People love tennis. And with players such as Serena Williams serving (sorry) as one heck of an inspiration, I can see why. But my knowledge and experience with the sport is limited, and the bridge that connects me to it is constructed solely of jewelry.
The tennis bracelet. It’s been a solid item in the jewelry game for decades now. When I was very young, in the early ’90s, I remember the marketing retail stores did around the “new,” must-have style.
That line of diamonds wasn’t new at the time—just rejuvenated. The tennis bracelet was named after athlete Chris Evert postponed her match in the 1987 U.S. Open to search for a bracelet that had fallen off her wrist (somehow, I do not see this happening today). This unconventional time-out made news, sparking an interest in the type of bracelet Evert had been wearing (it was a piece designed by George Bedewi), which she reportedly referred to as her “tennis bracelet” in an interview.
I remember my mom wearing a collection of tennis bracelets on her wrist all throughout my childhood, and so I will always associate them with her. For that reason, I see the tennis bracelet as a solid “mom” gift—the perfect present for Mother’s Day or for an anniversary. I hope my daughter picks out a tennis bracelet for me one day, and I’ll wear it all the time, just as my mom did.
Of course this style comes in a wide range of carat weights, and therefore prices, so it’s really universally demanded and worn by women (and maybe even men!) of all tax brackets. My particular flavor of tennis bracelet wouldn’t be worthy of Elizabeth Taylor, but that’s okay—I think a more modest variation of the style is pretty on-trend at the moment, anyway.
We’ve become an audience of collectors, so at least for the moment, it’s more common to see jewels worn in groups than solo. Because of this, smaller, daintier pieces get big play. To pull a quote from my colleague Amy Elliott’s article on diamonds from the July-August issue of JCK magazine:
“The younger generation prefers to spend their budget on a few pieces for layering and not blow it all on a single piece like a high-carat-weight tennis bracelet,” says Nan Lung Palmer, owner and managing director of Facets, a Denver-based jewelry sales and marketing consultancy.
Also, this is awesome! If it’s literal tennis jewelry you’re looking for, just in time for the 139th U.S. Open, then you’ll love this piece from Rosa Van Parys (another is pictured at top). The diamond tennis rackets make me want to pick up a few lessons, just so I have an excuse to wear the necklace (fashion does have its place in the sport, doesn’t it?).
Top: Tennis racket necklace in 18k yellow, white, and rose gold with aquamarines, sapphires, and diamonds, price on request; Rosa Van ParysFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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