From bangle to band, chain to articulated link, the bracelet is one of the earliest forms of jewellery, found throughout history and can be traced back as early as 5000BC. No longer limited to the wrists of nobility, the bracelet has found its way to becoming a staple piece of a lady's jewellery collection. Some of the earliest examples were made from organic materials such as leather cords and braided leaves and foliage. As the human race developed and tastes changed so did the materials used for adornment. The discovery of precious metals such as gold and silver lent their malleable properties to advanced designs which would stand the test of time.
Creative pieces include precious gemstones, hand engraving, symbols, enamelling, openwork, carving and filigree. As an articulated piece of jewellery made up of a series of links, bracelets have the capacity to move with the wearer making them eye-catching and wearable. Bracelets which are solid and do not have the flow of movement are called bangles.
One of the most favoured styles since the 1920s is the diamond line bracelet, or now in modern times more widely known as the ‘tennis bracelet’. This design is simple and features a continuous line of diamonds each set in an articulated collet and fastened with a secure clasp. This classic and versatile piece of jewellery can be worn as a stand-alone piece or ‘stacked' next to other bracelets or indeed a watch. Traditionally featuring diamonds, this type of bracelet can also be set with coloured gemstones or a combination of both.
Art Nouveau ruby and diamond bracelet, French, circa 1900.
Art Nouveau ruby and diamond bracelet. Set with five round rose cut diamonds in open back rubover settings with an approximate weight of 0.20 carats, alternately set with five round cabochon natural unenhanced rubies in open back rubover settings with an approximate weight of 0.60 carats, to an articulated open work bracelet, flowing with movement, consisting of ten marquise shape links featuring foliate motifs, millegrain borders and open fancy backholing, terminating with a secure flat push clasp and safety chain. Marked 18 carat yellow gold, Makers mark "C Q" with a tower symbol in between the letters, French, circa 1900.