If you have ever tried to size a bangle, you probably figured out that it can be a little trickier than sizing other types of bracelets. Several different things can affect the “fit.”
1. The width of the bangle
Narrow wire bangles are easier to get over the hand and onto the wrist than bangles made of wider strip. A slightly larger size may be needed when fitting a wider bangle.
2. The shape of the bangle
Oval bangles are usually easier to get over the hand than round bangles. A slightly smaller size can be worn when the bangle is oval.
3. The age of the person wearing the bangle
What?! Age can be a “fit” factor? Yes, as we age, our joints tend to enlarge, making the circumference of our hands larger relative to the size of our wrists. This is also true for younger people whose hands are larger than average when compared to their wrists. The bracelet may fit over the hand, but then be too large on the wrist to be worn comfortably. In this situation, an oval bangle can solve a lot of problems.
Now, getting down to the technicalities
There is an industry standard for round bangle sizes, and it is shown in the chart below. The measurement numbers on it can be a little daunting for most jewelry makers.
It is intended for use when making round bangles out of wire, and is especially helpful when using the Wubbers Bangle Presses. If you plan to sell the bangles that you make, it is a great place to start when deciding what sizes to offer for sale.
Please note that the majority of adult women will wear the Small to Large sizes, with fewer wearing the X-Small and X-Large. The largest size of soldered bangle that can be formed with the Wubbers Bangle Press is 9 inches in circumference.
If you are custom making the bangles for a particular person, you may find that they would prefer a size that is in-between the sizes listed above. For example, they may prefer a size that is in between the Small and Medium, measuring 7 ¼ inches. If you plan on custom-designing bangles on a regular basis, it might be helpful to use copper to make samples in all the sizes above as well as half-sizes, or those in between.
Here’s one more sellers tip
If you have a customer that has a large hand relative to their wrist, making the bangle feel too large once it is on, then give her the option of an oval bangle. It also works well if the person’s size falls in between the sizes that you are offering for sale. If you have an oval bracelet mandrel and a rawhide mallet tucked under your table at a show, then you can work a little magic on the spot and quickly turn the round bangle in to an oval, making it possible for the customer to wear the bangle home!