“Have tennis bracelets ever gone out of style?” asks Fiona Frith, jewellery specialist at Bonhams. “I don’t think so. What has changed is that it has become completely acceptable to wear them at any time of the day.”
It’s a change she ascribes to the popularity of jewels used as “icing” by musicians. “Rap culture changed everything,” she says, “not just streetwear and sneakers. It’s now commonplace to wear diamonds during the day in a way we haven’t seen before.”
The bracelet – also found in necklace form – is not new; in fact, Frith believes some of the best examples of the genre (also known by its original name, the rivière) can be found in the British royal family’s collection, dating back to Queen Mary.
But the modern iteration got its name from tennis player Chris Evert, who wore one during the 1978 US Open. It broke during play, pausing the game while diamonds were recovered. Evert has been linked to the bracelet ever since (last year, she collaborated on a range of them with jeweller Monica Rich Kosann).
The form’s versatility and elegance enables each jeweller to lend their own flair, whether with cut, stone or metal. The result? Love all.