When it comes to jewelry, there’s no piece that’s quite so classic as the tennis bracelet. Beloved by everyone from Meghan Markle to Charlize Theron, this timeless design never goes out of style. Featuring an array of stones (typically diamonds) that wrap all the way around the wrist, the beauty of the tennis bracelet lies in its simplicity — it’s minimalistic, yet stunning.
It also just so happens to make for a great gift, be it for an anniversary, birthday, or yes, even Valentine’s Day. Read on to learn more about its origins and where to find the most exquisite designs on the market today.
What is a tennis bracelet?
Tennis bracelets, also known as eternity bracelets, have been traditionally defined as pieces of very fine wrist jewelry with a symmetrical arrangement of diamonds, though more modern versions may incorporate other gemstones, such as rubies, emeralds, or sapphires.
Tennis Bracelet History
If you’re confused about this dainty piece of jewelry’s ties to tennis, you wouldn’t be alone. Its history is an interesting one: Though this type of lightweight eternity bracelet has been worn by both men and women since the 1920s, the term was coined in 1978, when tennis champion Chris Evert’s beloved diamond George Bedewi bracelet fell of her wrist during a match. Evert was so sentimental about the bracelet that she actually asked officials if she could stop playing to look for it.
“Chrissie recalls that she was wearing a diamond and gold bracelet and it broke and fell onto the court in an early round of the Open and they had to stop play while she looked for it,” Evert’s publicist, Tami Starr, confirmed to The Adventurine.
The memorable moment caused a spike in sales of the style, and the name has since stuck, with “tennis bracelet” going on to become its official term over time.
The Best Tennis Bracelets
Whether you’re shopping for the perfect gift for a loved one (Valentine’s Day is right around the corner), or splurging on a little pick-me-up for yourself, you’re sure to find a tennis bracelet that will suit your style and budget. Keep scrolling for Women’s World’s picks for the best tennis bracelets of 2020.
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Best Diamond Tennis Bracelet
Vrai Round Diamond Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: From $7,000, Vrai
As the most popular style of tennis bracelet, diamond versions are a dime a dozen, but this one from Vrai stands out from the pack for its sustainability. All 4.5 to 5.70 carats of these round, brilliant diamonds (.10 carats each), are not only individually polished to perfection, they’re sourced from Diamond Foundry, which boasts renewable solar and hydro-powered energy. This bracelet's solid-14K gold chain is 90 percent recyclable, and length options range from 6.5 to 8 inches.
Best Amethyst Tennis Bracelet
Delmar Amethyst Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $285, Macy’s
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As February’s birthstone, an amethyst tennis bracelet will not only make a great Valentine’s Day gift, but one for anyone with a birthday that happens to fall this month. Delmar offers up a stunning pick, which features 18 oval-cut stones accented by diamonds and set in a 18K rose gold band over sterling silver. It has a box clasp and measures 7.25 inches.
Best Emerald Tennis Braclet
Angara S Curl Emerald and Diamond Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: From $2,319 (Originally from $3,869), Angara
As one of the 10 most precious gems in the world, emeralds are a much sought after stone, and this S-link bracelet boasts 25 of them, all of which have a AAA to AAAA grade (choose from a range of good to heirloom) for a total weight of roughly 1.58 carats. There’s also 25 round diamond accents, all set in a 7-inch, 14K white-gold chain.
Best Baguette Tennis Bracelet
Silver Sea Empire Baguette Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: From $285.90, Amazon
For a more modern take on the tennis bracelet trend, we love this cubic zirconia option in 14K rose gold plating. It’s got all the elegance of the more traditional round-cut styles, but with an eye-catching twist in the form of its baguette-cut stones. You can customize its length, which ranges from 6 to 9 inches, and at less than $500, it’s one of the more affordable pieces on our list.
Best Stacked Tennis Bracelet
Blue Nile Triple Row Graduated Diamond Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $5,310 (Originally $5,900), Blue Nile
Not into minimalism? No problem. Blue Nile’s triple-row tennis bracelet (our favorite on the list) combines not one, not two, but three magnificent tennis bracelets that house 17 grams worth of graduated round diamonds between them in 14K white-, yellow- and rose gold. It measures 7 inches and has a box clasp with a hidden safety feature to ensure you won’t lose your new favorite piece of jewelry.
Best Rainbow Tennis Bracelet
Diamonique Rainbow Aurora Borealis Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $80, QVC
Add a little color to your life in the form of this aptly named aurora borealis bling from Diamonique. Dazzling simulated cubic zirconia gemstones keep it plenty affordable, and you can choose from rhodium-plated sterling silver or 14K gold-plated sterling silver. You can also make it fit your wrist, with options for a 6.75-, 7-, or 8-inch chain.
Best Sterling Silver Tennis Bracelet
Tiffany & Co Venetian Link Bracelet
Where to buy: $250, Tiffany & Co
If your personal style is less showy, more classic, you can’t go wrong with this sterling silver Venetian link bracelet from Tiffany & Co. Featuring responsibly-sourced precious silver plates over gemstones, it’s slightly more low-key than some of the other styles, but no less jaw-dropping. It’s also great for those who tend to have skin reactions to lesser-quality or non-hypoallergenic metals. Choose from a 7.5-inch or 8-inch chain.
Best Ruby Tennis Bracelet
Ruby & Oscar Ruby Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $354, Ruby & Oscar
Showcasing 12.4 grams of pear-cut man-made rubies in prong settings, this little stunner is sure to take her breath away. While it can be worn by anyone who wants to add a pop of color to their outfit, it’s also well-suited to those with July birthdays, or anyone celebrating a long-time anniversary of 15, 40, or 80 years. The 7.5-inch chain is made of solid sterling silver, and it comes in a beautiful, ready-to-gift box.
Best Cubic Zirconia Tennis Bracelet
Pandora Sparkling Ice Cube Slider Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $100, Pandora
If you’re on a budget this Valentine’s Day, allow us to turn your attention to this sparkly masterpiece from Pandora. Cubic zirconia have long served as awe-worthy substitutes for their far pricier diamond counterparts, and the clear baguette stones found on this sterling silver zig-zag bracelet are no exception. Extremely affordable at just $100, this dazzling find is sure to put a smile on her face.
Best Rose Gold Tennis Bracelet
Stevie Wren 14K Rose Gold Pyramid Diamond Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $1,795, Neiman Marcus
Rose gold has all but taken over as the “it” metal of choice in recent years, and this pyramid-style bracelet, which features pyramid studs and diamond stations (.35 carats) in real 14K rose gold hardware, makes it easy to see why. Its fold-over clasp keeps it secure on your wrist.
Best Gold Tennis Bracelet
10K Gold TDW Diamond Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $494.99 (Originally $549.99), Overstock
Go for the gold with this 10K gold tennis bracelet from Overstock. With a lobster claw clasp and a 7-inch chain, it features up to .5 carats of natural diamonds with a grade of “very good” — a fact this reviewer confirms: “Very nice bracelet, [feels] well, looks great.”
Best Swarovski Tennis Bracelet
Swarovski Deluxe Ruthenium-Plated Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $169, Swarovski
For a tennis bracelet with a slight edge, we adore this gray ruthenium-plated bracelet from Swarovski. The company’s signature round crystals are featured on a delicate 6.375-inch chain that can be dressed up or down for every day wear.
Best Sapphire Tennis Bracelet
Bloomingdale’s Blue Sapphire and Diamond Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $7,800, Bloomingdale’s
One of the most extravagant buys on our list comes in the form of this upscale sapphire and diamond piece from Bloomingdale’s. What makes it so special, you ask? In addition to its .10 carats of diamond bling, there’s a whopping 8.35 carats of blue sapphires to gawk at in both oval and baguette cuts. A 7.5-inch, 14K white gold chain seals the deal.
Best Moissanite Tennis Bracelet
Floral XO Moissanite Tennis Bracelet
Where to buy: $3,739.15 (Originally $4,399), Charles & Colvard
Moissanite is slightly less expensive per carat than many other stones (diamonds included), but no less brilliant when presented in the form of this 2.6 carat floral XO tennis bracelet from Charles & Colvard. With a 14K solid white gold 7-inch chain to boot and a lifetime warranty on the stones, it’s also guaranteed to stun.