A bracelet is an article of clothing or jewelry which is worn around the wrist. Bracelets can be manufactured from cloth or metal, and sometimes contain rocks, wood, and/or shells. Bracelets are also used for medical and identification purposes, such as allergy bracelets and hospital tags. In the late 1980s, "snap bracelets" -- felt-covered metal bracelets that curved around one's wrist when gently hit against it -- were a popular fad.
The recent use of colored silicone rubber as a material for producing sports bracelets was popularized by Nike and Lance Armstrong through the Yellow Livestrong band. Its success has led to the use of these 'awareness' bracelets as low cost tools for information campaigns and charity projects. These sports bracelets are also known otherwise as 'baller id bands', 'wristbands' or 'baller bands'.
The in-line thin diamond bracelet that features a symmetrical pattern of diamonds is called a tennis bracelet. According to Diamond Bug, in 1987 Chris Evert, the former World No. 1 woman tennis player and the winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles, was playing in the U.S. Open. She was wearing an elegant, light in-line diamond bracelet, which accidentally broke and the match was interrupted to allow Chris to recover her precious diamonds. The 'tennis bracelet' incident sparked a new name for the item and sparked a huge jewelry trend. Tennis bracelets continued to be worn by various tennis stars like Serena Williams and Gabriela Sabatini.
Although the term 'armlet' may be technically similar, it is taken to mean an item that sits on the upper arm. The origin of the term 'bracelet' is from the Latin 'brachile' meaning 'of the arm', via the Old French 'barcel'.
Taken in the plural, bracelets is often use as slang for handcuffs.
Bracelets that are in solid form, usually some metal, are referred to as bangle bracelets. They can be smooth, textured or set with stones. In India, glass bangles are common. Made from ordinary glass that is about 1/4 - 1/8 inch in width, they are worn in groups so that arm movement causes them to make a pleasant sound rather like the clinking of wind chimes.