Although the tennis bracelet was not designed to be a fashion accessory for match play, it was the game of tennis that gave the bracelet its name. Ever tennis legend Chris Evert had an unfortunate mishap during a major tennis tournament, these diamond bracelets have been called “tennis bracelets.”
A classic tennis bracelet, once called an eternity bracelet, is an in-line bracelet with a pattern of symmetrical and individually set diamonds with a clasp. It’s a bracelet, but usually is not worn while playing tennis. Over the years, the bracelets have become an elegant fashion statement and make great gifts for anniversaries, graduations, birthdays or any special occasion.
The name “tennis bracelet” came about after an incident at the 1987 U.S. Tennis Championships involving tennis champ Chris Evert. She was wearing an in-line diamond bracelet while playing one of her matches, and the clasp broke. Her diamond bracelet slipped off her wrist. She requested that the match be suspended until she found her bracelet. Her request was granted, and because of this incident, the bracelet became known as a diamond tennis bracelet.
The incident led the way to a whole new fashion trend in diamond tennis bracelets. Other players followed Chris Evert’s fashion sense and started wearing diamond bracelets while playing tennis. Gabriela Sabatini and Serena Williams are two players among many who were seen wearing expensive diamond bracelets in the years that followed.
This 1987 event also led to a design change in diamond tennis bracelets; many manufacturers started including a safety chain along with the clasp. Tennis bracelets were not originally designed to be worn during tennis matches — however, if you were able to afford this type of jewelry and wore it as a sports accessory, the design change kept the bracelet from falling off the wrist if the clasp broke.
Although the classic version of the tennis bracelet has diamonds set in yellow gold, today you have many more choices. There are different gemstones to choose from, such as rubies, garnets, sapphires or emeralds. Cubic zirconium, a diamond lookalike, is sometimes used, making the bracelets more affordable. Along with yellow gold, the bracelets are made using white gold, sterling silver and platinum. Now any bracelet with an in-line, repetitive design is considered a tennis bracelet.
If You Want One
When you buy a tennis bracelet, take into consideration your wrist size. If you have a small wrist and slender arm, a delicate bracelet with smaller diamonds will look best. Those who have larger wrists or arms should choose bolder bracelets with larger stones.
References and ResourcesGem Affair: The Tennis Bracelet: Game, Set and Match
Diamond Tennis Bracelets: Diamond Tennis Bracelet -- The History and Popularity of the Tennis Bracelet