Before we begin to discuss the differences between bangles and bracelets we should lay out the similarities: both are a type of jewellery that are worn around the wrist for decoration. However, whilst they are similar, there are certainly differences between the two that make bangles and bracelets separate from each other.
What is a Bangle?
Bangles are traditional ornaments typically worn by women in Southern Asia. In the Indian subcontinent (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh), bangles have a deep-rooted history as wrist ornaments. Wearing of bangles has also been unearthed in ancient civilisations such as the Romans in Europe, and Mayans in Latin America.
Bangles have been made from different types of materials through the ages, including stone, wood, precious metals, and even seashells. In recent times, the design and shape of bangles has changed a little to meet modern styles; it is now often being made from glass or plastic, as well as gold and silver.
Furthermore, some bangles – particularly those made from gold or silver – may also have pearls or precious stones conjoined. In certain parts of Asia, diamonds encrusted on a bangle is part of a bride’s jewellery, where they are usually worn in pairs of four to eight.
What is a Bracelet?
A bracelet is also a type of wrist jewellery and can be made from a variety of materials such as wood, stone, even silicon. However, predominantly the most popular material remains to be precious metals, such as gold, silver, and platinum. Ordering bracelets made from jewellers like Silver By Mail in the UK remains one of the most popular ways of bestowing a gift or reward for a special occasion, such as 18th or 21st birthday presents, or graduation commemorations.
Bracelets are worn by both men and women, and the difference would usually be that men wear larger and wider styles of bracelets than their female counterparts. Bracelets can be very wide, sometimes more than 1 inch, although they would stop short at 1.5 inches in most cases. Bracelets can be worn as a pair on either wrist, or just one wrist.
Bracelets come in many different designs and can be worn for different occasions. Often bracelets will be plain, using only one material but with different shapes and cuts to create the design. Precious stones may also be added, such as diamonds.
- Bangles are almost exclusively rigid, apart from maybe having a joint at the mid-point to be able to clasp around the wrist, but they are round in their design. Bracelets are flexible, straight and linear, and only become round once they are worn around the wrist.
- The size of a bangle has to be made to fit the exact size of the wrist, whilst a bracelet can be flexible in length, and is normally larger than the wearers’
- Due to their large design and presence, bangles can be noisy, particularly when coming into contact with other bangles, which is often the case as multiple bangles are often worn together. Usually, only a single bracelet is worn on a wrist, and due to their design, they don’t produce any noise whilst being worn.
- Bangles are almost always made from a hard material such as gold, silver, glass, and plastic to ensure their rigid shape; whereas bracelets can be made from softer materials including rope, leather and ribbon, and they are more flexible as a result.
Both bangles and bracelets are popular fashion accessories for men and women across cultures, but it is important to understand the differences between the two before choosing which is right for you.