Last updated on January 27, 2023
Diamond tennis bracelets are beautiful and meaningful gifts given throughout the year. Because of their classic design, tennis bracelets are often passed down for generations as family heirlooms. Here are some tips on how to evaluate the most important characteristics of a tennis bracelet when buying one.
History of Tennis Bracelets
A tennis bracelet is a type of jewellery that contains a line of diamonds or coloured gemstones mounted in a chain of precious metal setting such as gold or platinum and is usually worn on the left wrist.
Originally known as an eternity or line bracelet, the tennis bracelet earned its name due to a notable public event when Chris Evert, a professional tennis player, lost her George Bedewi diamond bracelet during the US Open match in 1987. The clasp broke in the early round of the Open, and the jewellery fell off her wrist. Evert had to ask the officials to pause the game and look for the bracelet while spectators and the rest of the world watched the search on TV.
Since that day, a line bracelet has been referred to as a tennis bracelet because jewellers started to receive requests for a “tennis bracelet”. Not to mention, George Bedewi immediately became popular within the jewellery industry.
It is worth mentioning that according to some sources, the actual game where Chris Evert lost her diamond bracelet was in 1978. Others say the jewellery got its name simply because wearing diamonds while playing tennis was very extravagant. Although jewellery history is not an exact science, the fact remains that after that US Open match, players and viewers have been inspired to wear diamond tennis bracelets during tournaments.
Tennis Bracelet Styles and Settings
There are many different styles of tennis bracelets. While the classic design contains one row of diamonds, some tennis bracelets feature two or even three rows of stones. As for the cut of the diamonds, the most popular is the round brilliant, although other cuts/shapes are meant to add more personality and style.
Tennis bracelet settings are usually one of three varieties: prong, channel or bezel, both full and half. Each style securely holds the diamonds, meaning the design you choose should be based only on your personal preference. Although there is no “best” metal and setting type used for a diamond tennis bracelet, there are some factors to pay attention to, such as diamond settings, links, clasp, flexibility and length of the bracelet.
Diamond Settings: Always check how the individual diamonds are mounted in the bracelet. The setting should ensure that all the stones are securely held in place.
Bracelet Links: Inspect the links of the tennis bracelet you are going to buy. They should be secure and not easy to break. It is worth mentioning that due to its links, the length of a tennis bracelet can be adjusted. If your bracelet is too loose, a jeweller can remove several links to give it a tighter fit.
Clasp: Test the clasp to make sure it does not open easily. It should be solid and close safely.
Flexibility: A tennis bracelet should be flexible. In case it is too rigid, it could easily break whenever you twist your wrist. Try to dangle your bracelet and see if it hangs straight in the air without kinking.
Bracelet Length: A perfect-size tennis bracelet should move freely on your wrist without discomfort. At the same time, it should not be too loose to slide off. As a general rule, to check the fit, you should be able to fit one finger between the bracelet and your wrist.
How to Choose Diamonds for a Tennis Bracelet
Since diamonds in a tennis bracelet are usually not certified, you will want to pay special attention when choosing the stones. The reason the diamonds do not get certified is their small size. For example, if an average tennis bracelet features fifty 0.20 ct diamonds, and the fee for the certification alone will be around $2,400, it is simply not worth the expense of grading the stones.
If you buy a tennis bracelet made in white gold or platinum, make sure the diamonds look colourless, as yellow tints in them will stick out against the white background.
However, it is not always necessary to have top-grade colour diamonds (D-E-F) in your bracelet. In case you are shopping for a yellow or rose gold tennis bracelet, it is all right to have stones with a slightly yellow tint as the colour of the diamonds will blend with the colour of the metal and become less noticeable.
Whatever your choice of the diamonds’ colour, the most important is it be the same for all the stones throughout the bracelet.
In terms of tennis bracelets, the clarity of diamonds is not as important as their colour. These diamonds are too small for most of their flaws to be visible to the naked eye. However, keep in mind that clarity starts to matter more when your bracelet features larger diamonds (0.50 ct and above). The inclusions in larger diamonds are more visible, so it is recommended to make sure bigger diamonds do not have noticeable blemishes.
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