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Necklace Buying Guide

Typically, pearl strands fall into the following categories:

Collar 12-13 inches
Choker 14-16 inches
Princess 17-19 inches
Matinee 20-24 inches
Opera 26-36 inches
Rope 40 inches and over

With a few simple pointers, choosing the right strand is easy…

When choosing a necklace, take into consideration the recipient’s age, body composition, lifestyle and personal tastes. In general, shorter strands and smaller pearls (6.5-7.0 mm) look best on younger women; the shorter strands, which nestle at the base of the throat or slightly below, draw attention to the skin and flatter youthful complexions. Pearls with a smaller diameter won’t overwhelm a younger woman’s features. Short strands, especially the princess and choker, are versatile and look great with virtually anything.

Mature women (40s and beyond) can carry off larger pearls (7.5-8.0 mm and up) and longer lengths with ease. The longer, more dramatic lengths and the larger pearls elongate the neck and call attention to the jewelry, framing the face and neck beautifully, creating an overall slender appearance for the woman.

In general, short strands best complement long necks, and long strands draw the eye downward and help create the illusion of length in a short neck. When choosing a strand, keep in mind that longer strands of bigger pearls (7.5 mm and up) are dramatic and sophisticated, while shorter strands are classic and elegant.

Pearl necklaces can be paired with any outfit, but in general, the shorter lengths are more versatile, and can be worn with casual such as a T-shirt and jeans as well as tailored outfits. Longer lengths are typically for dressier and special occasions. If a woman is sporty, she might prefer a shorter strand, while a sophisticated dresser might like a longer, more dramatic strand. When in doubt, keep in mind that the mid-length princess strand flatters everyone.

A note on layering: Today, the trend in jewelry is all about layering. Open any fashion magazine and you’ll find women wearing several necklaces of different lengths, colors and materials together to create a sassy, unique look. Having several different strands of variable sizes, lengths and colors gives the wearer many fashion options.

A pearl collar fits tightly around the neck, and is typically made up of three strands or more. The collar draws attention to the face and neck and looks great with lower necklines.

A timeless classic, the pearl choker is perfect for many styles of dress, and can be worn with high or low necklines, dressed up or down. If the woman you’re buying for doesn’t have a pearl necklace, this strand, or the slightly longer princess-length, is the right choice.

Due to its versatility, the 18-inch princess-length necklace is our most popular item. It looks great on all women, and can be paired with many different necklines. The princess length works especially well with business suits, high-necked sweaters and tees, and many wedding gowns.

The matinee-length rests on the cleavage, and looks perfect with a high neckline that won’t compete with it for attention, or a very low, plunging neckline that frames the pearls. This length is a bit more formal than the choker and princess, and is perfect for the sophisticated woman.

The long, opera-length necklace is often spotted on women enjoying a wonderful evening out. This dramatic length looks stunning with high necklines that won’t compete with the pearls.

Wonderfully breathtaking, the pearl rope hangs very low and swings with movement. The rope will definitely get attention! To change the rope’s look, it can be tied, or looped several times around the neck for a shorter, multiple-strand effect.

A word about color: If you are unsure which color pearls to choose, keep in mind that creamy white pearls are classic—they always look stunning. As well, rose colored pearls are gorgeous and romantic, and softly flatter most skin tones. In general, lighter skin tones look best with white pearls, while darker complexions are best flattered by rose or black pearls.

Still can’t decide? E-mail us at customerservice@moonriverpearls.com or call Moon River Pearls at 800-405-2488 and we’ll help you choose the perfect strand.