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What Is a Tennis Bracelet? Why Is It Called a Tennis Bracelet?

Tennis bracelets are made up of little diamonds or other precious jewels that are linked together by precious metal filaments such as yellow, white, or rose gold, sterling silver, or platinum. 1987 is the year. Chrissie Evert's diamond eternity bracelet detaches from her wrist and flies away. Before she beats Navratilova for the title, play comes to a halt while she hunts for her bracelet.

Gorgeous diamond bracelet in a woman's hand.

Most bracelets are just that and nothing more. Some bracelets, though, have a cachet that makes them stand out in the crowd. Tennis bracelets are like that. I received a diamond tennis bracelet for my birthday once, and I loved it more than my other bracelets.

It’s unfortunate that we can’t buy diamond tennis bracelets every day. Some people consider them to be only suitable for special occasions, and I’ll list those further down the page. Diamonds and other precious gems don’t lose their value, so we should make every day a special occasion, girls.

Related: 31 Different Types of Bracelets

What Is A Tennis Bracelet?

A tennis bracelet is composed of small diamonds or other precious gems, alone or mixed, connected by filaments of precious metals like yellow, white, or rose gold, sterling silver, or platinum. Such bracelets originally were (and sometimes still are) called line diamond bracelets or eternity bracelets.

Why Is It Called A Tennis Bracelet?

Fancy silver and diamond tennis bracelet.

The year is 1987. The place is the U. S. Open championship game in Houston. Chrissie Evert is battling against Martina Navratilova for the coveted title. Right slap in the middle of the game, Evert’s diamond eternity bracelet goes flying off her wrist. Play stops cold while she searches for her bracelet before she beats Navratilova for the title.

Considering that, at that time, Evert was a fashion icon, it’s not surprising that all women wanted whatever Evert’s “thing” was. Her nickname of “the Ice Maiden” stemmed from the wearing of her diamond bracelet. Thus, jewelers all over the world were overwhelmed with orders for “tennis” bracelets after this unforgettable game.

Today’s Tennis Bracelet Trends

Ladies can buy tennis bracelets in any color or combination they desire. I, personally, prefer pink topaz and dark blue sapphire, although I love emerald, and ruby is my birthstone. I think I have enough space on my wrists for those. At any rate, tennis bracelets embracing any and all gemstones are still the rage all these years later.

Ladies wear them singly or stacked. They wear them for formal occasions and for casual occasions. Tennis bracelets are worn with jeans and with silk gowns. You can swim with them on, dance with them on, and do yoga or burpees with them on. Of course, you can also play tennis with them on. 

Can A Tennis Bracelet Be Fake?

Be very aware that you could be paying diamond prices for cubic zirconia or simple glass. Swavorski crystal is a little different, but you’ll not find Swavorski crystal masquerading as a diamond. So test your precious stone first.

Next, test the metal of the bracelet. Many manufacturers plate their jewelry, sometimes over sterling silver. I’ve never understood that; I get a terrible rash due to an allergy to the nickel in the plating.

While many ladies want the real McCoy, some are fooled by manufacturers. Look in reputable jewelry stores instead of buying your tennis bracelet from Wish. Amazon isn’t a bad alternative, but read between the lines before you buy.

When To Buy Tennis Bracelets

People celebrating at a restaurant for special occasion.

I’ve always said, “give an American a reason, and he’ll throw a party.” Americans are known for throwing a bash, some of the reasons for which are:

    • Weddings

    • Anniversaries (of any kind)

    • Birthdays

    • Holidays

    • Graduations

    • Wins For Sporting Events

    • Achieving A Milestone (like buying that house or yacht)

    • Finally Starting That Business You Always Dreamed Of

    • Promotions

    • Retirement

    • Because You Can

Who Wears Tennis Bracelets?

Uma Thurman wearing tennis bracelet at a TV show set

Tennis bracelets never went out of style, so everyone from celebrities to royalty wears them. Some well-known wearers of tennis bracelets are:

    • Kate Winslet

    • Kate Middleton

    • Princess Diana

    • Queen Elizabeth II

    • Sarah Jessica Parker

    • Zoe Kravitz

    • Uma Thurman

    • Penelope Cruz

    • Serena Williams

    • Kylie Jenner

I could go on with this list for a week. You’ll be in excellent company when you wear tennis bracelets!

Tennis Bracelet FAQ

Can I Wear My Tennis Bracelet In The Shower?

You can, but remember that soaps and shampoos leave a film on the stones. This will prevent their brilliance from shining through, so it’s not a good idea to wear it in the shower.

Can I Wear My Tennis Bracelet Every Day?

Sure, you can. Wearing a tennis bracelet is no different from wearing any other piece of jewelry. Jewelry goes with you wherever and whenever, so why not a tennis bracelet?

On Which Wrist Should I Wear My Tennis Bracelet?

Stunning woman with fancy earring and tennis bracelet on her left wrist.

Most people, being right-handed, wear theirs on their left wrist. Left-handed people wear theirs on their right wrist. It depends on which is your dominant side, so you generally wear your tennis bracelet on the opposite wrist.

Do Men Wear Tennis Bracelets?

Absolutely. Men wear pounds of gold and diamonds around their necks and on their fingers (remember The A-Team’s Mr. T?) so why not wear a diamond tennis bracelet? Men wear ID bracelets, so why not other types of bracelets? It’s not only women who appreciate the beauty of diamonds, and they are a good investment, after all.

How Loose Should My Tennis Bracelet Be?

This is a toughie, because you don’t want the bracelet to slide off your hand, but you also don’t want to cut off your blood circulation. So, what’s the rule of thumb?

Just as you would measure your ring finger with a measuring tape or a piece of string, you would do the same for a tennis bracelet. If you don’t have a measuring tape or a piece of string, then you’ll have to try on different-sized bracelets at the jewelry store, where they do have a measuring tape.

The bracelet shouldn’t be too tight, or it will be uncomfortable. It should be just loose enough to slide an inch or so up and down your arm and no more. You also don’t want it so loose that it will get caught in anything at work or at play.

Related: Bracelet Size Chart (Women, Men and Kids)

Can My Tennis Bracelet Be Shortened?

Yes, but it will take a professional to do it. Tennis bracelets are sometimes too big due to being a gift from someone who didn’t measure your wrist, losing a lot of weight, or simple preference. Take the piece to a professional jeweler, who will remove a link or two for the perfect fit.