Necklace Buying Guide – All You Need to Know
Necklaces are among the prettiest accessories a woman can own. They help accentuate her looks and are the best way to make a fashion statement and hold the gaze of the beholder! A necklace can do full justice to a graceful neck as well as conceal the flaws of a not-so-perfect one. Usually, a necklace is worn to match an outfit or for traditional or sentimental reasons. Whatever the reason, a necklace always instills a sense of joy and confidence in its wearer.
Necklaces are available in a wide variety of shapes, lengths and types. There are necklaces for certain occasions. Some are plain and others are bejeweled beauties. Some come in a single strand and another is in a cascade of chains. Selecting a necklace will largely depend on who the wearer would be, the occasion of wear, the outfit it would complement and the constraints on cost. So, choosing the perfect necklace can be an arduous task! The information available is exhaustive and also confusing.
We offer you a viable solution. This buying guide has been developed to allay your confusions. Follow this guide to help you with the delightful decision of selecting a necklace that would suit you best. Learn about all the inside information on necklaces for women and men, teenagers and kids. Explore the options available, weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision.
After you have read this guide, buying a necklace will never again be a pain in the neck!
Styles of Necklaces
Depending on the wearer’s choice, necklaces can be chosen in a range of materials, styles and lengths. Let us classify necklaces based on their lengths first.
The length of a necklace depends on the gender and the neck-width of the wearer. Men’s necklaces and chains are generally longer than a woman’s. It can be difficult to judge the length required, especially if the purchase is made online, but the thumb rule is to buy two to four inches more than the width of your neck. It may be a good idea to drape a measuring tape around your neck to the desired length and take measurements.
Here is a list of the lengths considered suitable for different ages and gender.
- Baby necklace – 12 to 14 inches
- Young girl’s necklace – 12 to 15 inches
- Older girl’s necklace – 14 to 16 inches
- Teenager necklace – 15 to 18 inches
- Adult choker or bib necklace – 14 to 16 inches
- Adult Princess necklace – 18 to 20 inches
- Adult matinee necklace – 22 to 23 inches
- Adult opera necklace – 30 to 35 inches
- Adult rope necklace – 35 inches or more
- Adult lariat necklace – 35 inches or more
Depending on the neck size, a 10 to 14 inch necklace will wrap very close to your neck. For this reason it is often called a collar. If you prefer to have a looser fit, consider a 16 inch chain which will sit just above your collar bone. It is referred as the choker.
An 18 inch necklace is longer than a choker but will still sit near your breast bone. These necklaces are very common and are called Princess necklaces. If you wish to have a necklace that sits below the collarbone but above the neckline, then a 20 inch necklace would be a great choice. It is preferred for using with pendants and lockets. The 20 inch necklace is also called a matinee necklace.
A 22 inch necklace will lay above the bust. A 24 inch necklace will lay at or just below the centre of the bust. A 28 to 38 inch necklace will hang below the bust. Any necklace longer than 38 inches will hang below the navel. Long necklaces are usually wound two or three times around the neck to make them shorter or to give a layered effect.
The clasp factor
Remember to consider the length of the clasp when you are calculating the length of your necklace. Very often, standard measurements of necklaces do not include the clasp. A clasp is a connector that holds the ends of a necklace together and measures three-fourths of an inch, though some may be longer.
These are some of the common clasps used. If you are getting your necklace custom-made, instruct the jeweler of your preference. It is also possible to change the existing clasp of a jewel to another of your liking depending on the length you desire.
Style of Necklace
Shops are inundated with different styles of necklaces. But styles are ever changing. The dream of every woman would be to possess a collection of necklaces that would complement all her outfits. There are a few tried and tested rules when it comes to choosing the style of a necklace.
First of all, decide on the outfit you are going to wear the necklace with. The neckline of your dress plays an important role in the choice of the necklace. Different necklines look better with different styles of necklaces. Take a look at this list.
- Halter necks – give an impression of a narrow V. A simple, short necklace with a pendant that has a pointed end.
- Button down shirt (with collar) – as there is not much space for chunky wear, a choker would work well if you have a slender neck. Else, wear a thin chain with a pendant that is near the last open button.
- V neck – any necklace that matches the shape of V. Choose depending on width of the V, wide or narrow.
- Scoop neck – as there is space to fill, you can wear layered beaded necklace or chunkier ones.
- Strapless – chokers look great with these.
- Turtle necks – long necklaces are a perfect match.
- Asymmetric necklines – wear a necklace that also has asymmetric design. Otherwise select a long string of a mixture of beads of different shapes.
- Cowl neck – a string of beads will be good with this neckline.
- Crew neck – short necklaces like collar or bib style are suitable.
Necklace to suit your personality
When you talk of styles, you are actually referring to your personality type. If you are feminine, you may prefer beads and pearls. If you are a casual, laid back person, you may opt for necklaces made of natural materials or even recycled material. If you have an effervescent personality, you are more likely to choose over sized necklaces to make a bold statement. You can really get creative and define your own style or even mix and match different styles.
Necklace to suit your body type
Necklaces are points of immediate focus. Hence, they should be chosen with care. If you decide to treat yourself with an expensive necklace, make sure it looks good on you. Assess your body type and also the shape of your face before you buy the necklace since both attributes contribute to how captivating you will look with the necklace on. Another important aspect is the size of your neck. It is important to measure the size using a measuring tape. The tape should drape snugly around the neck and not feel suffocating. Use these tips to decide on the perfect purchase.
- When you buy a choker or collar, get a size which is at least 2 inches longer than the circumference of your neck.
- Height plays an important role in your choice. If you have a petite frame, a long necklace may be overwhelming for you. If you are of a big build, a delicate necklace will look odd.
- If your height is 5’4″ or lesser, 16 to 20 inch necklace will be perfect for you. You can wear a V neckline to visually elongate your neck.
- If you are between 5’4″ to 5’7″, you can have your pick of necklace. All types will suit you.
- If you are 5’7″ or taller, you could wear any type of necklace but the longer ones will be the most flattering as they would project your tall frame to your advantage.
- Necklaces can help in drawing attention to your pleasing features. If you are petite, a long , thin necklace will lend you an elegant grace. If you are on the heavier side, try out necklaces that are shorter.
- As necklaces are in the close proximity of your face, virtually framing your face, it has a unique capacity to accentuate your features and alter the very shape of your face, as perceived by the beholder. This list of face shapes and the corresponding necklace length will be useful for you.
- Heart-shaped face – Necklace lengths of 10 to 16 inches are preferred. Chokers will help in softening the sharp edges of this face.
- Round face – In order to give an elongated effect, necklaces of length 26 to 36 inches is worn. Chokers must be avoided.
- Oval – Such faces are blessed with the grace to carry off any type of necklace with ease.
- Rectangular and Oblong faces – They should wear necklaces of 10 to 14 inches. Shorter necklaces will help visually shorten the jaw and smoothen the angular contours of the rectangular face.
Necklaces for men
Men are often found sporting necklaces just as their female counterparts. They should also follow the same recommendations advised with regard to the neck size. They must always buy two sizes bigger than their actual size.
The most popular chain length for men is 20 inches, which sits on the collar bone. However, a longer necklace 24 inches may be chosen to display a pendant, medal, emblem or sports charm.
Necklaces are now available, not only in customary gold and silver but also in metals like platinum, white gold, tungsten, titanium, and even stainless steel. These new age metals lend a contemporary look to traditional jewelry.
Tips for cleaning your jewels
You can protect and preserve your necklaces for generations by following a few simple techniques.
- Invest in a good quality jewelry case. It will have separate compartments dedicated for necklaces, earrings, bangles and rings.
- Clean your necklaces periodically with a mild soap solution. Soak the jewel for a few minutes and clean with a bristle brush. Gently dry with a lint-free cloth.
- If it is a pearl necklace, just clean with water.
- If you are in possession of a number of ornaments, it would be wise to buy a jewelry armoire. An armoire contains hooks for hanging chains, drawers for your trinkets and mirrors.
Some Designer Collections
Beware of stone-studded jewelry!
Though breathtakingly beautiful and elegant, stone-studded jewels made of gold need to be investigated thoroughly before buying. Here are the most common problems that arise with such jewels.
Problem of unknown costs
Whenever you buy a stone studded gold jewel, it is weighed in its entirety. Though the jeweler does give a break – up of the price of gold and the price of stones, he doesn’t give the exact weights of gold and the stones. So, if your jewel has 50% of gold and some semi – precious stones, you may end up paying more for the gold.
Problem of Purity
There are many ways to check the purity of gold but it relatively more difficult to verify the authenticity of gemstones.
Loss at the time of sale
We will always lose the making charge in any transaction of jewels at the time of sale. In case of studded jewels, you will lose even more. At the time of selling, the stones are usually removed to determine the weight of gold. The piece is valued as per the weight of gold only. Stones that are semi precious will not give you any returns.
High making charges
Most studded jewels involve intricate designs and patterns that would need expert workmanship. Consequently, the making charges are much higher.
Important things to remember
- Whenever you buy a stone studded jewel, keep the receipt of the purchase safely. If you wish to sell or exchange the jewel s at a later date, you should go to the same jeweler. He will be obliged to give you the entire amount for the weight of gold, without raising questions about its purity!
- Always check the purity of gold and buy jewels that are hallmarked.