By Devorah Isenberg , Monday, July 02, 2012 5:16 AM
Sports. Jewelry. The two words don't seem to go together very well--the image of a woman slam-dunking a basketball or hitting a home run just doesn't mesh well with the image of a woman draped in dazzling diamonds. But with the Summer Olympics just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at how surprisingly well sports and jewelry can work together!
One of the most famous examples of sports jewelry is the tennis bracelet. Supposedly named for the fact that they were often worn on the tennis court, and for the time one tennis star had the game stopped so she could search the court for a bracelet that had flown off her wrist, these sleek link bracelets adorned with diamonds are the perfect way to dress up a sporty outfit. Tennis bracelets are available in many styles and at many price points, so you are sure to find the style that is perfect for you or for that special person in your life. Of course, contrary to what the name may imply, jewelers don't actually recommend wearing any fine jewelry like tennis bracelets when playing an active, high-impact sport like tennis--a single blow with a ball or tennis racket could damage even the best-made clasps, and the precious bracelet could be lost or damaged. But if you are looking for a way to jazz up an athletically-inspired ensemble like a flirty tennis skirt or casual zipped hoodie.
But even though jewelers don't recommend wearing your finest jewelry while on the tennis court, baseball diamond, or basketball court, there are plenty of jewelry items that will accommodate even the most athletic lifestyle. If you are an athlete, you can find sports-friendly jewelry that you can even wear to the game. Sports-friendly engagement rings are everywhere if you know what qualities to look for. Start by opting for a sleek, low-profile bezel setting--the banded setting is the most secure way to wear a diamond, and is also the least likely to get caught on clothing, hair, or anything else. Focus your diamond engagement ring budget on selecting the best diamond you can afford, instead of looking at ornate diamond-embellished settings, because solitaire settings are by far the most durable and you won't risk losing any of the small diamonds that make up a pavé setting. Choose a setting made of platinum--which is the most durable and resistant to the nicks and scratches that can happen to gold in the course of normal wear. If you have your heart (or wallet) set on gold, choose 14 karat over 18 karat gold--the slightly lower percentage of pure gold will make for a stronger, more durable ring. Finally, make sure that whatever engagement ring you choose is extremely well-made--the quality of the craftsmanship and construction can make the difference between a ring that can be worn through all your activities and one that you will have to leave behind.
Apart from engagement rings, there are several precautions you can take with other fine jewelry pieces to make sure they are sports-ready. Make sure you have screwback posts for your fine diamond earrings--these posts have small ridges like a screw and are virtually impossible to lose once they are secured! When it comes to diamond pendants, although jewelers do not necessarily recommend subjecting them to too much stress, there are steps you can take to make even a necklace into sports jewelry. Choose a short chain for your diamond pendant, one that barely skims your collarbone, so it won't bounce into your face as you run and jump. Ensure that you have the most secure clasp available for your diamond necklace--one with a screwed post is essential--to make sure you don't lose your diamond on the field. Finally, opt for a chain with a slightly thicker diameter and more secure construction to make sure nothing can tear the chain and send your pendant flying!
One final note: Since children tend to treat the whole world as their own personal Olympics, running and jumping and diving off every surface, all these tips are great when you are looking to purchase fine diamond jewelry for a little girl. Choose screwback posts, secure clasps and strong chains to make sure her jewelry can withstand her best long jump and high dive!
For more specific questions ask our experts