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The diamond tennis bracelet is one of the most versatile of all types of jewelry. The reason for this is its ability to move with the wearer's wrist, making it comfortable, fluid and easy to accommodate with everyday clothing. Originally called an eternity bracelet, it grew from the popularity of the diamond eternity ring and was designed back in the 1920s.
Origin of Name
Chris Evert (tennis player extraordinaire) is the person who put the diamond tennis bracelet on the map. During the 1987 U.S. Open, as she was playing her heart out, she realized her powerful swing had made her bracelet break free and fly. Realizing that this costly piece of jewelry was missing, she politely called for a timeout and requested from the officials that she be allowed to search for the errant bracelet before continuing the game ... or before someone stood on it. The officials granted the request, and the entire viewing public, television viewers included, waited while the court was searched. With a huge sigh of relief, the bracelet was found. The world clapped, and the term "diamond tennis bracelet" was born.
Diamond tennis bracelets sometimes have the word "in-line" preceding the term. In-line simply means that the diamonds are all "in a line" -- same as the term "eternity," which implies that the diamonds go around your wrist forever in a complete circle. Classic tennis bracelets are made of colorless or white diamonds and can be purchased in a wide range of prices. Inexpensive versions are made from cubic zirconia (also known as fake diamonds), and real versions escalate in value based on the size of the diamonds used. Numerous diamonds are needed to make a bracelet to fit around a wrist, hence the escalating cost.
Diamond tennis bracelets come in four types of settings. The most classic and the most popular is the "prong" setting, which allows light to catch all facets. The second most popular is the "channel" setting, which maintains the flexibility of the bracelet but has a lot more metal enveloping the diamonds. It is sturdier but does not catch as much light. The other two settings are the "bezel" and the "half-bezel." These settings surround the diamonds in metal and produce a wave-like effect.
Today, diamond tennis bracelets can be found in every metal type -- yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and platinum. The classic version, of course, is diamonds, but the term "tennis bracelet" now includes other gems as well. Sapphires, rubies and emeralds all make for exquisite tennis bracelets. Safety clasps have been added to the bracelets so that the tennis incident that inspired this huge jewelry trend can't re-occur.