Traditionally, gold has been seen as a symbol of rank. And, in most of the ancient societies the use of gold and its possession was restricted to only high class society members. From Sumerian graves to Egyptian civilization gold was the symbol of royal class people. Royalty were buried along with imperial gold jewelries and ornaments in Sumerian graves whereas the Pharaohs of the Egypt owned all the gold. Likewise, gold was the means for reinforcing the institution of leadership during the Bronze Age in Western Europe.
There were severe restrictions on wearing imperial gold jewelry in the early Roman era. In those times, even high ranking officials and families were allowed to own only a limited quantity of gold. Likewise, the use of gold was restricted only to Church relics in the early Christian era. People were not allowed to own these imperial gold jewelries at those times. Clement of Alexandria in the late second century AD, however, explains that these rules were exceptional to women who had to adorn themselves in order to please their chaste husbands.
The restriction of use of imperial gold jewelry to wealthier and noble ones in Europe was made possible in the 14th century sumptuary laws. There was provision of rewarding gold chains to those people who have been providing loyal service to royal courts during the Middle Age to till 18th century.
In the Inca Civilization gold was often related to the solar deity ‘Inti’. The supply of gold among the Incas was controlled by their ruler. At those times, the widespread trade of gold was forbidden. However, gold was often distributed by the imperial ruler to those nobles who had demonstrated bravery during the battle or had been loyal to the service. Gold ear flares were worn by wives of distinguished people among the Incas to show their rank. The Asante in Africa controlled the gold resources in Africa from 1700 to 1900. The gold jewelry was only made available to royal families and senior officials. At that time, gold dust was used as currency. Similarly, the Asante king collected tax on gold items and ornaments that were recast each year.
Gold bracelets have been worn since ages, 24 Karat is too soft for a bracelet; so usually, from ancient times till date gold bracelets are 18 or 22 Karats. An 18kt gold bracelet is ideal because of its hardness, cannot bend easily when it comes in contact with another object. It is also cost effective compared to the 24 and 22 Karat ones. Let us say that an 18 Karat gold bracelet is a piece of jewelry, worn around the wrist. It comprises of gold trinkets, personal charms, gold pendants, or whatever is significant in the life of a person. Italian charm bracelets, are made especially from 18 Karat gold, are trendy and world famous because they have individual figures soldered flat on the surface giving them a unique look.
18kt gold bracelets can be found in various designs and is used all over the world. A common form of bracelet, especially found and worn in India is the bangle bracelet. These are made of 18 Karat solid form of gold and are worn in groups that are four or six in each hand. Whenever the arm is moved a pleasant clinking sound is heard, which is musical to the ears. These are worn by almost every Hindu woman in India. The bangles are 1/4th to 1/8th inches thick and come in all sizes. During the 1980’s and 1990’s the 18 Karat gold slap bracelet came into fashion. These were flat gold strips, when clasped around the wrist held on gently touching the skin, but due to rumors that they caused injury went out of fashion quickly. Then the 18 Karat gold bracelets with beads came into fashion from India and South America. They are worn everywhere, and are made by connecting gold links with single or multicolored beads attached.
18kt gold bracelets come in all the forms and designs one can imagine and there is large choice in the market today. It entirely depends on the customer what he/she needs according to the budget. The most expensive ones are 18 Karat gold bracelets studded with precious gems like diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. The cheaper ones are simpler in design.