Chances are that if you have done some shopping for bracelets, or simply seen them in various shops, you may have asked yourself: What's the difference between all the different kinds? What is the best type? What should I look out for?
These are all reasonable questions to ask. At Marssos, we have been exclusively making and selling bracelets to customers all over the world (close to 100 different countries!). Throughout this time, we have sold/attempted to make pretty much every single type of bracelet out there. In additon to that, we believe in informed purchase decisions and not in mindless consumerism.
With that being said, let me teach you what we have learned - perhaps this can help clear some of the confusion.
Types of bracelets
Truth be told, there are not a lot of different kind of bracelets out there. In large, there are just a few key types which are combined in various clever, marketable ways. Once you learn the basics, you'll be able to look past all that and make a more objective purchase decision.
Almost every single bracelet falls into one of the categories below. Of course, there might be some new types that we are not aware of, but most of the innovation in this industry happens by tweaking/combining the basic types.
These are perhaps the most common types of bracelets. They are generally made using natural gemstones (although some vendors also use plastic) which are joined together using elastic string.
These bracelets are often the most simple, but can suffer from some durability issues, depending on the quality of the elastic string used.
Do not let the looks deceive you - gemstones can come in many different shapes and sizes, but the underlying principle remains the same.
Macramé is actually an ancient knotting style, which has been used for a long time to make jewelry and decorations.
Therefore, any knotted bracelet is often called a macrame bracelet, even though it may not be strictly correct as in reality it refers to a specific type of knot. The idea remains the same though, it is a knotted bracelet.
This knotting style is often combined with various charms and gemstones. A useful aspect to this type of bracelets is that they are often resizable. You can pull and loosen the strings to make it fit a variety of wrist sizes.
The name is quite self-explanatory. These bracelets either use genuine or synthetic leather.
Thanks to that, they normally feel very solid and sturdy. It is one of the most durable types of bracelets out there.
However, due to their rigid nature, the fit of the bracelet should match your exact wrist size, lest it be very uncomfortable to wear.
Most bangle bracelets are entirely made of metal. This gives them a lot of clear benefits, but some disadvantages as well.
You may think that these bracelets are extremely durable, but you may be surprised. The durability depends on the type of metal and coating used. Due to the large metal content, many bangle bracelets (and others with metal components) out there are made of cheap metals (e.g zinc alloy) which can actually be mildly toxic to people. Additionally, if the coating is cheap, it might quickly become discolored.
Though, if done well, these bracelets are very solid and sturdy and could quite literally last a lifetime. Just be sure to pay attention to the materials used.
With the basic types out of the way, you can see that it is all really quite simple.
When you see all kinds of crazy designs out there, they are just designs which are combined from the basic types.
As an example above, you could combine the Macrame and Gemstone types. While this creates a unique style, it does not, strictly speaking, create a new type of bracelet.
So, what is the best type?
If it is anything you take away from this post, it's that the types do not really matter. Each of them have their pros and cons. There simply are a few key points (quality, materials, size) to pay attention to.
In the end, the bracelets you wear should have some sort of special meaning to you and feel right. Simply pay attention to the basics and get the bracelet that's special to you.
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