Necklace & Pendant Guide

Necklaces and pendants are classic accessories that complete an outfit. This necklace and pendant buying guide can help you find which styles and features are right for you.

Necklaces & Pendants 101

Necklaces and pendants complete your outfit by adding sophistication and fun to your neckline, and help you show off your personal style and look your best on every occasion. Your options range from the timeless elegance of a gold chain necklace or a pearl necklace to the funky flash of a bold statement piece. Depending on your needs, you can wear a necklace to add balance to your ensemble or to play up your best features. When shopping, choose a material that flatters your skin tone. Keep in mind that silver brightens a cool tone, while gold brings out the best in warm tones.

Necklace Styles


Pendant Necklaces

The pendant necklace is a jewellery classic that highlights a single gem, cross, locket or other hanging charm. What differentiates this type from other necklaces is that the chain and pendant are separate pieces. Some pendants come with a chain, while others are purchased separately and added to the chain of your choosing. Ideal for accessorizing and adding personal flair to an outfit, pendant necklaces range from subtle accent pieces to bold fashion statements, so they work well in a variety of formal and casual settings. The v shape of a hanging pendant pairs nicely with a v-neckline top to elongate the neck.

Chain Necklaces

Unlike pendant necklaces, chain necklaces are sold with all the elements fixed together to create one attractive piece of jewellery. Chain necklaces can range from a simple gold chain to a cascading string of diamonds, so there are options available to suit every taste (and budget). While pendants highlight a single hanging item, chain necklaces may feature a continuous row of decorative accents such as beads or pearls, or bring focus to a cluster of gemstones in a statement necklace. The chain of a necklace commonly consists of silver, gold or platinum alloys, as well as more affordable plated varieties.

Types of Necklaces


Cubic Zirconia Necklace

If you’re looking for bling that won’t break the bank, a cubic zirconia (cz) necklace might do the trick. Formed from zirconium oxide, these manmade beauties have an unparalleled brilliance, even compared to their much pricier lookalikes, diamonds. And not only do they reflect more light, making them shine more than diamonds, they're available in a wider variety of colours and shapes. Try pairing your cz stones with reflective metals like sterling silver, platinum or yellow gold for added glitter on a social night out.

Diamond Necklace

When you really want to feel glamorous, diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend. Whether your diamond necklace highlights a single diamond, a cluster of diamonds or a whole sparkling string of diamonds, this timeless accessory never goes out of style. For formal occasions, diamonds add dramatic flair to strapless dresses or wedding gowns, while a well-set diamond pendant can transform a simple V-neck blouse into evening wear. When choosing a diamond necklace, consider the "Four Cs": cut, colour, clarity and carat. Balancing these factors with your budget will result in the best-quality diamonds for you.

Gold Necklace

A classic yellow, white or rose gold necklace is always in style. Gold necklaces are available anywhere from 10 carat alloys up to 24-carat pure yellow gold. For an affordable option that still offers the gleam of gold, try a gold filled or gold plated necklace that combines a small amount of real gold with other metals such as silver, nickel or copper to create the look of gold without the cost. Gold necklaces work well with all skin tones, particularly warm ones, and complement everything from leather jackets to jeans to formal wear. 

Silver Necklace

Like gold, silver goes with everything, making a silver necklace a versatile and convenient fashion accessory. Whether you pair a bold silver choker with a strapless gown for a night out or combine a delicate silver chain with your favourite charms to wear to the office, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to show off this precious metal. When shopping for a silver necklace, look for the indicator "925," verifying that the silver is sterling with a purity of 92.5%. A soft metal by nature, silver is usually combined with other metals to increase strength and prevent tarnishing.

Pearl Necklace

From classic choker length to dramatic opera length, the pearl necklace isn’t just for grandma anymore. Quality natural pearls shine with their symmetrical size, high lustre and even colouring. The simple elegance of a strand of pearls continues to stand the test of time, but the world of pearls has expanded to include a range of fun colours, varieties and lengths. Freshwater pearls are more affordable than saltwater pearls, but they’re comparable in quality. The lower cost is due to the source: freshwater mussels can yield up to 50 pearls per shell, while ocean oysters can only produce one or two. Freshwater pearl colours include pink, lilac, brown, chocolate, black and white. They are available in varying sizes and combinations, providing a fashionable accompaniment for everything from evening gowns to jeans. 

Fashion Necklace

Fashion necklaces, also referred to as costume jewellery, are a fun way to express yourself, keep up with current trends and add a creative touch to your outfits. Usually made of less expensive metals, such as brass, nickel and copper, or even formed from materials like leather or ribbon, a fashion necklace lets you make a statement without making a major investment. Bold colours and fun shapes mix with striking materials like rhinestones, glass and plastic to coordinate with colourful fashions or stand out against a neutral palette.

Necklace Pairing Tips:

• A classic diamond or heart pendant suits simple and classic clothing styles
• A statement necklace or large pendant works well with bold colours and modern cuts
• Combine a longer necklace or pendant with v necklines to elongate the neck
• Pair strapless tops or dresses with chokers to accentuate neck and shoulders
• Match dangly pearl or stud earrings with a pearl necklace
• Wear an opera length necklace over a turtle neck for dramatic flair
• Balance a square neckline with a chunky choker, pendant or strand of pearls

Necklace Features

Gemstones +

Attractive and colourful, natural gemstones are minerals that have been cut and polished, making for a fetching addition to any necklace. Rarer gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires are classified as precious, while more abundant gemstones such as amethyst, garnet, topaz and quartz are classified as semi-precious. For a less expensive splash of colour and shine, consider purchasing synthetic or imitation gemstones.

Birthstones +

Birthstones are gemstones associated with a month or astrological sign. Incorporating your birthstone in your necklace adds a personal touch, and always makes a great gift for a loved one’s birthday. Choose an emerald pendant for a May baby or a string of pearls for someone celebrating a birthday in June. If you’re lucky enough to be born in December, you’ll have three to choose from: tanzanite, zircon and turquoise. A necklace combining multiple birthstones is a great way to commemorate the birth months of siblings or family members, and makes for an especially touching gift for a birthday, Mother’s Day or Christmas.

Personalized +

For an accessory that really has your name on it, go for a personalized necklace. Variations of this style include a single initial, multiple initials or a full-name necklace. A personalized necklace made of sterling silver is a fashionable and fun gift for a young girl, while a delicate gold heart pendant embossed with an initial is a romantic gift for grown-ups. Personalized necklaces are worn in a variety of lengths and range from subtle to flashy to match your individual style.

Lockets +

Keep images of your loved ones close to your heart by adding a locket to your necklace. Made from gold, silver and other attractive metals, lockets are a timeless and elegant way to wear a photo (or two) or to keep a small memento around your neck. Engravings and attached gemstones are features that add visual appeal to a locket. While oval is the traditional shape for a locket, heart-shaped and even contemporary square options are also available.

Charms +

Charm necklaces and bracelets have had a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to the popular Pandora necklace and bracelet designs. Charms are a fun way to personalize your jewellery and can serve as an enjoyable reminder of important milestones such as birthdays and holidays. Whether you choose to string a variety of charms along the length of a necklace or bring the focus to one special charm on a pendant necklace, you’ll always have the versatility of being able to add and remove charms to create and recreate your necklace as you see fit.

Chains +

Chains can be worn on their own or in combination with an eye-catching pendant. There’s more to choosing a chain than simply deciding between silver and gold or platinum. You also need to consider the length of the chain, the link style and the link thickness. A sleek snake chain is made up of rings that fit together to resemble a flexible tube, while a simple-but-sturdy cable chain, with its uniform round or oval links, is often paired with pendants or charms. A single chain is a classic accessory that goes with any outfit, while layering multiple chains can make a fashion-forward statement. Thin and delicate or thick and chunky, there’s a chain for every occasion and every style.

Fasteners +

The fastener, or clasp, of your necklace is a simple feature with an important job: to keep your necklace on your neck. Fastener options include toggle, lobster and spring ring clasps, which consist of two pieces, one on each end of the necklace, that fit together to keep your necklace secure. The fasteners on gold or silver necklaces are generally also made of gold or silver, but stainless steel, copper, nickel and other metals are used as well.

Plating +

All that glitters isn’t necessarily pure gold; it may be gold plated. Gold plating involves depositing a thin layer of real gold onto the surface of a base metal, such as silver, nickel or copper. A gold-plated chain looks like real gold and is durable for everyday use, but the base metal will eventually diffuse the gold coating, resulting in a loss of "gold" colour. Some people may find gold plated necklaces irritate their skin because of sensitivities they may have to the other metals being used.

Beads +

While gemstones are bright and beautiful adornments for more formal necklaces, beads can be a fun and funky alternative. Beads are made from a variety of materials, including affordable wood, plastic and glass and ranging up to more ornate crystal and coral. A uniform beaded necklace is made of equal-sized beads, while a graduated beaded necklace incorporates beads that increase in size. Beaded necklaces can complement a range of tastes and budgets. For a fun activity you can share with kids and friends, try creating your own beaded necklaces from bead kits.

Shop Accessories & Related Products:

Necklace Care Tips:

• Wrap or store necklaces separately to minimize scratching
• Remove necklaces before showering/swimming to prevent dulling or damage
• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and cleaning
• Avoid wearing necklaces during physical activities to prevent breakage or injury
• Avoid contact with harsh chemicals or abrasives to prolong the life of your necklace
• Minimize contact with perfumes, lotions and hairsprays by using them before you put on your necklace

Necklace Lengths

Collar or Choker Necklace
At 12 to 18 inches, collar or chocker necklaces are the shortest necklaces and are intended to sit just above the collar bone around the base of your neck. This length is at home in both formal and informal settings and transitions well from the office to an evening out. The collar or choker necklace emphasizes the neckline and shoulders, making it a flattering accompaniment to sleeveless tops and dresses as well as outfits with high necklines.
Bib Necklace
As the name implies, the bib necklace sits high around the neck, but it’s definitely not for babies. This bold necklace feature multiple strands and oversized adornments for an effortless but high-impact fashion statement. The inner strand of the necklace measures 14 inches, while the outer strand measures 19 inches. A chic bib necklace can up the wow factor of an evening gown or make a funky companion piece to a t-shirt and skinny jeans.
Princess Necklace
The princess necklace is 18 to 20 inches in length. It's designed to sit about 3/4 of an inch below the collarbones and compliments most necklines, particularly crew, high or deep necklines. Well suited for everyday wear, the princess necklace is always a safe bet if you are unsure of what style is most suitable for an occasion. Princess lengths are also excellent for supporting focal pieces such as pendants, allowing you to highlight a favourite locket or charm.
Matinee Necklace
Slightly longer than the popular princess length, the matinee necklace measures 20 to 24 inches and suits both casual and business attire. Sitting on the chest just above the cleavage area, matinees can draw the eye downward to detract from the chin and neck, creating a longer, leaner appearance. This length works well with either high or very low necklines and flatters a bigger bust line. Worn over a suit or button-down shirt, a matinee necklace adds polish and completes a professional look.
Opera Necklace
Add drama to your look with a 28-inch to 34-inch opera necklace. This classic necklace can be worn as a single strand or wrapped around the neck to create a double length. Opera necklaces pair well over a shirt or blouse with a pendant and can be knotted at the neck or above the bust line for added style. While opera necklaces are traditionally worn with formal wear, consider pairing one with an oversized sweater or button-down shirt and denim jeans for a fresh, contemporary take on a classic.
Rope Necklace
Take a dramatic turn by combining an elegant rope necklace with a backless dress. Or drape this 37-inch (or longer) necklace over a turtleneck for an easy chic look. While matinee lengths can be doubled, the rope necklace can be doubled or tripled to create multiple strands. Some rope necklaces are even constructed with several clasps, allowing them to be broken down into various necklace and bracelet combinations. Rope necklaces of beads or pearls can be knotted to change up their look and eye-catching pendants can be added as well.
Lariat Necklace
The longest necklace style is the lariat, which measures in at 37 inches or more. The lariat is typically made without a clasp. Instead, it's worn tied or wrapped around the neck. This allows you to create varying lengths suited to different necklines. The versatile lariat necklace can be made of various linked metals, beads and other options such as leather cord, with the ends crossed over, looped or knotted.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



Store details