The Cuff Bracelet

Author Corinne DiZoglio
Date Feb 15, 2021

There is nothing like a good cuff bracelet! Its feeling of indestructibility makes it a powerful, fashion accessory. For thousands of years women have been rocking this statement piece. Read on for a brief history of this bracelet and a closer look at some of our favorite cuffs currently in our collection!

John Hardy Sterling Silver Kali Cuff Bracelet ($420) - SOLD!

The history of the cuff bracelet dates back over 7,000 years. It was first seen in ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Mayans and Incans. It was also a popular piece for the Greeks and Chinese. In Mayan culture, jewelry was a significant part of the royal attire and acted as a key measure of social class. Not only did the cuff bracelet’s different designs measure class, but they also denoted rank within a family.

John Hardy Sterling Silver Wide Dot Cuff Bracelet ($1,050) - SOLD!

In ancient Egypt, bracelets were made of silver and gold and decorated with semiprecious stones. These were worn as decorative accessories rather than for class designation or ritualistic purposes. Ancient Greeks wore cuffs for decoration as well, however Greek soldiers also wore wide leather and metal cuffs for protection. This practical and fashionable style was eventually copied by Roman soldiers. In Asia, ancient Chinese fashion included intricate, detailed cuffs that were carved from jade as well as gold etched with elaborate patterns featuring flora, fauna, and mythical creatures.

Tiffany & Co. 18k Yellow Gold Bracelet ($15,900) - SOLD

During the 20th century, the variety and style of bracelets available grew drastically with mass production. In the 1930’s, plastic was the hot material of choice, however a majority of these mass-produced pieces were made in silver as the material was a fraction of the price of gold but with all the same shine. Style-wise, the more ornate designs of the late 19th century started to move toward more clean lines inspired by the Art Deco period. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the cuff really saw its revival. Wide cuffs, like Elsa Peritti’s Bone Cuff for Tiffany’s, were all the rage. Cuffs even made their appearance on the silver screen as part of Wonder Woman’s iconic costume.

Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver and 18k Yellow Gold Spider Cuff Bracelet ($795) - SOLD

Today the cuff bracelet has yet to lose its appeal. The bold, fashion accessory is the perfect statement piece for any jewelry collection. Whether you're looking to channel your inner Amazon queen or just want to spice up your jewelry, the cuff bracelet is for you!

John Hardy Sterling Silver Bamboo Kick Cuff ($700) - SHOP NOW

Which bracelet is your favorite? Browse our full vintage & estate online collection or visit us in stores to see more vintage and estate bracelets!

Vintage & Estate Jewelry - Shop the Collection