Last updated on June 14, 2021
A diamond pendant makes a stunning gift for every special occasion as it is a timeless addition to any outfit. It may appear to be a simple piece of jewellery, but is it as simple as it seems? Let’s take a look at the most important features and find out how to choose a diamond pendant for yourself or your loved ones.
What Is a Pendant?
Although the terms necklace and pendant are used interchangeably, technically they are two different pieces of jewellery.
As the name suggests, a necklace, also known as a collier, is jewellery worn around the neck.
A pendant is a piece of jewellery that hangs from the chain or the necklace itself. The word “pendant” comes from the Old French “pendre” and Latin “pedere” both of which mean “to hang down”. Besides being featured on a necklace, pendants can also be combined with bracelets or anklets. You can wear a pendant on any part of the body, as long as it is attached to a chain, while a necklace can only be worn on your neck.
Pendants come in different shapes, settings, forms and sizes. They can feature diamonds of any size and shape, gemstones such as emeralds, sapphires, rubies and others, or they can come as solid metal charms, for example, a locket or a coin.
Choosing the Style of a Diamond Pendant
The first thing to consider is what style your pendant should be. Although the shape is up to personal taste, you should be aware of how it impacts the general characteristics of your item.
The style you choose determines the cut of the gemstones, while the shape of the gems determine the choice of the setting.
Solitaire pendants feature a single diamond or another gemstone and look good with any outfit.
Halo pendants feature a centre gemstone surrounded by a circle of pavé or micro-pavé stones, usually diamonds. This option is as timeless as the solitaire but provides extra brilliance and sparkle.
Cluster pendants feature several smaller diamonds or other gemstones tightly set together to create the illusion of a large stone or to form a shape. This style can either contain stones of the same size and cut or gems of different shapes and sizes.
An initial pendant is a perfect personalized gift. It is a letter charm usually set with diamonds representing the wearer’s name or someone dear to them.
Designer pendants feature unique shapes and are perfect for those looking for distinctive and sophisticated designs. For example, a cross pendant can be considered a religious accessory or a fashion piece. Either way, it is a beautiful item made of precious metals such as gold or platinum, usually set with diamonds.
The locket is another popular pendant style consisting of two halves that open on a hinge. Inside the pendant, you can place a small photo or something meaningful. Such pendants usually come in solid metals or feature pavé/micro-pavé diamonds.
Choosing a Setting for a Diamond Pendant
While choosing a setting for your diamond pendant, there are some factors to consider, such as diamond visibility, setting durability and safety in general.
The prong setting is the right choice if you want to leave the stone visible and highlight your diamond. However, you should keep in mind that prongs may bend or break more easily, especially if they are made of a softer metal such as high-karat gold. With this in mind, make sure to have your setting regularly inspected to reduce the risk of your stone falling out of it.
The bezel setting is a perfect choice for those who think about safety. This type of setting wraps the stone with metal from the sides and protects the diamond from accidental hits and chips. Moreover, the bezel setting makes it nearly impossible for a stone to fall off the mounting. However, depending on the structure, it tends to keep more of the diamond hidden in the metal, which results in less light entering the stone and reducing the stone’s fire and brilliance.
Choosing Diamonds for a Pendant
Although the quality and shape of diamonds in a pendant depend on your budget and preferences, there are some general recommendations.
In case you opt for a diamond of a lower colour and clarity grade, you should choose an ideal cut to compensate for the other characteristics. An excellent cut stone will always have more brilliance and sparkle, which will mask visible flaws and colour tints in it.
Keep in mind that the visibility of yellow tints in a diamond also depends on its cut quality. An ideal cut stone may reflect light in a way that would make any tints nearly invisible, while a poor cut makes the colouration even more noticeable.
If the setting of the pendant is made of yellow or rose gold, you can choose a tinted diamond in the K-L-M range. The metal’s colour will mask the yellowish tints of the stone and make it look whiter against the mounting. In the case of white gold or platinum setting, it is recommended to choose colourless and near colourless diamonds.
Choosing the Length of a Necklace/Chain
The length of the chain is another feature based on your personal preference and the measurements of your neck. Standard chain lengths offered by vendors range from 16 to 24 inches, with 18 inches being the most common option.
Depending on the length of the chain, there are six main types of necklaces:
- Collar – 14 inches (35.5 cm) – wraps around the throat;
- Choker – 16 inches (40.6 cm) – fits close to the throat;
- Princess – 18 inches (45.7 cm) – sits on the collarbone;
- Matinee – 20 inches (50.8 cm) – sits between the collarbone and the bust;
- Opera – 28 to 32 inches (71 to 81 cm) – sits around the bottom of the ribcage;
- Rope – 36 to 42 inches (91.5 to 106.6 cm) – sits below the ribcage.
Make sure to measure your neck, so the chain you choose is not too tight. On the same note, always consider the size of the pendant as long chains usually do not look good with tiny ones. Also, make sure the thickness of the chain matches the weight and the size of your pendant. For example, if the chain is too thin for the pendant, it may deform or even break the links.