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Short Story: The Truth About Handmade Men’s Bracelets

The story of the men’s bracelet is intriguing and enchanting and it is worth knowing how these developed over the millennia.

There is no definitive record of whether it was a woman who first sported jewelry and thus inspired man, her lesser half, to adorn himself, or whether it was the other way around. In any case, the history of a man wearing bracelets goes back to 5000 years BC when he started off by stringing together shells, stones, and bone links. Possibly the idea was not about class and style but as a protection against evil spirits or as a form of identification of belonging to a tribe.

Man progressed to the Bronze Age and bracelets for men came into their own with none other than the venerable King Tutankhamen sporting finely crafted bracelets as a symbol of his power. One can deduce that nobles and commoners followed suit and kept jewellers busy. Fast forward to the middle Ages when nobles kept their arms covered and the bracelet was not in favor. However, in far off India, Guru Go bind Singh developed Sikhism and enjoined men to wear a cJump to the 1900s and we find men developing a penchant for handmade men’s bracelets. American soldiers have issued wrist tags during WWII and these were to become fashionable in the following years as soldiers, in the aftermath of the war, took on various jobs while retaining their metal IDs. Not to be left behind the nautical fraternity developed their own versions in the form of Turk’s bead knots. The rise of flower power in the ’60s coincided with the fondness for earthy materials for use in handmade bracelets for men. Bracelets continued in popularity and some people got onto the bandwagon, promoting bracelets. Rockstars got into the act and fuelled the demand for men’s bracelets that became as creatively original as the maker could design them. Demand increased leading to mass produced bracelets for men but a band of creative artists kept alive the art of making bracelets by hand using traditional metals.

One such artist came up with the idea of twisting metal wires into various shapes and designs and then beating the product with a hammer. The result is a cuff that can, according to the perception of the viewer, look like a barbed wire cuff, a DNA helix or razor wire in a lengthy and loving process where each piece is unique. Designers experiment with the use of traditional silver and gold along with more exotic rare earth metals like niobium. Made to order, such handmade bracelets are for discerning men who value the understated look of classy elegance. Some jewelry designers found their niche in casting and molding or cutting, machining and bending of metal or using beads and leather in handmade cuffs for men. However, these types are often targeted at those who wish to standout and make a strong style statement whereas handcrafted metal cuffs typify solidity. These days it is possible to use a laser to cut, engrave and etch metals and plastics and create unique designs but nothing matches the timeless appeal of traditional tools and methods to craft jewelry for men.

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