Tennis bracelets are jewelry pieces made with many small diamonds mounted in tiny metal settings and joined together. Here are some tips on how to evaluate the most important characteristics of a tennis bracelet when shopping for one.
Diamond Color for a Tennis Bracelet
Generally, the whiter the diamonds in your bracelet, the higher quality their color is (unless the stones are fancy-color diamonds). This quality, however, comes at a price, and you should be prepared to pay more for a tennis bracelet with nearly colorless diamonds than for one with stones having visible yellowish tints.
It is not always necessary to have diamonds of top-grade color in your bracelet, though.
For example, if you are shopping for a gold tennis bracelet, it is o.k. to have stones with a slight yellow tint: It will blend with the yellow gold and become less noticeable, making the white in the diamonds stand out.
However, if you are buying a white bracelet, such as one made with white gold, make sure the diamonds look virtually colorless as any yellow tints in them will stick out against the white backdrop.
Uniformity is important.
Whatever the exact grade of your diamonds’ color, it is much more important that it be same for all stones. You don’t want a tennis bracelet that looks like a patchwork of randomly ordered white and yellowish diamonds.
Diamond Clarity and Tennis Bracelets
When it comes to tennis bracelets, clarity is not as important as color for a simple reason: The diamonds in these pieces are too small for most of their flaws to be visible with the naked eye, unless you look from a very close distance.
Size matters for clarity. You should keep in mind, however, that clarity starts to matter more the bigger the diamonds get. The inclusions in larger stones are simply more visible, so when choosing a tennis bracelet with bigger diamonds, make sure they don’t have defects that can be easily seen with the naked eye.
Check the diamonds for damage. Look closely at the stones, preferably with a jeweler’s loupe, and inspect them for chips and cracks. You don’t want to buy a bracelet with damaged diamonds – once their integrity has been compromised, they are more likely to break further.
The Structure of the Tennis Bracelet
Generally, the structure of your tennis bracelet should be sturdy enough to make the piece safe to wear and protect it from hits, blows, bumps, etc.
Diamond settings: Check how the individual diamonds are mounted in the bracelet. Their settings should ensure that the stones won’t fall off easily and should offer some protection against hits.
For example, bezel settings are among the safest – the diamonds are held in place by a metal band that encircles them, fully or partially. Settings in which each stone is held by four prongs are also a good choice.
Links: Look at the links of the tennis bracelet – they should be robust and not easy to break in case the bracelet is pulled hard.
Clasp: Test the clasp to make sure it closes safely and does not open easily. It should be solid and not easily to bend or break.
Flexibility: It is good for a tennis bracelet to be flexible because if it is too rigid, it could break easily whenever you twist it (which happens often when wearing such pieces).
To test the bracelet’s flexibility, dangle it, and see if it hangs straight in the air without kinking.
Choosing the Metal for the Bracelet
When deciding on metal for your tennis bracelet, you should keep in mind that there is a tradeoff between durability and price.
For example, yellow gold and silver are softer and will wear down faster. However, they are a good and affordable choice if you are not going to wear the bracelet every day.
More durable alternatives such as platinum are more expensive but will allow you to wear your tennis bracelet more often without being afraid that its parts will wear out quickly and break.
White gold is a good middle-ground choice as it is more durable than yellow gold but not as expensive as platinum.