August 17, 2022— There are few, if any, jewelry origin stories with as much spontaneity, spunk and staying power as the tennis bracelet. It all started in 1978 during an early round of the US Open when American tennis legend Chris Evert was rising in the ranks and she had a mishap on the court that changed the jewelry lexicon forever.
Her delicate diamond and gold bracelet, a piece she had purchased for herself, fell off and play was stopped so she could find it. “I remember everything about that day,” says Evert. “The green court. The white lines. My diamond bracelet and the dripping sweat of competition. My diamond bracelet was something that reflected my personal style when I was competing on the court.”
Once attention was drawn to the fact that the tennis star was playing her matches in diamonds people were, what can I say, bemused and impressed. It was a memorable moment for tennis fans and press.
While the source of the term tennis bracelet has long been a bit of a mystery, Chris Evert shared with Town & Country’s Stellene Volandes she inadvertently dubbed it, “After the match I walked off the court for my interview, and they asked me about it, and I said, ‘Oh, that was my tennis bracelet.’”
The rest of the story is, to spin a phrase, jewelry history. Over the years, the style has become increasingly popular with each passing generation. Has this been a surprise to Evert? “Absolutely!” she exclaims. “I had no idea it would take off like that and become an enormous category in the jewelry business.”
Finally after 44 years, on the eve of the 2022 US Open, Chris Evert is officially getting back in the tennis bracelet game. She has teamed up with Monica Rich Kosann, a jewelry designer known for reimagining classics, on a collection of stylish tennis bracelets. “The Tennis Bracelet is a fine jewelry conversation Chrissie Evert has wanted to have a voice in for decades,” explains Monica. “The new collection takes this authentic moment and brings it to a new generation.”
The Monica Rich Kosann x Chrissie Evert Tennis Bracelet Collection is launching with 13 styles. One of the most luxurious is a classic all diamond and gold design which costs $11,350.
As with all her collections, Monica offers a range of materials and prices. The most affordable designs in the Tennis Bracelet collection are a Fancy Cut Staggered Rock Crystal and Silver Tennis Bracelet ($725) and a Bezel Set Sapphire, Black Steel and Silver Tennis Bracelet ($985).
All of the Tennis Bracelets have an emerald symbolizing the color of the tennis court. The colorful detail nicely links the style back to its origin story.
Each bracelet features a single pear shape diamond drop representing a bead of sweat. The motif could also be interpreted as the strength and energy expended during competition.
Every premium style in the collection comes with a signed letter of authenticity from Chris Evert and Monica Rich Kosann which makes a pretty cool keepsake.
As a fan of the tennis champion and her iconic jewelry style, not to mention the designer, I am delighted to see this collab. It’s overdue and one of the most authentic collabs to come down the pike in a long while.