Jeffrey M. Bertman
Graduate Gemologist

When the term “diva” was originally coined to mean the primary female singer in an opera company, women wore opera-length necklaces that gave them a decidedly sexy look. Worn to hang as far down as the navel, these very long necklaces originally became popular during the 19th century when they were seen dangling from the necks of the most fashionable opera buffs. Today’s versions need not necessarily be solely composed of pearls. There are also fine gold chains that are punctuated with dazzling colored gemstones, which look equally beautiful when worn over a button-front shirt and blazer, a cashmere sheath, or a black evening dress. Any way it is worn, an opera-length necklace speaks of glamour and style.

This type of necklace can be worn as a single strand or, if it has a clasp, you may be able to double it and wear it as a two-strand choker. This length may also be knotted at any point you wish to emphasize, or it can be very dramatic with a pendant and left as a single long strand.


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