Glossary: Tennis Bracelets
Tennis bracelets are single strands of small gemstones, usually diamonds, in a plain, flexible string setting. An iconic piece of jewelry, this classic bracelet has evolved over the years. While most still incorporate diamonds, you can use just about any stone, including breathtaking lab-grown diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies or a mix of multiple gems.
In its basic form, a tennis bracelet will consist of a glittering line of diamond stones of the same color, cut, size and clarity. They will all be set side by side to create a complete, flexible circle around the entirety of the wearer’s wrist.
If you would like something more unique and unusual, however, there are variations of the classic tennis bracelet style. These can feature innovative settings and compelling design flourishes, including diamonds in assorted shapes, sizes and cuts.
While it’s generally known throughout the world by its current moniker, the tennis bracelet used to have a different name. During the roaring twenties, women were known to wear layered bracelets consistent with the popular flapper style. At that time, diamond tennis bracelets were known as eternity bracelets. It wasn’t until 1987 that they earned their current name.
Why Do They Call it a Tennis Bracelet?
Tennis bracelets used to be called eternity or “diamond line” bracelets. These days, when asked to characterize a tennis bracelet, most people use the general term, “diamond bracelet." While technically true, there's actually an interesting history behind how the jewelry got its name.
While playing at the 1987 US Championships, famous tennis star Chris Evert took a big swing with her racket. The force of the action caused her shimmering diamond bracelet to unfasten from her wrist thanks to a defective clasp. Evert asked the judge to pause the match so she could search for her bracelet. After reluctantly granting her request, the judge impatiently waited along with fans and her opponent while Evert searched for the jewelry piece. From that moment, the classic diamond jewelry piece became known as a "tennis bracelet.”
How Much Is a Real Tennis Bracelet?
Tennis bracelets start at about $2,500 and can move up substantially based on the style, design and diamond quality and carats. Higher-quality tennis bracelets will usually be closer to $5,000 or even $9,000. That said, there are plenty of very attractive tennis bracelet designs available for less than $3,500. At John Atencio, our tennis bracelets are listed by total carat weight, and the price often correlates directly to this number.
Why Are Tennis Bracelets So Expensive?
Tennis bracelets tend to be relatively expensive because they include dozens of quality diamonds throughout the entirety of the bracelet. The numerous diamonds are also linked together by precious metals such as 18K gold or platinum. Generally, the bracelet's price will vary based on the size of the gems. Tennis bracelets can also sometimes include other valuable precious gemstones along with diamonds, such as rubies, sapphires or emeralds.
Caring for a Tennis Bracelet
As Chris Evert showed back in 1987, a faulty clasp can send a tennis bracelet flying. Beyond making sure your bracelet has a strong clasp, it’s often wise to have a safety catch added for extra security. It’s also best to have your tennis bracelet regularly inspected by a professional jeweler to ensure that the safety catch, clasp and mountings are all functioning properly.
Before using hand/dish soap, applying lotion or gardening, always remove your bracelet to keep residue from building up. You should also store your tennis bracelet away from other jewelry pieces to prevent the diamonds from scratching softer metals and gemstones.
Choosing a Tennis Bracelet
Sleek and modern, tennis bracelets add fire and sophistication to just about any look, elevating your appearance in formal and casual settings. When it comes to celebrated classics, the iconic tennis bracelet is up there with the famous solitaire diamond engagement ring. Whether you’re buying it for yourself or as a gift, you can never go wrong with this dazzling jewelry piece. It goes with almost everything and will never go out of style.
Visit any John Atencio location, and our experts can help you find the perfect tennis bracelet to complement the jewelry you wear every day. We can also help you decide on an impactful jewelry gift to show her just how much you care.