Where did the name ‘bracelet’ come from? What is the most expensive bracelet worth? Facts and folklore about bracelets:
- The first known bracelets were worn by Sumerians who lived in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) around 2500 B. C. E. Jewelry of all kinds was a sign of a person's prosperity. Bracelets and other jewelry were found in the royal tombs in the ancient city of Ur in Mesopotamia. It was customary for jewelry to be buried with their owners, along with their servants. Servants probably prayed to their ancient gods for a long life for their masters because of this.
- The charm bracelet was thought to have originated in ancient Egypt during the age of the pharaohs. Charms made of precious metals and gemstones would be worn on these bracelets to ward off evil spirits. These were known as Lucky Charms long before the breakfast cereal came into existence.
- In ancient Greece, men and soldiers wore bands of leather on their forearms for protection. Sometimes these bands were decorated with precious metals and gemstones. They were known as Bracels, derived from the Latin word Brachium, which meant ‘arm’. Ladies were not about to be outdone by men, and so they adopted the ‘fashion’ and wore smaller versions of them, called little bracels, or bracel-ets. At least that's the story I heard.
- Bracelets made of copper are thought by some to aid in relieving the pain of arthritis. The body absorbs the copper and somehow relieves the pain. This has not been proven but people being people still wear copper bracelets, for fashion if not for pain relief. But don't copper bracelets turn some people's wrists green? Maybe it's all part of the fashion statement.
- Unlike other forms of jewelry, they have always been in vogue throughout recorded history, and been worn by men and women. The concept of unisex jewelry is older than people think.
- They are not only worn for decoration. Hospitals use them for positive patient identification, people with medical conditions wear Medical Alert bracelets. There are also bracelets made of silicone rubber that were originally used in sports, but are now also used as ‘awareness’ bracelets for many different causes.
- The most expensive bracelet in the world? This is not only a bracelet, but a wrist watch too. A jewelry manufacturer in Switzerland named Chopard wins the most expensive category hands down with a bracelet/wrist watch with over 200 carats of white and colored diamonds. The price tag? A paltry $25 million.
December 21, 2007 (459)