Tennis bracelets are a versatile and stylish option, perfect for any occasion be it the tennis courts or your wedding day. Here’s a look at the top tennis bracelet styles and settings to choose from.
What’s a Tennis Bracelet?
Before we get into the settings and styles, let’s take a quick look at what makes a tennis bracelet. A tennis bracelet, also called a line bracelet, features a series of gemstones or diamonds held together in sequence by a metal chain made of platinum, gold or sterling silver. Although tennis bracelets can be made using any gemstone, the most popular style features diamonds.
This style of bracelet is said to have got its name from a jewelry-related accident on the tennis court. The famous tennis player, Chris Evert, was wearing her diamond line bracelet during an important game of tennis when it flew off her wrist. The story goes that she stopped the game to find her bracelet and since then, line bracelets were called tennis bracelets.
Settings and Styles
If you thought that tennis bracelets only come in one style, you thought wrong! This is a highly versatile style of bracelet that can be customized in hundreds of ways. Here are some ways:
1- Prong Set Tennis Bracelet
Diamond tennis bracelet in prong setting. Check price HERE.
The prong setting is one of the most popular style for tennis bracelets, offering a perfect balance of security and beauty. Here, the diamonds are held in place with 3 to 4 prongs, carefully positioned for maximum security of the stone.
Tennis bracelets with 3 prongs, like this yellow gold bracelet, has an almost triangular look, while 4 prongs make for a more rounded, symmetrical appearance. We’ve also seen 2-pronged tennis bracelets, like this 14K white gold bracelet that looks very distinct and intriguing.
Prong settings allow the diamonds to interact with light and sparkle from all angles, with minimal metal interreference. For extra protection, some designs incorporate a double claw prong like this 18K white gold bracelet which ensures that the diamond is securely held in place.
2- Bezel Set Tennis Bracelet
Bezel set tennis bracelet. Check price HERE.
A bezel set tennis bracelet features gemstones surrounded completely by the metal, with each stone held securely in a cup-like setting. Bezel settings for tennis bracelets are very secure, as they hold the diamonds safely providing a buffer from exposure. However, this setting tends to highlight the metal as much as the stone and can minimize the stone’s sparkle due to reduced light interaction. There is no sparkle from the sides, as the metal completely covers the diamond, leaving only the top view visible. Bezel set tennis bracelets have a distinct look to them and are ideal for people with busy, active lifestyles.
3- Half Bezel Set Tennis Bracelet
A half bezel follows the same concept as a full bezel, except that there’s only metal on two sides of the stone instead of surrounding the stone. This is a rarer style and you won’t come across it much when looking for a tennis bracelet. However, the benefit of the half bezel setting is that it offers a lot of protection to the diamond while still allowing light to reflect through from several angles.
4- Channel Set Tennis Bracelet
Channel set diamond tennis bracelet. See it HERE.
In a channel setting, the gemstone is placed in a channel or groove, with two rows of metal holding the stones in place on either side. The diamonds are placed closely together, appearing like a continuous loop of diamonds. Because of the way the diamonds are set, there’s more scope for light interaction than there is with bezel settings, making the channel setting an excellent balance between security and beauty. This type of setting has a structured, sleek look and is very stylish.
5- Gemstone Tennis Bracelet
Alternating emerald and diamond tennis bracelet. See it HERE.
Another popular style for tennis bracelets is to opt for a gemstone instead of diamonds. This opens up a world of color and styles to you, from precious to semi-precious gemstones. The most popular gemstones for tennis bracelets are sapphires, emeralds and rubies as these are precious gemstones with a lot of value. However, semi-precious stones like topaz, aquamarine or citrine, can add gorgeous color to your bracelet while still keeping it sparkling and classy. If a single color is too much for you, opt to alternate with diamonds, for a more punctuated look.
6- Non-Traditional Gemstone Shapes
Emerald cut diamonds. Check price HERE.
One way to immediately change up the look of a diamond tennis bracelet is to opt for diamond shapes other than round or princess. These two cuts are the most popular, and most tennis bracelets feature one or the other. However, think shapes like emerald, Asscher, trilliant or oval for a stylish, unique look.
Tips for Choosing Your Tennis Bracelet
Once you’ve narrowed down on the style and setting you’re after, here are some other considerations when buying your tennis bracelet:
- The metal you choose will have an impact on the style of your tennis bracelet. The metals typically used are yellow, rose and white golds as well as platinum. Of these, platinum is the most expensive. The white metals (platinum and white gold) have a modern, chic look while rose and yellow gold add a classic, vintage feel to the piece.
- Think about the size of your bracelet to find the perfect fit. You don’t want it hanging off your wrist nor do you want it clinging tightly on. It should fit comfortably, neither lose nor tight.
- Diamond or gemstone size is another consideration and will depend largely on your budget. Choose a size that’s neither too large nor too small but will fit perfectly for everyday wear. If you want a statement look, then of course opt for larger rocks, but for a classic, traditional style, consider a dainty, neutral size. The carat weight in a diamond tennis bracelet is usually calculated by adding up the carat weights of all the diamonds in the bracelet. This can range from a total carat weight of 2 to 10 or more. You can customize your own tennis bracelets, picking out the carat weight you want.
- Ensure that the diamonds in your bracelet are uniform in size and color at least when viewed with the naked eye. All the diamonds should look the same with no single diamond standing apart for whatever reason.
- If diamonds or precious gemstones are beyond your budget, opt for affordable alternatives. These include lab created options which are more affordable and are the real deal. If you want a diamond look alike, consider moissanite, white sapphire, white topaz or cubic zirconia. Each of these options have their own pros and cons but are overall gorgeous alternatives to a colorless diamond tennis bracelet.