Designers / Diamonds / Industry

Tennis Bracelets Get a Punch of Color and Fresh Style for Springtime


Nothing says sunshine and warm days ahead like a tennis bracelet, and a batch of playful new takes on this classic design are likely to make this jewelry industry standard a standout in 2023.

As people honored National Play Tennis Day—which is Feb. 23 and only makes sense if you live outside the Midwest—it seemed like the ideal time to see how forward-thinking jewelry designers say they are game to set and match a new paradigm when it comes to tennis bracelets. Get it? Game, set, match? Anyway…

As jewelry history goes, diamond bracelets are tried and true, having been around for two centuries or more. The term “tennis bracelet” came about because ’70s tennis champ Chris Evert wore the diamond line bracelet during her playing career. While this single-strand style is a favored look, designers love volleying new ideas and interpreting it in fresh ways, including as necklaces.

Emily P Wheeler tennis
Emily P. Wheeler made a jewelry classic her own by using her signature ombre in this Sunrise tennis necklace, $16,000. (Photo courtesy of Emily P. Wheeler)

So whether you want Evert’s official take with her Monica Rich Kosann collab, an ombre stunner from Emily P. Wheeler, or Melissa Kaye’s Lenox tennis necklace with innovative gemstone clasp, there’s some iteration of a tennis bracelet out there for you.

Designer Stephanie Gottlieb recently debuted a tennis bracelet and necklace in her popular Undecided collection, blending both emerald-cut and round diamonds in each piece. Gottlieb first combined the two stone shapes at her husband’s suggestion—the resulting 10th-anniversary gift to herself turned into signature style.

“The juxtaposition of the step-cut faceting of the emeralds with the brilliant faceting of the rounds is so modern and fresh, while still leaning classic,” Gottlieb says.

To get a tenniscore look, Gottlieb recommends layering tennis bracelets or necklaces with gold. “Wearing one piece alone is more understated and everyday, and layering with other diamond heavy pieces makes it feel dressy and formal,” she says.

Eva Fehren tennis
A shield-shape sapphire gives Eva Fehren’s tennis bracelet, with its white diamonds and blacked white gold, a blast of color, price on request. (Photo courtesy of Eva Fehren)

At Eva Fehren, co-founder and creative director Eva Zuckerman says the tennis bracelet always will be iconic because of its simplicity—that is why it is fun to reinterpret it in a modern way.

“In my own work, I like to take traditional pieces and reimagine them,” Zuckerman says. “Strong geometry and minimalism are cornerstones of the Eva Fehren aesthetic, and a tennis bracelet is the perfect silhouette to push design boundaries.”

Zuckerman says she sees her contemporary take as a future heirloom because it is turning a classic on its head just a little.

“With our 1mm style, I wanted to see how delicate and fine we could make a tennis bracelet, reducing the amount of metal being used so that the wearer was left with a weightless line of light on their wrist,” Zuckerman says. “I love the linear minimalism of our simple line bracelets. We have also designed them with inverted diamonds and non-traditional geometric-cut diamonds.”

The Last Line is always ready to shake up jewelry norms, says Shelly Sanders, co-founder and creative director for the Los Angeles-based brand.

Last Line tennis bracelets
Shelly Sanders of the Last Line says she’s charmed with the tennis bracelet so she offers them in a multitude of styles, including the classic, bezel, ID, and mini, which is a great starter piece, $995. (Photo courtesy of the Last Line)

“When I first found out about a tennis bracelet, I was obsessed. At that time, you could only find really fancy tennis bracelets or costume versions. There was nothing in between that you could wear all the time,” Sanders says.

The Last Line started with the classic tennis bracelet, then added bezel, ID, personalized, and even mini versions. The mini tennis bracelet serves particularly well as an entry piece that is perfect to layer still focuses on diamond size and quality, Sanders says.

“One of my favorite things to do is to take a classic design and make it modern for today, which sometimes means perfecting the engineering, bringing color into it by offering it in all birthstones, or making entirely different versions inspired by the original,” Sanders says. “Specific for diamond tennis bracelets, we have so many versions, which speaks to our goal as a brand to be the last place you need to look for fine jewelry because we have something for everyone.”

At Type Jewelry, Sara Bassan has added pearls, gemstones, and a mix of metals to its tennis bracelets, making this style something entirely surprising and new for Type customers.

“At Type, we love giving a twist to classics, for sparkle the the ombré gemstones and to contrast the classics pearls, fine with a twist,” Bassan says.

Top: Stephanie Gottlieb recently introduced her Undecided tennis bracelet ($11,800), which she says would be ideal for the tenniscore fashion trend. “What’s great about the tenniscore category is that the designs are classics and meant to be worn every day,” the designer says. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Gottlieb)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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