Not Just an "Accessory"
Modern humans have many different perspectives and opinions about bracelets – some believe that they are associated with the elite and wealthy. Another group of people may cherish them as beauty accessories and collectibles. Most pessimistically, there are others who see bracelets as mere trinkets that serve no practical purpose or even look down on them as “feminine”. However, we know that the humble bracelet is an ancient form of jewelry that every human civilization has created, traded, and even been buried with.
To prove how bracelets are more than just a simple accessory, let us share some historical facts with you.
To start, did you know that bracelets were initially reserved for men only?
In ancient times, the first bracelets were more likely used for protections than just accessorizing. For example, the Ancient Greek soldiers, or hoplites, wore bronze bracelets to protect their hands. Likewise, the great Roman armies and their legionnaires wore iron bracelets and arm guards. Additionally, the British, Germanic, and Gaulish people of Europe wore iron bracelets, or torcs, as a symbol of their manhood. The symbolism of bracelets as protection was also expressed in a spiritual way – Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs wore bracelets and necklaces as protective charms against evil spirits.
Bracelets were also used to express wealth and power, as the Pharaohs and Emperors of ancient kingdoms wore vast amounts of gold on their wrists. However, the oldest found bracelet comes from Russia, made at a time before kings and emperors existed. It was found in 2008 and was determined to have been made 40,000 years ago by a human relative, the Denisovan hominid! This priceless artifact is now on display at the Museum of History and Culture in Novosibirsk, Russia.
Modern bracelets, especially the super high-end ones, are more often decorative accessories.
The wildest record-holders are absolutely stunning: the Guinness Record for Most Expensive Bracelet in the World was awarded to a bracelet called “Panther”, which is encrusted with diamonds, emeralds, onyx. After its owner, the Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson died in the 1980s, the bracelet was sold for 4.5 Million Pounds Sterling or almost $6 Million US Dollars. For comparison, her other 19 pieces of jewelry were sold for a total of 3.4 million pounds.
This should tell you just how linked bracelets are to humans – they range from the most primitive to the most opulent, stretching across hundreds and thousands of years.