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One of the oldest jewelry forms known to human history, the bangle bracelet is universally adored. From simple circles to bejeweled bands, bangle bracelets add an air of elegance and a characteristic “clink” to any wrist.
Some of the earliest examples of bangle bracelets can be traced to ancient Near Eastern and Aegean cultures as early as the 3rd millennium B.C. The iconic “Dancing Girl” bronze figurine, excavated in Mohenjo-Daro near the Indus River in present-day Pakistan and dating to 2600 B.C., is depicted wearing an elaborate collection of bangles on her wrist. Other archaeological excavations in this region have uncovered bangles made from organic materials such as shell or bone.
Still incredibly popular among the contemporary cultures of India and Pakistan, the bangle bracelet has spread its influence worldwide in part because of its incredibly versatility. From the streamlined to the ornate, bangle bracelets have also innovated to accommodate wrist width variations. Some of even the earliest bangles featured a hinged design to simplify wearing, and, since the development of elasticized string in the early 19th century, expandable bangles became increasingly popular.
In Indian culture, the bride receives a collection of glass bangle bracelets just prior to her wedding day. As tradition has it, the newlywed couple is to stay on their honeymoon until the last of the glass bangles breaks
Designer David Webb revived the tradition of bangle bracelets in the mid-20th century with his elegant and luxurious designs. Among his clientele were some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Elizabeth Taylor and former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
A set of JAR Paris cushion-cut and pave-set diamond bangles once owned by actress Ellen Barkin sold at auction in 2006 for $1.136 million, setting a new record sales price for bangle bracelets