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Necklace Buying Guide

Posted on June 17 2019

Necklace Buying Guide

There's nothing like donning a stunning necklace before a special night out. Sparkling gems across your neck can make you feel chicer than ever, and they're more than the finishing touch — they're the focal point of your ensemble.

The range of chains, shapes, clasps and precious stones is immense, and they can achieve rare effects. Whether the centerpiece of the necklace is a pearl or a diamond, this necklace buying guide can help you understand your options.

Types of Necklaces and Styles

Necklaces may be more elaborate than you think. From their structure to their position, their details are numerous. Length is a major factor in necklace style, but the ornaments lining the necklace are also significant. Let's examine the different types of necklaces and what makes them special.

1. Bib

Mimicking the shape of a baby's bib, bib necklaces have a wide piece that extends below the clavicle. It's a dramatic necklace that demands attention, and they tend to be heavy.

Many materials can form the bib, which can feature solid or hanging elements. It can be made out of inlaid crystals forming a crescent, or it can be a branching chain design.

2. Collar

As the necklace that sits the highest on the neck, collars typically aren't as dainty as chokers and have a thicker chain. You can find collars that run 12 inches long, which are relatively tight, but you can also get a 16-inch collar. They also closely hug the middle portion of the throat.

3. Choker

Many still use "collar" and "choker" interchangeably, but a choker resides a little lower on the throat and has shown up in many eras. On average, chokers are 14 inches long, and they can be thin or wide. The slim ones look good layered with other necklaces, but they can stand out on their own.

4. Princess

The princess-style necklace isn't only for royalty — it's attractive on most people. When it hangs at 17 to 19 inches, it frames the collarbone in a flattering placement that makes it a popular type in fine jewelry.

5. Matinee

Draping close to the bust, a matinee measures between 20 to 22 inches. For highlighting a deep neckline, matinee necklaces are appealing. They are just as easy to wear with higher necklines and resting on top of the fabric.

6. Pendant


The defining trait of pendant necklaces is a prominent object fixed to the middle of a chain. The pendant can be free to move about the chain, but gravity helps it stay around the center of the necklace. Any length of necklace can hold a pendant, but it's more common to see on longer ones like matinee and princess styles.

One subcategory of pendant necklaces is locket necklaces, which feature a unique pendant. It's a hinged case that usually carries a picture, and lockets are traditionally either oval or heart-shaped.

7. Opera

With the distinct flair of their namesake, opera necklaces are arresting and incredibly long. Stretching from 26 to 36 inches, they can reach the midsection of your torso.

8. Rope

Rope necklaces categorize those that exceed 36 inches, and they can drop to the navel or further down. Since they come to the waist, they veer toward simple designs like alternating beads or patterned chains.

9. Lariat

The lariat is similar to the rope necklace because it has the same measurement, but there's a specific way to wear it. Rather than hanging in an unbroken circle, its ends are separate. One end has a tiny loop and the other wraps around the front and through the small hole, forming an extra line that spouts off the V.

Types of Necklace Chains

Aside from styles and lengths, luxe necklaces consist of chains. Not all chains are identical, and the weave can change how strong, elegant and bendable the necklace turns out. Here are the different types of necklace chains.

1. Box

Necklaces that have a box chain consist of square links. The little squares have open interiors so they can connect, and in a pure box chain, you can't see through the openings when the chain is finished. You might also hear people call this style the Venetian chain, but the distinguishing characteristic of a Venetian chain is a looser connection that allows you to peer through the links.

2. Byzantine

Byzantine chains share many characteristics with box chains, but it has circular loops. Each circular link in the chain joins with four others in Byzantine style, so it's complex. The system also switches directions to imitate an intricate rope.

3. Cable and Rolo

A cable chain has oval links that fasten end to end, and as a basic chain variety, it's also called a link chain. The edges of the oval links can be hard or smoothed out.

Rolo chains are like cable, but they're particularly round rather than oblong. The circular joints put together a uniform chain.

These both have several variations that play with twists, flattening and sizing in the links.

One of these modifications is the curb chain, and the connecting oval points are cleanly flattened rather than raised. The curved points make the whole chain able to remain level on an even surface.

There's also the Figaro variation, which is leveled the same as the curb chain. Figaro chains are set apart in their link shapes and sizes. The format includes an oval followed by three circular links, and it repeats throughout the chain.

4. Mesh

In this necklace chain, a mesh covering forms a tube. Metal gets woven into a grid to create the mesh, and mesh is an intricate network that is durable.

5. Snake

Snake Necklace

As the most flexible chain, the snake chain has tight plates that are slanted. The connections between plates are nearly invisible, making them extremely sleek. The chain appears completely round, and if you move the chain, it turns like a slithering snake.

6. Rope

Rope chains have several metal strands, just like ropes have multiple fibers. The strands twist together, and there are natural openings between the coiled parts. It's difficult to see the miniature joints that allow these strands to bend.

7. Wheat

Wheat or Spiga chains are constructed from infinity-shaped links. However, the way they fit together produces the appearance of wheat berries. The wheat chain looks like it has four sides, and it is an intriguing layout for necklaces.

Types of Necklace Chain Clasps

As you rush to a party or glide through a waltz, you want your necklace to stay put. Movement, heavy pendants and regular use can all contribute to your necklace breaking free of your neck. One thing you don't want to increase the odds of losing your necklace is a subpar clasp.

The right kinds of clasps for your necklace lock your treasured jewelry into place no matter what. Let's review the types of necklace chain clasps so you can secure your jewelry.

1. Barrel

Barrel clasps have a gentle cylinder shape, and the two sides fit together by an internal system. One side has a screw or hidden hook, and the other has a compatible attachment. The grooves are reliable for gripping the necklace.

2. Box

Just like the discreet mechanism of barrel clasps, box clasps have a covered lock. The other piece is a slender strip or tab. When the strip slides into the box, it clicks into position. It's firmly braced compared to most clasps.

3. Hook

Necklaces with hook clasps have curved fixtures that effortlessly slip in and out. There can be a C-shaped or S-shaped curve that closes the gap, and it's easy to release. Hooks are less stable because they leave room for the necklace to jiggle loose.

There's another kind, hook-and-eye, where the receiving end is a basic circle.

Fishhook closures also have a crook, but there's a lemon-shaped fastener on the opposite end. These are a steadier sort than the conventional hook.

4. Lobster

The lobster clasp is widespread in jewelry because it's almost like an adjustable link. In a teardrop shape, the lobster closure has a tiny lever on the side that lifts the barrier open and closed. It squeezes similarly to lobster claws, and it's highly dependable.

5. Spring Ring

Spring ring clasps are also common in necklace manufacturing. It is a small circle that has a minuscule break, and the inside of the ring is vacant except for a spring-loaded piece. When engaged, the spring segment effectively shuts the breach and completes the circle. You have to pull the lever and carefully pass the end of the necklace through the rift.

6. Toggle

The toggle clasp relies on a bar to poke through a ring. What allows the bar to pull the necklace closed is that it's perpendicular to the chain, and the wings of the bar perch outside the ring. The ring and bar can be embellished to blend into the necklace.

7. Foldover

A foldover clasp functions the same as hair barrettes, and it has a rectangular latch that hinges. The latch folds over a small hoop, and it's a substantial mechanism for necklaces that won't budge easily.

8. Magnet

Magnetic clasps are powerful, and they use two corresponding magnets to merge the chain. The magnetic ends are flat, and all it takes is a tug to detach the closure.

Tips for Choosing the Right Style

Tips For Choosing The Right Length Necklace

With such an extensive collection of styles, how can you choose the perfect necklace style? Looking ahead to the longevity, fashion and use of the necklace can clear up your decision. Here is a helpful guide to choosing a necklace style.

1. Contemplate Events and Uses

Plan when you'll slip on a dazzling necklace, and you can work out how desirable the necklace is to you. How formal are the events you expect to wear it to? Does a necklace with a dainty diamond cluster pendant suit a charity event or a wedding?

Certain styles pair well with ball gowns, like the classic princess style. The more sophisticated the occasion, the more ornamented your necklace can be.

If you're extending a gift to a loved one, the extravagance of the necklace can reflect the importance of the occasion. Anniversaries and milestones can warrant a lavish strand of diamonds or a prominent bib of emeralds.

2. Decide Between Trendy or Timeless

Current fashions are fun to try, but it's crucial to keep in mind that trends cycle in and out. Consider whether the necklace should last for generations or carry the latest style.

Timeless necklaces like dense strands of pearls or glistening gold chains with a single gemstone can withstand stylistic changes. They're also versatile between ensembles.

3. Go for Quality and Material

Investing in a premium-quality necklace is a welcome asset and a worthy accessory. High-quality necklaces include precious materials like gold, silver and platinum, and they also can hold choice gems.

Luxurious cuts and mountings of the gems on a necklace can help it catch light, and these details can increase the beauty of your necklace and increase your satisfaction. Simple cleaning methods can keep the gems on your necklace bright as they serve you for years.

Tips for Choosing the Right Length

Because style and length are closely intertwined, the reach of the necklace deserves attention. If you're still wondering how to choose a necklace length, examine the following tips.

1. Check Your Measurements

Each necklace length has a range, due to the fact there is diversity in neck measurements. Use a tape measure to evaluate the size of your neck and inform your necklace choice.

First, assess the circumference of your neck for gauging the size of choker and collar that accommodates your neck. Wrap the tape measure around your throat and mark the spot before removing it.

Next, analyze the length of your neck for any necklaces that drape down. You can even use the tape measure as a faux necklace to demonstrate where the necklace would sit on your neck.

2. Consider Your Best Features

You can highlight your specific traits with the correct length of necklace. First, you can mull over the placement of the necklace. Do you want to draw attention to your throat, the base of your neck, your collarbone or your bust? Wherever the necklace rests, it can showcase this part of your body.

The shape of your face can also benefit from the reach of the necklace. Shorter necklaces can compress elongated face shapes like oval and diamond faces. Lengthy necklaces like rope and opera can even out condensed faces like round and heart-shaped faces.

3. Pick for an Outfit's Neckline

While choosing necklace length, it's vital to think over the necklines of your outfits. For crew and scoop necks, you can try a matinee or princess length to trace the natural curve.

The longest necklaces complement either plunging dress necklines or extremely high ones. Boatnecks and turtlenecks can showcase the dramatic length.

Purchase Necklaces From Little Switzerland

Whether you're arranging a romantic gesture or pampering yourself, you can purchase an appropriate necklace length, style and clasp for your purposes.

Little Switzerland is a sought-after supplier of necklaces and other fine jewelry, and you can select an exquisite necklace from our selection. We also offer financing for up to 36 months to match your budget, and you can apply today for our financing options.

Start browsing our alluring necklaces today.

Purchase Necklaces from Little Switzerland


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