How to Tell If a Diamond Tennis Bracelet Is Real
The diamond tennis bracelet is one of the most elegant designs of diamond bracelets. The tennis bracelet gets its name from 1980s tennis star Chris Evert, who consistently wore a stunning diamond bracelet during tennis tournaments.
During an important match, Evert noticed that the bracelet wasn’t on her wrist - so she asked officials to stop the match so she could find it! Ever since bracelets featuring an inline array of diamonds have been called tennis bracelets. They’re popular accessories for formal occasions due to their luxurious luster and brilliance.
Nothing beats a diamond bracelet for formal occasions, or for daily wear to elevate any outfit. Only real diamond bracelets provide the touch of luxury, but do you know how to spot a fake diamond bracelet?
To help you tell the difference between a real diamond bracelet vs fake, we’ve put together a guide on how to tell if a diamond bracelet is real.
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What is a Diamond Tennis Bracelet?
A diamond tennis bracelet is one of the most versatile pieces of diamond jewelry. In its simplest design, the tennis bracelet contains a series of diamonds of the same proportions (carat, cut, color, and clarity) set in a line, side-by-side, to form a complete circle of gems.
The arrangement of diamonds in a tennis bracelet makes the diamond bracelet flexible and durable. They’re not prone to breaking - Chris Evert’s mishap was a result of a faulty clasp, likely worn out from her strenuous activity.
There are other styles of tennis bracelets that add a new and unique flair to the timeless tradition. Some tennis bracelets have diamonds in different sizes, cuts, and shapes, as well as different settings, such as prong-set cluster diamonds, or 3 rows of diamonds.
Fake vs. Real Diamond Bracelet
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There are numerous ways to know how to tell if a diamond tennis bracelet is real. A real diamond tennis bracelet is a luxury accessory—typically every aspect of it will meet certain standards of quality. Therefore, to determine a real diamond bracelet vs fake, you’ll want to look at the diamonds, the metal of the bracelet, and the design.
Here are some of the ways to tell if a diamond bracelet is real or fake.
One of the things that you’ll want to check to help determine if your diamond tennis bracelet is real or fake is the metal of the jewelry. If it’s a real diamond bracelet, it’s most likely going to be made of precious metal, such as gold, sterling silver, or platinum. In some cases, manufacturers do produce diamond bracelets from other metals, but it’s rarer.
How to Tell if Gold Is Real
Most real diamond tennis bracelets that are set in gold will be made of at least 10K gold or higher. Whether white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold, tennis bracelets should have some kind of hallmark designating the gold’s purity. There are several ways to tell if gold is real. Here are the ways to determine real gold diamond tennis bracelets vs. fake.
- Look for a Hallmark: This is the first way to tell if the gold diamond bracelet you’re buying is real or not. A hallmark is a small stamp on gold jewelry that indicates the gold’s karat weight. Depending on the location, there will be different hallmarks.
- In the United States., the hallmark describes gold purity out of 24 (i.e. 10k, 18k, etc.). In Europe, the number will be a decimal percentage (1.00 would be pure gold, .916 would be 22K, .75 would be 18K, .417 is 10K, etc).
- Some manufacturers produce fake gold with hallmarks, so it’s not always a definitive test—if the bracelet seems lightweight or cheap in design, conduct further tests.
- Look for a Letter Mark: If the gold tennis bracelet has the letters GP, GF, or GEP stamped or engraved onto it, it is not real solid gold. GP means gold plated, GF means gold-filled, and GEP means gold electroplate.
- Gold plating and gold-filled is real gold, but it’s often thin and far less valuable, so an unusually cheap price could be an indicator. It’s not considered true gold.
- Hollow gold, on the other hand, refers to real gold that has been hollowed out to make jewelry more lightweight. Look for solid gold and hollow gold for the most valuable and durable gold jewelry.
- Test the gold with magnets. It may help you decide if gold is real or not because gold is not magnetic, so if a magnet reacts with gold it’s not true gold.
- Do a scratch test. Applying slight pressure, scrape the gold tennis bracelet across an unglazed ceramic plate, applying slight pressure. If you can see a gold mark left on the ceramic, then the gold is real. If the mark is black or grey, then it is fake.
Before testing gold, make sure to research different gold testing methods and the risks involved. There are ways to combine different tests to gain a better understanding of the gold’s authenticity, but some tests may damage metals that aren’t gold.
If you’re still uncertain, many jewelers test jewelry for free to determine if your diamond tennis bracelet is real or fake.
How to Tell if Sterling Silver Is Real
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Real sterling silver means that the fine silver content is 92.5% pure. Real diamond tennis bracelets are typically made from sterling silver; silver-plate and silver-filled jewelry is much cheaper and lower quality. Sterling silver has specific marks and qualities that can help you identify real silver.
- Look for a hallmark/stamp. Real sterling silver should always be stamped as 925 or .925. European sterling has a hallmark symbol stamped on it as well—a small picture such as a lion, anchor, leopard head, etc. It will also have a letter.
- If the silver is marked as “800”, it’s not sterling silver but it could still be real silver. This is referred to as a fineness mark and it means that the jewelry is composed of 80% pure silver. 92.5% silver, or sterling, is the most common, but countries outside of the U.S. or U.K. produce other types.
- If it’s marked as EP, EPNS, SP, SF, or something similar, this means that the bracelet is silver-plated or silver-filled. It’s not real sterling silver, but there’s a chance it could have real diamonds, although the diamonds are likely to be low-quality.
- Test it with a magnet. Silver—like other precious metals—is not magnetic. If a magnet is attracted to your silver diamond tennis bracelet, it’s not real silver. Silver-plated jewelry can be magnetic because the metal under the plating may be magnetic, such as nickel.
- Test the scent. Hold the silver bracelet to your nose and smell it. If the silver tennis bracelet has a metallic odor or smells like sulfur, it’s not sterling silver. It’s probably likely silver-plated.
- Polish it with a soft white cloth. Sterling silver tarnishes. If your bracelet isn’t brand new, it could have tarnish. If it’s real sterling silver, the tarnish will appear as black residue on the cloth.
- Scratch the surface. If you notice flakes of silver coming off and revealing a different metal beneath, it’s not sterling.
If you’re still uncertain, taking it into a professional jeweler can resolve the question.
How to Tell if Platinum Is Real
Unlike gold and sterling silver, platinum hallmarks are not regulated in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Because of this, it can be difficult to tell if your silver-tone jewelry is a real platinum diamond tennis bracelet. Here’s how to identify real platinum from fake.
- Look for a stamp or hallmark. Although platinum isn’t as well-regulated as gold when it comes to marks, platinum from the U.K. should have specific hallmarks.
- Platinum that’s over 50% pure may have a hallmark designating so.
- If it says “platinum” on it, it’s likely real platinum in the range of 90%-95% pure. This is one of the ways used to designate real platinum in the U.S.
- Test it with a magnet. Platinum, like silver and gold, is not magnetic. If a magnet attracts your diamond tennis bracelet, it’s not real platinum. If it has a magnetic pull, it may be other metals, such as white gold plating over nickel. It’s probably not worth much, and the diamonds may be fake as well.
- Feel the Weight. Though platinum may appear similar to white gold and sterling silver, a good way to tell the difference between platinum and other precious metals is by weight. Platinum jewelry is twice as dense as gold, giving it a much heavier, more solid feel.
- Some other metals are also heavy, so it’s not necessarily platinum. But if it’s labeled as platinum and feels lightweight, you have reason to doubt its authenticity.
- Conduct an acid test. Scratch the metal part of the bracelet against a piece of scratch stone (which you can buy in an acid scratch test kit), leaving a few marks on the stone. Put one or two droplets of acid from the kit on the metal part of the tennis bracelet. If it reacts and dissolves, it’s not platinum.
If you’re still uncertain and don’t want to risk damaging it with further tests, take your platinum to a jeweler, who can test it using a jeweler’s scale.
How to Tell if Diamonds Are Real
Obviously, the most important aspect of a diamond tennis bracelet is the diamond arrangement. If you want to conduct home-testing to determine if your diamond tennis bracelet is real or fake, there are several methods you can use.
There are two ways to do a diamond scratch test at home—sandpaper and glass/mirrors. Sandpaper has a hardness between 7 and 9 on the Mohs scale, so it may be harder than many fake diamond tennis bracelets.
- Use the sandpaper scratch test. First, Rub the gritty side of sandpaper against the gemstone.
- Look closely at the diamond for scratches.
- If the sandpaper left scratches on the stone, it’s not a real diamond.
Another method to conduct a scratch test on diamonds to tell real vs. fake is s by scratching it on glass. The sandpaper method is slightly preferable to the glass method, but it’s more likely to damage your gemstone if it’s not a real diamond, so the glass scratch test may be safer if you’d like to preserve the gem.
- Use the glass scratch test. Scrape the diamond against a mirror or panel of glass.
- If it scratches it, it could be a diamond, since diamonds are the hardest material and they should scratch glass panels or glass mirrors.
Many diamond simulants, however, are also harder than glass, so you should look at other tests to identify a real diamond tennis bracelet vs. fake diamond tennis bracelet.
Diamonds, due to their molecular arrangement, disperse heat quickly. This makes fog disappear. Cubic zirconia and other diamond simulants have different compositional properties, so they will hold onto condensation longer.
- Make sure your diamond and hands are clean first; oils can tamper with the results.
- Put the diamond tennis bracelet in front of your mouth and breathe on the diamonds until they fog up.
- Time how long it takes the gemstones to clear up.
- If they clear up after a few seconds, it’s a real diamond tennis bracelet. If they stay fogged up for over three seconds, it’s most likely a fake diamond tennis bracelet.
If you have diamond jewelry you know is real, it can help to breathe on both the real diamond jewelry and the tennis bracelet to compare the results.
A diamond tennis bracelet’s brilliance comes from the diamonds’ optical effect of internal dispersion—the way they reflect and refract light. The sparkle test is a diamond test you can do at home to help determine if your diamond tennis bracelet is real or fake. It’s a visual inspection of how the stones appear in the light.
- Hold the diamond bracelet in the light.
- Twist it around in the light to observe its gemstones from different angles.
- Examine the colors of light in the gems’ reflection.
- Look for shades of grey and rainbow colors in the tennis bracelet’s gems.
- Diamonds reflect light very well. You should see both shimmers of white or greyish light, as well as colors inside the diamonds. You should see many bright different colors. If the gems only reflect colored light or produce weak light reflections and poor colors, it might not be a real diamond tennis bracelet.
Diamonds appearance vs. cubic zirconia: If the gemstones reflect more orange colors than white reflections, it’s probably a cubic zirconia tennis bracelet.
Diamonds appearance vs. moissanite: Moissanite is also highly reflective, but typically shows a wider range of bright colors than diamonds. In a naked-eye inspection of diamonds, look for a balance of white light reflections and colors. The diamonds should still appear white overall, with hints of color.
Diamonds form under very high temperatures and pressure, so they can withstand any flames. This test is somewhat dangerous, but it can help know how to tell if a diamond tennis bracelet is real or fake.
- Heat the gemstones with a lighter for about 30-40 seconds.
- Drop the tennis bracelet in cold water (not ice cold).
- Examine it. If the gemstones shatter, they’re fake diamonds. If the gemstones are fine, it could be a real diamond.
This method isn’t super accurate, because many diamond simulants also form from heat, whether naturally or synthetically. This will weed out some fake diamonds that are glass, quartz, and several others.
The best way to prove if your diamond tennis bracelet is real is to take it to a jeweler, who can conduct tests, often for free, to authenticate its metal and diamonds.
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Diamond Bracelet Buying Tips
Tips for buying a diamond bracelet:
- Communicate with the seller—ask any questions or concerns you have in regards to its metal and diamonds upfront. Good sellers should communicate quickly, displaying their knowledge of their products.
- Get a diamond certification. GIA offers diamond grading reports to better determine what a diamond tennis bracelet is worth based on its diamond grade. Some stores offer diamond certificates with their engagement ring, which saves money so you won’t need to get one in the future.
- Shop online. This is a great way to compare prices of diamond tennis bracelet prices. Shopping in stores is a good way to see diamond bracelets in person and try jewelry on, but it’s harder to compare prices of diamond tennis bracelets side-by-side, and it’s tough to your selection. Shopping for diamond tennis bracelets online will help you filter your search by carat, metal, and price range.
- Read reviews. This is a good way to tell if a seller is reputable or not and if their diamond bracelets are high-quality. People are usually quick to leave a bad review if their tennis bracelet breaks (on the tennis court or not), or if they have bad customer service. Be wary of sellers who only have 5-star reviews—they could be fake reviews.
Today’s diamond tennis bracelets are known for their dazzling appearance and durability. The diamond tennis bracelet is sturdy and durable, so it’s a great jewelry gift for athletes! Diamond tennis bracelets are stylish for any age and any lifestyle, making them perfect for anyone who likes diamond accessories.
Here at ItsHot, we offer the finest diamond tennis bracelets of the highest quality, and for low prices. Check out our selection of women’s diamond tennis bracelets, available in yellow gold, rose gold, sterling silver, and platinum. Also, check out our diamond bracelets for men for high-quality, durable, masculine diamond bracelet styles.