Jewelry is one of the best and most exciting ways to compliment your clothes with a personal touch. From the shine of diamonds to the luster of gold, there are endless ways to make yourself feel prestigious.
One of the most popular accessories is the necklace because of its ability to catch someone’s attention right off the bat. When paired with a stunning pendant, you can really look and feel incredible.
If you’re new to the world of fine jewelry, or you just want some pointers for how to make the most of your collection, here are some things that you should know.
Brief History of Necklaces and Pendants
Jewelry has long been a symbol of elegance and prestige, and the earliest findings of jewelry date back to nearly 25,000 years ago. These were simple necklaces made from the bones of fish and other animals. Although their significance and symbolism are largely misunderstood today, these personal adornments paved the way for further advancements in jewelry making.
We do know, however, that early jewelry was used as amulets to protect against bad luck and angry spirits. Today, amulets share many similarities with pendants that we wear around our necks, and both can often have religious and spiritual connotations.
As the material used to make adornments became increasingly more expensive, these pieces became associated with wealth and privilege. Today, as jewelry-making has become a moremechanized process, access to necklaces and pendants is much more attainable than it once was.
However, that hasn’t changed the fact that jewelry is still representative of excellence and achievement. In the 1980s, during therise of Hip Hop, rappers like LL Cool J and Slick Rick sported chains and pendants to symbolize elegance and success. This era has pioneered the modern accessory, and most jewelry styles and fashions are reminiscent of this revolution.
Types of Necklaces
Necklaces come in tons of shapes, sizes, lengths, styles, and colors. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to figure out which would look the best on yourself. What are some of the most common types of necklaces?
Necklaces are typically described by the length at which they hang from the neck, as well as the type of ornament used to accentuate it. A lariat necklace will hang down as far as the belly button, whereas a chokeris tight against the neck. However, most necklaces are considered matinees, as these tend to hang about 15-25 inches from the neck.
Regardless of the length of the necklace, if you’re looking for a high-quality piece, it’s likely that the necklace will include some type of chain. The style and type of chain can have a large effect on your necklace’s appearance.
Popularized by legendary hip hop icons like Run DMC, chains are some of the most well known, renowned, and abundant necklaces that you can buy. They’re subdued enough to be discreet but complex enough to garner looks, making them one of the best compliments to any wardrobe.
Perhaps the most familiar type of chain to most people is the cuban chain. Also known as the “curb” style, these are created with an intricate design that looks and feels immensely sleek. When you think of a gold chain, you’re probably thinking of the iconicMiami Cuban design, which looks especially stylish over black or darker shirts. They’re similar to franco chains,which tend to feel a bit less heavy.
Figaro chains are also similar to curb chains but have an elongated link followed by two to three circular ones. These originated in Italy but are commonly used in the States to represent prestige and class.Diamond Figaro Chains look especially high-class and serve as a necessary companion to any outfit.
Another strong chain design is the byzantine chain, a unique necklace that can come in a variety of colors. Especially whencovered in crystals, these chains can be worn by someone who means business.
There are even more chain designs; these are just some of the most widely worn. But as anyone with great taste could tell you, these types of necklaces will never go out of style.
A lavalier is a chain-type necklace that has a large pendant or tassel on the bottom. This style, especially when used with tassels, is heavily influenced by Art Nouveau of the 1930s. However, variations of the lavalier that feature pendants have taken a more nuanced tone in the world of hip hop.
Although you can buy lavaliers withpendants already attached, you can also get pendants by themselves to match certain chains. While there’s no way to go wrong, it’s usually a good idea to match pendant colors with chain colors. For example, diamond pendants tend to look best when attached to metallic or white gold chains.
But what types of pendants should you use, and what exactly can they do to a chain?
Types of Pendants
When deciding exactly how to deck out your newest chain, there’s no better way to accentuate your personality than with a pendant. There are a few different types that you should have at your disposal.
Amulets and Talismans
The first known necklaces were known as amulets, and they were originally believed to dispel evil spirits from the wearer. Similarly, talismans were thought to bring luck and safety to those who wore them around their necks.
However, modern amulets don’t necessarily need to have any meaning behind them: they can just look cool. Amulets are studded in diamonds or gemstones or plated in stunning metals and can then be attached to a chain.
Amulets can take the form ofwords, or they can take the shape ofobjects, animals, or nearly anything else. These pendants can work with any type of outfit on any given day. And while they might not always bring good luck, they will always bring lots of jealous looks.
Lockets are hollow casings that are meant to hold objects with sentimental value. These pendants can hold the hair of a loved one or even serve as a place to store aphotograph. These pendants are highly personal and are symbolic of love, tight bonds, and connection.
No one usually sees what is insidea locket, but what’s on theoutsidedefinitely matters. Lockets encrusted with diamonds look especially striking, whereas metallic plated options look sleek and refined. Regardless, having a customized locket with you at all times is one of the best ways to show someone you care about them.
These are coin-shaped pieces of metal that are often granted as awards, recognitions, or religious blessings. Medallions look especially elegant, as most are plated with gold and diamonds.
Key To Buying Quality Necklaces and Pendants
Chains and amulets made of pure gold, diamond, emerald, or other stones can have outrageous price tags attached. Solid gold chains are usually only reserved for the legends, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel like a boss on a budget.
Instead of solid gold chains, consider a gold plated alternative. These still use real gold, just on the outer layer of a base metal instead of throughout the entire piece. They look the same as a solid gold adornment, just at a literal fraction of the price.
Likewise, diamond alternatives on studded pendants are a must. Diamonds are only expensive because ofmonopolies on the market, so simulants like cubic zirconia are cost-effective options that look and feel just as good. You’d never be able to tell the difference without professional tools.
Also, when buying any accessories, check the company’s warranty policy. Some jewelers will offer lifetime guarantees, extended warranties, or insurance for purchasing their products. Companies with these types of policies will have the highest quality jewelry and warrant a safe investment.
Necklaces and pendants have a long history of representing wealth and prestige. And although their symbolic nature has evolved, they are still some of the best accessories to add to your daily routines.
Despite the different necklace lengths, chains are some of the most common, especially if you want to add a pendant. With lockets, amulets, and medallions to choose from, the combinations are truly endless.
So, if you want to be just like the revolutionary Hip Hop icons of the 80s and 90s or feel like 19th-century royalty, you can’t go wrong with necklaces and pendants.