Necklaces: What You Need to Know to Look Great

Necklaces are a form of ornamental jewelry made of chains, beads, gemstones, or links being handmade and worn since the early ages by both men and women. They are the earliest form of jewelry worn by former ancestors. Necklaces symbolize prosperity and reputation. They come in different styles, lengths, and materials. Make sure you choose the right one so you will make the right fashion statement.

Types of Necklaces

There are lots of different types of necklaces as well as many different necklace lengths to choose from. Here are a few of the most popular and common ones:

  • Choker

One of the most worn necklaces for women today is the necklace choker. These necklaces are meant to be short in length, but long enough to sit right around your neck. They are made of numerous materials such as are beads, velvet, leather, and metals such as gold and silver and even platinum.

  • Bib

The Bib necklace looks like a bib when worn. It is a statement piece of jewelry which is comparatively large and which is wide at the front but narrows at the back; it is also usually made with multiple rows of beads or stones. Sitting high above the neck, these statement necklaces are made from numerous materials such as gold, silver, and beads made of glass and even crystals.

  • Collar

A collar or collier necklace is a piece of jewelry which is required to be worn close to the neck as their length is around 14 inches, leaving it to lie flat against the neck. Collar necklaces are made from a range of materials such as gold, precious gemstones, as well as silver. There are also variations in this type of necklace, such as half collar necklaces which do not go around the neck completely and are very stylish.

  • Lavalier

This is a chained necklace that ends in a large pendant or tassel. There can be a few smaller pendants hanging from the main stone. Lavalier necklaces are extremely flattering, as they create a gorgeous look. Whether you wear them with a long chain or higher up on the neckline, they are a popular selection.

  • Festoon

A festoon is a garland of leaves, ribbons or flowers hung in a curve. A festoon necklace has swags or drapes of beads or chain that form the design. Other elements or drops can be added, but without the swags, a necklace is not classified as a festoon.

  • Sautoir

This long style of a necklace is made of chains, beads or pearls. It finishes off with a tassel hanging from each end. Another variation is that there is a single removable pendant that is looped around the neck.

  • Riviera

This is a short-styled necklace, usually 14-16 inches, made of a line of faceted gemstones, graduating in size. The word "Riviere" is a French word meaning "river" which is very descriptive of how the necklace flows around the neck gracefully.

  • Fringed

Second to last in the list of some of the more popular necklaces worn in the modern era is the fringed necklace. It is comprised of a chain with something similar to a fringe in the front with the last row of the necklace hanging freely. It can either be all in one uniform length or with the fringe being graduated when worn. Fringe necklaces are made with numerous materials such as glass beads, leather, and wire covered with fabric.

  • Pendant

Lastly is the pendant necklace which, like the name, has a pendant that suspends from the middle of the necklace which can be made from materials such as precious metals, be embellished with gemstones, or be made with glass. The necklace itself can be made from chains, leather, a cord or ribbons.

Materials used for Necklaces

Here are 6 popular materials commonly used in necklace making and how their materials can affect you.

1. Silver - Sterling silver is 92.5 per cent silver and 7.5 per cent, copper. It is a great option for making necklaces because it is durable and long-lasting. However, silver jewelry is softer than gold, titanium and platinum. It tarnishes without proper care. It is common to have a reaction on skin from silver jewelry. Acids cause the silver to oxidize, which turns the necklaces dark and may cause symptoms like itchy skin and rashes.

2. Silver Filled - Silver-filled metals are a popular choice for making chains and necklaces. The silver-filled wire is made by using heat and pressure to deposit a layer of silver onto a base of cheaper metal. The silver layer is much thicker than standard plating. It keeps chains and necklaces affordable, long-lasting and complements sterling silver pendants. The silver plating on silver-filled necklaces will wear away over time, exposing your skin to the base metal underneath. If you are allergic to nickel then your skin will become irritated and itchy. Nickel is an inexpensive metal used in mass production of jewelry.

3. Gold - The gold content in jewelry is measured in Karats (K) or carats (ct). The maximum content for gold is 24K. It is extremely soft and malleable and not suitable for making jewelry. Mostly 14K is used for jewelry because it is easy to work with and sturdy. 18K gold is best for making necklaces as it is 75 percent pure gold. Pure gold is a yellow metal but these non-gold metals used in the alloy determines the color of the metal:

  • Yellow gold

  • White gold

  • Rose gold

  • Green gold

In rare cases, people can become allergic to gold necklaces. A reaction to gold isn't due to the gold itself but with the metals in the gold such as nickel. The symptoms may include rashes, itching and redness.

4. Base Metals - Iron, brass, copper, nickel and titanium are base metals used for making necklaces. They are cheaper and oxidize and corrode quite easily. Many people are allergic to nickel which is often used in base metal necklaces. It occurs as a trace element in base metals and causes rashes and itching around the neck.

5.  Platinum - Platinum is the most expensive and rarest metal. It is super durable and does not tarnish. It is often alloyed with cobalt and copper to give it a different look. It is quite rare to have an allergic reaction to platinum.

6.  Titanium - Titanium is the hardest known metal, and is scratch-resistant, easy to color and lightweight. The best quality about it, is that it is completely hypoallergenic. Due to this feature, it is the most popular choice for body-piercing jewelry and surgical implants.

Cleaning and Maintaining Necklaces

Cleaning your necklaces help extend their lifespan and keep them looking brand new or close to that point through regular maintenance. Here are some simple instructions.

First, you need a cloth dampened with tepid water before lathering it slightly with a small amount of mild soap. Then, using that cloth, you will need to gently rub the necklace, after which it needs to be rinsed and patted dry with a soft cloth. Soaking the jewelry also helps if your necklace jewelry is visibly dirty.

Store your necklaces in a linked jewelry box or pouch. The more air-tight, the better as it will help prevent tarnishing over time. Also, remember to periodically check your clasps and mounts to be sure they are in good working order.




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