Our Ultimate Tennis Bracelet Buying Guide

By Michael Fried

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Bottom Line Recommendation: Diamond tennis bracelets are beautiful jewelry pieces often given for anniversaries, holidays and special milestones. We recommend reviewing various tennis bracelets to determine which styles and settings are most appealing to you—whether it’s a 14K white gold tennis bracelet or a bracelet with two rows of diamonds like this one. Most importantly, be sure to purchase your tennis bracelet from a reputable vendor like James Allen or Blue Nile.

Tennis Bracelets: History and Background

A tennis bracelet is a bracelet that contains small diamonds or gems connected by a thin, precious metal chain. As a piece of elegant jewelry, tennis bracelets are usually made of 14K or 18K gold, or platinum.

The name ‘tennis bracelet’ originates from the 1987 US Open when professional tennis player, Chris Evert, lost her diamond bracelet during a match. Evert asked the officials to pause the game to look for her bracelet—all while spectators and TV viewers watched the search. Since that day, the line diamond bracelet has been referred to as the tennis bracelet. Viewers and tennis players alike have been inspired to wear diamond bracelets themselves.

Where to Buy a Tennis Bracelet

Similar to when buying a diamond ring, you want to purchase your tennis bracelet from a reputable and reliable jewelry vendor. Based on our years of experience, we recommend the following vendors for tennis bracelets and other fine jewelry.

James Allen: James Allen offers excellent customer service and competitive prices. Their high resolution photography and videography gives you the necessary tools to confidently buy jewelry online. Their broad selection of well-crafted settings make them a superior choice for any piece of fine jewelry.

Tennis bracelets from James Allen:

Blue Nile: With over 17 years of experience, Blue Nile offers exceptional diamond and jewelry craftsmanship. They’ve developed strong relationships with diamond and jewelry vendors, giving them the largest selection in the industry. Like James Allen, Blue Nile provides high-quality video technology, making diamond selection easier and more accurate.

Tennis bracelets from Blue Nile

Brian Gavin Diamonds: With over 20 years of experience, Brian Gavin is known for offering the best cut diamonds. Simply put, their diamonds offer unparalleled brilliance—meaning their stones give off the most sparkle. Consider the Brian Gavin collection for your tennis bracelets, rings and pendants.

Tennis bracelets from Brian Gavin:

Boutique options: If you’re looking for something truly unique and have the ability to pay extra, please contact us.

Assessing the Quality of a Tennis Bracelet

When it comes to determining the quality of a tennis bracelet, you’ll want to consider the metal used, along with the quality and beauty of the diamonds.

Metal type and color—usually platinum, white gold, rose gold or yellow gold—is chosen primarily based on personal preference and budget. Both 14K or 18K gold are durable enough for everyday wear, as is platinum. Review our guide to platinum and gold here for more detailed information, or learn about 14K gold here.

For the diamonds, you’ll want to look at them closely with the naked eye or high resolution imagery. While the center diamonds of engagement rings should always be certified, the diamonds in tennis bracelets are too small to make the expense of grading the diamonds worthwhile. For example, if you were to certify 55 diamonds in a tennis bracelet, the certifications would cost almost five thousand dollars alone. Because there are no certifications for most tennis bracelet diamonds, it’s especially important to buy a tennis bracelet from a thoroughly vetted, reputable vendor like Blue Nile or James Allen. Much of what you are paying for in a tennis bracelet is craftsmanship and style.

In reviewing the diamonds yourself, make sure they offer brilliance—meaning light reflects back to the eye, creating sparkle. You’ll also want to ensure the diamonds look eye clean (meaning they don’t have any noticeable blemishes) and that the stones look white in relation to the setting. If you’d like assistance in evaluating the diamonds of a tennis bracelet, contact us and one of our experts will help you out.

Tennis Bracelet Styles and Settings

Styles of tennis bracelets vary. While most designs contain one row or loop of diamonds, some bracelets have two or even three rows of stones. Most tennis bracelets utilize round cut diamonds, although some styles incorporate emerald cuts like this platinum tennis bracelet or princess cuts like this 18K white gold bracelet.

Settings are usually one of three varieties: prong, channel or bezel. Each style securely holds the diamond and offers a unique look. The bracelet design you choose should be based on personal preference.

  • Prong: Usually 3 or 4 prongs per diamond (both options are secure). The metal prongs hold the stone and allow light to pass through the diamond’s pavillion, like in this 14K white gold tennis bracelet.
  • Channel: Designed with two rows of thin metal to hold the stone on either side (with the stones in the middle). Diamonds fit closely together like in this 14K white gold tennis bracelet.
  • Bezel (or Half Bezel): Metal surrounds the stone, similar to a watch head. This milgrain tennis bracelet is an example of a bezel setting. In a half bezel, metal is connected to only two sides of the stone.

When to Buy Tennis Bracelets

Tennis bracelets make for beautiful and meaningful gifts throughout the year. Because of their classic design and popular appeal, tennis bracelets are often passed down for generations as family heirlooms and keepsakes.
Consider a tennis bracelet for any of these special occasions:

  • Wedding anniversary (i.e. 5th, 10th, 15th, 25th)
  • Wedding day gift (for spouse, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother)
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Birthday
  • Graduation (high school, college, graduate school, medical school)
  • Birth of a child
  • Job promotion
  • Achievement of an exciting milestone
  • Retirement
  • Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or other holidays

How to Determine Sizing for a Tennis Bracelet

In general, bracelet sizes don’t matter as much as ring sizes do, though you still want to get as close as you can. Measuring the person’s wrist with a flexible measuring tape will produce the most accurate size. You can also wrap a piece of yarn or ribbon around the wrist then measure the length with a standard ruler.

No matter which measuring tool you use, add an inch or half an inch to your measurement to calculate bracelet size. For example, if the wrist measures 6 inches, consider a 6.5 or 7 inch bracelet.

If you’re purchasing the tennis bracelet as a gift and don’t know wrist size, use 7-7.5 as a starting guide. 7-7.5 is the most popular bracelet size for women. If you think she has smaller or larger wrists than the average person, adjust up or down accordingly.

Tennis bracelets are often easily adjusted by removing a link to shorten the chain.

Famous Tennis Bracelets

In addition to Chris Evert—the tennis player who helped give the bracelet its name and popularity—several other celebrities and famous people have showcased tennis bracelets throughout the years.

  • Queen Elizabeth II owns a diamond quatrefoil bracelet that was passed down by her mother. Kate Middleton recently wore the special bracelet to a gala dinner.
  • Penelope Cruz wore a 24-carat heart-shaped tennis bracelet in Rome for the premiere of the film “Nine.”
  • Other celebrities known to wear tennis bracelets: Lady Antebellum, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Lopez.

Finding a Tennis Bracelet

To find a beautiful tennis bracelet that will match the style of your someone special, look through the collections of reputable vendors like Blue Nile, James Allen and Brian Gavin.

For assistance in reviewing diamonds and jewelry pieces, contact us who are always available to help and offer advice.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well. For a limited time, take advantage of their 25% OFF Valentine's Day Sale!
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment

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