Cape Town’s Premier Manufacturing Jeweller
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Cape Town’s Premier Manufacturing Jeweller

The Dazzling Diamond Tennis Necklace

diamond tennis necklaces on model
Our Classic 4 Claw Diamond Tennis Necklace and Earrings

The tennis bracelet is among the few items of jewellery that make a particularly bold statement; this single row of identical ultra-precious stones not only exudes enduring elegance but also serves as the ultimate status symbol. As a result, this timeless piece of jewellery has typically been worn by old-timey ladies of leisure, glamorous country club mothers, and dynastic trust fund kids.

Recently, however, and likely thanks to the rise of tenniscore (think clean, luxury athleisure with a sprinkling of second-wife energy, rather than simply preppy), tennis bracelets have been making a sparkling comeback – though not as much as the tennis necklace, the line bracelet’s younger and far more attractive sister. Zendaya, Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Bieber, and Zoe Kravitz have all been spotted sporting one around their necks, and now – it has contemporary celebrity power without the fusty overtones. Even Brooklyn Beckham was spotted sporting a tennis necklace while wearing an open shirt at the final Met Gala in 2022.

What are Tennis Necklaces? 

Let’s get into the details.

The classic diamond tennis necklace is a continuous strand of individually set diamonds flexibly linked together in precious metals. A ribbon of diamonds encircles the neck, leaving no open gaps, just pure uninterrupted sparkle. Diamond tennis necklaces are exceptionally versatile, worn by jewellery lovers to black-tie events or casually peeping out from under a T-shirt on a coffee run.

The flexibility of diamond tennis necklaces means they curve comfortably and gracefully around the neck. These diamond necklaces possess a deliciously organic quality and fluidity of movement. In fact, tennis necklaces are also referred to as rivière, line, or eternity necklaces. Rivière, the French for “river,” elegantly describes the fluid motion of this type of jewellery.

Diamond Tennis Necklaces layered for maximum sparkle
Diamond Tennis Necklaces layered for maximum sparkle

A Quick History of The Diamond Tennis Necklace

Yes, while popular among both Gen-Z and millennials, diamond tennis necklaces are not a recent jewellery trend. It’s thought by some that this style became trendy as early as the nineteenth century when Napoleon gifted his second wife, Marie Louise, a necklace made of 28 round old mine-cut diamonds suspended from a fringe pattern of sizable pear-shaped diamonds. The Napoleon Diamond Necklace, which is now a part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection, isn’t technically a rivière but unmistakably demonstrates the foundations of the style in the form of its choker necklace component.

In 1811, Napoleon I of France gave this 275-carat diamond necklace to Empress Marie Louise, to celebrate the birth of their son, the future king of Rome |  Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
In 1811, Napoleon I of France gave this 275-carat diamond necklace to Empress Marie Louise, to celebrate the birth of their son, the future king of Rome |  Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Following the 1871 discovery of the Kimberley Mine in South Africa, when diamonds flooded the Western market, the design of rivière diamond necklaces that we are familiar with became ever more popular. While its appearance hasn’t changed much throughout the years, how and where the tennis necklace is worn has undergone significant changes.

The link between the rivière necklace and the diamond tennis necklace is, however, much more recent

And once you know why, it is glaringly obviousDiamond line necklaces are the perfect match for the diamond tennis bracelet, which rose to fame thanks in part to famous tennis champion, Chris Everett. As the story goes, Chris was wearing her precious gold and diamond bracelet to the court and played so vigorously that the clasp of her bracelet broke. In a panic, the tennis star initiated an emergency search before play could continue, and when the renegade jewel was found, the camera zoomed in for a close-up. As a result, millions of women across the globe desired one just like it and from this iconic moment on, line, or eternity, bracelets were referred to as tennis bracelets (read more here).

And there you have it, this clear association between these two precious jewels is the primary reason this style is more commonly called a tennis necklace rather than a line, Rivière, or eternity diamond necklace.

Whatever name you want to give them, these diamond jewels are a priceless addition to any collection. They look stunning either worn alone or layered, illuminating the wearer in a dazzling display of brilliance.

diamond tennis necklaces from Mark Solomon Jewellers
Dazzle brilliantly in our Diamond Tennis Necklaces

Tennis Necklace Style Considerations

Tennis Necklace Settings

Tennis necklaces typically feature a 4-claw setting for round brilliant cut diamonds, but as demand for these necklaces grows, new, exquisite designs and unique interpretations keep popping up, allowing you to select something that reflects your unique taste and personality. The graduated illusion claw setting is also quite popular, ideal for those who desire extra bling (the illusion claw has a nifty little trick, this setting style makes diamonds appear even larger).

Precious Metals

Tennis necklaces are stunning in all precious metals, so you may select from platinum, rose, yellow, or white gold based on your skin tone and aesthetic preferences. For special occasion wear, 14ct gold is perfectly suitable, however, if you plan on wearing your piece more often or every day, 18ct gold or platinum is preferable as wears far less easily. Platinum and 18ct golds contain a higher gold content and will protect your investment for many years.

Our jewellery designers strongly advise individuals who want to wear their diamonds every day to only purchase tennis necklaces made with durable settings and security clasps.

Diamond Sizes, Colour, and Qualities

How often and where you intend to wear your tennis necklace will also have an impact on the total carat weight you choose. Keep it elegant and select a reasonable total carat weight for everyday and business attire, but the sky is your limit when it’s time to dress up for an event.

Another advantage of tennis necklaces is that they can be manufactured to accommodate your style and budget. Necklaces can be set with diamonds of varying qualities and sizes depending on your price range. If you would like something with a higher carat weight, you could look at choosing commercial white diamonds. If you don’t want to sacrifice colour, you could choose a smaller, yet still impressive, total carat weight.

Regardless of the overall carat weight, commit to removing your tennis necklace while sleeping, swimming, and taking a shower. You should also have your jeweller inspect the settings every few years to make sure your precious stones are still securely placed.

diamond tennis necklace mount in yellow gold and diamonds Mark Solomon jewellers
Our GIA graduate Gemmologist individually selects diamonds to match perfectly in size and quality

Buy Diamond Tennis Necklaces from Cape Town’s Premier Manufacturing Jewellers

At Mark Solomon Jewellers, our curated diamond tennis collection features a distinctive range of styles that can be customised to suit your desired specifications. Our GIA graduate Gemmologist individually selects diamonds to match perfectly in size and quality, which are then set by our Master Diamond Setter using a microscope for increased precision.

Mark Solomon Jewellers, a premier jewellery store, is situated in the heart of trendy Sea Point, Cape Town. Our family-owned showroom is one of the most established and trusted jewellery stores South Africa has to offer. In addition to the support from the local communities along our slice of the magnificent coast, such as Bantry Bay, Clifton, and the Cape Peninsula, clientele from around the globe have become familiar faces as they return to view our extensive range of high-end jewellery and liaise with our highly qualified jewellery designers.

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