Diamonds and Tennis: The History of The Tennis Bracelet

Diamonds and Tennis: The History of The Tennis Bracelet

With the 2024 Australian Open wrapping up this week, we wanted to congratulate Aryna Sabalenka on her victory over Qinwen Zheng in the women's final. 

We thought it would be a good time to share the history of one of the more popular pieces of jewellery that became famous because of Australian Open winner, Chris Evert – the tennis bracelet.

In this article, we’ll cover the interesting history of tennis bracelets, what they are, what to consider when choosing a tennis bracelet, and how to take care of your tennis bracelet. Let’s get started! 

The Story Behind The Tennis Bracelet

The name "tennis bracelet" is attributed to Chris Evert - considered one the greatest tennis players of all time - who won the Australian Open four times in her career and was a finalist in four other years.

As the story goes, there was an incident during the 1978 U.S. Open (Not the 1987 US Open as many other sources state) while Evert was defending her three-year winning streak that catapulted the term tennis bracelet into the mainstream.

During a particularly intense rally, Chris Evert's diamond bracelet snapped and fell off her wrist. Unbeknownst to her, the clasp had broken, scattering diamonds across the court. 

The match came to a temporary halt as Evert and officials scrambled to recover the precious stones. This incident captured the attention of spectators and journalists. 

When asked about the pause in play after the match, the Grand Slam champion explained that her “tennis bracelet” had broken and they were searching for the diamonds on the hard court floor.

After the match, the bracelet became synonymous with Evert's name and the sport itself. Jewellers soon began marketing similar bracelets as "tennis bracelets," capitalising on the association with the iconic tennis player.


What is a Tennis Bracelet?

Before Evert brought the tennis bracelet to international attention, the thin bracelet she was famous for wearing was known as the diamond line bracelet since the 1920s. But let’s be honest, that just doesn't roll off the tongue like a “tennis bracelet.”

Characterised by its refined design and luxurious appeal, a tennis bracelet typically features a continuous line of diamonds or gemstones set in precious metal, such as gold, white gold, silver, or platinum.


The classic design of a tennis bracelet typically features diamonds or gemstones evenly spaced and set in a straight line. The stones are meticulously chosen for their clarity and brilliance and are often set in a prong or bezel setting, allowing them to catch and reflect light gracefully. 

What makes the tennis bracelet so popular is its durable design and connection with sporting activities. This makes it the perfect choice for someone who wants a stylish piece that can be worn every day.

Choosing the Perfect Tennis Bracelet

As with any item of jewellery, personal style, and budget are the two most important factors when choosing your tennis bracelet. However, there are also other aspects you should consider if you’re looking for a diamond tennis bracelet.

Here are some guidelines to help you choose the perfect tennis bracelet:

  1. Establish a Budget: Tennis bracelets are available in a range of price points.  Depending on your preferences, you can spend anywhere from R1000.00 to R500,000.00 on a piece. 
  2. Consider Diamond Quality: Diamonds' quality significantly impacts a tennis bracelet's overall brilliance and appeal. Remember the "Four Cs" – carat weight, cut, colour, and clarity. While larger diamonds may be captivating, a well-balanced combination of these factors will ensure a dazzling and high-quality piece.

The Four Cs In More Detail

  • Carat measures a diamond's weight (1 carat = 0.2 grams), influencing its size. Larger diamonds often have a higher carat weight.
  • Cut assesses how well a diamond is shaped and faceted. A well-cut diamond reflects light brilliantly, creating sparkle and brilliance.
  • Colour refers to a diamond's colour presence. Graded D to Z, colourless diamonds are more valuable, allowing more light for sparkle.
  • Clarity measures a diamond's flaws. Graded from Flawless to Included, higher clarity diamonds appear clearer and more brilliant, increasing value.

Top Tip: If you want to balance value and price, consider lab-grown diamonds as a more affordable and eco-friendly option. See our latest range of lab-grown diamonds today.

  1. Bracelet Settings: Tennis bracelets come in various settings, influencing both aesthetics and wearability.  Choose a setting that resonates with your style preferences. Common settings include prong, bezel, and channel settings.
  1. Selecting Metal Type: Consider the metal type for the bracelet, such as white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum. The choice of metal can significantly impact the bracelet's overall look and feel. Select a metal that complements your skin tone and aligns with your style.
  2. Explore Different Styles: Tennis bracelets come in various styles and variations. Classic designs feature a continuous line of diamonds, but you can also explore unique variations, such as mixed gemstones, intricate patterns, or personalised touches. 
  3. Try Different Lengths: The length of a tennis bracelet is crucial for comfort and fit. Ensure that it is secure enough to stay in place while allowing for movement. Try on bracelets of different lengths to find the one that sits comfortably on your wrist. 
  4. Seek Professional Advice: If you’re not sure how to choose a tennis bracelet, get professional help from jewellery expert. Experienced jewellers can provide valuable insights, helping you make an informed decision based on your preferences and requirements.


Tennis Bracelets as a Meaningful Gift

Tennis bracelets are often chosen as gifts for their enduring symbolism. The continuous line of diamonds or gemstones represents unbroken love and the timeless nature of relationships. 

Whether given as a token of romantic affection, a milestone celebration, or a gesture of appreciation, the bracelet's design encapsulates sentiments that last a lifetime.

Gifting a tennis bracelet is not confined to any specific occasion, making it a versatile and cherished present. 

Here are some occasions where a tennis bracelet becomes particularly meaningful:

  • Anniversaries: A tennis bracelet serves as a beautiful symbol of enduring love and commitment, making it an ideal anniversary gift.
  • Milestones: Celebrate significant milestones, such as birthdays, graduations, or promotions, with the timeless elegance of a tennis bracelet.
  • Engagements or Weddings: As an alternative or complement to traditional engagement rings or wedding bands, a tennis bracelet is a stunning choice to mark the beginning of a lifelong journey together.
  • Mother's Day: Express gratitude and love on Mother's Day by gifting a tennis bracelet, a timeless piece that mirrors a mother's enduring devotion.

Ready To Choose Your Tennis Bracelet?

Chris Evert’s famous incident at the American Grand Slam in 1978 combined with the durable stylish design of the tennis bracelet has made it a sought-after piece for people across the world.

If you’re looking for a quality tennis bracelet for yourself or a loved one, remember that there are a lot of options out there, so it’s worthwhile speaking to an expert before making a decision.

Tennis bracelets or line bracelets are a stylish addition to any jewellery collection. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the team at Pura and we’ll happily  help.

FAQs About Tennis Bracelets

Why do they call it a tennis bracelet?

The term tennis bracelet came about after a famous event at the US Open in 1978, when Chis Evert's diamond bracelet broke and the match had to be paused so that she could collect the fallen diamonds. 

Why wear a tennis bracelet?

A tennis bracelet is a light, durable, and stylish jewellery that compliments multiple styles and occasions. This makes it a perfect choice for those who want to wear one every day or for special occasions.

Why are tennis bracelets so expensive?

The cost of a tennis bracelet often comes down to the materials and design of the bracelet. If you’re looking for value for money, opt for lab-grown diamonds instead of natural diamonds. 

Is it OK to wear a tennis bracelet every day?

Yes, tennis bracelets are designed to be durable which makes them perfect for everyday wearing and light to moderate sporting activities. However, it’s best to remove your tennis bracelet if you are worried about losing or breaking it.

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