Types of Necklaces: Comprehensive Visual Guide to 44 Styles

Types of Necklaces

Necklaces being timeless jewelry pieces have been adoring human necks since, in fact, thousands of years. Necklaces happen to be a form of self-expression and that of a status symbol aside from boosting charm to any casual, formal or festive outfit.

Each necklace type presents unique style, bearing its charm and history that emerged through different cultures and eras. These beautiful accessories are available in different shapes and designs, from choker necklaces that fit around your neck snugly to opera necklaces hanging down to your bosom. In this, we are going to take an exploratory adventure into a selection of necklaces while pointing out distinctive features and beauty associated with each.

1. Choker Necklace

Choker Necklace

The Choker Necklace usually is a length of 14 to 16 inches long, and the chocker necklace places snugly against the base of the neck. Its history started from ancient civilizations where it was made of gold or lapis representing power and divine protection. At the end of 19th century, in Victorian era chokers get popularized into the mainstream society and were considered as a symbol of elegant appearance and high society. Especially in the 1990s, the late 20th century, it saw chokers change into a symbol of the counterculture fashion. It gained fervor through pop culture icons such as Britney Spears and Natalie Portman. In recent times, chokers have enjoyed quite a resurgence adorning the necks of celebrities quite often on red carpets.

2. Bib Necklace

Bib Necklace

A statement piece that covers some part of the chest, somewhat like a bib would do, the Bib Necklace is named after what it was shaped like – a baby’s bib. The origin, therefore, is difficult to trace although it has always been one of the major pieces of jewelry for tribes in many societies and cultures as an expression of high status and power. The main rise to popularity of the bib necklace came with the Art Deco movement primarily driven in the 1920 and 1930s, focused on bold, statement pieces. Anna Wintour, the longstanding editor-in-chief of Vogue made them famous for chunky bib necklaces which now almost are like a symbol of high fashion.

3. Matinee Necklace

The matinee necklace is a versatile one- mostly somewhere between 20 to 24 inches in length. The term matinee necklace is interesting in that its name originates from the word ‘matinee’ used to describe daytime performances in theaters whereby ladies used to wear these mid-length necklaces to show their elegancy and richness. In the contemporary world, with a considerable length of about 22 inches, matinee necklaces can be put on with just about anything, right from business suits to dressy wear. The most famous picture of Marilyn Monroe on her honeymoon in Japan with Joe DiMaggio wearing a string of pearls epitomizes a matinee necklace.

4. Opera Necklace

Opera Necklace

An Opera Necklace, symbolizing sophistication and glamour, usually contains a length from 28 to 35 inches. It was at one time a peak-setting jewel for elite women Gracing opera houses in Europe, this piece today presents a perfect model of innovative style versatility that has taken captive both masses as well as classes. Since an opera necklace is usually long, it accommodates one in wearing the necklace either as a single strand or doubled up, thereby offering many ways for its wearer. One of the most iconic instances of this style appearing in pop culture is the diamond and sapphire opera necklace that Julia Roberts wore in “Pretty Woman”.

5. Lariat Necklace

Lariat Necklace

The Lariat Necklace is open-ended which has no traditional clasp. On the contrary, the lariat can be string-tied or looped in numerous numbers of ways; quite versatile. Their popularity as lariat necklaces started back sometime in the 20th century but it was not until sometime in the 21st century that they became mainstream fashion accessories. This is because they have regular appearances in the TV series “Sex and the City” with virtually all appearances of Carrie Bradshaw attire being decorated or accessorized by a lariat necklace.

6. Rope Necklace

Rope Necklace

The Rope Necklace is a jewelry item emulating a rope’s cascading fall, and it receives its name due to its length measure of over 36 inches. Origins of the rope necklace date back to early civilizations such as that of the Egyptians who made use of them especially during ceremonial and ritual moments. The necklace with the rope came into prominence again in the era of the flappers in the 1920s, launching the rope necklace to stardom by being in tune with the flamboyant nature of the fashion of that age. Much recently, in her music video “Material Girl,” Madonna was seen adorned with a gold rope necklace, one of the most significant fashion trends in the 1980s.

7. Pendant Necklace

Pendant Necklace

The Pendant Necklace, in which case, stands one of the most universally recognized styles characterized with a singular pendant hanging from the chain suspended between two ends. However, historically, the pendant necklace goes as far back as the Stone Age when people strung vines with fragments of bone and shell. The design of modern day pendants varies in different designs from crosses, lockets to gemstone-laden amulets with personal symbolism and representations. One of the iconic pendant necklaces popular in pop culture is known as “Heart of the Ocean.” It is a beautiful sapphire and diamond pendant which features in the blockbuster movie “Titanic.”

8. Collar Necklace

Collar Necklac

Also termed as the crew necklace, it is worn close to the middle part of the neck, and therefore its length is usually between 12 to 14 inches in circumference. This is a design originating in ancient Egypt as status symbols and were largely made of precious metals and gemstones in the form of a neckpiece. Collar necklaces also became popular again during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods at the turn of the 20th century. In fact, of late, the likes of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, have been seen sporting them during official functions.

9. Princess Necklace

Elegant and evergreen, the length of standard Princess Necklace usually ranges from 17 to 19 inches. The name reflects an association with royalty, given its preferred use by princesses and queens throughout history. It’s an ideal length for pendants allowing them to lay close to the heart. The famous example of a princess necklace is the diadem which had been worn by Lady Diana Spencer on her wedding to Prince Charles.

10. Multi-Strand Necklace

Multi-Strand Necklace

The Multi-Strand Necklace has a number of chains that create a layered effect, sometimes of differing lengths. It is this rich texture and volume that make it typical over the course of times and in different parts of the world. With so many sightings of multi-strand necklaces in Hollywood, notably Vivien Leigh’s multi-strand pearl necklace in “Gone with the Wind,” this type is known for its glamor.

11. Station Necklace

Station Necklace

Station Necklace, from the period of the early 20th century and which features a chain interspersed with stations or intervals of gemstones or beads. This style in the 1980s was revived by Tiffany & Co., eventually being dubbed as the “diamonds by the yard” necklace. It is this growing fashion that has made the station necklace of great preference to celebrities who include Elle Macpherson and Jennifer Aniston for instance who seem to portray elegance and simplicity in it.

12. Torsade Necklace

Torsade Necklace

The Torsade necklace is a beautiful necklace full of personality, realized from some strands that are twisted together in order to obtain this design that looks like a rope. The etymology of the torsades comes from the French verb “turner,” which also means to twist. This trend became popular in the boom of the 20th-century costume jewelry when it was more typically made on strands of faux pearls or glass beads. A 1980s fashion fad, the necklaces are often adorned around the necks of socialites including Diana, Princess.

13. Rivière Necklace

Riviere Necklace

The Rivière Necklace is epitome for elegance and normally a single strand of gemstones or diamonds that are successively larger from clasp to center front. The name ‘rivière’ has a French origin meaning ‘river,’ which is given due to the fact that these necklaces drape and flow like a river around the woman’s neck. ‘Rivières’ date back during the Georgian era (1714-1837) and it still is a norm for neck pieces worn by society women during formal social occasions. The fabulous diamond piece that Audrey Hepburn wears in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is one of Rivière’s most famous necklaces.

14. Sautoir Necklace

The Sautoir Necklace is long and is usually finished in tassels or pendents, favoured by the Roaring Twenties. Traditionally, they were made of delicate chains and pearls and draped down the back to compliment the flapper dresses of that era. Such necklaces fell out of popularity in the mid 20th century but have of late again become very much in vogue. Coco Chanel displayed her iconic pearl piece as a great sautoir that she adorned her monochromatic ensembles with.

15. Herringbone Necklace

Herringbone Necklace

The necklace is named as Herringbone due to the pattern being followed in it, and it is the interesting, flat, woven pattern that looks like the herring fish. This necklace design can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians where they made this out of precious metals and in such jewelry, it was an indicator of prosperity and class. The herringbone necklace enjoyed popularity in the 70s and 80s and they are now making a comeback in fashion today.

16. Chain Necklace

A chain necklace holds the undisputed position in many jewelry collections as it remains simple and versatile. The type of jewelry dates back to ancient civilization times such as the Egyptian time and the Roman times considered chain as one of the forms commonplace among both sexes. Today, they come in myriad styles – box, cable, curb, and even Figaro – all offering their own unique visuals. One of the most recognizable homages to chunky gold chain necklaces is a look similar to what’s seen on pop rapper LL Cool J.

17. Beaded Necklace

Beaded necklaces are one of the oldest forms of jewelry that can be traced back to prehistoric times, and they were conventionally formed from naturally existing materials including bone, stone, and shell. Styles of Beaded Necklaces are innumerable right from simple strands of pearls around the neck to intricate handcrafted patterns of beads. This allows the beaded necklace to be done in several colors and designs that attract persons due to variations. The use of beads allows a range of colors and designs thereby making this type of necklace versatile and popular. One of the most memorable beaded necklaces currently in popular culture is that one which was used by Mr. T. in the TV show “The A-Team.”

18. Pearl Necklace

Pearl Necklace

The classic Pearl Necklace is as rich as the gem itself has its history. The natural beauty of pearls has remained incredibly significant and a wardrobe of queens and those with high societal status for centuries. For example, these necklaces can be available in lengths including a choker, princess, and opera. Interesting fact about the exact Y-Necklace is that the famous quote of actress Grace Kelly had expressed “I favor pearls on screen and in my private life.”

19. Y-Necklace

Y Necklace

The Y-Necklace has a long dangling portion that causes for the chain to create a ‘Y’ and was named such for its shape. Whereas this style necklace made it back into fashion in the 1920’s because the deep V-necks of era clothing allowed for it to be worn without a high neckline across the chest. Y-necklaces have taken center stage in modern fashion and have made appearances on the catwalks as well as red carpets. A dazzling diamond Y-necklace was back-dropped by actress, Jennifer Lawrence at the 2013 Academy Awards, resulting in a backward necklace-craze.

20. Ballerina Necklace

Ballerina Necklace

It is a type of necklace pendant made into either a silver, white gold or yellow gold form typically set with precious gemstones with the ballerina as the symbol. These necklaces reached their popularity height during the 1940s and the 1950s, after all, in the middle of a golden age of ballet. Perhaps the most famous Ballerina necklace was a Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond necklace owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post that she gave to the Smithsonian.

21. Festoon Necklace

Derived from the French word ‘feston’ which means garland, hence the styled chain or beads are draped in a swag style. This necklace design is aged back to ancient Greek and came to popularity in Georgian and Victorian periods. It has been pictured in many films and TV stints like “Downton Abbey,” and Lady Mary Crawley was seen wearing the said necklace in which she got married, and she wore a diamond festoon necklace.

22. Dog Collar Necklace

The choker is also known as the Dog Collar Necklace, which was one of the well-loved neck trinkets during the beginning of the Edwardian era. More commonly necklaces were made of more than one row of each pearls or diamonds. The name comes from Alexandra, the princess of Denmark that made this style famous while hiding a scar on her neck. She called them dog collars as she was a huge dog lover. Statement necklaces have very much made a comeback over the past few years and are seen on the likes of Rihanna and Kendall Jenner.

23. Statement Necklace

Statement Necklace

As the name implies, a Statement Necklace simply says that. Bold, chunky, and often embellished with vibrant gemstones or extravagant designs, these necklaces first gained popularity in the Art Deco period during the 1920s and 30s. It staged a comeback later in the 21st century, being featured in luxury brands and high-street retailers. The style further continued to be popularized by famous actress cum fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker who loved wearing statement necklaces on red carpets.

24. Torc Necklace

By the charter, it was a sign of nobility and eminent position in society, for this reason the rigid Torc Necklace was made mainly from twist metal. Chronologically, the necklace refers to the Iron Age epoch when extensive use of the Torc was introduced into life of Celts and Vikings. In the modern world, fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen have borrowed from this historical design and brought it to life in its contemporary track.

25. Negligee Necklace

The Negligee Necklace is recognizable by being asymmetrical with two drops of unequal lengths hanging down from the central piece. It has raised popularity during the Edwardian era, as oftentimes it was matched with the negligee dress being part of the same concept of casual unstructured clothing. Interestingly, also the striking and unconventional Marchesa Luisa Casati – Italian heiress and art patroness – used to wear this kind of necklace. 26. Religious Necklace Religious Necklaces were usually packed with symbolism and personal meanings, oftentimes with icons, saints, or symbols associated with various faiths. For example, cross necklaces are a part of Christian-themed jewelry. The idea of wearing religious symbols is very ancient and has held on till now. A much interesting one would be Madonna’s rosary necklace back in the 80s which set out a widespread trend and controversy.

27. Bar Necklace

Bar Necklace

Minimalistic and sleek, the Bar Necklace modernizes horizontal bar pendants. It’s single pendant is a favorite among contemporary jewelry designers who can handle name engravings or birthstones. This style is favored for everyday jewelry from celebrities Taylor Swift to Reese Witherspoon.

28. Infinity Necklace

As the name suggests, the pendant on the Infinity Necklace takes the shape of the mathematical special character for infinity (∞) and is used to represent eternity and undying love. This contemporary design gained popularity in the late 20th century and is often gifted between loved ones. An infinity necklace that she co-starred with Robert Pattinson had given her on set while making the “Twilight” series proved to be successful among fans, and it was seen on actress Kristen Stewart.

29. Birthstone Necklace

A Birthstone Necklace usually consists of any gemstone which represents their birth month. Although the tradition of birthstones has roots in ancient civilization, it was not until 1912 that the modern list was standardized by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA. These necklaces, are still classified as a personal and meaningful gift. Interestingly, the pop singer Katy Perry was seen wearing a ruby pink necklace, her July birthstone.

30. Heart Necklace

Arguably one of the most enduring symbols in jewelry, the Heart Necklace represents love and affection. This tradition of heart-shaped jewelry dates back to the Middle Ages, with heart necklaces again gaining popularity in the Victorian era. A particularly iconic heart necklace from contemporary popular culture is the “Heart of the Ocean” gemstone piece from the film “Titanic”.

31. Solitaire Necklace

Since they are uncomplicated, a Solitaire Necklace features one diamond or gem stone on a simple chain. They were invented during the 19th-century diamond rush and have stood to represent classic styles ever since. In fact, Gwyneth Paltrow set a record at the 1999 Oscars when she wore a Harry Winston diamond solitaire necklace that slowly trended toward minimalistic diamond jewelry.

32. Name Necklace

Name Necklace

All Name Necklace has evolved as a modern icon personalized by the wearer. The said necklace is adorned with the name of the wearer as its dominant pendant and was made popular during the 1980s in urban and hip-hop communities. The trend gained popularity after its main protagonist character of “Sex and the City,” Carrie Bradshaw, made an appearance wearing a name necklace on her show.

33. Locket Necklace

A Locket Necklace is generally derived from the Victorian era and has a small pendant usually of a heart shape having a space in it where a small memento or photo could be fixed. These lockets used to contain either the pictures of a dear one or locks of hair since the Victoria and Edwardian periods. Today, they are revered as sentiment pieces carrying personal mementos. A locket that had been such a significant locket in the “Harry Potter” series of books became popular among the fans.

34. Mesh Necklace

A complex arrangement of interwoven metal links, the fine-gauged Mesh Necklace looks and even feels soft and like fabric to touch. Peaking in popularity during the forties when first introduced, it has since fallen away only to recently skyrocket into the seventies. One of the most famous mesh necklaces is, in fact, a gold “bib” necklace that was worn by actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly.

Medical Alert Necklace

Unlike the other necklaces on this list, the Medical Alert Necklace is less about fashion and more about function. These necklaces of the wearer contain important medical information such as allergies or critical conditions that can prove to be very handy in the event of such a patient being incapacitated. The idea had been given a concreted shape in the early fifties by MedicAlert Foundation International.

36. Slave Necklace

Historically, the term “slave necklace” referred to necklaces that featured attached rings or bracelets. However, in modern jewelry, the name is being avoided due to its negative historical sense, and similar designs are very often called “hand chain necklaces” or “ring bracelets.” By the way, one interesting fact: In the movie ” Along Came Polly,” there was a hand chain necklace that Jennifer Aniston wore, and since then, such accessories have become very fashionable.

37. Graduated Necklace

The Graduated Necklace is one whereby the beads or stones on the necklace towards the back of the necklace are short and thicken as they get to the front. This is often done by using Pearls as it gives an attractive, stylish look. Graduated necklaces became very fashionable in the ’50s and ’60s and is a classic that’s still popular. A strand of graduated pearls from Marilyn Monroe’s husband Joe DiMaggio sold at auction for an unheard-of sum.

38. Plastron Necklace

A Plastron Necklace which might also be referred to as a bib or collar necklace, it covers the wide part of the chest and looks quite like a plastron— the frontal part of the shell of a turtle. Statement pieces are typically intricately designed and made a strong return to the fashion runways throughout the 2010s. According to legend, French fashion designer Coco Chanel so adored the plastron necklace that she wore them with many of her legendary suits as well.

39. Illusion Necklace

An illusion necklace is a delicate necklace made of small beads or gemstones spaced along a very thin wire. Illusion necklaces are often transparent and hence achieve the “illusion” of the beads and gemstones to look like they are floating on the wearer’s neck. This design was in vogue for women in the 2000s due to its minimalistic and delicate style. The diamond illusion necklace had made an early appearance at the 2011 Academy Awards where actress Anne Hathaway had worn it, so that might have given a nudge to trend.

40. Thread Necklace

This is basically a necklace of thread, silk or cotton perhaps, with beads, pendants, or valuable stones threaded on them. Thread necklaces are the most famous in jewelry traditions and mostly go with ethnic wear. The Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra never misses a chance of wearing these thread necklaces and once more shows how beautiful they could look.

41. Monogram Necklace

The Monogram Necklace carries one to three initials of the name of the wearer, this makes it jewelry worn for personalization. These necklaces gained popularity in the 2000s even by icons such as Taylor Swift. This style gives a unique way of representing the personal identity or have the initials of your loved ones close to your heart.

42. Cross Necklace

A Cross Necklace is a piece of religious jewelry common in stipulating Christian faith integrating a pendant or hanging cross or crucifix. The wearing of all cross necklaces actually dates back to the 4th century AD. Very evidently, nowadays many flaunt these as a testimony of faith or even a trendy one too. Popstar Madonna made cross necklaces famous throughout her career representing a controversial style to mingle religious sentiments with that of sexiness.

43. Coin Necklace

The Coin Necklace where one or variety of coin pendant were draped into it goes a long way back to the ancient time when one wearing coins itself meant class and wealth. In the present-day, these may come presenting in different designs from ancient replicas to modern options. Coin-necklaces are emerging in the modern fashion trends, even celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Kate Moss have been seen wearing coin-necklaces.

44. Diamond Necklace

A Diamond Necklace is considered an accent of sophistication and luxury due to the many numbers of diamonds incorporated into it. The use of diamonds in jewelry is thousands-year-old but the 19th century with discovery of diamond mines in South Africa made these necklaces available for anybody. The ‘Taylor-Burton diamond necklace’ famously owned by Elizabeth Taylor, featuring 69.42 carats of pear-shaped diamond piece that made headlines around the world.

Conclusion, the universe of necklaces is as much big and colored as the stories and traditions they come from. Each necklace will tell a story since from the classic beauty of a bar necklace to the luxurious sparkle of a diamond piece. They’re not just symbols of our beliefs, but beautiful additions to our ensembles aside from timelessly being works of art. With the changing and progressing of the styles, these necklaces will always provide evidence both for our history or what makes us unique since its creation and appreciation of beauty and skills. And remember, a necklace is more than just an accessory—it’s an anecdote waiting to be told, a keepsake to treasure, or a tap on your identity.

Interested to know more? Then check out our 59 types of necklace chains guide. You’re in for some mind-blowing reading. It’s too good not to pass up the complexity and grace that these possess.