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The Ultimate Guide to Diamond Pendants

When it comes to rocking a diamond pendant, there’s the all-out bling you see on TV and then there’s the rest of us. Housewives or not, we can all add a little pop of sparkle to our collarbones, giving just a hint of extra to brighten our everyday outfits. And yes, darling, diamond pendants are for every damn day.

Here at Frank Darling, we’re all about those creating incredibly high quality fine jewelry that fits your modern style, whether that’s a brilliant diamond engagement ring, a pair of diamond studs, or, yes, a unique diamond pendant necklace. What are the primary things to consider when, well, considering a diamond pendant? Let’s discuss.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Diamond for a Pendant

Just like when you purchase a diamond for a ring, there are a variety of factors that will inform your choice of diamond for your pendant. And we get it. Buying your first diamond pendant can be just as confusing as purchasing a diamond engagement ring, if you don’t know what to consider. Sure, you don’t have to know anyone’s ring size, but there are still plenty of other choices to make. And those choices sure can be daunting. But that’s why we’re here, darling.

Right off the bat, consider that a diamond is a diamond, so the 4Cs are still definitely going to determine the price and look of the final product. You’ll also want to consider how your diamond is set. Do you want it to hang vertically like a little drop? Or do you like the more seamless look of an east-west diamond setting? Think about how you want to wear your pendant, too. Do you want it to sit at choker length so it’s visible under a higher neckline? Or do you like a longer look draped over your shirt? All of these are things to consider when choosing a diamond pendant. And, shape? When it comes to shape the world is your oyster…

Round diamonds offer rotund realness

Round diamonds are the most popular diamond shape, regardless of type of jewelry, and a 1-carat round diamond pendant will never go out of style. The shape and size are just right for something that gives you plenty of sparkle without being over-the-top. Remember, however, that because round diamonds are highly sought-after, their price demands a premium over other fancy shapes of the same characteristics.

Four diamond pendants in various metals. Two round diamond pendants, a pear, and a cushion
Round diamond pendants are a classic for a reason-no matter the style-they always look fabulous.
A blue nuanced oval diamond is held between the prongs of a tweezer
Like out of the ordinary but want out of this world ordinary? Consider an oval diamond with blue nuance or other color for added uniqueness.

Ovals are out of the ordinary

An oval diamond pendant gives you the brilliance of a round, but with more size for your money. Their shallow cut and visual spread (the elongated shape) memes that oval diamonds look about 20% larger than a round of the same carat weight. And unlike a round diamond, because an oval is longer, you can choose to set it vertically or horizontally, giving you two totally different looks. Ovals do tend to show a bit more body color than rounds, so if you want something to look super crispy and colorless, stick with anything a G color or higher.

The pleasing pear cut provides perfect sparkle

A pear cut diamond pendant, sometimes referred to as a teardrop diamond pendant, offers the same vertical option as an oval, and plenty of sparkle. But they are typically not set horizontally. Pear diamonds have one rounded end and one pointed end, and in their most classic setting style, are set with the point at the top, like a raindrop. In our signature jewelry collection, tho, we like to play. Our pear diamond pendants are set in the opposite direction, with the rounded side on top, giving you a super modern look that stands out from the crowd.

A pear diamond is nestled within a unique infinity symbol.
Pear diamond pendants add plenty of sparkle. We love the unique infinity symbol with the custom pendant. Interested in a custom design? We can help.
An east-west set emerald diamond in the Radiator ring setting
An emerald diamond pendant offers an easy-breezy elegance to any outfit. Match your emerald pendant to your ring with our Radiator Emerald!

Emerald-cut diamonds show easy elegance

If you’re looking for a different type of sparkle, an emerald cut diamond pendant is a nice elongated diamond shape that has a step-cut faceting pattern. This gives them a hall-of-mirrors effect, with lots of big, bold rainbow flash instead of the bright white sparkle of a brilliant cut. Don’t worry, though, they’re still plenty sparkly. Emerald cuts are super sophisticated, and we love to set them horizontally on the chain so that you have a ton of spread in your pendant look. One thing to remember is that the larger table and open facets of this cut will show off the diamond’s clarity a bit more than a brilliant cut, so look for a stone that’s eye-clean, probably VS or higher clarity grade.

Angelic Asscher’s are awesome

An Asscher diamond pendant is simply a square version of an emerald cut, which means there’s no elongated option, but it’s definitely fun to do what we call a “kite set” style, facing this squared cut on its corner like a kite or diamond. The step-cut facets offer a kaleidoscopic effect and you’ll even even brilliance and flash with this modern shape. Our signature radiator style setting further echoes the elongated facets for a major pop on your collarbone.

A kite-set Asscher prong set solitaire ring
Asscher diamonds offer Art Deco drama and luxe appeal that’s perfectly suited to a maximalist pendant. PS: They’re great for gifting too!

An east-west set Marquise diamond pendant dangles daintily from a chain
Marquise diamonds are elegant and romantic, perfect for those looking to add a chic statement piece to their collection.

How to Choose the Right Carat Weight for a Pendant

Once you’ve decided on a diamond shape, size is usually people’s next concern — how big do you want that diamond pendant? Choosing the right carat weight for a diamond pendant comes down to two things. First, your personal preferences, and second your budget. Do you like jewelry that you can wear everyday and easily layer? Then you might choose to go with a more petite carat weight, perhaps something under 1 carat, or even under .5 carat. If you like something to really stand out or be more of a statement piece on its own, however, then you probably want a large diamond pendant, perhaps 2 carats or more. 

Keep in mind that carat weight plays a very large role in determining the price of diamonds, regardless of shape. While round diamonds cost more, the bigger the diamond the pricier it gets. Pro tip: shop carat weights just under the full-carat mark. This is where diamond prices jump exponentially, so shopping for, say, a .90 carat diamond instead of a 1 carat diamond can save you significant cash. And no one will be able to tell the difference to the naked eye. Another great way to save money and get a bigger diamond is to shop for lab grown diamonds, which often cost only half of a comparable mined diamond, which means you can get a much larger stone for your budget and all of the same brilliance and shine.

What is the Ideal Size for a Diamond Pendant?

Now that we’ve talked weight, let’s talk size. Yes, darling, size and weight are two different things. Diamond pendants and their chains come in a wide variety of lengths, but there are a few basic tips to know before you shop. Firstly, just like the rest of our bodies, we all have different neck sizes, so what the industry calls a “standard” size may or may not fit the same on you. Knowing what length chain you prefer is the safest way to ensure that your diamond pendant will fit the way you want it to.

Standard chain lengths are as follows:

  • 14” chains are a choker style necklace that sits against your neck, rather than hanging gently below it. This is usually the shortest size available for most adult necklace lengths.
  • 16” chains are the next step up, the shortest chain length that isn’t a choker style necklace. This length is meant to rest just above your collarbone.
  • 18” chains are a collarbone length and are the average diamond pendant length, great for everyday wear.
  • 20” pendant chains will hang a bit lower, midway between your collarbone and chest. This is a great length for layering, and can sit over a high-necked shirt or sweater.
  • 22” – 24” A longer chain like this will rest mid-chest, and is perfect to wear over your outfit as a statement piece.

If you’re not sure what necklace length works for your face shape or body size, try using a piece of string to measure at home. Try it at different lengths to see what you like and then measure it against a ruler to determine your best fit. You can also look for an adjustable chain or request one from your jeweler that has multiple stops that the clasp can hook into. This enables you to have a versatile necklace that works with a variety of outfits and seasons.

A close up of the Emerald Radiator diamond pendant
Determining the right chain length for you is more of a personal choice than practical. In fact, the trickier question is asking if you want gold or platinum
An Emerald Radiator diamond pendant set east-west
Consider setting your diamond east-west for a unique take on the standard pendant that carries a meaningful meaning.

What Does a Diamond Pendant Represent?

A diamond pendant represents many things, depending on the person and the style. There are specific diamond pendant designs like a diamond journey pendant, a cross necklace, or an infinity symbol that carry their own meanings. But we think that diamond pendants make perfect gifts for just about any reason or occasion. A diamond pendant is a beautiful wedding accessory and gift to the bride which can be worn well beyond the big day. Or a petite diamond pendant is lovely for a graduation or symbolic birthday gift. 

You can also design your own custom diamond pendant in nearly any style you like. A halo diamond setting with a tiny row of sparkling diamonds surrounding your center stone, for instance, can add visible size to a smaller stone. Or add color to accent your diamond pendant with deep blue sapphires, red rubies, pink morganite, or nearly any other gemstone you like. We love a cluster style pendant that groups many diamonds or gemstones together into unique shapes and sizes. And a diamond and birthstone pendant makes a beautiful symbolic gift to represent your loved ones.

Can You Wear Your Diamond Pendant Every Day?

When it comes to wear and tear, necklaces don’t take much. That means you can totally wear your diamond pendant every day if you like. Unlike a ring or bracelet which take a lot of daily wear even from simple activities, a necklace is protected because of where on the body it is worn. Sure, you still want your diamond to be set securely in its mounting. But it’s definitely more rare for this to be an issue with necklaces. What should you worry about for necklace wear? Well, it can definitely catch on things, say long hair, a button on your clothing, or some chubby little baby fingers. It’s helpful to put your jewelry on last, after dressing, to avoid it getting caught on things. Also lotions and perfumes can leave a residue on your diamond that can collect dirt over time, making your stone look cloudy. Again, just apply these things first, let them settle in, and then put your jewelry on, so that it’s not rubbing against fresh lotions and potions.

A Frank Darling couple smile together. The woman wears a Frank Darling solitaire ring
Hoping to wear your pendant everyday? You’re in luck! Diamond pendants don’t take wear and tear like other jewelry items. Rock on!

Where to Buy a Diamond Pendant

Remember that choosing a diamond pendant is all about personal style, how you want to wear it, and your budget. Explore the Frank Darling signature diamond pendant collection to start finding your perfect diamond pendant style. Choose from a variety of 14k or 18k gold colors as well as platinum, and match each pendant with your perfect diamond. 
Check out our diamond search where you can view 360-degree images of more than 10,000 diamonds and don’t forget to zoom out (because size can be deceiving), or book a virtual or offline appointment at our New York or San Francisco studio to view certified lab-grown and natural diamonds in person.

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