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Tennis Bracelets

How the tennis bracelet got its name

The tennis bracelet actually used to be called an eternity or in-line bracelet. Just like an eternity ring, the entire length is made of gemstones-set one next to the other. So, how did it get its contemporary name, the tennis bracelet? While some things are named arbitrarily after things that are completely unrelated, this one actually does have a tennis story behind it.

This style of bracelet was worn on the court frequently by tennis great Chris Evert. In 1987 at the US Open, it fell off during a match. Not only are these bracelets beautiful, but they can be quite expensive. So, imagine Chris Evert stopping the match to find it as millions of people watched live and on television. Though this bracelet style was not new, this incident brought it a lot of attention and its popularity sky rocketed. Ever since then, the in-line bracelet has been known as the "tennis" bracelet. More than a diamond bracelet

A traditional tennis bracelet is made up of diamonds. They can come in carrying sizes, but the smaller the carat weight, the smaller the diamonds. While they are more affordable, there is more silver and setting than stones. The quality and clarity of the diamonds are less important than they are in a solitaire because the inclusions are less noticeable. However, the larger the carat weight of the bracelet, the more visible they will be. Note: A tennis bracelet is measured in total carat weight. So, while a one carat bracelet may sound big, when one carat is divided up to cover the length of the bracelet, each stone becomes quite small.

Aside from the traditional style, the tennis bracelet can be made of alternating diamonds and other gemstones. As a birthstone gift, a ruby and diamond tennis bracelet will make her the envy of her friends.

Different styles of Tennis Bracelets

Aside from alternating diamonds with other gemstones, there are also a number of different settings and cuts to choose from. The classic style is the four-pronged round stone setting, one diamond after the other. Often, there are metal designs in between the stones in the shape of an S or an X. The S shape is a classic look and the X is a fun addition to make it look like Xs and Os, or hugs and kisses. The hugs and kisses style is a popular Valentine's Day gift.

Another popular setting is called channel set. This diamond tennis bracelet typically has princess or emerald cut stones and they are set in a link style setting. There is little or no metal in between the stones. Bezel settings have also gained in popularity. This type leaves a smooth finish across the face and a majority of the stone is visible. Each stone is hugged in a capsule of gold or silver for an elegant look. Pave' style is where the stones are set down into the bracelet. Kind of like cobblestones pave a road, the diamonds blanket the bracelet.

Caring for a Tennis Bracelet.

If the bracelet contains just diamonds, cleaning is simple. The piece can be cleaned like any gold and diamond jewelry. Just use regular jewelry cleaner or warm, soapy water and scrub with a soft brush to get between the stones. It can also be placed in an ultrasonic cleaner or steam cleaned.

However, if there are other gemstones along with the diamonds, it must be cleaned only as the most delicate stone can tolerate. For instance, an opal and gold tennis bracelet must be cleaned carefully with a soft cloth because the opals are very delicate.

If the stone setting is pronged, they must be checked regularly to make sure they are tight and the tips are intact. There are so many of them and, because it is a bracelet, the opportunity to damage them is greater. To protect the investment, make sure to have a safety chain attached to the clasp. A diamond tennis bracelet should already have a secure clasp, typically a box clasp with safety guards that flip down on each side. This is one of the most secure types of clasp to use on a tennis bracelet. It is also an attractive clasp because it is pretty much hidden so it does not detract from the beauty of the diamonds and gemstones.

Because this is also an investment, make sure to have the bracelet appraised by a GIA certified appraiser and insure it either on a home policy or as a personal property policy. Because diamonds tend to gain in value, it is a good idea to have it reappraised every so often to make sure it is covered for full replacement value. Though the sentimental attachment can't be replaced, the bracelet itself can be.

A diamond and sapphire tennis bracelet makes for a memorable gift on an anniversary, birthday or other special occasion. It is also a token of love when a couple is not yet ready for a commitment but they are beyond the just dating stage. Whatever the reason, it is an elegant and intimate gift.