Buying Guide

What Is the Difference Between a Necklace and a Pendant?

 
Model wearing gold necklace and pendant. Products 929177 and 834423.
Model holding three gold necklaces. Products 923629, 913578, 926742 and 900733.
Model wearing gold necklace and two pendants. Products 926742, 929177, 913578 and 900733.
 

Trend Alert! Create the perfect layered look with the help of our layering clasp. Crafted in Italy, link up to 3 necklaces or pendants (or a mix of both!) and wear them without the worry or hassle of tangled chains.

 

A necklace is a form of jewelry that is worn around the neck. It can take many styles—a classic strand of pearls, a sleek 14kt yellow gold chain, or a luxurious diamond tennis necklace, to name a few of our best-selling necklaces. Necklaces are offered in a variety of lengths, ranging from 14" to 36". Shorter lengths can be worn to accentuate the collarbone and neck, while the longer lengths can help elongate the torso or attain the popular layered necklace look. As necklaces have evolved in style, materials, and silhouettes throughout the years, the pendant necklace has remained a staple in jewelry fashion.

 

While occasionally suspended from a string of gemstones or pearls, a pendant is typically found dangling off a silver or gold chain. Although most commonly associated with necklaces, pendants can also be used to decorate bracelets and anklets. To be technical, the pendant must be removable from the chain to be considered a pendant. The loop that attaches the pendant to the chain is known as a "bale," which the chain passes through.

While designers have experimented with pendant necklace lengths in recent years, they are most classically 16- or 18-inches long, falling elegantly on or just below the collarbone. To learn more about necklace lengths and the best length for you, visit our necklace length guide.

A pendant necklace features a metal chain with a hanging adornment. The pendant can include an array of pretty decorations, often including gemstones, diamonds, crosses, hearts, and pearls. It must be removable from the chain for it to be considered a jewelry pendant.

Pendants can be purchased with a coordinating chain or on their own. With our vast collection of pendant necklaces, we have classics like gold love knot pendants extended from a rope chain or more eclectic pieces, like a Murano glass pendant hung from multiple rows of Murano glass beads. To create a more custom look, a pendant can be matched to a chain or necklace already in your jewelry box or paired with a piece from our chain necklace collection.

Pendants are most commonly worn as crosses; however, personalized monogram pendants and heart pendants are becoming increasingly popular motifs. The award for most iconic pendant? No surprise, the diamond pendant necklace. The diamond pendant is a timeless choice, a treasured piece of fine jewelry that can be passed down for generations.

 

What's the Difference Between a Pendant and a Charm?

Necklaces with dangling pendants—beaded necklaces, chokers, and chain necklaces—are the prominent styles that adorn a woman's neckline. While a necklace pendant and charm look and feel similar, they have different purposes. A pendant hangs from a chain necklace, while a charm is an ornament that attaches to a bracelet, earrings, or anklet. Pendants typically hang directly on the chain, while charms are often attached via a charm holder, a small ring used for one or multiple. Charms are usually much smaller than pendants, so a charm necklace will typically have many adornments. For a pendant necklace, a single piece is more than enough.

 

Popular Types of Pendant Necklaces

Looking for new ways to elevate your wardrobe? Need an elegant jewelry piece that can upgrade your everyday look? A pendant necklace might be the perfect pick for you. They can come in varied designs to match your personal style and are often customizable—find your ideal pendant and select a complimentary chain to create a unique look. You can even wear them alongside other necklaces to create an eclectic, classy, layered necklace with the pendant as the sparkling centerpiece.

Top Pendant Designs—Add a Winsome Flair to Your Distinct Style

Heart Pendant Necklaces: An iconic symbol of love, heart pendant necklaces make splendid gifts for the remarkable woman in your life. For a classic accessory, go for a metal heart pendant necklace set in exquisite Italian gold or timeless sterling silver. This simple and streamlined pattern goes well with everyday outfits and is a practical jewelry pick. Choose a heart pendant crafted with exquisite diamonds and gemstones, set in gold-over-silver or mixed-metal designs for a modern look. Make it truly unique with a heart locket to honor a cherished memory.

Custom Pendant Necklaces: Go the extra mile and choose a personalized pendant featuring the name or initials of the person to whom you're gifting the jewelry. Customized pendants are available in a variety of precious metals, including gold and sterling silver. Initial pendant necklaces come in beautiful designs with monogrammed or engraved letters for a stunning look. A pet paw or animal-shaped pendant engraved with a pet's name is an ideal keepsake or memorial to a loved companion. Customized pendants adorned with dazzling diamonds are a great way to show someone how much they are loved.

Gem Pendant Necklace: Gemstone studded pendants add a stylish touch to your outfits. You can find these in varied hues, thanks to the stunning colors of classic stones like sapphire, emerald, and amethyst. Or choose more exotic but equally beautiful stones such as jade, larimar, opal, and tanzanite. Birthstone pendants matching the zodiac sign or birthstone are favorites with women who love to add a personal touch to their accessories—plus, they also make very romantic gifts.

 

Pendant Necklaces: Top FAQs

Can you buy a pendant separately?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, separately buying pendants help you match them to your existing wardrobe and necklace collection. Invest in basic pieces like hearts, crosses, and coin pendants and gradually add more unique designs to build a diverse pendant collection. There are so many 'star' pendant designs from which to choose. The options are limitless, and there's something to suit every taste.

What is the best/strongest chain for a pendant?

Pendants are most secure on rope chains due to their durability and tensile strength. They feature multiple rows of interlinked metal, which makes them extremely sturdy. We carry many different chain types and know you will find the perfect match for your pendant.

Are pendant necklaces trendy?

Pendant necklaces are a classy pick that never goes out of style. For a hip look, try layering necklaces and combining charm necklaces of varying lengths for extra glam. Remember to stick to subtle designs and trendy metals like rose gold when you're layering neckpieces.