A necklace is laced around the neck, making it the longest piece of adornment. The essential part of a necklace design is a chain or cord to which decorative materials are attached. Necklace is the oldest form of jewellery worn by humans, dating back over 40,000 years. People are surprised to learn about this centuries-old piece of jewellery's rich history. Back then, necklace designs were made of natural materials such as stone, shell, and bones that were hemmed together with the help of a tendon or vine. This was way before the discovery of metal and weaving thread!
History of necklaces and necklace designs
In ancient Egypt, bead necklaces were used for religious and celebratory purposes. Elites from ancient Rome and Greece wore heavy gold necklaces and were often cremated with their jewellery on. Necklace designs were ornate and intricate. The upper classes wore necklace designs made in metals like gold, silver, copper, and bronze.
In America and Europe, men often wore a number of chains around their neck. The richer the man, the thicker and larger the chains. Women, on the other hand, wore simpler gold chains decorated with beads and pearls to cover any deep necklines in their outfits.
In the beginning of 1800, popularly known as the "romantic era," gowns became fashionable. This generated the need to wear matching jewellery that highlighted the outfit.
In the Indian subcontinent, kings, maharajas, and other royals wore brilliantly designed gold and bead necklace designs. The common citizens too wore necklace designs that matched their position and status in the society. The priests wore religious necklaces and pendants with supernatural powers. Gold has been a very important metal in India and is revered for its auspicious quality. Women wore gold necklace designs with amazing gemstone and diamond encrusting. Little children too sported silver or gold necklaces with evil eye pendants to protect them from negative vibes.
Necklaces have evolved from a communicative ornament to a treasured accessory. The designs have evolved, and the materials used have changed. What hasn't changed is the delicacy and royalty of this wonderful piece of jewellery.
Types of necklace designs
One can be intimidated by the options available in necklace designs. Adapting to different trends and customs, necklaces are made in various designs. Using a number of materials, there is something to suit perfectly with the occasion and outfit. Listed below are a few widely used necklace designs that one must not miss on having.
Beads are decorative objects made from ceramic, plastic, stone, metals, crystals, and even wood. They are available in many sizes and shapes but circular or semi-circular beads are the most used of all. They have been used as necklace design materials for centuries. Beads necklace is made by weaving together the beads on a loose thread or rubber. However, there are many ways of making them, giving many options to choose from.
Lightweight and easy to carry, beads necklace is often worn on a daily basis by both men and women. Traditional beads necklace is made of stone or wood. However, for more ornate looks one can design with traditional ruby beads necklace in Indian designs and gold bead necklace. Beads of crystals and seeds are used for spiritual purposes. There are number of spiritual and prayer beads used in necklace designs connecting with higher powers.
If you want to learn more about beads necklace then we have already covered everything you need to know about bead necklaces and how to style them.
Before metal was discovered, man made a stone necklace by weaving the stones together using a vine. Gradually, precious stones known as gemstones such as diamonds, rubies and emeralds are mounted in a stone necklace set. This method is still prevailing. Even after adding all the colours, the popularity of white stone necklace designs is unmatched. Stone necklace designs are intricate and they are on a heavier side, both cost and weight wise.
The shapes and sizes of the stones may vary. However, the general size used is a grape size or walnut size. Stone necklace designs are colourful and delicate, perfect for a party or a social function. Stone necklace designs are quite popular for weddings and festive functions. Earlier, only the bride wore jewellery and matching ensembles. But the current trend is that wedding guests and bridesmaids also glam up. They shop for matching lehengas and stone necklaces to look picture perfect.
Learn more about stone necklace and how to style them here.
Often used as an addition to a short necklace, long necklaces go below the neckline hanging below the bust. Long necklace designs add fluidity and flair to the look. They look extremely stylish, going well with both ethnic and western attire. Long gold necklace designs are often paired with a saree. Layered long pearl necklaces have rocked the red carpet of award shows for years. Gold long necklace designs have a heavy pendant hanging below. The pendant has intricate floral motifs giving it a traditional touch.
Such long necklaces are very common in south India. Long necklaces are quite the fashion trend in European necklace designs. Boho and artistic necklace designs worn with eclectic pendants are fashion statements. Layers of gold long necklaces in chain designs were once a trend with celebrities and singers across the globe. For a bride, a choker, a necklace, and a long gold necklace are the norm, especially during the wedding rites. Discover more about long necklace designs and styling tips in our in-depth article.
Daily wear necklace
Women love accessorizing themselves on a daily basis. And necklaces form an important part of their adornment. Something that is lightweight, delicate and eye catchy is preferred over any heavy designs. Single strand necklace designs with pendants or gold beads would be considered daily wear necklaces. Women tend to like gold necklaces that are lightweight more these days because of ease and comfort. Daily wear necklace designs with simple pendants are easy to style with work wear and western wear. Best suited to wear when you are hanging out with friends.
Daily wear necklace designs with ornate or religious symbols look perfect with ethnic wear too. Lightweight gold necklace designs are the best pick when you are always on the go and have to style many outfits with the same jewellery. There are gorgeous lightweight gold necklace designs available in the market. You can spice them up with matching pendants and earrings to create beautiful sets. Look for new necklace designs every time you update your wardrobe or shop for a beautiful outfit for any special day.
True to its name, a simple necklace is sober and lightweight. A simple gold chain often paired with ruby or a tiny drop of diamond would be a best example of a simple necklace. Without overdoing intricate designs and other decorative materials, simple gold necklace designs are for those whose style statement is minimal. It is often decorated with sapphire or ruby stones. For those who believe in less is more, a simple diamond necklace and simple ruby necklace in Indian designs are luxury redefined.
Choose any, as simple necklace designs are capable of stealing hearts. Simple necklace designs will typically have ethnic motifs like mango leaves, fish eye designs, rice pearls, or colourful beads. Pendants with rubies and diamonds with simple necklaces look unique and dramatic. A simple gold necklace with nothing but the shine of the gold is the perfect choice for demure fashionistas. And for the bold gals with an opulent fashion sense, a simple diamond chain is the way to go. A gorgeous pick when you want to create a sober but dramatic impact with your fashion sense.
Explore our in-depth guide on simple necklaces to learn more about their designs and styling options.
Bridal necklace set
If we were to define a bridal necklace set, it would be – regal, opulent, and classy. Designed especially for weddings, bridal necklace sets are heavy, made with diamonds, gemstones and ruby. Traditionally, a simple bridal gold necklace set is made with carving in a plate of gold decorated with colours sometimes. Modern adaptations of these have elaborate flower and petal designs. They have gold plating widely decorated with diamonds often accompanied by kundan or rubies.
Celebrities play a vital role in giving inspiration for wedding apparel. From their specially designed bridal necklaces and designer lehengas, they set amazing trends. Choker necklace designs for sarees that have traditional patterns and fabrics uplift the ethnic vibe for the day. A choker necklace for lehenga with maang teeka, earrings, bangles, and anklets, is the perfect accessory ensemble for that special day. Bridal necklace set now includes so many accessories that shopping for them and wearing them is a wonderful experience.
The trend now is that Indian couples solemnize their vows after fifteen or twenty five years. It is an amazing experience to watch ones’ mothers and aunts dressed up in their bridal sarees and vintage bridal necklace set. Simple gold necklaces were once layered to form the bridal necklace set, but now it’s more important to match the colours with the saree or lehenga. In some Indian traditions, the bride would only wear diamond necklace designs with matching diamond bracelets.
But the current trend is that if you don’t have any colour in your bridal set, it looks mismatched and bland. A simple choker necklace set for sarees can easily be carried by wedding guests of any age. Traditional choker necklace sets are almost always ornate and heavy on the design side. Simple necklace designs for sarees can be worn by those who want to make quiet fashion statements.
Another option for the lovers of minimalist fashion, necklace chain is a single strand of metal chain encircling the neck. It does not have any decorative materials like pendants or danglers attached to it. Just a single strand of gold, rose gold or silver with variation in the metal weaving is preferred for daily use. A pendant can also be attached to it. Very widely used by the older generation, it is often passed on to the younger ones to wear as souvenirs.
Necklace designs for sarees can be traditional or western. If the saree has ethnic prints and fabrics, one can opt for necklace designs that have ethnic motifs. For geometric prints and other prints like flowers, or embellishments like sequins, embroidery, etc, new necklace designs with inspirations from modern art and cinema can be worn. The necklace chain can be thicker in width than the ordinary chain. One can design their own necklace chain simply by choosing links of ones’ choice.
Discover more about necklace chains designs and style with our comprehensive guide.
Hanging loose on the collar bone, collar necklace is a short but decorative piece of necklace. Worn with a shirt very often, oxidised collar necklaces give bohemian vibes. For any other attire, an open neck is preferred to pair with a collar necklace. Many get confused between a choker and a collar necklace. Though both are worn high on the neck, there are a few basic differences between them. Choker is a tighter accessory as compared to a collar necklace. Choker has wider width and is worn above the collar bone whereas, collar necklace is worn on or below the collar bone.
Collar necklaces look especially beautiful with a defined collar bone. For the ones’ who are better endowed, collar necklace designs that are wide enough to cover the collar bone is a perfect pick. More ornate than simple, collar necklace designs add glamour and panache. They are almost always ornate with diamond encrusting, gemstone trims, pearls, rice pearl danglers, and chords with colourful silk threads.
Learn everything you need to know about collar necklaces and how to style them with our comprehensive guide.
Necklace for outfits
Perfect choice to enhance the beauty of the outfit, a choker necklace set can be termed as an outfit necklace. Worn tight above the collar bone, choker necklaces have been in vogue since the bronze age. Choker necklace designs are ideal for traditional attires. However, pairing them with both traditional and western attires have gained popularity in recent times as well.
Choker necklace for saree and choker necklace for lehenga is considered a wonderful choice for festive looks. Necklace designs worn on sarees easily grab the attention of the onlooker and speak volumes about the style of the wearer. There are plenty of options available online for a traditional choker necklace to choose one to add in your collection.
Beads necklace designs pair well with kurtis and jean, and also with traditional wear with a western twist. They can be colour coordinated, what with the amazing amount of hues and shades of beads necklace designs that are available online. To create a boho look, pair up a beads necklace with an artistic pendant for that “rebel with a cause” look. Go for those beads necklace designs that will subdue the malefic planets in your astrological chart and make you a happier and wiser person.
Stone necklace designs look great with opulent and flamboyant clothes. Pair them with your ethnic formals, sarees, lehengas, suits, and even your fusion wear to give them that “je ne sais quoi” vibe. Stone necklaces paired with matching accessories are perfect for bridal wear and wedding guests. The current trend is quite fun. The bridesmaids or the bride’s sisters and friends too, adorn similar or matching stone necklace sets to match with the bride for pre wedding shoots.
Stone necklace designs can be used to create opulent and lavish looks. There are new trends introduced every festive and wedding season. Look for stone necklace designs that match the apparel and jewellery trends for that specific season. One can also opt for vintage stone necklace designs that are heirlooms. Alternatively, new necklace designs are also created by designers, using old diamonds, and vintage patterns.
One can pair long necklaces with gowns having simple cuts. Long gold necklace designs can also be layered with chokers to create an elaborate look. For daily wear, simple necklace chains, or simple gold necklace designs are the norm. Pick a flamboyant piece if your personal style includes more of ethnic wear. Match with the gold trimmings of the outfit for better styling.
Simple necklace designs are favoured by women who love to style with tribal or ethnic prints. A simple necklace in oxidised or gold, worn close to the collarbone, gives an austere aura to the ensemble. For bridal wear, almost always, pick a bridal necklace set that will match or coordinate the outfit for the special day.
Bridal wear is easy to style, especially when you love to dress up and do not shy away from using too many accessories. Match the bridal wear with trending and new bridal necklace designs. Pair up with elaborate nose rings, ring bracelets, bangles, ornate earrings and maang teeka, for that perfect bride look and feel. Don’t forget to get that great make up on!
Necklace chains are perfect for days when you have to dress up for small parties and get togethers. They look great when you have to look coordinated but not really dressy. Simple cotton sarees, ethnic suits, and kurtis pair well with necklace chains. When you want to style for a wedding or religious function, go for the collar necklace. Pick a collar necklace design that has religious or temple symbols and icons.
There is something for every occasion and style. Necklace designs are varied and necklaces are a staple piece of jewellery collections for generations for a reason. A true piece of art, necklace designs are ready to rule the fashion world for centuries to come!
Taking care of necklaces
Styling necklaces is a fashion adventure. Pick jewellery pieces that have good quality gemstones. The quality of the gold, silver, sterling silver, and platinum needs to be as per set standards. If you are picking up artificial jewellery, make sure the metal is hypoallergenic and of good quality. Taking care of necklaces, necklace chains, chokers etc., is important as they are always close to the skin. Protect them from cosmetic chemicals, cleaning liquids, and chlorine. While visiting a spa or swimming pool, keep the jewellery away. Store your necklaces in their original packing or soft cloth. Use certified polishing liquids to clean and polish them. Keep your necklaces shining, and style them with grace!
What are necklace beads called?
Necklace beads are often called collars. The usual length of beads necklace designs covers collar bones which gave it its name. Necklace beads are also known as Maala in India. However, the word Maala is often associated with religious purposes.
What are traditional jewellery stones?
Traditional jewellery stones vary in different time lines and countries. Along with opal, topaz and diamonds, traditional jewellery stones include red ruby and green emerald. In many ancient cultures, jewellery was an essential part of life. Accessories like necklace designs, pendants, and bracelets, with traditional jewellery stones were common. Traditional jewellery stones included lapis lazuli, amethyst, carnelian, and turquoise. Necklace designs with these and other traditional jewellery stones had supernatural powers.
What type of necklace is best to wear every day?
For everyday wear, comfortable and light weight necklaces are preferred. Chain necklaces with small pendants are ideal for everyday wear. They look chic and are very easy to carry. They pair well with ethnic suits, kurtis and jeans, and even the simple every day cotton or chiffon saree.
What kind of jewellery should one buy for brides?
Jewellery for brides is known as bridal jewellery. Indian weddings are a cultural affair. On their big day, brides like to go for a fusion of trends and tradition. The bride is completely adorned with beautiful pieces of jewellery. In the Indian context, it is called “solah shingar”. Different jewellery accessories such as matha patti, maang teeka, nath, necklace, bangles, chuda, payal, toe rings, nose rings, and ear cuffs are the norm. The list is inclusive and bridal jewellery is a compilation of all of these and more.
How to pair jewellery with sarees?
Pairing jewellery with a saree is absolute fun. One can master the art of pairing just the right accessory with a saree by following a few ground rules. Be mindful of the occasion - Go for diamond necklace designs for evening and for daytime, choose a silver or rose gold necklace. For ethnic prints and fabrics select oxidised or silver jewellery pieces like nose ring, chain necklace, bangles, and ear cuffs. For floral and flamboyant prints, opt for simple gold necklace designs.
While wearing a traditional saree, pair up with the most ornate necklace designs you own and layer them with necklace chains. Style with gold pendants or gold plated pendants. If you are wearing chiffon or chikankari sarees, you can also pick white pearl pendant or gold pearl pendants. Match the hues, trimmings, and embroidery of the saree with the gemstones in the jewellery. You can also use dangler pendants to wear with your watch. Whether saree or any other outfit, try to include an evil eye pendant to keep away hostile and negative energies.
Pay attention to the blouse design - If the blouse is a turtle neck, wear long danglers or studs. Where the blouse has a deep neckline, choose a gold pendant set or a silver pendant set, coordinating them with the hues of the fabric. Collar necklaces look great with deep necks. For V-necks you can opt for pendant sets in pearl or gemstones.