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Purchasing a Diamond Pendant: Everything You Need to Know

By Mike Fried,

A diamond pendant is a piece of jewelry that features a diamond or diamonds set into a metal frame that hangs from a chain, usually made of gold, platinum, or silver. Often worn as a statement of elegance and sophistication, diamond pendants make for timeless gifts and can suit various occasions, from anniversaries to birthdays. When purchasing a diamond pendant, there are essential factors to consider, such as the 4Cs—cut, color, clarity, and carat weight—to ensure you get the best quality diamond for your budget. Additionally, the setting and style of the pendant are vital considerations; whether you prefer a classic solitaire design or something more intricate, the setting should securely hold the diamond while complementing its brilliance.

To make an informed purchase, consider the following:

  1. Check Diamond Certification: Ensure the diamond comes with a reputable certification, usually from GIA or AGS, to validate its quality.
  2. Understand the 4Cs: Know the basics of the 4Cs to find a diamond that meets your quality and budget needs.
  3. Choose the Right Setting: The setting should not only be beautiful but also secure enough to hold the diamond. Options include prong, bezel, and halo settings.
  4. Metal Type: Decide on the type of metal that suits your taste and lifestyle; options typically include white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum.
  5. Chain Length: Consider the length and style of the chain to ensure it complements the pendant and sits at a comfortable length on the neck.
To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.
1/2ct halo diamond pendant
0.50 carat halo diamond pendant from James Allen

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 like this one from James Allen to those in yellow gold settings like this example from Blue Nile.

    Here are some curated Diamond Pendants from our favorite jewelry retailers:

What is a Diamond Pendant?

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 pendant necklaces are often given as a symbol of love, specifically eternal love.

What is a Solitaire Pendant?

A solitaire pendant is a necklace with one gemstone—usually a diamond. The gemstone stands alone on a jewelry chain, typically made of white gold, yellow gold, or platinum. Solitaire pendant necklaces range in style from a 0.3 carat solitaire pendant in platinum like this one from James Allen to this1.5 Carat solitaire pendant in white gold from Blue Nile.

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.

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Halo Pendant in Yellow Gold

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.

Diamond Pendant Settings and Designs

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.

Four prong pendant

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. 

Other designs include halo settings, 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.

Best Diamond Pendant Designs for Inspiration

Diamond pendants come in a variety of styles and settings. Here we offer inspiration on everything from solitaire designs to halo pendants.

Solitaire Diamond Pendant Necklaces

Halo Diamond Pendant Necklaces

3-Stone Diamond Pendant Necklaces

Unique Diamond Pendant Necklaces

Diamond Cross Necklaces

Diamond cross necklaces feature a cross shape made out of diamonds that’s attached to a chain. Diamond crosses range in style, size and color, though this 14K white gold diamond cross necklace from James Allen is a prime of a classic diamond cross pendant. There are women’s and men’s diamond crosses, ranging from petite designs to signature styles totalling 2 carats like this one from Blue Nile

For diamond cross pendants, we recommend 14K or 18K gold chains because they’re durable but not as expensive as platinum. A gold diamond cross is timeless and will last for many years of everyday wear.

Dancing Diamond Necklaces

Dancing diamonds are a unique design with a setting that allows the center diamonds to move or “dance.” As the diamond continually moves, it catches light from various angles, allowing it to showcase its brilliance and fire. Dancing diamond pendants range in size and style, from classic yellow gold designs to modern white gold settings. 

In addition to dancing diamond pendants, you can find dancing diamond earrings, dancing diamond heart necklaces and dancing diamond rings.

Do you want to know what other necklaces exist? Check out our Diamond Necklace Guide and find out.

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 (push present)
  • Retirement
  • Job promotion
  • Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays
  • Wedding day gift (for bride, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother)

How to Choose a Diamond for Your Pendant

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 certification. This is the most reliable grading entity, helping to ensure you get the quality you’re promised.

Diamond 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.

Diamond color: A diamond’s color grade refers to its lack of color. As the AGS explains, diamonds that are colorless command the highest value, with brown or yellow diamonds less expensive. Most importantly, ensure the diamond looks white in relation to its setting.

Diamond clarity: Because pendants are worn directly in the line of sight, Clarity is even more important in pendant diamonds than in rings. Inclusions in a diamond can reduce its clarity and beauty. As this GIA guide notes, inclusions develop when small crystals become trapped in a diamond as it forms inside the earth.

Review each 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.

Diamond 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.

An Affordable Alternative to the More Expensive Natural Diamond Pendant

If you would love to get a diamond pendant but most of the ones you are looking at are out of your price range, consider Brilliant Earth’s lab-grown jewelry line. They have a great selection of all kinds of jewelry for any occasion.

How Much is a Diamond Necklace Worth?

Diamond necklaces range in value depending on the number of diamonds, the diamond carat weight, diamond cut quality, and type of setting. For instance, this three-stone diamond pendant in white gold from Blue Nile might cost $6,500, while a might cost $2,900. A can cost $40,000.

If you were to resell your diamond necklace, it would be worth much less than what you paid for it. Just like selling diamond rings, a diamond necklace shouldn’t be viewed as a financial investment.

How Big is a 1 Carat Diamond?

A 1 carat diamond isn’t a certain size, but a certain weight. A 1 carat diamond is equal 200 milligrams, or 0.2 gramsroughly the same as a quarter of a raisin. Depending on the shape of the diamond and the cut, the size appearance will differ slightly. For instance, this 1 carat oval diamond from James Allen may appear slightly larger than this 1 carat round cut diamond also from James Allen.

How Much is a 1 Carat Diamond?

1 Carat Diamonds can range dramatically in price, depending on cut quality, color, shape, and clarity. For instance, a dull 1 carat round diamond like this from James Allen might only cost $4,590 while a stunning 1 carat round diamond from James Allen’s True Hearts collection might cost $7,540.

Above all, we recommend looking for a well-cut diamond that offers brilliance and sparkle. It’s more important to find a beautiful stone than achieve a certain carat weight. For help in selecting the most stunning diamond for your budget, reach out to our experts.

Best Chain and Clasp for Diamond Pendants

The best chain type for pendants is a cable chain because it’s strong, elegant and versatile. That’s why most people choose a cable chain for their pendant. 

The best precious metal for diamond pendant chains is 14K or 18K gold because it’s durable and beautiful, but not as expensive as platinum. You can find 14K and 18K gold chains in yellow gold, white gold and rose gold. This 18K white gold halo diamond pendant from James Allen is a stunning example of a diamond pendant chain. 

The best type of clasp for diamond pendants is a lobster clasp, because it’s secure while opening and closing easily. This three-stone drop pendant from Blue Nile features a lobster clasp in 18K gold. Other clasps for diamond pendants include spring ring clasps, barrel clasps and magnetic clasps.

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.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
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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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large 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
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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