ from other bracelets on account of their rigidity, which is what makes them stand out. A standard bracelet is flexible thanks to its chain, but a bangle has an inflexible and set circular shape. However, that is not to say that all bangles are the same; there are still several different styles of bangle available, each with its own unique elegance.
Different bangle styles
Solid Cylinder Bangles
The most recognizable style of bangle is a solid cylinder-style bangle. As the name suggests, this design is a simple solid cylinder that the wearer can simply slide their hand through to place around their wrist.
Open bangles have an open gap on one side of the bangle, which allows it to be slipped easily onto the arm directly above the wrist. The advantage of this design is that it is possible for the bangle to be smaller and closer-fitting than solid cylinder bangles as it does not need to fit over the hand. A close-fitting bangle may be more comfortable to wear and more secure as it will not slip off the wrist or down on to the hand.
This Open-Ended Bar Bangle in 14k Gold is an elegant example of an open bangle, showing how the simple metal band with plain edges at the opening contrasts beautifully with the crystals and bar feature.
Like open bangles, torque bangles have a gap on one side. A popular style of torque bangle features ball ends on either side of the gap, which gives a rounded edge so the bangle can be comfortably slid onto the arm.
The name torque comes from Latin and means to turn or twist. The name originated from bangles and necklaces that were crafted from metals such as bronze or gold and could be twisted. Modern-day torque designs can be twisted if the metal is thin enough, although most now have a larger gap to allow them to slip onto the wrist without any need to twist.
Torque bangles are an extremely popular style and are worn by both men and women, with solid silver becoming a common choice for men’s torque bangles. Individual designs within the torque style vary and can be fairly complex, formed from multiple twisted strands of metal, or they can be formed from one solid band of metal. Solid torque bangles are suitable for engraving, so they make ideal gifts. However, they are not usually suitable for use as charm bracelets.
A teardrop bangle has a beautiful design that features a teardrop shape on each end of the bangle. The teardrop bangle encircles the wrist with the teardrop ends meeting or overlapping to create a slightly more intricate design than a solid cylinder bangle. Much like with the ball-ended torque design, the teardrop creates a smooth edge for comfort against the wrist. This Teardrop Bangle In 14k Gold is a classic example of this design.
Cuff bangles are usually wider in design than other bangles. They tend to have a flattened metal design and can be relatively narrow, such as this Square Cut Swarovski Elements Cuff Bangle In 14k Gold - Pink, which is delicate and elegant but still has the flatter style. You can also find much chunkier designs for a real statement piece.