Hanseatic elegance

Vintage tennis bracelet with 5.70 carat diamonds, 1980s

Do you know why bracelets like this one are called tennis bracelets? Actually, the term tennis bracelet means a bracelet set with diamonds all around, but also those with other gemstones can be called so. Now you surely ask yourself what such a bracelet has to do with tennis? It's thanks to an incident during a tennis match at the US Open. Here, Chris Evert lost her diamond-studded Rivière bracelet during a match and the match was stopped specifically so that she could retrieve her beloved piece of jewelry. This was the birth of the tennis bracelet, which has gone down in jewelry history under this term since the tennis event in 1987. Of course, tennis bracelets existed even before the 1987 tennis match, they were already extremely popular at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, however, they were still very appropriately called rivière bracelets. The French word "rivière" means "river" and describes the flowing appearance of this piece of jewelry. Because the individually set gemstones are held in place by movable elements made of precious metal, a tennis bracelet adapts beautifully to the shape of the wrist. The exquisite white gold bracelet presented here in this form impresses with its magnificent setting: 36 brilliant-cut diamonds are set in high-carat white gold. Each of the elements is movably connected to the next, so that the bracelet is wonderfully soft and easy to wear on the wrist. The precious gemstone set, weighing a total of 5.70 ct, radiates a cool firework of flashing light reflections in its bright settings. All the brilliant-cut diamonds are stones in the colour grade "Fine White / Top Wesselton". The bracelet came to us from Hamburg.

The term "Top Wesselton" was introduced in reference to a diamond mine named Wesselton, where a particularly large number of fine white diamonds were found. The mine itself was named after J. J. Wessels Senior, the owner of the Benaaudheidfonein Farm, where the Wesselton Mine originated in 1890 as a result of diamond discoveries. The mine, which was active until 2005, was located in South Africa, near the border between the Cape Colony and the Orange River Colony. In 1891, the mine was taken over by the De Beers diamond group. The diamonds of the Wesselton Mine are characterized by their exceptionally good quality and their freedom from inclusions to the greatest possible extent. As in the case of the Top Wesselton, the other names such as River are derived from the places of origin of the diamonds so named. River-quality gemstones have been found primarily in alluvial deposits - that is, in rivers (source: Renesim).

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You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.