Silver has been considered a precious metal since its first use in ancient times, and silver bracelets have always been popular for adornment, for both men and women. But before I discuss the 5 most popular silver bracelet designs, let’s review what “sterling silver” is because the term is often misunderstood. Sterling silver, or standard silver, is an alloy of 92.5% silver with 7.5% copper. This combination is harder than pure silver which allows for more durability with regard to jewelry. Much sterling silver jewelry is plated with a thin coat of fine silver to give it a shiny finish. Pure silver does not tarnish, but sterling silver does. So I conclude this article with some tips about taking care of sterling silver jewelry.
Popular Sterling Silver Bracelet Designs
Silver bracelets include varying styles such as bangle, cuff, link, chain, and charm bracelets. Each have their own appeal and also their own types of customers. If you are considering giving a silver bracelet as a gift, review these designs and their “target” audience.
Bangle bracelets: These available in designs varying from smooth finishes to textured, patterns, and painted styles. Popularity of bangle and cuff bracelets encourage wearing multiple bracelets at the same time. Popular with teens and currently the Hollywood starlet scene. Great for the young at heart!
Cuff bracelets: These trendy bracelets are wider than bangles and have an opening on one side to slide onto the arm. Silver cuff bracelets can be a tasteful gift for an older woman, but they are also more expensive that other types. Another popular, but less expensive, type of cuff bracelet is granulated, creating a playful shimmer of light. This bracelet is currently trendy with celebrities, such as Linsay Lohan.
Link bracelets: These are closely woven pieces that have an intricate design but are smoothly crafted to lay flat along the arm. A wonderful example of a detailed link bracelet is the Byzantine style link bracelets, which has a mysterious aura due to the historically accurate linking knots. For men, a tightly knit link bracelet that resembles chainmail is popular with many men, thanks to the resurgence of Roman culture in our movies and fictional diversions.
Silver chain bracelets: Perhaps the most classic style that works with most outfits and is available in the widest variety. These chain-style bracelets can become charm bracelets by adding adornments to the chain links or may be worn as a plain silver accent. These are great for engagement gifts as well as coming-of-age.
Charm bracelets: Popular in most metals, but the affordability of silver has made these bracelets a fashion trend as well as a collector’s item for travelers. Many tourist stops now have charms available with symbols of the area, such as the Eiffel Tower from Paris or a double-decker bus from London. These were very popular in the mid-20th century and have recently become popular again, especially with young teens.
Other kinds of charm bracelets are simple silver bracelets with a single charm such as a gold-filled pearl or a gemstone that has a special meaning to the recipient. These bracelets can be found with a single charm or with an assortment of stones and even with engraved tokens made popular in the Victorian era.
Taking Care of Sterling Silver Jewelry
Now that we understand the basics of silver bracelets, how easy is it to maintain them? Caring for silver is simple when a bit of caution is used. Any time contact with sprays and lotions such as hair spray, body lotions, and sun block can be avoided is beneficial for jewelry. Always remove silver bracelets before working with bleach, ammonia, alcohol or finger nail polish removers. Many of these every day chemicals can cause the silver to tarnish.
Simply wearing silver on a regular basis can keep it from tarnishing deeply. Proper storage of silver bracelets is also key to keeping tarnish away. A storage drawer or cabinet made for jewelry storage is a good choice since they provide the cool, dry, air-tight spaces that work best. Even zippered plastic bags can be a good solution, especially if anti-tarnishing strips are added.
If the bracelet hasn’t been worn for six months or more minor cleaning might be required, but sometimes all that is needed is a gentle rubbing with a soft cloth. For more detailed cleaning of silver bracelets a soft bristled toothbrush and a little t.l.c. can go a long way. Remember to be gentle and use caution when cleaning any jewelry. When in doubt, consult a professional.