The Definitive Guide to Buying a Diamond line/Tennis Bracelet
What is a tennis bracelet?
A diamond line or tennis bracelet is a really easy piece of jewellery to wear. It can be casual or elegant, worn alone, in combination with a watch or stacked with other bracelets. Depending on the size, a diamond bracelet can be low-key or make a bigger statement.
Diamond bracelets became fashionable in the 1920s and have remained popular ever since.
Why is it called a tennis bracelet?
The 1970s no.1 world tennis champion Chris Evert famously dropped her diamond bracelet on the court in the middle of a game – in front of millions watching on TV! The game was stopped until she found it on the grass and put it back on. Since that fateful match the term ‘tennis bracelet’ has grown and grown. My personal preference for a name is ‘eternity bracelet’, similar to an eternity ring, the unbroken circle of diamonds represents the circle of life, a complete and everlasting commitment.
Diamond tennis bracelet
Round diamonds are the most popular choice for bracelets. The traditional 4 claw setting is the most common, but there are other options which leave more space between each diamond. These settings will show more metal, so it depends on the look you want to achieve. The ideal tennis bracelet will sparkle with diamonds from the top, with a lightness of the gold setting when viewed from the side.
What is the average size of a tennis bracelet?
The size of a tennis bracelet is guided by how big the diamonds are. Why are diamond bracelets expensive? Because they use lots of diamonds! From the thinnest piece containing around 1 carat in total, the amount of diamond used in a single tennis bracelet can go up to 20 carats, where each diamond in the bracelet weighs over half a carat – this would make a real showstopper! With anything from 30 to over 100 stones needed to make a tennis bracelet, it becomes really important to know the quality of the diamonds used. In a diamond solitaire ring for example, a single precious stone is chosen for its character and shape, with a very individual result. In a tennis bracelet, it is the overall look of the stones - all coming together in an unbroken row to create a series of sparkles.
It takes a specialist
What this means in practice is that the diamond bracelet maker needs to have a really large selection of stones to choose from, in order to put together a single line of matching diamonds. It takes a specialist with patience to measure and check each stone with the minimum of tolerance. Each diamond in a tennis bracelet should be well matched, and this is a technical challenge, starting off with the weight of each diamond, then the size, colour, the clarity and the way the diamonds are cut. So it is four Cs plus a few more! If all the diamonds in a tennis bracelet have been well selected, the bracelet will have a flowing, even brilliance – noticeably elegant.
How many diamonds are in a tennis bracelet?
A bracelet with smaller diamonds can contain over 100 stones, around 1 carat total weight. Each diamond in a 100 stone bracelet is tiny, but if the diamonds are good quality, well cut they will sparkle brightly. Thinner diamond bracelets lend themselves well to being stacked with other jewellery and watches. Bracelets with a total diamond weight of 2-5 carats will sparkle more noticeably, each diamond clearly visible. The settings should also be well made and durable, with a security clasp, suitable for the rough and tumble of everyday wear. These bracelets can have between around 60-80 diamonds each.
Bigger diamond line bracelets from 6 carats and upwards can be readily worn alone as eveningwear, although many buyers will wear these casually for any occasion. They can contain around 30 – 50 diamonds. In this size bracket, the quality of each diamond will be much more noticeable. Diamonds are rare, forming deep under the earth over billions of years, going through many stages before becoming sparkling gems. The bigger the diamond, the rarer it is, accounting for the leap in cost between smaller and bigger diamonds. Diamond prices jump in steps, so a 1 carat diamond will be much more expensive per carat than a ¼ carat stone.
How much does a tennis bracelet cost?
When choosing a diamond solitaire engagement ring, the budget will be concentrated on that single stone, usually trying to reach that magic 1 carat, or even bigger if possible! With tennis bracelets, each increase in the size of the bracelet means making all the diamonds bigger, hence the jump in value! A beautiful bracelet can cost anything from £1,500 for a slim and delicate piece, to over £25,000 for a bespoke 10 carat+ masterpiece with certified top-quality diamonds.