The idea of building a diamond jewelry wardrobe can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? It is helpful to think of it in the same way as you do your fashion investments, like say a little black dress, a khaki trench coat or any other high quality item you wear repeatedly over the years.
In this series, I have written about several diamond essentials to consider for your collection, eternity bands, tennis bracelets, hoops and rivières all included. Another key piece to add to the list: diamond pendant necklaces.
A bit different than most of the classic diamond jewelry styles, diamond pendants have a broad definition, running the gamut from a solitaire necklace to distinctive designs.
The individuality in pendants literally extends back to the dawn of time. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, pendants can be found in jewelry collections dating to the “Stone Age when pendants consisted of such objects as teeth, stones and shells.” Flash forward to the Renaissance and diamonds became a part of pendant designs that included all kinds of fantastical creatures and mythical characters. For the last hundred years, diamond pendants have been made as lucky charms as well as pretty design motifs.
Today, pendants couldn’t be more popular. People often layer them on necklaces of various lengths. Naomi Campbell demonstrated the style to perfection when she exited the Spring 2021 Fendi couture show in Paris. The supermodel’s jewels included an infinity symbol, a gold style coin and a turquoise and diamond pendant.
So, returning to the original question in this story: how do you pick the perfect diamond pendant or better yet start a capsule collection of your own pendant essentials? Well, it all starts by understanding a few timeless pendant categories.
DIAMOND SOLITAIRES AND CLUSTERS
In 1974 when Elsa Peretti launched her collection at Tiffany it included a solitaire diamond on a chain that was part of her Diamonds by the Yard(r) collection. This little piece popularized diamond solitaire necklaces, which are still beloved to this day. When asked by Newsweek about the jewel in 1977 Peretti said, “There is nothing more pretty than a little diamond on a chain.”
Today designers get creative with the idea of diamond solitaires. Some styles include colorful enamels around one stone. Others make pendants out of a cluster of stones. There are also styles centering on various fancy diamond shapes such as a pear shape.
DIAMOND INITIAL NECKLACES
The history of initial pendant necklaces has been getting a lot of play in the fashion press lately because Balenciaga made a chunky rendition thought by many to be reminiscent of the famous style worn in the 16th century by Anne Boleyn, the doomed wife of Henry VII.
Whatever the case may be regarding Boleyn inspiring Balenciaga, the story proves initial necklaces were genuinely worn hundreds of years ago.
Today, initial pendants can be found in any number of styles from delicate designs to chunky gold fonts. There are also diamond letters set in pearls and pieces that pop with colorful enamel.
Choose a letter for your first name or last name. Charm style pendants that can be piled on a chain make it possible to wear even more letters. People often assemble the initials of their children or other loved ones.
SIGNS AND SYMBOLS
Signs and symbols are the most perpetually consistent diamond pendant category. Wearing a pendant with a meaningful motif puts your lucky charm right near your heart. It also presents your sentiments to the world as it is worn in the line of sight of your face, unlike say a ring or bracelet.
Designers express themselves through signs and symbols in any number of creative ways. Catherine Sarr of ALMASIKA has a complete collection of gold and diamond pendants in the shape of cowrie shells, named Le Cauri Endiamnté. In African legends, the cowrie shell is a motif of protection linked to the Ocean.
The Foundrae collection has a comprehensive array of diamond pendants symbolizing everything from good karma to a course correction.
Selim Mouzannar’s collection includes vintage inspired symbols of luck and messages of peace.
No matter what essential pendant style you choose to add to your collection, it will undoubtedly transform into a beloved personal treasure for its inherent meaning.