A Bunch of Antique and Vintage Bangles and Bracelets
Bracelets and bangles have been a well-loved item of jewelry for a very long time.
We know from archaeological evidence that bracelets were worn in Ancient Egypt, in Mesopotamia (the region around Iran) and in China from 5000 years BC. More recently, in 1995, it was discovered that bracelets or bangles had been worn for even longer than had been realised, when an obsidian bracelet dating back to 7,500 BC was found in Turkey.
Because of the level of craftsmanship in this very early bracelet, scientists thought they had been making these items for a very long time.
But there was an even earlier discovery to be made in 2008:
In 2008, Russian archeologists made a staggering shift to this number. They were excavating the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia when they stumbled across a treasure trove of jewellery. To their surprise, they found a bracelet that was carbon dated to be around 40,000 years old! (Corazon Latino)
These are just reference points however, as we know that bracelets have been worn in almost every civilisation in every time period, and it would take a book’s worth of writing and research to trace their origins and development from the earliest known item.
The bracelets and bangles pictured below date from late in the 19th century to the 1930s.
Antique Sapphire, Diamond and Pearl Bracelet
From Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry
This lovely antique bracelet, circa 1910, is beautifully hand-crafted in platinum topped gold and features bars of glistening mine-cut diamonds and rich, royal blue calibre-cut sapphires alternating with shimmering cultured pearls accented by mine-cut diamonds. A romantic, early Art Deco treasure. Measures 7 3/4 long. (Text and image credit: Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry)
Antique natural pearl rose cut diamond and rose gold hinged bangle
From James Alfredson
The thirteen natural half pearls bordered by numerous rose cut diamonds terminated by further diamond set tulip style mounts form a centre band to a triple railed base. Accompanying Certificate for natural pearls ranging from 5.4-6.3mm in diameter.
There is a fascinating – and true – story that Cartier obtained its present premises in New York at 52nd street and 5th Avenue when at the height of the desirability of natural pearls in 1917 a client exchanged a mansion for $100 cash and a double strand of large natural pearls for his wife. The introduction of cultured pearls particularly by Mikimoto caused the bottom to fall out of the natural pearl market not long after so Cartier was clearly the winner in this transaction!
The ramifications of cultured pearls on the current market are very different. Natural pearls are now extremely rare and desirable. They are now essentially found only in antique jewellery , not that they were abundantly available or lowly valued in 1900. Their value and desirability over the past twenty or so years have escalated as a result of this rarity and beauty. (Image and text credit: James Alfredson)