If you’re buying a women’s diamond bracelet, it’s a good idea to read this handy diamond bracelet buying guide. We tell you everything you need to know – including how to pick the best style, what diamonds to choose and how to measure your wrist.
1. Choose the right style
If you’re buying a bracelet for yourself, it’s easy to choose the one you like. However, if you’re buying a gift for someone, you should choose a style they love. Read our guide to buying jewellery as a gift for expert tips.
2. Decide between a bracelet and a bangle
Traditionally, a bracelet is made with a linked or woven chain of metal. It has a clasp of some kind to attach it securely to your wrist.
A bangle is made from rigid metal. A join bangle has a join that opens and a clasp to close it, and a cuff bangle has an opening that you pass your wrist through to slip it on
3. How should a bracelet fit?
A perfect chain bracelet should move a little on your wrist, and you should be able to slide one or two fingers between the chain and the wrist. A rigid bangle should have some movement, but it shouldn’t slide over the heel of your hand too easily.
4. How to measure your wrist
Always measure your wrist just below the wrist bone when fitting a bracelet. You can use a flexible tape measure, or a strip of paper where you mark the size with a pencil and then measure it with a ruler.
5. Women’s standard bracelet sizes
- For link or chain bracelets – the medium size is 18.5cm (7.2 inches). This is the most commonly found size sold in women’s bracelets.
- For bangles – the medium size is 6.5cm in diameter (2.55 inches), or 20.4cm in circumference (8.03 inches). This fits most people.
6. Gold VS silver
The precious metal in your bracelet will influence its price – and determine how well it resists wear and tear. Here are the main factors you should know:
- Sterling silver is softer than gold, and therefore, not as resistant to daily wear and tear. However, it’s the most affordable precious metal.
- Gold (whether white, yellow or rose) is more expensive than silver, however, it’s well suited to daily wear. If you want to save money, choose 9K gold which is more affordable than 18K gold.
- Yellow gold has a very traditional look. It is sold in 18K or 9K purities, 9K being cheaper.
- White gold has a silvery colour, achieved by alloying yellow gold with white precious metals. Just like yellow gold, it is sold in 18K or 9K purities.
7. How many carats of diamonds?
Diamond size is measured in carats, abbreviated to CT. Bracelets often contain many diamonds, so you’ll see their overall carat weight stated as “total carat weight”.
The carats in a bracelet can vary – from fashion bracelets with decorative micro diamonds weighing 0.02CT, to tennis bracelets with 10.00CT or more.
The maths is simple; the more diamonds on your bracelet, the higher its price.
8. Do you need a high diamond quality for a diamond bracelet?
Generally speaking, the answer is no.
It’s true that the better a diamond’s quality, the better its sparkle. However, the good news is that diamonds in bracelets are generally small – and therefore you cannot see imperfections in them with the naked eye.
9. So what diamond quality is best for a bracelet?
As a rule of thumb, stick to these three qualities:
- Premium quality is a great choice for small diamonds, or if you’re trying to keep your budget down.
- H/Si quality, which is higher than premium quality, looks white, sparkly and beautiful and offers great value in tennis bracelets.
- G/Vs quality, which is higher than H/Si, is a superlative quality if you want a slightly whiter diamond for a bracelet of 2 carats or above. Unless you’re buying a bracelet with huge diamonds, you really don’t need to go any higher than this.
10. What diamond shape is best?
In bracelets, the most common diamond shapes are the round diamond and the square princess cut diamond. You can also find baguette diamonds, which are rectangular. However, in very elaborate bracelets, you could find virtually any diamond shape.
A bracelet with square “princess cut” diamonds
A bangle with round diamonds on the edges and rectangular baguette cut diamonds in the centre
11. What diamond setting?
There are varying ways in which a jeweller can attach, or set, diamonds to a bracelet. Each type of setting has its own unique look and benefits:
Four metal claws or “prongs” hold each diamond in place, allowing for lots of light to enter the diamonds and creating maximum sparkle.
The metal “wraps” around each stone. The metal protects the diamonds from all sides, so it’s a practical choice for active people who use their hands a lot. But this setting can limit sparkle it stops light entering the stones from all sides.
Metal strips hold a whole row of diamonds in place. The metal protects the diamonds, but it can limit sparkle because light doesn’t enter the stones from all sides.
Tiny metal beads hold dainty diamonds in place. This creates overall surface sparkle.
The metal around each tiny diamond is cleverly patterned with ridges so that it creates the illusion of a much larger diamond. This brings the bracelet’s price down considerably yet still gives you a luxurious look.
In each bracelet link, small diamonds are set around each central diamond like a “halo”. This increases sparkle and creates a very luxurious look.
Lots of small diamonds form creative designs, simply for the purpose of creating a stunning piece of jewellery.
12. Affordable alternatives to a diamond bracelet
If you really want a tennis bracelet but it’s not within your budget, you can opt for an alternative:
Lab grown diamonds:
Lab diamonds are real diamonds; they are actual diamonds that have been grown in a high tech laboratory environment by scientists. The best thing about lab grown diamonds is that they are up to 50% cheaper than mined diamonds.
Small white topaz gems look very similar to diamonds. They are also very affordable. For an even more affordable option, choose a white topaz bracelet in sterling silver.
13. When to buy a diamond bracelet?
A diamond bracelet is an appropriate gift for any special occasion. It’s a great first jewellery gift in a new relationship because it’s not as heavy in symbolism as a ring (which could be confused for a proposal).
A tennis bracelet is a traditional gift for birthdays, anniversaries and brides on their wedding day.
A silver diamond bracelet is a versatile fashion accessory that goes with any outfit, from office outfits to a little black dress.
14. On which wrist should you wear a diamond bracelet?
Tennis bracelets are usually worn on the wrist that is not your dominant hand. Most people simply find this the easiest way to wear diamond bracelets. Having said that, there are no real rules, so you can enjoy wearing wear your bracelet (or several of them) on any or both wrists.
16. How to care for a diamond bracelet
You should care for your diamond bracelet the same way as you do for any piece of fine jewellery. Remove it when you’re in the shower or swimming, and don’t expose it to soaps, cosmetics or household chemicals.
The easiest way to clean your diamond bracelet is by soaking it in a bowl of lukewarm water with a drop of soap. Clean it carefully with an old toothbrush and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.