History of Antique & Vintage Diamond Necklaces

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by Suzanne Sachs  5 min read

 Vintage Diamond Necklace


A diamond necklace can be an amazing accessory, highlighting a neckline or décolletage with glittering glamor or adding a bit of sparkle to a delicate throat or daring cleavage. But how did precious gems become a part of neckline fashion? Diamond necklaces have an intriguing history every bit as striking as their inimitable beauty.


• Early Diamond Necklaces

Necklaces and pendants are some of the earliest personal adornments in human history. They were used more than 40,000 years ago for ceremonial or religious purposes, as well as for matrimonial or funerary rites. Necklaces have always been a symbol of status or wealth, and were often used as talismans.

In the Bronze Age, roughly 3,000 years ago, the evolution of metallic jewelry and more intricate metalwork allowed gems to be showcased to greater effect. In Ancient Rome, diamonds were often worn as part of thick collar-style necklaces and elaborate pendants.

During the Dark Ages (500-1450 AD), diamonds were often incorporated into necklaces for medicinal value as well, and it was common for necklaces to incorporate different gemstones for different symbolic associations.

• Diamond Necklaces in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

As fashion evolved through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and necklines were lowered, necklaces became part of more widespread fashion trends. In the 1400s, it was common for men to wear very intricate, elaborate necklaces featuring diamonds and gemstones, while women’s styles were much simpler and understated.


Vintage Diamond Necklace

• Evolution of Diamond Necklaces

Jewelry fashion has continued to evolve through the centuries. In the 1600s, simpler diamond necklace styles were favored, such as chokers and collars with fabric bands. As diamond cutting became more sophisticated, it became easier to showcase diamonds for their sparkle and intricate cuts, and statement pieces were popular.


• Diamond and Gemstone Necklaces

In the 1700s, the most prevalent diamond necklaces included chokers and diamond pendants, and styles that featured multiple gemstones were more popular. The trend toward more elaborate styles and extravagant layers of necklaces continued through the mid-1800s, and by the late 1800s and early 1900s the Edwardian trend of abstract, intricate patterns applied to collar-style diamond necklaces as well. In the mid-1900s, Art Deco styles featuring larger, geometric patterns were popular.


• Modern Diamond Necklaces

Today, diamond necklaces can be found in many styles and lengths to suit any personal jewelry tastes. Pendants with crosses, hearts, or teardrop focal points are perennial favorites, and graduated styles that have different sizes of diamonds aligned either along the chain or in a pendant are also popular. From abstract swirls and curves to personalized patterns, it is possible to craft a diamond necklace to suit any individual flair. The metal, setting, and diamond shapes can all be customized, as can the use of any accent gemstones. What’s more, it’s possible to reset vintage diamonds into modern necklaces, preserving the history and beauty of an antique diamond in a more contemporary piece. This can give the wearer the best of both worlds, with the richness and sentiment of an older stone blending with a modern tastes and fashion for the perfect statement to last well into the next chapter of the history of diamond necklaces.

vintage heart shaped necklace

Antique Necklaces For Everyone:

No matter which necklace is your favorite, these time-honored pieces have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.


Find The Perfect Vintage Necklace:

Vintage necklaces are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and design. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of vintage diamond necklaces today!


Suzanne Sachs

Suzanne has always believed vintage jewelry can change lives. She's been in the jewelry industry for over 35 years, working with vintage jewelers, diamond dealers, diamond cutters, and gemologists. Suzanne started Artdecodiamonds in 2000 and understood the demand for vintage rings throughout the world. Suzanne ultimately started VintageDiamondRing.com in 2014, and understands each vintage ring is a reflection of you – your history, your relationships, your style, your elegance and is honored to have the opportunity to help you showcase your flair in a unique and exquisite way.   


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1 comment

  • . Marilyn

    Very nice article on vintage *Dimond jewelry. A excellent reminder of the history and art of vintage Dimond jewelry that we can share now.

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