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When Chris Evert stopped play in the 1984 U.S. Open to look for her dropped bracelet, sparking a jewelry trend that lasts to this day, tennis was a game played in demure white dresses. What then became known as the “tennis bracelet” too was white: set with a circle of conservative round diamonds.

Today tennis stars like Venus and Serena Williams and Anna Kournikova are more daring than demure, dressing in designer duds in a palette of hot color. So it’s not surprising that tennis bracelets too are showing a bit more flair these days.


In fact, tennis bracelets set with a colorful array of exotic gemstones are becoming a popular choice for stylish women who don’t carry racquets to work. Styles are often set with square gems as well as rounds, for an unbroken line of color and brilliance.

The most popular designs have a single rich color, like the purple of amethyst or the wine tones of Grape Garnet. Golden citrine and lime peridot are also in demand. Cool blue topaz and Seafoam Tourmaline are the choices for those who prefer icy tones.

And if you can’t decide on a favorite color? Rainbow bracelets, a strong trend in the seventies, are also back in favor.

What should you look for in selecting a tennis bracelet? Make sure each link is sturdy, the hinge mechanism is well-made, and attached firmly to the next link. The gold or other setting metal should be a heavy enough weight to allow for wear. Remember, these tiny all-moving parts are bound to catch some abuse since your wrist is constantly moving. Settings should be smoothly polished, with no protruding prongs to catch on sweaters and knits. Each stone should be set squarely in the mounting. Gems should be closely matched in color, cut, and size.


Make sure you size your bracelet to the right length: with the bracelet on the wrist where it's worn most often, the opening between the bracelet and the wrist should be about one finger wide. If the bracelet is too long, it will catch and stretch through normal wear, putting undue stress and pressure on each of the hinge joints. Any leftover links can be made into earrings.

And don’t forget to double-check the quality of the clasp (something Chris Evert may have forgotten.) A safety clasp in addition to the primary clasp adds extra security. Once you find the perfect bracelet, you won’t want to lose it!