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Game, Set, Bling: Jewelry Inspired BY The French Open

The second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open held at the Roland-Garros tennis complex in Paris is known for its challenging red clay courts. The sport has long been known for its white outfits as classic as its namesake, the diamond tennis bracelet, yet just as tennis has evolved so has its looks….and its inspo.

Read on to find out how you can shine as bright as the La Coupe des Mousquetaires (The Musketeers’ Trophy).

Jewelry Inspired BY The French Open

Chris Evert & Her Flying Diamonds 

Tennis legend and winner of multiple French Opens, champion Chris Evert is credited with popularizing the modern-day tennis bracelet. The accepted story is that in 1987 at the US Open, during a long volley, her diamond bracelet broke and flew across the court. Ever since they say, it has been known as the tennis bracelet.

While a fitting anecdote, it’s not quite true. The style has been around since the 1920s and the name since the 1970s. However, Evert certainly skyrocketed its popularity and familiarity, thanks to sporting one as she rose through the ranks to become an internationally known tennis star.

Chris Evert & Her Flying Diamonds 
Chris Evert wearing a tennis bracelet while she faces service from Martina Navratilova in the 1978 Wimbledon Final
Photo Getty

Beyond the court, it is no wonder tennis bracelets and necklaces have fast become a staple of fashion. A simple yet elegant, and timeless design, these pieces are made up of a string of diamonds in your chosen metal (platinum, rose gold, yellow gold, or white gold).

From royals to celebs, these diamonds can be seen everywhere! Perfectly appropriate for a black tie event yet just as stylish with a pair of jeans, there’s nothing diamond tennis bracelets (or necklaces) don’t go with! In fact, many brides sport this classic look on their wedding day.

No matter what style you sport on your special day, a diamond tennis bracelet will add those perfect sparkling touches. See below and go to JamesAllen.com for more options!

More Than Just Red Dirt

There are four types of tennis courts: fresh grass, artificial grass, hard courts, and clay. A clay court has multiple layers: thick gravel, crushed gravel, coal residue, crushed white limestone, and finally, red brick dust. It is this final layer that gives the courts of Roland-Garros their famous red color.

Clay is considered the most difficult surface to play on. While grass allows for fast tennis, the dirt of red clay courts is heavier, causing a slower, more tactical game. Likened to a game of chess, every move on a clay court carries that much more importance. One shot can affect the outcome four to five moves later!

Clay is also favorable to players who have a terrific topspin, a spectacular slice, or a dazzling drop shot. Players who master such skills often get to lift the Roland-Garros trophy as champion.

Want to style the color of these hallowed courts? Go for gemstones with red rubies or get yourself gorgeous garnets. Prefer a diamond? Choose a fancy red colored diamond! The gemstones from the fancy dark group are especially perfect. See below for inspo!

Who Was Roland Garros?

Roland-Garros is not only the tennis complex where the French Open takes place, its name is synonymous with the Grand Slam itself. Named after French aviator Roland Garros, the complex was built in 1928, originally for French players to defend their titles in the Davis Cup.

You might assume Garros was a tennis champion himself, or at least a tennis aficionado, even a great fan, but in fact, he was none of these things. Garros was an athlete in just about every sport besides tennis! So who was its namesake?

Roland Garros

In 1909, Garros went to an air show and it was love at first sight. Garros went on to buy a plane, become a self-taught pilot, was the first to complete multiple daring flights, and finally, became a war hero.

Not enough to have taught himself how to fly, Garros invented the first on-board machine gun in planes. A technology the Germans were able to co-opt to their advantage when he was shot down and captured without time to destroy his invention. 

After escaping captivity, his health, including his sight, severely deteriorated, but Garros insisted on getting back in the cockpit. A decision that proved fatal as he was killed in battle in 1918. Years later, a university friend of Garros who was President of the Stade Français, successfully campaigned to have the tennis complex named after his old friend.

The complex’s logo is identifiable to even the most novice tennis fan, and its colors are not random. The green represents the lush trees and lawns around the courts, the white lettering is for the colors of the complex, and red-brown center marks the famous clay courts.

Check out these pieces that are perfect for any match.

Stars To Watch

The French Open is where the stars of tennis from all over the world come to shine. This challenging court brings out the best of the best. This year’s tournament is no exception, with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Naomi Osaka who are just a few of the familiar names.

Rising stars to watch are Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz and American Coco Gauff. Both are young, powerful, and considered to be dangerously talented. Alcaraz, who went pro at 18 and is the youngest player at 19 years old to reach the Madrid Open semi finals, beating fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal. Alcaraz went on to win the entire tournament.

With his whole career ahead of him and a streak as hot as fire, you will not want to take your eye off this young champion.

Right alongside Alcaraz is Coco Gauff. The American is the youngest ranked player at just 18 years old, she is ranked #10 for singles and #15 for doubles, all before she can legally have a drink! Gauff is most famous for beating tennis great Venus Williams when she was just 15 years old!

Gauff is ready to set the tennis world on fire, inspiring young girls everywhere! Want to feel like a champion? Or looking for the perfect gift for your future champion? Check out these options below!

The French Open is the premiere tournament on clay courts. In a complex named after a war hero, riddled with current and future tennis stars, it is a Grand Slam not to be missed! Whether you want to shine as bright as these tennis stars, luxuriate in the beauty of a tennis bracelet (or necklace!), or are looking for a championship-level gift, James Allen has what you need.

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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Trailblazing Women Creating Historic Style

Trailblazing Women Creating Historic Style

Timeless Influence

For a long time, women’s contributions to jewelry were overshadowed, shelved, or ignored. Yet, as in all things, women persevered and their contributions to this wearable art form have shaped and shifted the jewelry landscape.

These brave women rejected the normative ideas of beauty and style and on International Women’s Day, we take this opportunity to honor some of these great women and how they changed the face of this artform.

Bringing Elegance To Everyday Life

Renée Puissant was an heiress in the jewelry world. While her parents, Alfred Van Cleef and Esther Arpels, of the famed Cleef and Arpels, gave her a remarkable foundation, Renée forged her own path and changed the face of jewelry forever.

Acting as the artistic director of this famed house and working with key designers, Puissant wed elegance and practicality, to bring everyday life into the design of fine jewelry.

Noted for her innovation, Puissant was the first to think to have an “end-of-year” sale, offering jewelry at prices less expensive than their normal collection, making jewelry more accessible and “ready-to-wear.”

Every time a diamond necklace is paired with jeans, whenever gemstones adorn leisure wear, and wherever designs as practical as a paperclip are highlighted in fine jewelry, Puissant’s contributions can be seen. 

Get yourself some of these Puissant-inspired pieces from James Allen:

Going Global

Carolina Bucci was born and raised in Italy, educated in the United States, and has partnered with celebrities and retailers all over the world. Similar to Puissant, Bucci was born into the business. A 4th generation jeweler, Bucci brought her own style, pushing the boundaries of tradition for her collections.

Despite her heritage, Bucci bravely cut her own path, creating jewelry that has been described as having “effortless elegance” and a modern “sense of luxury.” This boldness helped get her pieces on celebs like Salma Hayek, who famously wore a Bucci piece on her UK Vogue cover in 2003.

Carolina Bucci

Bucci’s influence has helped reinvent how jewelry can be worn. Using bright colors and textures, Bucci’s mark on the jewelry world has only just begun. See below for Bucci-inspired pieces available at James Allen:

Award Winning Legend

Coreen Simpson’s long and storied career did not start in jewelry. This pioneer began as a photojournalist covering everything from politicians to musicians to athletes. As one of a few female photographers regularly covering Fashion Collections in Paris and New York, Simpson got noticed, but not JUST for her photography.

When not on assignment, Simpson designed and created jewelry pieces she could not find. She wore her original pieces featuring black cameos while covering these Fashion Collections.

It was not long before designers started requesting pieces. What followed was Simpson’s signature collection, “The Black Cameo,” an antique-inspired collection featuring black cameos.

Simpson has been honored for her various talents, including her contributions to jewelry and design by the Smithsonian Institute.

Check out these pieces inspired by the coloring and style of Simpson’s signature collection:

Reviving A Golden Artform

Bai Jingyi has been designing jewelry by hand for over 50 years. Born and raised in China, Jingyi has become a master of the ancient art form of imperial filigree inlay, reviving it to create stunning gold pieces.

Jingyi uses her understanding of the ancient masters of this art in order to create new and innovative ways to utilize the technique. Jingyi also teaches others this skill, which has a history of over 2,000 years, because she feels a responsibility to keep this ancient art form alive.

So what exactly is this style? Filigree inlay, a fine metal workman’s technique, weaves and piles gold which has been pulled into thin threads and divided into small sections. It is then organized into a design, using the various sections.

Jingyi loves working with gold because, as she has said, its color is dignified and radiant like the sun, unmatched by any other metal. Filigree inlay demands the highest quality, resulting in luxurious and elegant designs.

Want to shine like the sun? Check out these golden pieces from James Allen:

The Boss Babes Of James Allen

Puissant, Bucci, and Simpson are not alone. They are amongst a myriad of women in jewelry who have broken barriers to create the landscape we know today. From color, to design, to push the accepted boundaries of style, women have and continue to impact the world of jewelry in numerous ways.

Here at James Allen, we are inspired by the great women who lead us every day; from co-founder Michele Sigler, to CMO Shannon Delaney, Art Director Leehe Bok, and Daniela Tarantino, James Allen’s Director of Jewelry.

Along with Tali Gur, our Senior Vice President of Finance and Accounting, and Emmanuelle Glazier, our Digital Product Manager; these amazing women are amongst the army of women at James Allen who inspire every day.

Their leadership and talent help to ensure James Allen fulfills its mission of offering the most prized diamonds and the best selection, using the newest technology.

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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