With Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, international soccer tournaments including Copa América and Euro Cup and, of course, the Olympics anchoring the summer sporting calendar, it’s high time we take a closer examination at the world’s most stylish athletes and their glorious appreciation for the finer luxuries—namely natural diamonds.
Athletes work hard and play hard. For the top athletes, their status affords them access to the crème de la crème of luxury goods, including diamond jewelry. Whether it’s classic diamond stud earrings, oversized pavé pendants or iced-out timepieces, they know how to indulge in a bit of bling.
Perhaps the secret to their impressive achievements are the precious diamonds they sport when they’re competing? We may never know but when you belong to the elite club of being the G.O.A.T. of your sport, a rare stone is a seemingly appropriate collectible to flaunt.
1. SERENA WILLIAMS
Serena Williams’ serve isn’t the only impressive thing about the tennis superstar’s game. Not one to shy away from making a statement on the court (as evident in her eye-catching Nike ensembles), she definitely knows how to jazz up her match day outfit with her preferred diamonds. Of course, there’s her spectacular three-stone oval engagement ring and the accompanying v-shaped band, but there are plenty of other pieces in rotation. At the Australian Open this past February, she wore a pavé chain link necklace and hoops with her color block catsuit.
As a longtime ambassador for Audemars Piguet, Williams frequently dons the Swiss brand’s watches, including variations of the Royal Oak Offshore. And enthusiasts can’t forget the heavily spiked Diamond Outrage bracelet watch she wore to the 2017 Met Gala.
Eagle-eyed fans may also notice that she is rarely without a heart jewelry piece when she plays, whether it be at Wimbledon or on home turf at the U.S. Open. From open heart motifs to charms and even a heart-shaped gem, it appears to be a lucky talisman of sorts. In fact, Williams loves baubles so much she has her own line of fine jewelry. You might not possess her skills, but you can adapt her style with the pavé “Queen” Message Necklace or Signature Heart Necklace. And, in case you were wondering, there is indeed a tennis bracelet in the collection.
He may not have taken home the Copa America title for his home country this summer, but Neymar Jr. isn’t lacking any hardware. The Brazilian forward has a knack for stylish ear stacks—effortlessly mixing diamond studs, diamond huggies of varying widths (sometimes with charms), pavé ear cuffs and cartilage earrings—and often wears them with his uniform during the pre-kickoff warmup.
While that has no doubt become his signature, he also likes to rock shiny tennis necklaces and thick pavé bands with his street style looks (see: his front row appearance at Balmain during Men’s Paris Fashion Week 2020).
3. MEGAN RAPINOE
Whether she’s scoring goals for the USWNT or championing for gender pay equity and LGBTQ+ rights, Megan Rapinoe proves she’s a fearless leader. Unsurprisingly, her red carpet Mo reflects both her unapologetic approach and playful spirit. Favoring bold suits and an occasional embellished Gucci gown, the soccer star and fashionable athlete is also revealing her taste in accessorizing. Exhibit A: Her 2019 ESPY Awards look consisted of a chic tux jacket (sans shirt) paired with leather shorts, which served as the backdrop for her glittering Anita Ko diamonds and vintage Beladora jewels.
More recently, Rapinoe posed in a Tiffany & Co. Style Session, rocking stacks of Tiffany Hardwear rings alongside her trademark shock of pink hair. About to head to her third Olympic Games, Rapinoe shows no signs of slowing down.
4. LEBRON JAMES
There’s no shortage of dapper men in the NBA but one reigns supreme: LeBron James. The L.A. Lakers forward dominates on the court and the same can be said for his off-duty style. While he seamlessly navigates between streetwear and suits, his jewelry mantra can only be described as “more is more.” Besides his championship rings, James is often spotted in flashy layered stacks and an eye-catching Audemars Piguet watch. Cartier’s diamond Love and Juste en Clou bracelets also get major play time on his wrist.
The King appreciates a statement neck look, whether it be a chunky hero piece like his diamond-encrusted crown necklace, blingy lion pendants, or layered tennis necklaces and chains (in fact, rapper 2 Chainz gifted James one of his personal diamond necklaces after the baller broke a scoring record in 2019). It certainly helps when you’re one of the top-earning players in the league. And the jewels don’t stop there! LeBron isn’t afraid to rock a diamond grill, either. When it comes to jewelry inspiration for men, look no further than LeBron.
5. SIMONE BILES
Much has been said about Simone Biles’ jaw-dropping vaults, but let’s take a beat to talk about her style evolution. The most decorated American gymnast, who is gunning for more wins at the Tokyo Olympics, has her gold, silver, and bronze but she’s quickly racking up diamonds and recognition as a stylish athlete as well.
To complement her bedazzled leotards, Biles accents her multiple piercings with diamond studs, bringing additional wattage to her floor routine. Not one to settle for the bare minimum, in February 2020 she shared an Instagram post with what appeared to be an edgy diamond sternum piercing on her chest. Just when we thought the champ couldn’t get any sparklier…
6. PAUL POGBA
When talking about football (or soccer for us Americans) and fashion, Paul Pogba’s name inevitably comes up. The French midfielder, who currently plays for Manchester United, is known for being a stylish athlete on and off the pitch. A penchant for splashy prints and colorful streetwear is further amplified with his go-to bling. Double initial studs often decorate his ears (and complement his cool hairstyles), while pavé Cartier Juste en Clou and Love bracelets and rings also feature prominently. And the diamond necklaces can’t be ignored—the drip includes some pretty dazzling strands and a playful Pikachu pendant to keep things interesting. With his upcoming Amazon documentary series “The Pogmentary” set for release next year, we expect there will be more than a few sparkling cameos.