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What Is a Cuff Bracelet?

By S. Reynolds
Updated May 21, 2024
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A cuff bracelet is a piece of jewelry that goes around the wrist as decoration. The term "cuff" usually means that the bracelet is wide or thick, or both. Both men and women can wear cuff bracelets, but women usually wear silver or gold bracelets, while men typically opt for leather cuff bracelets as a fashion statement. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to wearing bracelet jewelry.

These types of bracelets have the distinction of fitting tightly against the wrist. They should be adjustable as well. When buying a cuff bracelet, one should measure the wrist of the person receiving the bracelet to ensure a good fit. It also is important to note that leather bracelets are easier to adjust than metal bracelets.

The two most popular metals for women's cuff bracelets are silver and gold. The metal is usually shaped or hammered into a thin, flat sheet that is then curved to fit a small wrist. Engravings or other decorations may be added to the bracelet as well.

Leather cuff bracelets are mainly worn by men or such social groups as goths or bikers. Black leather bracelets generally look edgy and give the wearer a "tough" look. Natural leather, which is usually pale brown to dark brown, adds a more feminine touch to an otherwise masculine look.

Humans have been wearing cuff bracelets for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians were famous for their elaborate bracelet jewelry. Ancient Celts, Native Americans, and Asian cultures all wore cuff bracelets as jewelry as well.

Cuff bracelets also are commonly given as gifts. One can find all types of bracelets for religious jewelry, anniversary gifts, or for children. It is easy to distinguish a man's cuff bracelet from a woman's or child's due to its size and decoration.

Braided leather cuff bracelets also are popular with both men and women. They go with all types of outfits, from dressy to casual. Several modern Native American cultures incorporate stones, feathers, and artwork on their leather cuffs. One can often find these ethnic bracelets in Southwestern American jewelry stores.

Since cuff bracelets are large fashion pieces, one should keep the rest of the jewelry to a minimum. Rings, earrings, and necklaces can take away from the cuff bracelet's look. If other jewelry will be worn with the bracelet, it should coordinate. For example, one could pair a silver bracelet with silver-toned earrings or rings. Likewise, someone wearing a leather bracelet should wear neutral or natural jewelry.

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