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What is a Tennis Bracelet?

11 mins read time
What is a Tennis Bracelet?

There are moments in history that have shaped the culture and language surrounding the clothes and jewelry we wear. You could hardly imagine a single glove without thinking of Michael Jackson’s memorable performances or a halter-top cocktail dress without envisioning Marilyn Monroe’s classic windy dress photo. However, with some of the words we use, we do so without truly knowing the history behind them. This might be the case for you with the story of the diamond tennis bracelet. Surprisingly, this women's diamond bracelet was not originally made with the game of tennis in mind at all. One iconic moment shifted this piece from its place as a diamond line eternity bracelet to being known as a “tennis bracelet.”

How The Tennis Bracelet Got Its Name:

In the 1920s, swing dancing, jazz music, and Art Deco jewelry pieces were all the rage. Geometric, angular shapes nd simple straight lines were in-fashion when incorporated into rings, earrings, and bracelets. One such bracelet was birthed during this era— a simple diamond line bracelet that could be worn to add a straightforward elegance to one’s overall look. This classic token piece from the Roaring ’20s has continued to be worn through the decades, either by itself or paired with other modern pieces. In the late 1970s, this well-known bracelet got a new name almost overnight.

Over the years of retelling this story, some journalists mistakenly noted that the tennis bracelet got its name in the late 80s, but that doesn’t quite line up with first-hand accounts of the story. Tracing the style back to the ‘70s shows the sudden boom of tennis bracelet purchases that occurred shortly thereafter in the 1980s. During the 1970s, people were dancing disco, dressing down diamonds, and looking for a new nonchalant luxe look to pair with their wide-legged denim and laid-back personalities. This set the scene for an eternity diamond bracelet to take center stage in the 1978 U.S. Open Tennis Championships.

Chris Evert was ascending the ranks in her tennis career. Not only was she known for her accomplished tennis skills, but she was credited for the style she brought to the court. Evert’s signature accessory was a diamond line eternity bracelet, which she did not take off for games. During one match in the 1978 U.S. Open, Chris Evert asked for the game to halt so that she could search for something on the court. The dainty, luxurious bracelet had flown from her wrist, and the game was stopped until she could find it again. 

Since this pivotal event in its history, the tennis bracelet has been worn by those who hold to sentimentality. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, sporting one of these meant being on-trend and subtly revealing their high-status. Moving into the 2000s, bolder, flashier pieces came onto the scene, but as minimalist looks have resurfaced and marked the lifestyles of many in recent years, the tennis bracelet has been welcomed back to the modern fashion with open arms. Today, there’s often a contemporary twist put into the design of the bracelet, but its basic form has still proven itself to be a classic staple for those who want to add a nostalgic, low-key luxe to their style.

What Makes A Tennis Bracelet? 

These diamond line bracelets have been recognizable since the 1920s because the integrity of the design has remained largely unchanged. A tennis bracelet usually features anywhere from 4 to 70 diamonds in a line setting, with individual links that join together. Finally, a subtle clasp secures it at the wrist to keep it in place on your wrist throughout your day. Most bracelets show off diamonds all the way around the wrist, giving it a dainty extravagance. One of the few ways this bracelet varies in style is in the chosen settings to display the delicate diamonds. 

Different Types Of Settings

One small differentiating factor from one tennis bracelet to another is the setting that securely holds the small diamonds in place. A prong setting is very common and uses small, square metal tips to securely hold diamonds. Bezel settings are a round shape, encompassing a diamond as the backs of the circular pieces link together. A channel setting would feature metal pieces horizontally on either side of the diamond to create a parallel look. 

The other customizable component of the tennis bracelet is the metal used for the setting. In the 20s, diamonds with platinum settings were the ultimate Art Deco piece to show off. Today, there are a few choices based on the price point you’re looking for. Platinum is still an option for those desiring a strong precious metal with a high price point. Additionally, sterling silver, gold, white gold, yellow gold are typical options to consider. Rose gold and black gold are also stunning current setting choices.

The New Important Feature 

One important detail has been added to the structural design of tennis bracelets since the ‘70s. It seems uncommon that someone would wear expensive jewelry on daring escapades or energetic sporting events, but Chris Evert proved this assumption wrong. Along with the tennis court moment that shaped this piece’s identity, a new feature became standard: the safety clasp. However precautionary, this component gives the wearer peace of mind that their beloved eternity bracelet is safe for everyday wear. You wouldn’t want to risk losing your tennis bracelet on the court, too, would you?

The Noémie Tennis Collection 

At Noémie, our tennis bracelet is made with quality in mind just for you. This bracelet stands apart since it has been carefully handcrafted with 18K gold. Thankfully, it comes with a flexible clasp. Additionally, you have the freedom of choice between a black gold, rose gold, or white gold setting, making it easy to customize to your taste. 

Our tennis bracelet is available in sizes for both small and large wrists since we use your measurements to craft this piece just for you. It stuns with 71 diamonds in F/G color and VS clarity. Best of all, our diamonds are certified conflict-free, so your conscience can be clean as you elevate your look with this timeless piece.

In addition to the classic tennis bracelet, our Tennis Collection highlights three other variations of the well-loved original. Our Blue Sapphire and White Diamond Tennis Bracelet displays 60 blue sapphires and 15 white diamonds in a staggered pattern. Like the classic, it is set in 18K gold, but with a 1.5-carat weight of blue sapphire added, with a 0.36-carat weight of white diamonds. 

The Pink Sapphire and White Diamond option is the alternative to the Blue Sapphire Tennis Bracelet, with 60 pink sapphires instead of blue and 15 white diamonds. Both include the same ratio of sapphires to diamonds, so the only thing you have to choose is whether you’re feeling more like a soft blue or a flirty pink. 

The last item in the Tennis Collection is the Larger Tennis Bracelet is just like the classic, but bolder. With a 2.5 carat weight of white diamonds, This is a great option for anyone who wants to upgrade from everyday luxe to fine, high-class simplicity. Keep in mind Noémie also offers custom carat weights and custom sizes with a return policy of 100% returns for a full refund, even on custom designs. 

Are They Adjustable? 

The best way to ensure a tennis bracelet is going to fit correctly is to measure well. Using a piece of string, encircle the wrist snugly, marking where the end meets the string on the other side. Line this piece up with a measuring stick or measuring tape to see your wrists measurement in inches. For a bracelet to fit well, you should add around ½ and inch to ¾ inch to your wrist size. This additional length provides a comfortable, personalized fit for your elegant bracelet.

The good news is that some tennis bracelets also present a customizable element. While a piece of jewelry such as a ring comes in one final size because of its design, a tennis bracelet is designed in such a way that adjusting them is sometimes possible, depending on the bracelet. As mentioned, tennis bracelets are known for featuring small diamonds in settings that link together all the way around to create a uniform line. This formation enables links to be added or removed as needed to provide a comfortable fit. 

To Sum It Up

Whether your life consists of taking risks on the court or making unrestrained memories on-the-go, a tennis bracelet is a go-to piece that you can add to your everyday look without worrying about it coming unclasped. The individual links found in many of these bracelets mean you can convert yours to fit you in any season of life, or to fit a loved one if you choose to make it an heirloom. This eternity bracelet has made its mark on history from the 1920s till now, all while maintaining a gentle sophistication. The tennis bracelet is a flexible item to add to your collection, and you never have to worry about it falling off or going out of style. It’s proven itself to be a classic in every era.