Last updated on October 9, 2020
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 bracelet that contains a line of small diamonds or other gemstones mounted in a chain of precious metal setting. Being an elegant piece of jewellery, tennis bracelets are usually made of gold or platinum.
Originally known as a line diamond bracelet, the tennis bracelet has 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. This happened because the clasp broke in the early round of the Open and the bracelet simply fell off her wrist.
Evert even asked the officials to pause the game to look for her bracelet, all while spectators and the rest of the world watched the search on TV.
Since that day, the line diamond bracelet has been referred to as the tennis bracelet because jewellers started to receive requests for a “tennis bracelet”. Not to mention, George Bedewi immediately became popular within the jewellery industry.
Years after the 1987 US Open, tennis players and viewers have been inspired to wear diamond tennis bracelets during matches.
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 (full and half). Each style securely holds the diamonds, thus 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 and won’t fall off easily.
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 a tennis bracelet can be adjusted. If your bracelet is too loose, a jeweller can always remove several links to give it a tighter fit.
Clasp: Test the clasp to make sure it doesn’t open easily. It should be solid and close safely.
Flexibility: A tennis bracelet should be flexible. In case it is too rigid, it could break easily 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 any 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.
Choosing Diamonds for a Tennis Bracelet
Since diamonds in a tennis bracelet are not certified, you will want to pay special attention when choosing stones.
The reason the diamonds are not 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 so it’s simply not worth the expense of grading the diamonds.
If you are buying 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’s 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’s totally fine 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 that it be the same for all the stones throughout the bracelet.
In terms of tennis bracelets, clarity of diamonds is not as important as their colour. These diamonds are too small for most of their flaws to be visible with 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 simply more visible, so make sure bigger diamonds don’t have noticeable blemishes.