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Six Best Pearl Necklace Types for Everyone

Pearl necklaces are the definition of elegance. They are also the go-to jeweled accessory for many jewelry lovers, both women and men.

As a piece of jewelry, pearl necklaces can be very versatile – timeless or edgy, sophisticated or flirty.

There are many different styles of pearl necklaces to choose from but these six styles are a must-have for every jewelry collection.

Princess Length Pearl Necklace

The princess length necklace is the most popular length for pearl necklaces. Between 17 and 19 inches in length, this is the necklace length that goes with everything. It looks good on both high and plunging necklines and can dress up a t-shirt and look equally glamourous with chic evening wear.

For most first-time pearl necklace buyers, the princess length checks all the boxes as far as looks and versatility go.

 Pearl pendants and necklaces

From left to right: Golden South Sea Pearl Devon NecklaceFreshwater Pearl Tincup Farra NecklaceJapanese Akoya Pearl Tincup Jasper PendantOpera Length Japanese Akoya Pearl Necklace, Pearls of Joy

Pearl Pendant

Was there ever a jewelry collection that did not boast a gorgeous pearl pendant? Probably not! This is again a versatile and lovely piece of jewelry. Worn on a gold or silver chain or on a leather cord, the pearl pendant always leaves an impression.

The pearl pendant can go from understated to flamboyant with easy confidence. A single pearl on  chain creates its own demure charm. But wearing a couple of pearl pendants together, either singly on different chains or all together on one chain, while playing with color, size and shapes, makes a bolder statement.

Pearl pendants worn on leather cords have boho chic written all over them. The contrast between the grain of the leather cord and the smooth, iridescent surface of pearls, makes this pendant style a favorite among many jewelry lovers. Wearing white or golden South Sea pearls on leather cords is perhaps the most popular iteration of this pendant style. 

From small, perfectly round white Akoya pearls to large, lustrous Freshwater baroque pearls, every type of cultured pearl looks eye catching as a pendant.

Freshwater Pearl Pendant

Freshwater Pearl Maddy Pendant, Pearls of Joy

Tin cup or Station Necklace

Also called the floating pearl necklace, the Tin cup necklace became very popular in the 1990s. Even today it is still as loved.

It is a delicate piece of jewelry that brings two important jewelry materials together – pearls and gold chains. There is an undeniable elegance in this necklace style. Finely made gold chains link beautifully lustrous pearls. The chain itself may be embellished by accents and details, giving yet another dimension to the overall look of this necklace.

Wearing tin cup necklaces with a necklace strand of matching or contrasting pearls may also be a fun way to dress up any look.

Pearl Choker

Thanks to the late Vivienne Westwood and a host of TikTok influencers, the single strand pearl choker is everywhere. The choker is a 16 inch pearl necklace and it sits close to the base of the neck. As a necklace style it looks best with a crew neck or a deep neckline.

The one thing that’s fabulous about this necklace style is that looks good on both women and men of any age. In fact, this necklace style is extremely popular among men who have added pearls to their overall look.

The other thing that’s great about this necklace style is that it looks spectacular no matter the size, shape or color of the pearls. From 6mm lustrous, round Akoya pearls to gumball sized baroque South Seas, the pearl choker looks stunning in every possible iteration.

Different Types of Pearl Necklaces

From left to right: Freshwater Multicolor Baroque Pearl NecklaceSouth Sea Multicolor Baroque Pearl NecklaceDark Tahitian South Sea Baroque Pearl NecklaceMulticolor Freshwater Princess Length Pearl NecklaceWhite Freshwater Pearl Choker Necklace, Pearls of Joy

Colored Pearl Necklace

Many different types of pearls come in gorgeous natural colors that have their own distinctive beauty. Pink, lavender and peach Freshwater pearls are delightful in their pastel hues.

Tahitian pearls also come in an array of body colors. These include black, gray, silver and sometimes even gold. On top of that, there are a host of secondary colors which can run from cherry, pistachio, peacock, blue, aubergine, gold and green.

Golden South Sea pearls also have a range of colors. These can include light gold, champagne, deep gold and the very rare and extremely coveted 24K gold.

Wearing necklaces of colored pearls will always stay in style. While the pretty hues of Freshwater pearl necklace are perfect for daywear, the exotic colors of Tahitian pearls are the embodiment of evening sophistication. But if you want to speak the language of luxury, then nothing beats the allure of a golden South Sea pearl necklace.

Opera Length Pearl Necklace

Opera length pearl necklace is a style statement in itself. This necklace style has a long and illustrious history. As the name suggests, this necklace style was a popular jeweled accessory, worn with evening dresses by Victorian and Edwardian ladies.

Later, during the Art Deco era, style maven Coco Chanel gave this necklace a style an entirely different feel by pairing opera length pearls with chains and chokers.

Opera length pearl necklaces have a sumptuous and slightly flirty feel to them. When worn, they drape like fabric and move sensuously with the wearer.

The opera length (28-36 inch) can be worn full length or it can be doubled to look like a two-strand necklace. These styling choices make the opera length a firm favorite among jewelry lovers who love wearing pearl necklaces but also want easy versatility with them.

Pear necklaces have always held a special place in the hearts of pearl lovers. Trends come and go, but pearl necklaces continue to hold their own in many jewelry collections. But within this jewelry category, finding the designs that are timeless is not just a bejeweled investment, it is a way of making a style statement that never goes out of style.

Featured Image: Selection of Pearl Necklaces, Pearls of Joy

Reema Farooqui is a content writer who loves pearls and pearl jewelry. You can find her on her website The Culture of Pearls or on Instagram at @thecultureofpearls

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