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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.

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Sarah Axelrad

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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Fine jewelry

2021 Fine Jewelry Trends: What To Watch For

Burst into 2021 and leave the past year behind you. All you have to do – slip on some of the new year’s trending styles to get you in the mood to totally own the next 12 months.

Fine jewelry

After the rollercoaster ride that was 2020, jewelry shopper preferences have turned to the classics: pieces that hold a timeless charm. The fine jewelry trends of 2021 are pieces that put diamonds front-and-center and are particularly popular. Why? They’re universally stylish. They won’t ever trend-out. And they make gifts that never fail to delight! 

We can say with confidence that 2021 will be the year of the lab grown diamond. 30% more affordable than earth created diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are chemically and optically identical to traditionally mined diamonds. The only difference is that they’ve created, as you may have guessed, in a laboratory! Yes, and they are 100% pure diamonds.

How it’s done: scientists create these cutting-edge diamonds by first placing a tiny carbon “seed” in a specialized diamond-growing chamber. These chambers simulate the intense pressure and high heat conditions that facilitate diamond growth deep underground. As the heat and pressure work their magic, carbon vapor is gradually applied, microscopic layer by layer, onto the slowly growing diamond seed. After a few months, the lab-grown diamond is ready to be cut and polished! Thus the diamond creation process, which normally occurs on a geologic time scale, is sped up to take only a few months. 

Growing a diamond in a lab uses minimal time and resources compared to mining an earth-created diamond, which is why it costs so much less to produce. Those savings are passed on to you, allowing you to nab an honest-to-goodness diamond for 30% less than you thought you could.

And now the best news of all: James Allen’s diamond studs and diamond pendants can all be set with lab-grown diamonds! Stick to your budget and still score the carat size of your dreams.

1. Diamond Rings

This just in: rings featuring small, glittering diamonds are trending in 2021. Diamond rings don’t always have to come in the form of wedding or engagement rings. Diamonds’ sparkle makes them perfectly wearable additions to a normal weekday outfit. Plus, they can be worn however you’d like: the diamond rings below are subtle enough to add to a ring stack, yet strong enough to be worn alone for a more minimalist look. They also make the perfect gift if you’re looking for something special, but not too extravagant. 

Peeking Diamond Ring

The small, off-set center diamond emanates an uncommon cheekiness! Its 14K yellow gold solitaire band makes this ring perfect for mixing and matching in a ring stack.

14K Yellow Gold Peeking Diamond Ring

Open Luxe Diamond Ring

This is a diamond ring with a unique perspective. The striking open style teams up with graceful baguette-cut diamonds for a true head-turner of a ring.

14K Yellow Gold Diamond Ring

Bezel-Set Diamond Bubble Ring

This is a diamond ring for wearers that live on the lighter side of life. A fun whirl of bezel-set diamonds in various shapes dances across the wearer’s finger!

14K Yellow Gold Bezel Set Diamond Bubble Ring

Milgrain Blossom Ring

A delicate solitaire ring that blossoms into a six-petalled diamond flower. Simple, feminine, and cute as anything.

14K Rose Gold Milgrain Golden Blossoms Diamond Ring

2. Diamond Pendant Necklaces

One of the biggest fine jewelry trends of 2021 is necklaces that showcase an eye-catching center stone. And what better than a pendant necklace to show off a singular diamond? You can even suit it to your style with a custom setting. Dainty and simple, diamond pendants look stunning around absolutely any neck. This means that they’re a gift that always succeeds. Plus, these diamond necklaces:

  • Suit most necklines – wear them with anything!
  • Are lightweight and easy to wear throughout the day
  • Make for excellent layering pieces

Emerald-Cut Diamond Necklace

Emerald-cut diamonds are a classic shape that gives off an undeniable air of royalty. We’re thinking of Grace Kelly, actress-turned-Princess of Monaco, and her astonishing emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, or Princess Diana and her penchant for emerald-cut gemstones. Go royal with this understated diamond necklace.

14K White Gold Emerald Cut Shape Diamond Solitaire Pendant

Double Prong Diamond Necklace

Double prongs add a twist to a classic four prong setting. The basket is somewhat conical, so this pendant tends to tilt slightly to catch the light even with minimal movement by the wearer.

14K Yellow Gold Double Prong Diamond Pendant

Milgrain Halo Diamond Necklace

A gracefully beaded halo adds depth and 360° coverage to the diamond of your choice. And the domed mounting allows your diamond’s facets to turn toward the light with every move.

14K White Gold Milgrain Bezel Diamond Pendant

3. Stacked Tennis Bracelets

Maybe one diamond isn’t enough. Maybe what you really dream of is a wrist full of diamonds – dozens of them! Tennis bracelets can span the bling spectrum. While they’re definitely packed with enough shine to stand alone, they’re also wearable enough to add to your daily jewelry stack – layer various styles of diamond bracelets to suit your glitter level to the occasion. Mix-and-match various styles and metals of tennis bracelets for an extremely on-trend 2021 jewelry wardrobe. Want celeb style inspo? A tennis bracelet is a constant presence on the red carpet! Stars like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez, and Nicole Kidman often make it a point to accessorize their gowns with a graceful line of diamonds on their wrists.

Rose Gold Bezel-Set Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Go for a modern look with rose gold! The bezel settings on this tennis bracelet will keep all 64 diamonds snug, secure, and smooth. Wear this bracelet during any activity you want – it won’t snag on fabric or get in the way of your active lifestyle!

14K Rose Gold Bezel Diamond Tennis Bracelet

White Gold Four-Prong Diamond Tennis Bracelet

The classic white gold tennis bracelet in a four-prong setting that holds your diamonds securely and flushes to your wrist. This is a beauty that you’ll never want to take off.

14K White Gold Four Prong Lab Created Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Yellow Gold Flower Clasp Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Add a touch of whimsy to your wrist with the diamond-studded, flower-shaped clasp on this classic three-prong tennis bracelet!

14K Yellow Gold Three Prong Flower Clasp Diamond Tennis Bracelet

4. Diamond Earrings

Diamond stud earrings had a meteoric rise this past year. Even as the world hunkered down to weather the COVID pandemic, diamond earrings saw a steady increase in popularity. Why? Well, we have a few theories:

  1. They’re utterly wearable. They’re so lightweight that you can put them on, forget about them, and look fabulous the entire day without even trying. Even on Zoom.
  2. They suit any budget. The larger your budget, the more you can scale up your carat size. But even if your budget is relatively small, diamond studs afford you the most sparkle per dollar of any jewelry style.
  3. They’re excellent self-gifts. Got an important milestone you want to mark? Maybe a graduation, a big promotion at work, or a personal achievement you’re proud of? Celebrate yourself with diamond earrings.
  4. Their sparkle is easy to flaunt! If you want your diamonds to stand out, then earrings make sure they’ll always be at everyone’s eye level! 

Scalloped Basket Diamond Earrings

A rounded scalloped basket holds your diamonds of choice snugly against your lobes. This 6-armed mounting allows light to enter the diamond both from the sides and the front.

14K Yellow Gold Pair Of Scallop Basket Diamond Stud Earrings

Milgrain Bezel Diamond Earrings

The milgrain bezel setting on these stunning earrings mixes modern with vintage. The rolled wire basket carries your diamond slightly off the ear without sacrificing comfort.

14K White Gold Pair Of Milgrain Bezel Diamond Stud Earrings

Four Prong Diamond Earrings

Ooooh what a classic! These four prong diamond earrings are mounted in minimalist settings, allowing your diamonds to shine as light strikes their facets from every angle.

14K White Gold Four Prong Stud Earrings

Princess Cut Diamond Earrings

Why go round? Choose any cut of diamond, including princess cut. This large square cut takes up more surface area on your lobe than a round diamond of the same carat weight. Meaning, that’s more wow for your budget.

14K Yellow Gold Princess Cut Diamond Stud Earrings

Must-Know Diamond Fine Jewelry :

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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