A necklace of pearls knotted along a string has been fashionable for generations. Variations are plentiful, such as length, type of pearl, graduated or uniform sizes and number of rows. Necklace lengths are a special category, with individual names for each size.
A 12-13 inch strand of pearls that rests on the middle of a neck is called a collar, while one that rests around the base of the neck at 14-16 inches is a choker. The third shortest, the princess, uses its 17-19 inches to reach the collarbone and slightly beyond. A matinee’s 20-24 inches brushes against the décolleté, while the opera size’s 28-35 inches touches one’s lower sternum. Ropes of pearls stretch a flamboyant 45 or more inches!
No matter how long or compact a strand of pearls may be, they all require care and occasional maintenance. Knots in a pearl string are important, for they protect the gems from rubbing up against one another. Over time, the cord weakens, and the knots become fragile. Restringing your necklace every so often will extend the life of your jewelry and make it as good as new.