Purchasing a Diamond Pendant: Everything You Need to Know

Bottom Line Recommendation: A diamond pendant makes for a stunning and meaningful gift for any special occasion. To ensure you purchase the most beautiful necklace, review the diamond closely. Look for a diamond that is clean of blemishes and inclusions—and one that offers plenty of brilliance (also known as sparkle). Most importantly, choose a diamond from a reputable and reliable vendor like James Allen or Blue Nile. When it comes to style, consider the preferences of your loved one. Diamond pendant designs range from solitaire pendants set in 14K white gold to those in yellow gold settings.

Diamond Pendants: The Fundamentals

A diamond pendant is a necklace with a central diamond that’s attached by a small loop to a jewelry chain made of precious metal (usually gold or platinum). The word ‘pendant’ comes from the Old French “pendre” and Latin word “pedere”—both meaning “to hang down.” Diamond pendants are often given as a symbol of love, specifically eternal love.

Where to Buy a Diamond Pendant

Similar to buying a diamond ring, it’s critical that you purchase a diamond pendant from a reputable vendor. From our extensive experience, we’ve learned that the following vendors are the most trustworthy and reliable in the industry.

James Allen: The James Allen site offers high resolution photography and videography—giving you the best tools for buying diamonds and jewelry online. Their extensive selection of well-crafted settings make them a superior choice for beautiful fine jewelry, and their prices remain competitive.

Diamond pendants from James Allen:

Blue Nile: Blue Nile’s collection is full of exceptional craftsmanship. Having built strong relationships with diamond and jewelry vendors, Blue Nile offers the largest selection of diamonds and settings. Like James Allen, Blue Nile provides high-quality video technology, making online diamond selection easier and more accurate.

Diamond pendants from Blue Nile:

Brian Gavin Diamonds: Brian Gavin is known for offering the best cut diamonds in the industry. Their diamonds offer unparalleled brilliance, meaning they give off the most sparkle. Consider their collection for finding a truly beautiful piece of jewelry.

Diamond pendants from Brian Gavin:

Boutique options: If you’re looking for something unique and have extra space in your budget, please contact us.

Choosing a Diamond

When it comes to selecting a diamond pendant, be sure to choose a high quality, well cut stone. A diamond with a high level of fire and brilliance will sparkle far more than a poorly cut diamond (which will end up looking dull).

For pendants, use the following parameters to assess a diamond:

Certification: Look for a diamond with a GIA or AGS certification. These are the most reliable grading entities, helping to ensure you get the quality you’re promised.

Cut: A diamond that is cut well maximizes the light that strikes each pavilion—reflecting it back through the diamond’s table and crown to your eye. Depending on the diamond’s shape and the certifying body, Excellent and Ideal diamonds are the best cut stones—though you’ll still need to review the diamond closely through high resolution imagery. You can also ask for help from an expert.

Color: Most importantly, ensure the diamond looks white in relation to its setting.

Clarity: Because pendants are worn directly in the line of sight, Clarity is even more important in pendant diamonds than in rings. Review the diamond carefully to ensure no blemishes and inclusions are present when looking at the stone with the naked eye. Use a vendor with incredible video technology like James Allen or Blue Nile to have a strong advantage when assessing a diamond’s Clarity. If you’d like an expert evaluation, contact us and we’ll review the diamond for you.

Shape: The shape you choose for your diamond pendant—whether it’s round, oval or heart-shaped—is primarily based on personal preference. Look at a variety of shapes to see what matches the wearer’s style the best. The most popular and timeless shape for a pendant is a round diamond.

Diamond Pendant Styles and Settings

Several precious metals are available for your chain and pendant. You can select 14K or 18K gold as both are durable enough for everyday wear. Gold colors include yellow, rose and white—and the decision should be made with the wearer’s preferences in mind. Pendant chains also come in platinum, though the price is higher and often not necessary.

Popular setting styles for pendants usually include prongs (typically four) because prongs allow the most light to enter the diamond and reflect back to the eye. Here’s an example of a beautiful four-prong diamond pendant from James Allen.

Other designs include halo settings, like this 14K rose gold necklace, and bezel settings. Metal surrounds the stone in a bezel setting like in this 14K white gold pendant.

Most importantly, be sure to purchase your diamond pendant from a reliable vendor. We strongly recommend choosing a vendor you can trust, like Blue Nile or James Allen.

When to Buy Diamond Pendants

Diamond pendants make for beautiful and memorable gifts. Because of their classic design and popular appeal, diamond pendants are often kept as family heirlooms and passed down for generations.

Consider gifting a diamond pendant for any of these special occasions:

  • Wedding anniversary (i.e. 5th, 10th, 15th)
  • Birthday
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Celebration of an exciting milestone
  • Graduation (high school, college, graduate school, medical school)
  • Birth of a child
  • Retirement
  • Job promotion
  • Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays
  • Wedding day gift (for bride, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother)

How to Determine Chain Length

The length of your chain will be based primarily on personal preference and what’s offered by the vendor. Standard chain lengths range from 16 to 24 inches, with 18 inches being the most common.

With a 16 inch chain, the diamond will rest above the sternum (unless the person has a thin neck, then the diamond will hang lower). With an 18 inch chain, the pendant will likely fall right about at the sternum—and a 22 or 24 inch chain usually puts the diamond lower than the sternum.

Consider the person you’re buying for and their style. When in doubt, measure the chain lengths of their favorite necklaces.

Famous Diamond Pendants

Pendants of all varieties have been worn for centuries across many cultures. Due to their beauty and sleek design, diamond pendants are also frequently worn by celebrities and royalty.

  • A famous briolette diamond necklace bought at Christie’s Auction in Hong Kong sold for $11.1 million. Weighing more than 75 carats, the briolette diamond necklace also included a purple-pink marquise shaped diamond.
  • The largest D color flawless diamond ever auctioned (weighing 163.41 carats) was part of a diamond and emerald necklace designed by de Grisogono. It went for $25-30 million in 2001 at Christie’s.
  • Celebrities often found wearing diamond pendants: Mila Kunis, Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian.

Finding a Diamond Pendant

To find a diamond pendant that will ‘wow’ the one you love, search the collection or create your own from a highly reputable vendor.

Use the Build Your Own Pendant tool from Blue Nile or Design Your Own Pendant tool from James Allen.

Want assistance in reviewing diamonds or jewelry pieces? contact our experts.

Mother’s Day Diamond Pendants

If you’re looking for a beautiful, timeless gift for Mother’s Day, consider a diamond pendant. You can build your own pendant that matches mom’s style, or choose one of the great options below.

The pendants we suggest here are from the best vendors in the industry. Their settings and jewelry are made with precision and care.

Diamond pendant options:

For a full list of our ideas, visit our Mother’s Day gifts article.

Top Recommended Vendors
Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

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