A tennis bracelet is a bracelet in which diamonds or other jewels are symmetrically arranged. The stones are usually similar in shape, size, clarity, and color, and they’re set on a thin chain made of precious metal. Despite their simplicity, tennis bracelets are one of the most versatile jewelry pieces to have in your collection.
Why Is It Called A Tennis Bracelet?
The piece of jewelry we now call tennis bracelets were once called “line diamond bracelets”, but that name became obsolete in the 1980s. Most of the internet credit the breaking of Christ Evert’s line diamond bracelet in the 1987 US Open for making the bracelet popular and coining the name.
According to these writers, she was wearing a George Bedewei bracelet and asked that the match be put on hold for her to search for the missing piece of jewelry.
Crosschecking The “Evert Theory”
However, Marion Facel of The Adventurine did more digging by asking Evert’s publicist, Tami Starr. Tami Starr relayed in an email, “Chrissie recalls that she was wearing a diamond and gold bracelet, and it broke and fell onto the court in an early round of the Open, and they had to stop play while she looked for it.”.
Starr adds that Evert remembers this event occurring at the 1978 US Open, making it likely that early in internet history, someone wrote 1987 instead of 1978, and it has carried on.
Tennis And Tennis Bracelets
Whatever the year that the loose bracelet event happened, Evert already wore the bracelets as part of her gear from the 70s. She popularized the bracelet, and it was synonymous with her brand, and the name “tennis bracelet” probably became a part of mainstream media because of her.
Apart from her, numerous other tennis players such as Serena Williams and Gabriela Sabatini wore the jewelry, and it became a staple of the sport.
The clasps coming off while Evert played made George Bedewei produce bracelets with more secure clasps. Soon, other jewelers began to make tennis bracelets to capitalize on the increasing market.
Things To Look Out For In A Good Tennis Bracelet
When you want to buy a tennis bracelet, there are some things you should always look out for as you make your choice. These factors help you choose the best quality tennis bracelet to meet your specific needs.
1. The Stones
When you want to choose your tennis bracelet, the stone is the most critical aspect to think about. You should carefully consider the type of stone you want on the bracelet because it is the most visible feature of the bracelet. You should consider the type, quality, and size of whatever stones you want on your bracelet.
The most popular stone that jewelers use in the production of tennis bracelets is diamonds. Diamonds are famous because they offer a kind of glitter that other gemstones do not have; they are extremely hard and won’t scratch easily. However, other gems can also be used to make tennis bracelets.
2. The Chain
The chain is another crucial factor to consider when choosing your tennis bracelet because that’s the link that holds the stones together. Depending on the setting used for the gemstones, the chain is also quite visible, and the last thing you want is a washed-up chain to hold your gems together.
Also, it is the part of the bracelet that comes in direct contact with your skin, so if you’re allergic, you should aim for a hypoallergenic metal. The most common that jewelers use in making tennis bracelets is 14 or 18-karat gold which could be white, rose, or yellow. Some bracelets are made of other cheaper and less durable metals like silver and platinum.
3. Secure Clasp
Nowadays, tennis bracelets are made with active sportspeople in mind. Since the game of tennis involves lots of arm-swinging, a tight tennis bracelet clasp is a priority. The most common clasp you’ll see on tennis bracelets is the popular spring-ring clasp type found on other necklaces and bracelets. However, different clasp types are lobster clasp, barrel clasp, toggle, s-hook clasp, and open box clasp.
Regardless of the clasp that your tennis bracelet is made of, it’s always a good idea to ensure that it has a safety clasp. The safety clasp keeps your bracelet firm and secure on your wrist if the original clasp breaks or gets loose. The safety clasp is found majorly on more expensive tennis bracelets.
4. The Right Size
When you’re buying a tennis bracelet in a jewelry store, you can quickly try it on to get a perfect fit. However, if you’re buying it from an online store like Amazon, you need to measure the size of your wrist and add ½ – 1 ½ inches to your measurement to get a good fit. The good thing with tennis bracelets is that links can be easily removed or added to adjust the bracelet’s size if it doesn’t fit you perfectly.
Should I Get A Tennis Bracelet?
The fashion industry is an ever-evolving landscape, and it’s not often that one item remains popular for decades. Tennis bracelets are one of those fashion items that have seemed timeless for decades and are still extremely popular today. If you’re wondering whether you should also buy a tennis bracelet for yourself, here are some reasons you should consider buying one.
1. They’re Versatile
Tennis bracelets were made famous for tennis stars and can be easily used for all sorts of sporting activities like swimming, tennis, table tennis, etc. However, they aren’t limited to being used by athletes and can be easily used on corporate and casual dressings. To highlight the tennis bracelet’s versatility, you can wear it as a singular piece of jewelry; you can wear multiple tennis bracelets, wear it with a wristwatch, and so on.
2. They’re Tough
If you have a diamond tennis bracelet with a gold chain, you can use it in multiple harsh situations without damage. Gold and diamond on a piece of jewelry are usually a recipe for a long-lasting fashion item.
3. They Make The Stones Shine Through
If you plan to have a bracelet that allows your diamonds to shine without any “distractions,” then a tennis bracelet is ideal. The bracelet’s arrangement allows the diamond to stick out in front without any other parts of the jewelry getting in its way. The stone setting used on the bracelet can also enhance how much light reflects on the stone.
4. They’re Minimal And Lightweight
Some people aren’t fans of wearing huge jewelry pieces, and for such people, tennis bracelets are perfect. You can select a tennis bracelet with small stones that have a minimal appearance and only give off the glitter of the gemstones. Also, the light weight of the tennis bracelets makes them easy to comfortably wear while you engage in sporting activities or even when you go to bed at night.
Types Of Tennis Bracelet Settings
Tennis bracelets always have a setting that holds the gemstones to the chain. There are three types of settings found in tennis bracelets– bezel, channel, and prong settings, and each setting gives the bracelet a unique look. If your tennis bracelet is well-done, any setting you choose should hold the gemstones properly in place, and the choice of setting is for the sake of appearances.
1. Bezel/Half Bezel Setting
The bezel settings are designed like a watch face; a metal setting, similar to a watch, surrounds each gemstone. Each stone is grabbed on two sides and secured to the band in a half-bezel setting.
2. Channel Setting
A channel setting comprises two rows of thin metal on either side, with the stones running down the center like a water channel. As a result, the jewels form a continuous line close to each other.
3. Prong Setting
Each diamond is held in place by two, three, or four-prong baskets in the prong setting. The prongs enhance the diamond’s radiance, which enables light to enter from all sides. The prong baskets also serve to keep the diamonds securely in place.
How to Wear a Tennis Bracelet
Wearing a tennis bracelet is easy. Start by selecting the right size for your wrist. If it’s too loose, it will slide around and not stay in place, while too tight can be uncomfortable. Put the bracelet on before you put on any other jewelry or clothing to avoid snagging it. It’s best to wear a tennis bracelet on its own or paired with minimal and complementary jewelry. To put it on, gently clasp it around your wrist and adjust it to your comfort.
Tennis bracelets are versatile pieces that can be worn with both casual and formal outfits. For a casual look, pair it with a white t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. For a more dressed-up look, wear it with a little black dress or a formal suit. It’s best to let the bracelet be the statement piece and keep other accessories to a minimum. The key is to choose outfits that complement the delicate and elegant style of your tennis bracelet.
Is A Tennis Bracelet Worth It?
Getting a tennis bracelet is a significant financial decision as it can cost between $1000 and hundreds of thousands of dollars. The first reason they are so expensive is how rare high-quality tennis bracelets can be. While you can easily find low-grade tennis bracelets in numerous online stores, only jewelers like Tiffany and Cartier guarantee the best quality bracelets.
The bracelet’s price is determined by the materials that it is made of. For the gemstones, the four Cs of color, clarity, cut, and carat would play a massive part in determining how much the tennis bracelet would cost. Also, the chain’s material goes some way to determining how much the bracelet would cost; naturally, gold jewelry would cost more than other metals.
If you have the money to buy a high-quality tennis bracelet, it’s worth every dime you spend on it as it’ll adorn your wrist for many years. It’ll also give you the freedom and flexibility to use it.