The perfect fit for a bracelet depends on the type of bracelet: for example, a bangle is worn in a different way to a chain bracelet. Find out everything you need to know about the right size for bracelets, and what options there are for dealing with a bracelet that is too tight or too loose around the wrist and therefore needs to be enlarged or reduced.

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How long should a bracelet be?

Classic bracelets look best when worn loosely on the wrist, i.e. about 1-2cm longer than the circumference of the wrist. They should loosely encircle the wrist without being so wide that they can be pushed over the whole forearm. The standard length for bracelets for women starts at 16cm (or XS) for narrow wrists and usually ends at 20cm (or XL) for larger wrists. 20cm is also the standard size for men's bracelets. For children, the size ranges from around 10cm for newborns to 15cm for teenagers.
Diamond tennis bracelet with matching ring from BAUNAT - Classic diamond bracelet, worn loose on the wrist
For rigid bangles or cuff bracelets, we recommend selecting a slightly more generous size that is not too tight. Wider bangles in particular have a relatively large contact surface and, if too tight, can press or rub against the slightly protruding bones of the wrist or the lower part of the forearm, which can become slightly uncomfortable.

Ultimately, how loose or tight a bracelet fits is largely a question of taste.  If in doubt, a bracelet that is slightly too wide is much more comfortable to wear and looks more elegant than a bracelet that is too tight and sits firmly on the wrist.

How do I measure and determine the right size for a bracelet?

The most convenient way to determine the size for a bracelet, e.g. a gold bracelet, is to use a soft measuring tape. Place the measuring tape around your wrist so that it encompasses the wrist entirely but is not tightened, and take a reading. Alternatively, you can use a lace or even a piece of yarn or thread to encompass the wrist, mark the point where the end of the lace/yarn/thread overlaps the rest, and then measure its length with a ruler or yardstick. In this case, too, the lace should encompass the wrist entirely but not be tightened.

For a tighter fit, select a bracelet that corresponds with the measurement you have taken. For a normal, looser fit, add 1-1.5cm to the measurement taken. If you want the bracelet to have a very loose fit, add 1.5-2cm to the measurement taken.

For broaderbangles, calculate the width and measure where the bangle ends in the forearm area. For example: if the bangle is 5cm wide, do not measure the circumference directly at the wrist, but 5cm from the wrist towards the elbow. This ensures that the bangle still fits comfortably even at the tightest point.    

Remember that your left and right wrists may have slightly different circumferences depending on which hand you use more in everyday life.  For right-handed people, the right wrist is usually a little thicker, while for left-handed people the left is usually thicker. This phenomenon is explained by increased musculature, even if the bony area is identical.        

Do you want to buy a bracelet as a gift but have no way of measuring your loved one's wrist in advance? Take a look at any existing jewellery: the circumference of the wrist can be measured on bracelets or even wristwatches that your loved one likes to wear.

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What should I do if my bracelet is too long or too short?

Yellow gold bangle with diamonds by BAUNAT - Designer bangle in gold with flowers, set with diamonds
Many bracelets with a carabiner clasp offer the option to hook the clasp onto variouseyelets so that the width can easily be adjusted as required. The same is true for drawstring fastenings, which can be adjusted to suit. Open bangles can often be slightly adjusted in length by carefully bending them.

The situation is different for bracelets with a box clasp, a type of clasp that is often used for wider or particularly high-quality bracelets such as the tennis bracelet. The slider is inserted into a small box and locks into place, partly with an additional figure of eight next to the clasp. With this type of fastening, it is not possible to make personal adjustments.
A bracelet that is too wide can be shortened around the clasp by a jeweller or online jeweller with relatively little effort. To do this, one or more links are removed from the chain of the bracelet and the clasp is then fixed or soldered to the new end. Shortening a diamond bracelet featuring all-round settings is slightly more difficult, as the procedure is more complicated. With a closed bangle, the procedure is also fairly time-consuming; a piece must be cut out, re-soldered and polished so that no traces of machining remain visible afterwards. Depending on the type of bangle and the amount by which it needs to be shortened, two pieces may need to be removed to preserve the symmetry. If you wish to make any changes, you should ideally choose the jeweller or goldsmith from whom you purchased the jewellery in the first place.

A bracelet that is too tight is more tricky. As with all pieces of jewellery, reducing the size is always easier than enlarging it. For normal chain links, e.g. links made of white gold or yellow gold, additional links can be inserted. To do this, contact the supplier from whom you purchased the piece of jewellery in the first place. Lengthening becomes particularly challenging with elaborately crafted bracelets or bangles. In theory, any alteration is possible, but you should always ask in advance whether the value of a piece of jewellery makes its adjustment by a professional worthwhile.

In general, if you can carefully measure the size before purchase, you will save yourself the effort of making alterations afterwards.

Are you interested in a high-quality bracelet with diamonds? BAUNAT's experts will be delighted to advise you, free of charge and without obligations. Just get in touch.
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