Humans have adorned themselves with necklaces, ornamentation to be worn around the neck, since we first figured out how to make jewelry. They were created for many reasons, ranging from ceremonial, to religious, to statements of love or to simply display wealth. As mankind evolved over time, so did necklace styles. Like bracelets, necklaces morphed into a variety of shapes, sizes and styles, being made from just about any material imaginable and known by a confusing array of names.
Manufacturers typically make necklaces in specific lengths, such as 16 inches (41 cm). These lengths became standards because they laid in a specific location when worn by the 'average' woman. The problem with the standard lengths is not all women are 'average' and what fits nicely on one woman can be ill-fitting on another. Over time, these popular lengths picked up common trade names based mostly on where they laid on that ‘average’ woman or popular occasions where they were worn. Typical standard lengths and their common trade names are:
- ~14 to ~16 inches long (36 - 41 cm) - Referred to as a collar necklace, it’s designed to lie just above the collarbone, flat to the body and against the skin.
- 16 inches long (41 cm) – Intended to sit directly against the clavicle, this is called a choker necklace.
- ~16 to ~18 inches long (41 - 46 cm) – Designed to sit just below the collar bone and thought to be a flattering style when holding a pendant, this length is known as a princess necklace.
- ~18 to ~22 inches long (46 - 56 cm) – Intended to land just above or near the center of the bust, this is known as a matinee necklace. It can look equally stunning when worn with either a high or plunging neckline.
- ~22 to ~36 inches long (56 - 91 cm) – Called an opera necklace, it’s intended to fall below the bust and above the waist. It’s ideal when worn with a plunging neckline. The opera necklace is very versatile and can be worn virtually anywhere and for any event. It can also be worn as a single strand or stacked with additional necklaces of varying lengths.
- ~36 to ~50 inches long (91 – 127 cm) – Known as a rope necklace, it can be wrapped around the neck so it sits on or just below the center of the chest.
- ~50 to ~80 inches long (127 - 203 cm) and also tied in a knot – This style was inspired by necklaces worn in the 1920’s by flappers; irreverent women who ignored social and political conventions of their time. This fun piece of jewelry came to be known as a flapper necklace.
You don’t need to wear a flapper necklace to stand out! 100 East Fine Jewelry has you covered with our eye-catching necklaces! Here’s what you’ll find in our necklace offerings:
- Materials - Each of our necklaces features a central focus of color from vibrant colored gemstones, cultured pearls or fancy colored diamonds. We choose these gemstones for their vivid color, not their name! They can be popular gemstone varieties or less well known, as long as they’re an attractive and saturated hue! Most, but not all our necklaces, are further embellished with sparkling colorless or near colorless diamonds as graded on GIA’s 4C’s of Diamond Quality scale. Those beautiful gifts from mother-nature are set in one or more precious metals; platinum, 18 Kt gold, 14 Kt gold or sterling silver.
- Lengths – the predominant necklace lengths we create are 16 to 22 inches long (choker, princess and matinee necklaces). On occasion, we may offer an opera length (over 22 inches).
- Styles - While there are around two dozen (likely more) specific necklace style names, those most likely to be offered by 100 East Fine Jewelry are:
- Pendant necklace – containing a single pendant (a decoration made of metal and gemstone), which can either move loosely on a chain or be incorporated into the chain. The pendant can be quite simple, such as a single gemstone, or quite sophisticated featuring a multitude of gems or pearls elaborately configured.
- Strand necklace- a set of beads and/or gemstones strung together. The size and color of the beads and/or gemstones may be the same or vary to create interest.
- Bib necklace – a large, elaborately designed statement piece necklace which sits quite high on the neck near the collar bone. It features a combination of beads, pearls, gemstones and diamonds.
If you want to learn more about our fine gemstone jewelry pieces, feel free to set up an appointment with Gordon to discuss his design process or a particular necklace. You could also check out our education and resources page! From there you can learn about gemstone treatments, caring for or cleaning your necklaces and many other topics.