How do you choose the right size for the jewellery - Part 1: Know your necklace size, Magpie Gems Jewellery Ireland - magpiegems-ie

The most frequent questions I receive are related to the jewellery sizing. And many of my customers struggled to order a piece of jewellery online, as it is such an intimate gift and the fear of getting the size wrong was daunting them. 

So, today I have decided to tackle the issue of how do you measure for the right size for jewellery (necklace, ring, bracelet or earrings). 

1. How to choose your chain length?

Each person is different and we all have different preferences when comes to necklace length and type. Knowing your favourite makes it so much easier in the ordering process, both for you and the seller.

But what do you do, when you look for a gift  for yourself or someone dear and you have no clue where to start? Hopefully, the following guide will help you make a perfect choice. First of all, know the necklace  standard lengths. According to Wikipedia, necklaces are typically classified by length.

Necklace length diagram
  • The choker necklace is 35 centimetres (14 in) to 41 centimetres (16 in) long and sits high on the neck. 
  • A princess necklace is 45 centimetres (18 in) to 50 centimetres (20 in) long, longer than a choker, but shorter than a matinee. It is my prefered size to work with. 
  • A matinee length necklace is 56 centimetres (22 in) to 58 centimetres (23 in) long — typically a single strand that rests at the top of the cleavage. 
  • An opera necklace is 75 centimetres (30 in) to 90 centimetres (35 in) long and sits at the breastbone.
  • A rope necklace is any necklace longer than opera length. 
  • The lariat necklace is a very, very long variation on the rope, without a clasp, often worn draped multiple times around the neck; the ends can be crossed over, looped, or knotted in various ways. This type of necklace sometimes incorporates a loop at one or both ends to allow it to be worn in the style of a lasso, or it may be worn doubled over with the ends passed through the loop formed in the middle.


The standard necklace length will vary slightly depending on the age and build of the person. I would personally recommend a 35cm (14'') chain for a child, a 41cm (16'') for a young adult and 45cm (18'') or 50cm (20'') for an adult. But it is up to you to decide!

2. How about the pendant?

Note that the pendant or the charm attached to the chain will influence where the necklace sits, as it is added extra to your chosen chain. For example, most of the times the pendant has one connecting ring, and the height of the pendant will influence the drop of the necklace:


But the pendant can have 2 connecting points, such as:


If the pendant has 2 connecting points, this will influence the total length of your necklace. Paying attention to the size of the connector is important. Make sure you check with a ruler or ask the seller for additional photos to show you size (on the hand or next to a coin or a ruler).

3. What if you need a custom made or personalized necklace?

If you require a personalized chain length then you should take a string and measure the necklace length you want. Please note that the chain lengths mentioned at our site  do not include the pendant height. The total length of the necklace would be the pendant height with the chain length you have chosen. For example, if you order a silver infinity with a crystal birthstone necklace with a 41cm (16”) chain, the total length of the name necklace would be approx. 47cm.

 4. Is there an easier way?

Yes, there is always an easier way. Take a ruler or a measuring tape and measure your favourite chain from your own jewellery collection. That will help you choose any necklaces in the future when you shop online.

 Tell me in the comments what is your favourite chain necklace length and if you prefer to shop with a seller that offers chain extensions too.

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