Courtney and tennis star donate toward Katrina relief fund

Erica Courtney, fine jewelry designer and Louisiana native, has teamed up with tennis champion Serena Williams to donate the earrings the tennis ace wore during her recent victorious match against Francesca Schiavone at the U.S. Open.

The “Crown of Hearts” chandelier style earrings consist of more than 355 diamonds, approximately 4.18 cts. in total, and set in platinum. The retail value is $30,000 for the pair.

“Crowns and hearts- symbols that embody the spirit and romance of New Orleans- have always been an inspiration to me and an important part of my collection,” says the now Los Angeles-based designer. “My heart goes out to all of the people who have been so devastatingly affected by this tragedy.”

Williams adds, “I send my prayers and my love to the hurricane victims, and their families. I am so saddened by the destruction and despair. I encourage everyone to assist in this great time of need.”

The designer and her fiancé, Cary Menard, both have many family members and friends that are victims of the hurricane and its aftermath.

The “Crown of Hearts” earrings will be auctioned off through the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour which will be auctioning several autographed items from various players to benefit the hurricane victims at a date to be announced. All proceeds with go to benefit victims of the relief fund.