The most common lengths of Necklaces are: 16″, 18″, 20″, and 24″.
Depending on the style of chain, and where you want it to fall can really make a big difference in it’s appearance and noticeability.
If the chain is too short, it can look odd, out of place, or unbalanced. If the chain is too long, it can get lost in your clothing, drop down where it can’t be seen, or get caught or tangled on everything.
I always advise trying on different lengths at a Jewelry Store to see what suits your style, personality, and body type.
And of course, the Type of Chain matters greatly!
If the chain is thin and flexible, any length could really be used. But if the necklace is thick, wide, multiple strands, or stiff (rounds out at the bottom and doesn’t come to a nice V-Shape), then you’ll usually opt for a shorter chain length, one that is generally called a choker, as such…
Keep in mind one important thing: Pendants Change Things!
If you are going to wear something dangling off that chain, you’ll probably want the item to be seen (and not ruin the chain – it needs to slide freely and not get caught). As so…
This is why Pendants are normally worn on Chain Lengths of 18″ or 20″. But again, it really depends on your body structure, the type of V-Necks you wear, if you’re really tall, have a thicker neck… You may want a longer chain. Plus, if you’re wearing multiple chains at once, you may want to create a nice staggered, or graduated look, where all the chains and pendants are showing nicely. As this image below shows…
Chain Length Chart
Either way, a chart showing standard necklace lengths of Chokers, Chains, and Pearl Strand Necklaces, and where they fall on an average person’s body is quite helpful. Especially if you’re ordering a necklace or pendant online and want to see where that length would reside.
So take a peek at this necklace length diagram to get a better understanding of different chain lengths in inches, and where they normally lay…
Upgrade That Frail Chain
You don’t always have to stick with the standard length of chain the pendant comes on. They usually come on a frail 18″, dainty, fine chain (I wouldn’t keep it on that). I would upgrade that fragile chain to a more durable and thicker style of chain (P.S. I love Wheat Chains). That way you don’t break the chain or lose your expensive or sentimental pendant.
Custom Necklace Lengths
You can even have custom lengths made for you (which helps greatly since everybody has a different bone structure). Jewelers custom size chains all the time. Just hold the pendant up to your chest where you want it to lay, and the Jeweler can measure this and cut the chain down to size. That way if you need one longer or shorter, no problem. It just takes a little repair, and it generally doesn’t cost much either.
You can have your chains altered to a size 19″, 18.5″ 32″… or any length you desire.
Standard sizes are fine for most, but some styles, designs, pendant lengths, and sliders deserve special treatment.
Now you know! :)
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.