Bangles: Bangles are hard, round bracelets that either slip over the hand to the wrist, or attach with a hinged clasp. Because of their simplicity, they’ve been around for thousands of years and serve as traditional jewelry for many cultures around the world. Also for this reason, they can be worn alone, or clustered with many other bangles. They’re timeless, and many modern bangles can be as simple as a solid band of precious metal, or ornate with elegant gemstones.
Brooch: Brooches actually got their start being used as clasps to hold together coats and dresses by Ancient Greeks and Romans, but nowadays they tend to serve purely as adornment. Instead of clasping, they are now simply attached with a pin, and can be work on hats, coats, blouses. Brooches are popular because of their variability. They come in innumerable shapes and sizes, and can be made out of almost any combination of metals and gems.
Bracelets: Simply put, bracelets are jewelry that you wear on your wrist. There are many different styles of bracelets, some of the most common being bangles and link bracelets. Bangles are rigid and often slide over the hand. A link bracelet consists of many different pieces, usually uniform, linked together to form a chain. One popular type of link bracelet is the tennis bracelet, which are thin and made of a series of linked gems (frequently diamonds).
Earrings: Earrings come in many shapes and sizes and are affixed to the earlobe with either a hook or a clutch attached to the back of a strait post. Studs are the simplest type of earring, small and constructed on the end of a post that is securely fastened. Hoop earrings are similar, but wrap down around the earlobe in a circle or semi-circle. Dangling earrings tend to be more ornate, and hand down below the earlobe. Two popular types of dangling earrings are chandeliers (which, like their namesake, have many branches) and girandoles (which specifically have pear-shaped pendants that hang from a central piece).
Engagement Rings: Engagement rings are used as symbol of commitment in proposals of marriage. Though they typically feature a large diamond, they come in a wide variety of styles. Different rings will have different shapes, cuts, stones, and settings. If you buy an antique engagement ring, the different styles vary with different historical periods. To learn more about rings, and for tips on how to choose an engagement ring, check out our Step-by-Step Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring.
Necklaces: Necklaces are perhaps the oldest form of jewelry known to mankind: even our ancient ancestors loved to accessorize their necks. In this day and age, though, we’ve come a long way, and necklaces can be some of the most beautiful and sophisticated jewelry on the market. Necklaces are classified based on their length (from the shortest Choker [16in], to Princess [18in], Matinee [22in], Opera [30in], to the longest Sautoir or rope necklace [30+in]). They also traditionally come in a variety of materials, with diamond and pearl being the most popular.
Pendants: Pendants are pieces of jewelry that dangle loosely, often from other pieces of jewelry like necklaces, brooches, or earrings. Common types of pendants are lockets, which open to reveal pictures, heart shapes, and solitary diamonds, gemstones, or pearls.