While it’s an integral part of everyday jewelry for many people, we’re willing to bet there are tons of people out there who don’t know the names of each part of a necklace. Fair enough. Like, when do you really need to know that? Whether you’re just curious or you need to take it to the jeweler for a repair and want to sound like you know your stuff, here’s a quick breakdown.Explore Our Collection of Everyday Jewelry Here
Though it’s also called a cord, that’s traditionally just for necklaces made of fabric or anything non-metal. These terms aren’t technically interchangeable, but if you say chain when you mean cord, no one should be confused.
The chain is the most fundamental part of the necklace, considering it’s literally what everything else is attached to. There are tons of different types of chains out there with a variety of widths and styles. Chains are usually — though not exclusively — made out of silver or gold. Oftentimes, gold chains are plated, though there are pure gold chains out there as well.
Popular styles of chains include cable chains, curb chains and rope chains, though there are lots of other styles. Non-metal options are out there, with leather being one of the most popular. However, metal styles definitely take home the win.
You can get chains in a variety of widths as well, though generally, chains sold to men are on the thicker side and women’s are on the thinner side. That being said, you want to buy a chain that is proportionate to the size of your neck. Also, you want to consider the overall length of your chain. While there’s no right or wrong length, each has advantages and disadvantages.
Also known as the fastener, the clasp is a two-part piece that holds your necklace together. There’s one part that opens and the other part is stable, made to be clamped onto.
There are actually several types of clasps out there, and they make more difference than you might think. While some clasps are more durable than others, the main difference is in ease of use. Style plays a big role, but size does, too. As you’d expect, larger clasps are easier to use but can be a bit less comfortable to wear.
The lobster-style clasp, for example, is an easy one to use. As the name suggests, it looks like a lobster claw, where it has a small toggle to open the “claw” and slide it into the holding piece. For that reason, it’s one of the most popular choices. Plenty of other choices exist, like the hook and eye, spring ring and even magnetic clasps. Consider your dexterity when purchasing a chain and take the clasp into account. While plenty are easy, some designs are a nightmare.
Sometimes referred to as an ornament, the pendant is any designed piece that is attached to the bottom of your necklace. If we’re splitting hairs, the pendant is what differentiates a necklace from simply a chain. While the chain has both the chain and clasp, there’s no attached pendant. Pendants are great for adding ornamentation and make for a more exciting everyday necklace.
That’s really all there is to it! Necklaces are great for their simplicity. There are a few moving parts, and adding them to any outfit is easy. What’s not to love?