What is The Difference Between a Pendant and a Necklace?

Posted by Jewel Heart on

What is a Pendant Necklace?

A pendant necklace is a stunning piece of jewelry that combines a pendant and a necklace chain. But what exactly defines a pendant necklace? Simply put, a pendant is a small piece of jewelry that hangs from a chain or cord worn around the neck. This centerpiece draws the most attention and can be made from various materials such as metals like gold or silver, gemstones, or even pearls. Pendants can vary widely in design, from simple and understated to elaborate and ornate.

solid 14k gold necklace

What is a Necklace?

gold paperclip chain necklace

A necklace is the chain, cord, or string that wraps around the neck. The material of the necklace can vary from gold, silver, and beads to pearls and even leather. While a necklace can hold a pendant, it doesn’t always have to. In fact, some necklaces are designed to be worn solo, showcasing their intricate design without any additional adornments.

Pendant vs. Necklace: Key Differences

While both necklaces and pendants are worn around the neck, their key differences lie in their roles. A pendant is the focal piece that can be attached to a necklace, anklet, or bracelet. On the other hand, a necklace is a piece of jewelry that encircles the neck and can either stand alone or feature a pendant.

Different Types of Pendant Necklaces

Understanding the various styles of pendant necklaces can help you choose the perfect piece for any occasion. Here are some popular types:


This style sits tightly around the neck and can feature a small, elegant pendant. Chokers are perfect for accentuating the neck and shoulders.

- Cascading Necklace:

This glamorous style features multiple strands or rows of diamonds and gemstones. It's ideal for formal occasions and pairs well with strapless dresses.

- Single Strand Necklace:

A single strand necklace is versatile and elegant. It can feature a single pendant or be worn alone. This style comes in various lengths, from 16 inches to 48 inches.

- Princess Length Necklace:

Hanging just below the collarbone, this style is flattering for everyday wear and special occasions alike.

- Opera Length Necklace:

A dramatic piece that hangs low over the chest, perfect for making a bold statement.

- Solitaire Diamond Necklace:

Featuring a single round-cut diamond on a chain, this style is sophisticated and timeless.

How to Make a Pendant Necklace?

Creating your own pendant necklace can be a rewarding experience. Here’s a simple guide on how to make one:

  • Choose Your Materials:

Select a chain and a pendant that complement each other. You can opt for materials like gold, silver, or even beads.
  • Attach the Pendant:

Use a jump ring to attach the pendant to the chain. Ensure it’s securely fastened.
  • Customize the Length:

Adjust the chain length to your preference. You can make it a choker or a longer necklace.
  • Add a Clasp:

Attach a clasp to the ends of the chain for easy wear.

The Meaning of Pendant Necklaces

Pendant necklaces can hold significant meaning, often symbolizing personal beliefs, love, or memories. A heart-shaped pendant, for example, represents love and affection, while a locket can hold photos of loved ones, making it a cherished keepsake.

gold hexagon necklace

Choosing Between a Pendant and a Necklace

The choice between a pendant and a necklace depends on your personal style and the occasion. For a minimalist look, a simple chain can be perfect. For added drama and personal flair, a pendant is ideal. Consider the versatility, length, quality, and occasion when making your decision.


Understanding the differences and interplay between a pendant and a necklace can help you make an informed choice. Whether you prefer the simplicity of a necklace or the added character of a pendant, both pieces offer endless possibilities to enhance your style.


What's the Difference Between a Pendant and a Necklace?

A pendant is a small piece of jewelry that hangs from a chain, which can be worn around the neck, wrist, or ankle. A necklace is a piece of jewelry that encircles the neck, which can either be standalone or feature a pendant.

Can You Wear a Pendant as a Necklace? 

No, a pendant itself is not a necklace. However, you can wear a pendant on a necklace chain to create a complete piece of jewelry that is worn around the neck.

What is the Pendant Part of a Necklace?

The pendant part of a necklace is the decorative element that hangs from the chain. It serves as the focal point and can be made from various materials, including metals, gemstones, or pearls.

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