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All About Tennis Bracelets
Tennis Bracelet. It seems like an odd name for a piece of gem-studded jewelry. After all, multi-thousand-dollar fashion accessories don’t generally go well with high-energy sports. But tennis bracelets are the perfect adornment for the active woman. And besides, they weren’t always called tennis bracelets.
So, where did the name come from? And beyond that, what is a tennis bracelet, and what should you look for when shopping for one? Here, we’ll answer these questions and more, as we explore the definition, origin, and style of the modern tennis bracelet.
What Is a Tennis Bracelet?
A tennis bracelet is a piece of jewelry that fits around the wearer’s wrist. The tennis bracelet contains many small gems — usually diamonds, though other precious stones are not completely unheard of — set close together, connected by a thin chain of precious metal (predominantly silver, gold, or platinum).
The result is an elegant, brilliant ribbon of gems, that encircles the wrist and catches the eye. These bracelets are extremely flexible, moving with the wearer and able to be worn comfortably, even during physical activity. And, as it happens, that’s where they get their name.
Where Did Tennis Bracelets Get Their Name?
Tennis bracelets are nothing new; in fact, they’ve been a popular accessory since the 1920s. However, until relatively recently, they were known simply as ‘eternity bracelets,’ taking their name from the ever-popular ‘eternity’ style diamond ring. Much like eternity rings, these bracelets eschew center stones in favor of an unbroken line of identically cut gems. Alternatively, these bracelets were sometimes called ‘diamond line bracelets’ (again, for good reason). So where did the name ‘tennis bracelet’ come from?
Supposedly, the origin of the term can be traced back to one specific event.
The commonly accepted anecdote is that during the 1987 US Open, tennis superstar Chris Evert happened to lose her valuable eternity bracelet while in the middle of a match. Under the watchful eye of television cameras, and broadcast around the world, officials paused the match to conduct a search for the missing bracelet.
And even though some historians argue that the term ‘tennis bracelet’ may have already been in use before that famous game, it’s hard to deny the effect this event had on public perception. Chris Evert and her broken clasp garnered enough media attention that shortly thereafter it became common (and eventually official) to refer to eternity bracelets as ‘tennis bracelets.’
Since that time, tennis bracelets have become very popular among athletes (professional and amateur) who want to look their best, while they give their best.
What to Look for in a Tennis Bracelet
If you’re in the market for a tennis bracelet, there are a few key factors that you’ll want to consider. Most obviously, you’ll need to decide upon the stones.
As previously mentioned, diamonds are the most popular gems for use in tennis bracelets. But where diamond rings often feature a large center stone designed to stand out, the diamonds in a tennis bracelet aren’t nearly as open to scrutiny. That means that you don’t necessarily need to go for flawless stones in your tennis bracelet; ones of slightly lower quality will likely look just as good. What is important is that the diamonds pass the naked-eye test. How brilliant are they? Do they appear colorless and free of unwanted inclusions? If your diamonds look good to you, then there’s probably no reason to pull out the microscope. At Clean Origin, the minimum color for our tennis bracelets are F/G and the minimum clarity is SI1.
Next, you should consider how secure the bracelet is. After all, Chris Evert’s bracelet may have achieved fame by flying off of her wrist at the wrong time, but you probably don’t want your bracelet to do the same. Before purchasing, make sure that the clasp is secure and durable, particularly if you plan on wearing your bracelet while active. Likewise, the individual diamond settings and links will need to be durable enough to hold together while being jostled around. Finally, make note of the overall flexibility of the bracelet; if the links get caught or bend at odd angles while you move, then the bracelet will be more likely to suffer damage — or even break.
Tennis Bracelet Care and Maintenance
One of the things that makes tennis bracelets so popular is their durability and flexibility. Some people wear their tennis bracelets nearly every day, for a versatile-yet-elegant look that doesn’t have to wait for a special occasion. Unfortunately, this every-day approach to tennis bracelets sometimes leads to neglect.
Here are some maintenance and care tips to ensure that your bracelet stays clean, beautiful, and intact:
Remove your bracelet while showering, washing your hands, or using lotion — Soap, lotion, and oils can build up within the links or around the diamonds or clasp. This can give the bracelet a grungy appearance, and may leave a thin film over the stones (dulling their brilliance).
Be careful about wearing it with watches or other bracelets — The honest truth is that the right watch or bracelet combination can really add to the overall look of your tennis bracelet. That said, you should be careful not to turn this into a regular thing. If you frequently wear your bracelet with watches or other wrist jewelry, you may be exposing it to damage.
Don’t neglect regular maintenance and cleanings — As with any diamond jewelry, you should be taking your tennis bracelet in for yearly cleaning and maintenance. A professional jeweler should be able to give your bracelet a safe, thorough cleaning, while also checking to ensure that the links and diamond settings are secure.
Tennis Bracelets from Clean Origin
At Clean Origin, we offer a selection of brilliant diamond tennis bracelets in 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 carats. And because all of our diamonds are lab-grown, you can expect to be paying as much as 20–40% less per carat than you’d be paying for mined diamonds of similar quality. And, as always, our lab-created diamonds are chemically, physically, and visually identical to mined diamonds (but without the negative environmental and ethical issues that go along with diamond mining).
If you want an elegant piece of jewelry that’s just as at home in the gym as it is in the opera house, then consider a diamond tennis bracelet from Clean Origin. Check out our selection of diamond tennis bracelets, and see for yourself just how beautiful clean diamonds can be.