What Are The Parts of a Necklace Called?

What Are The Parts of a Necklace CalledEver wondered what the features of a necklace are called? In this article, we’ll outline the key features of necklaces to help you decide which necklace style is right for you. Additionally, this information can help you replace broken or lost pieces of necklace jewelry. Read on to learn about the parts of necklaces and how each part functions.

Types of Necklaces

The most popular style of necklaces have a chain, cord or string, which are often accompanied by a hanging pendant or decoration. However, there are also necklaces which are stringed with beads or stones.

There are actually a variety of chain necklace styles made from all different materials. The most common materials used for chain necklaces are sterling silver and gold.

What Are The Parts of a Necklace Called

Necklace Terminology

The main parts of a necklace are categorized into three parts:

  1. The foundation - This part of the necklace contains the most material, and is commonly made up of a metal chain, leather rope or fabric cord. The other two components of a necklace depend on the foundation.
  2. Decorations - These are ornaments that hang from the foundation of the necklace in the form of pendants, stones, lockets or trinkets.
  3. The Clasp -  This part of the necklace is what keeps it all together and in tact. The fastening piece can either be a clasp, spring ring, or hook and eye fastener that keeps the chain connected.

Popular Necklace Chain Styles

When it comes to different chain styles, there are so many options to choose from to accentuate your individual taste. From classic cable chains to Italian Figaro chains, each style offers its own unique qualities. There are feminine, lightweight chains and more rugged masculine chains. When browsing chain styles, there are a few things to consider: the metal type, the chain style, and the width and length of the chain.

Here’s a brief overview of each of the most popular chain styles:

  • Cable Chain - A classic, simple and elegant chain to showcase a pendant

  • Curb Chain - A sturdy, masculine variation that is flat and wide

  • Rope Chain - A stylish statement piece

  • Anchor/Mariner Chain - A nautical style chain resemblant of an anchor

  • Ball Chain - Contains little metal beads that evoke an industrial street-style

Browse our collection of chain necklaces.

What Are The Parts of a Necklace Called

Necklace Cords

In addition to the popular chain styles above, there are various types of cords used for beaded or gemstone necklaces. Most often, jewelers use silk to string pearls, beads and stones to necklaces. Additionally, polyester fabric is used because in contrast to silk, polyester is a sturdy fabric that lasts longer. Other types of materials used for beaded and gemstone necklaces include coated wires like Tiger Tail, leather and hemp.

The size of the beads or stones used for the necklace will also dictate the thickness of the cord.

What Types of Beads and Stones Are Used in Beaded Necklaces?

Beaded necklaces contain small or large beads in unique shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. In fact, these types of necklaces have either gemstones, pearls, wooden, metal, plastic beads and even seashells.

Some beaded necklaces contain a repetitive arrangement of the same stone or bead, whereas others will have a pattern including various types of beads or stones. Beaded necklaces can be simple and elegant, like a pearl necklace, or a chunky statement piece featuring bright colored, uniquely shaped beads. There are even chain necklace styles that have a few beads strung every few links.

When buying beaded necklaces, you may encounter beads in a variety of shapes including round, oval, lentils, carved, disks, squares or tubes. Depending on your style, you may come across one beaded necklace you absolutely adore, while another doesn’t draw your interest. That’s because beaded necklaces are so unique that you can pick and choose which styles best suit yours. Beaded necklaces are a fun accessory that can be as understated or extravagant as you like.

Browse our collection of beautiful beaded necklaces.

Necklace Lengths

When shopping for necklaces, it’s important to keep in mind the length. There are several different necklaces lengths available, and the style of necklace you’re looking for will typically correlate to its length.

For example, choker necklaces will be tight around the neck and usually feature a simple ribbon or leather band with a pendant.

Here’s an overview of each of the popular necklace lengths:

  • Collar or Choker Necklace - 14-16” and sits snug around the neck.

  • Princess Length - The most popular jewelry length, which sits 16-18” long, falling to the mid-chest. Princess Length necklaces often feature a pendant or decoration.

  • Matinee Length - Longer than Princess length, falling at about 20-22”.

  • Opera Length - A long and dramatic length, falling 24-28” long.

  • Rope Length - These glamorous, dramatic necklaces fall about 30” long and usually cover the whole abdomen. These are flattering when worn doubled, with one part of the necklace choker length, and the other around opera length.


Most necklaces have clasps and fasteners to keep the necklace in place. There are several styles of clasps made of a variety of materials. Here’s a look at the most popular necklace clasps:

  • Hook and Eye Clasp - The easiest and simplest clasp, containing two pieces; one is a hook and the other a circle. The hook slips into the circle to secure the necklace in place.

  • Lobster Clasp - This is the strongest type of necklace clasp, which contains a latch that when pulled opens the other side of the clasp to slip in the necklace chain.

  • Spring Ring Clasp - A simple, lightweight clasp which contains a spring that pries open a small section of the ring to allow the other side of the necklace to enter.


While many use the words pendants and necklaces interchangeably, they are actually two different things. Pendants are a decorative ornament that hangs from the necklace chain or chord. Pendants can be made of silver, gold and other metals and often feature a beautiful centerstone. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles and are a decorative accessory. Some pendants are highly elaborate pieces of art, featuring filigree and unique features. Pendants are secured to a necklace with a bail, which secures the pendant to the chain.

Browse our collection of unique necklace pendants.

And that’s it! Now you know all the important parts of a necklace and how each one functions. This information can help you choose which necklace styles are best for you, and also come in handy if ever you need to replace pieces or refurbish your necklace.

While you’re here, let’s add a new necklace to your jewelry collection!


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