Pendant vs. Necklace | Everything You Need to Know

Necklaces make or break any outfit. If you choose the right, flattering necklace for your neck shape and the outfit you’re wearing, you’ll shine like never before. However, if you get confused with necklace types and don’t know which one goes best with your attire, then you’ll need us.

In this article, we’ll address a famous dilemma that most women face in their daily lives, pendant vs. necklace. Many people confuse the two together or think they’re different terms for the same jewelry piece; however, this isn’t the case. So read on to know the main differences once and for all.

What’s the Main Difference Between Necklace and Pendant?

Although, a pendant or necklace can be worn together as they can’t be more different. A necklace is a delicate jewelry piece that wraps around your neck. It’s also a generic term that people use for chokers, cascades, chains, and many other types. Generally, necklaces come with clasps or locks so that you can quickly wear and remove them

Necklace on a girls neck

The main aim of necklaces is to highlight your face and draw attention to it. That’s why they come in different shapes and sizes.

Meanwhile, a pendant is a small accessory that you hang on your necklace. Pendants aren’t only limited to chains, though; you can also wear them with anklets and bracelets. And you can wear multiple pendants on one necklace.

Some people use pendants as charms and believe they bring them luck and power. Some people also believe that they provide protection against evil forces. It’s worth mentioning that pendants are named after a Latin word, pendere, which means ‘to hang.’

To help you understand the difference between pendant and necklace, we’ll give you a brief about the types of both.

Types of Necklaces

Here’s a brief roundup about the types of necklaces you can wear with your daily clothes.


Chokers often wrap tightly around your neck and accentuate your collarbones. However, they might shorten your neck and make it look wider. So if your neck is already short, you should opt for a loose choker necklace instead.

As for styling, chokers go well with shirts and off-shoulder tops. They also pair perfectly with pendant necklaces.



Matinee necklaces fall below your collarbones, but they’re shorter than opera necklaces. This renders them perfect for layering with other necklaces and chains (see ‘Necklace vs. Chain‘, too). Although they’re pretty versatile in styling, they pair best with high necklines. As a bonus point, you can wear them in both casual and formal outings.


Chain necklaces are heavy with intricate patterns and designs, and they’re more eye-catching than other necklace types. They often come in many different metals and shapes, and some look more delicate than others. Chains are also gender-neutral, but necklaces for men mostly come as Figaro and rope chains.

If you own a thick chain necklace, you can layer it with thin necklaces for an effortless, attractive look.


As the name refers, an opera necklace is often uniquely long. That’s why professionals use it to create a somewhat dramatic look that grabs people’s attention. You can wear an opera-length necklace doubled or layer it with other pieces.

Despite their lengths, those elegant necklaces often have focal points, especially if they have a pendant attached to them.


As the name suggests, a princess necklace is often worn by royalty because of its grandeur. Those beauties have an eye-catching design that consists of glowing precious stones that wrap around your neck till they meet a prominent central piece.

Women often wear them in galas and grand events because of their elegance. That said, those necklaces shine the most when worn with strapless dresses and plunging necklines.

Solitaire Diamond

When it comes to sophisticated and valuable jewelry pieces, a solitaire diamond necklace sits on the ruling throne. It has a simple design that consists of a round-cut diamond adorning a delicate chain. It’s also available in many materials, like yellow gold, rose gold, platinum, and white gold, to name a few.


While pendant and choker necklaces look simple around your neck, a cascade necklace is a breathtaking piece of jewelry with multiple strands. It brings out your neck and face nicely and adds glamour to even the plainest outfits.

Princess necklace

To show the beauty of a cascade necklace, you should pair it with a strapless dress or a high neck.

Luckily, those necklaces come in many metals and textures, so no matter what your budget is, you’ll find your match.


Single-strand necklaces are traditional and simple. That’s why they’re pretty versatile and go well with almost all accessories and clothes. Most of them contain multiple pearls or are single-pearl necklaces, but, they’re available in many shapes and metals.

Pearl necklace

If you own a single-strand necklace and want to get creative, you can double it or layer it with another necklace type.

The last type is the pendant necklace, but we’ll discuss that in detail in the next section.

Types of Pendants

After discussing necklaces, here are the type of pendant necklaces you should know about.

Diamond Pendant

Diamonds symbolize luxury and uniqueness and make a statement like no other stone does. They’re widely known for being the most precious gift any woman can get. Although you can wear diamonds in rings, bracelets, and earrings, they hit differently when dangling elegantly from a necklace. Since they’re precious, they pair well with extravagant necklaces, like princess necklaces.

Diamond pendants are among the hottest statement necklaces in the market because of their glamour and versatility. They go with nearly every outfit, and you have many cuts to choose from. For example, you can get an emerald, a cushion, or a princess cut. You can also get them in many sizes. In the end, it depends on the diamond pendant necklace price you are looking for and on your personal preference.

In my Real vs. Fake Vivienne Westwood Pearl Necklace guide I explained that if you find a necklace at a low price on the market, there’s a high chance it’s a fake. The same goes for necklaces with diamond pendants.

Diamond Pendant

Locket Pendant

Locket pendants have a special sentiment as they can keep small photos embraced inside them forever. That’s what makes them perfect gifts for Valentine’s day and anniversaries. They’re also famous for being family heirlooms. Mostly, you should wear them on long necklaces so that the locket will fall close to your heart.

Heart Pendant

Heart pendants symbolize love and loyalty, so they’re famous among couples. They come in many different designs and precious metals, for example, sterling silver and gold. Like locket pendants, a heart pendant should lay close to your heart, so it’ll pair well with a medium-length necklace chain.

Heart Pendant

Gemstone Pendant

Gemstones bear a large significance in symbolizing metaphysical and spiritual concepts. For example, emerald pendants represent the giver’s faithfulness to the receiver, while ruby pendants indicate intense love. There are also birthstones that you can give to someone on their birthday.

In addition to that, gemstone pendants have such bright appearances that add glam to any outfit and make it look unique.

Medallion Pendant

Those pendants are always attached to awards and medals. You wouldn’t naturally see them in jewelry stores. For example, they appear commonly in sports events, like the Olympics. They’re available in gold, silver, and bronze. People also get them in the military as awards.

Medallion Pendant

How to Wear Multiple Pendants on One Chain?

  • Choose Complementary Pendants: Select pendants that complement each other in terms of style, size, and theme. Mixing different shapes, metals, and gemstones can add visual interest and uniqueness to your ensemble.
  • Consider Different Lengths: Opt for pendants with varying chain lengths to create a layered effect. This allows each pendant to stand out individually while creating a cohesive and balanced look.
  • Mind the Proportions: If you have multiple small pendants, consider grouping them together on one chain. For larger or statement pieces, it’s best to let each pendant have its spotlight on separate chains.
  • Create a Story: Mix and match pendants that hold sentimental value or represent special moments in your life. This storytelling aspect adds a meaningful touch to your jewelry ensemble.
  • Mind the Metal: Ensure the metals of the pendants and the chain harmonize well. Mixing metals can be done, but it’s essential to strike a balance for a polished look.
  • Consider Necklace Enhancers: These handy accessories allow you to attach pendants at different points on the chain, providing more versatility in styling.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: Avoid overwhelming the look with too many pendants or overly complex designs. Simplicity often speaks volumes.
  • Adjust for Different Necklines: Consider how the pendants will sit with various necklines and adjust the chain lengths accordingly to complement your outfits.
Multiple Pendants on One Chain

Experimenting with multiple pendants on one chain adds a playful and creative dimension to your jewelry collection. By following these tips, you can effortlessly achieve a chic and personalized look that showcases your unique style. Whether it’s meaningful charms, dazzling gemstones, or trendy symbols, wearing multiple pendants allows you to express your individuality with elegance and flair.

FAQs: Pendant vs Necklace

What Does a Choker Chain Symbolize?

Choker chains are versatile and can suit various styles, from casual to formal. They’ve transformed from symbols of submission to representations of self-confidence and empowerment. They’re also favored by the younger generation to challenge gender norms and societal expectations.

Can You Put a Pendant on Any Chain?

Yes, you can add a pendant to any chain, but make sure the chain can handle the pendant’s weight and allow smooth movement. Choose a minimalist chain design to keep the pendant as the centerpiece of your accessory.

Do Pendants Always Come With Necklaces?

Not necessarily; you can buy pendants separately. However, pendant necklaces are pretty popular on the market now because they’re versatile, simple, and elegant. Sometimes swapping trinkets between two chains is available if they have similar styles and weights.

What Chain Type Works Best With Pendants?

The answer depends mainly on the pendant’s shape and weight. If you own a modern-looking pendant, you can pair it with a snake or a curb type of chain. It might also look good hanging from a single-strand necklace. On the other hand, if you have a traditional pendant, you can style it with a heavy chain or a choker necklace.

Is It Better to Wear Pendants or Plain Necklaces?

Although this mainly depends on personal preference, it has a lot to do with the outfit you’re wearing. For example, if you’re wearing a multi-patterned outfit that has many colors, you’ll do well with a plain necklace. But if you wear basic outfits, you can wear an expressive pendant to draw attention to your neckline.

necklace and a pink pendant

To Wrap Up on Necklace vs Pendant

There are many confusing terms in jewelry, for example, chains, necklaces, and pendants. Many people don’t know the difference between pendants and necklaces. To sum it up, necklaces are the thin chains that we hang pendants on. And you can call any piece of jewelry you wrap around your neck a necklace. However, pendants are small accessories that dangle from necklaces and chains.

We hope that you have enjoyed our guide to the differences between pendants and necklaces. If you are looking for a new piece of jewelry, we are sure that you will find that there is much more to each piece than you might have initially thought. We hope that you will make a purchase that you will enjoy for years to come when you get the chance!

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