Diamonds are a popular feature of pendants, but choosing this piece of jewelry is not as simple as it seems. Let’s see take a look at the most important points you need to keep in mind next time you shop for a diamond pendant.
Choosing the Shape of a Diamond Pendant
One of the first things you need to decide is what shape you want your pendant to be. This, of course, is up to your personal taste, but you should at least be aware of how your choice of shape impacts the other characteristics of the pendant.
The shape of your pendant usually determines the cut of the center diamond mounted in it, and the choice of setting is greatly affected by the stone’s cut.
In general, the setting should be appropriate for it and hold the diamond securely in place.
For example, a triangular pendant that features a trillion-cut diamond would be ideally made with a V-prong or bezel setting that wraps the thin edges of the diamond with metal for better protection.
Whatever your stone’s shape, don’t forget to make sure that the setting is suitable for it and protects the diamond’s vulnerable parts well.
How to Select a Metal for a Diamond Pendant
The choice of metal for your pendant is also up to your personal preferences, but you should remember that not all metals are created equal with respect to durability.
For example, yellow gold is softer compared with white gold and is less durable than platinum.
So, if you want a setting that does not wear out easily, either choose a pendant made of one of the more durable metals or, if you prefer yellow gold, go with a lower karat.
(Higher-karat gold is purer and softer, while a lower karat implies a higher content of non-gold metals in the alloy, which make it harder.)
How to Decide on a Diamond Pendant Setting
We already discussed how diamond shape affects the type of setting you should choose, but there are some other factors to consider, which include diamond visibility, setting durability, and general safety.
Some types of settings leave more of the stone visible, and they are a good choice if you want to show off your diamond. For example, prong settings are very popular partly because of that reason.
The downside to prongs is that they are less safe because they can bend or break more easily, especially if they are made of a softer metal.
If you choose a prong setting, it is recommended that you have it inspected regularly for worn-out prongs so that you reduce the risk of your stone falling out of the setting.
The bezel setting is a good choice for people who are concerned about safety.
This type of setting wraps the stone with metal, either from all sides or partially, and as a result, the diamond is well protected against accidental hits that could chip its edges.
What’s more, a bezel setting makes it very hard for a stone to fall off the mounting.
The downside to the bezel setting is that it tends to keep more of the diamond hidden in metal, and some people think that this results in less light entering the stone, thereby reducing its brilliance.
You should keep in mind, however, that whether you will see such an effect depends on the structure of the setting, and some bezel settings leave more of the diamond visible compared to others.
That’s why it is recommended that you examine a number of different pendant models and make your choice of setting on a case-by-case basis.
Choosing the Quality of Diamonds in a Pendant
What level of quality you will select for the diamond(s) in your pendant depends on your budget and preferences. The most important diamond characteristics are color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
In general, it is recommended that if you decide to choose clarity or color of a lower grade, you should opt for a higher-graded cut to compensate for the fall in quality.
A better-cut stone will have more brilliance, which will mask to some extent the visible natural flaws or color tints in the diamond.
With pendants made of yellow gold, you can ease your diamond color standards a bit, as even if the stone has some visible yellow tints, they will be absorbed by the color of the setting.
A platinum or yellow gold setting, on the other hand, would make such tints stand out, so with these metals you should choose only diamonds graded Colorless or Near Colorless.
Whatever you do, it is not recommended that you opt for a high carat and low-grade color, clarity, and cut at the same time.
Bigger diamonds are more visible, and if you choose a stone that is both large and of low quality, its imperfections will be even more noticeable.
If you have to relax your quality standards to get within your budget, do so with smaller diamonds.
Choosing Diamond Pendant Size
The size of your pendant is also an important consideration. Make sure that the piece is not so small as to be barely visible, but also not so big as to overpower everything else in your outfit.
Also, make sure that the weight and size of the pendant match the thickness of the necklace.
For example, if the chain is too thin, not only will an overly big pendant look out of place, but its weight may also deform the chain’s links permanently or even break them.
Finally, do consider your budget when deciding on size. Depending on the model, a bigger pendant might entail bigger diamonds, and, as already mentioned, the larger and more visible a stone, the less it is recommended that you skimp on its quality.
Where to Buy Diamond Pendants and Necklaces?
For diamond pendants and necklaces, we highly recommend James Allen (read our review) because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before having it set in a pendant.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).
Also read our Diamond Buying Guide and check out our selection of eye-clean diamonds that we've vetted for quality.