Trigem DesignsExplore the Gem WorldJewelry CraftmanshipDesign GalleryFind RetailerAbout UsVisit Our Other Sites
American Gems

As you pick up a phone or type an email, a beautiful bracelet delights your eye. A well-dressed woman probably has more than one favorite bracelet, either to wear alone or to stack with a watch.

There is a bracelet to suit every style, from flamboyant stacks of colorful bangles to classic tennis bracelets that will never go out of style. Bracelets can be mesh, chain links, a stiff curve of metal, or draped linked gem-set segments.

Hereís a brief wrist wrap-up of judging the quality of the basic bracelets of a jewelry wardrobe.

Named when Chris Evert stopped play at the U.S. Open to look for her diamond bracelet, this simple elegant bracelet features a circle of gems set in prongs or hinged channels all around the wrist. The tennis bracelet is one of those pieces of jewelry that some women wear all the time, like a wedding band. Today tennis bracelets are popular in a rainbow of colored gemstones as well as diamonds. You can choose a design with gems set all the way around the wrist or a design that has gold links or design elements in between the stones.

The most important value factor for a tennis bracelet is the quality of the gems. In addition to judging the color, clarity, cut and carat weight of each gem, look for a bracelet in which all the gems are well matched.

The metal part of the bracelet should be sturdy yet flexible, without any little sharp metal parts sticking out to snag clothing. Are the links securely attached to each other? Look closely at how each stone is set in the mounting to get an idea of the attention to detail: is it square in the mounting? Is it secure? If there are prongs holding the stones are they even? If it is channel set is it straight? Is the metal holding each stone substantial? Tap the stones: they shouldn't budge at all. Don't forget to check the quality of the clasp. The clasp of a tennis bracelet should also have back-up: a safety clasp adds extra security.

Slender hoops of metal, plain or adorned with texture, enamel, or gems, bangles glide over the wrist as a wearer moves her arm. These rigid bracelets are usually narrow and are often worn in multiples. Some women collect bangles and wear then in a chiming stack that creates music wherever they go. A bangle may be an endless circle or it may be hinged to make it easier to put on.

The most important bangle quality factor is the finish of the metal, the quality of the gems, and the hinge and clasp (some narrow bangles just slide over the wrist without a clasp but a hinged bangle will fit better and be easier to wear, since it wonít slide as far down your wrist.)

Also rigid but are wider than bangles, cuffs can be hinged or can encircle only three-quarters of the wrist. If you've chosen a wide cuff bracelet with an opening, itís easiest to put on if you turn your arm 90 degrees so the thumb is facing up. Now place the open end of the bracelet on the narrow part of your wrist and gently ease it on and around your wrist. To remove the cuff, reverse the process. The value factors for cuffs are similar for bangles. The fit is very important in a cuff: it should be snug.