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Junkbox Treasures Collectibles and Antiques

Making the decision to collect or specialize in buying and selling vintage jewelry is a big one. Why? Because there is a lot to learn.  Not just about stones, dating, characteristics, and manufacturers but about the type of jewelry.  In this article we are going to focus on necklaces and the names that identify the type.

These names are based in history with many of them coming from other languages. The names are a description of the type of necklace, whether it be a Sautoir, a Bolo, or a Torsade, etc. It will provide you some terms for research as well as for putting together a description of the necklace.

A couple of things to keep in mind: Note, that there is cross over between terms so don't always try to put every necklace in just one category. Also, if you are a dealer or plan to become one, don't just use the formal names of each type of necklace. The description words that follow each type of necklace will give you some additional ideas for keywords and describing the necklace to the non-collector. Not all keywords can be used for every necklace within a category.

Also, check more than one category. Sometimes necklaces are known by more than one name such as a choker style may also be known as a bib necklace or a Bayadère necklace.

Contributors: Lin Anderson, Amy Murphy, Patty Meyer, Linda Lombardo, Mary Ann Wilson, Ruth Weston, Susan Howell


Pronunciation: Buy - a - dare
Multi-strand pearl necklaces that are twisted together in a rope like manner. Usually made of seed pearls but can be created with any size pearl. Women often hung a pendant or a tassel from the necklace. Contrasting color pearls can also be used.

These can easily be confused with Torsade necklaces because they are twisted multi-strand but the Bayadère necklace is always made of pearls. Also note that these neclaces are not really twisted, they are made to stay twisted so it differs from a Torsade since the the Torsade can be worn twisted or not.

History: From what I have read, the Bayadère necklace came about in the 1700s but that it did not really begin to make its mark in the world until about 1900, in France. It seems that at that time, when neckties became popular for men, that is when the tassle was added as an extra elegance. Certainly more research needs to be done on this type of necklace.

Descriptive Words: Bayadère, multi-strand, pearl, seed pearl, twist, twisted, rope, choker, Torsade, rope necklace

Amco Jewelry Gold Fill Mark
seed pearl
Amco Jewelry Gold Fill Mark
close-up twisted pearl
Amco Jewelry Gold Fill Mark
twisted pearl
Amco Jewelry Gold Fill Mark
twisted pearl w/tassle
Amco Jewelry Gold Fill Mark
Marvella twisted pearl
Bayadere twisted pearl necklace
Larger pearls used
Bayadere seed pearl necklace
small pearls


Pronunciation: bĭb
In general the over all design of a Bib necklace is triangular with a base metal with stones that are connected or webbed together to make a cascading effect. Sometimes it is just stones that are webbed together or even meshed metal like the White & Davis piece.

In fact a multiple strand of beads, with each strand being shorter than the next creates a bib effect as well and is sometimes referred to as just that. In this case, each strand does not go all the way around the neck but attaches to a central line of beads at the side of the neck. This permits each row to drape in alignment to each other and therefore creates the bib look. In almost all bib necklaces, the chain or strand of beads that encircles the back of the nec is much smaller than the bib.

What really defines any bib necklace is how it lays. If it lays in a bib shape then it is a bib necklace. It can also be considered to be several different types so do not limit yourself to the word 'bib'.

History: Although the bib necklace has been around for centuries, Whiting & Davis made the first necklace actually referred to as a 'bib' necklace.

Descriptive Words: bib, cascade, multi-strand, beaded, webbed, waterfall, webbed, tier, graduated

Whiting & Davis Bib Necklace
Whiting & Davis Bib

Cascading bead bib necklace
beaded bib necklace
AKA Choker

beaded bib necklace
beaded bib necklace
AKA Choker
Beaded bid necklace attachment
all beads connected to bar
runway bib necklace
Beaded Bib Necklace

Monet Bib Necklace

Rhinestone Bib Necklace

Bead & Rhinestone

Bolero / Bolo

Pronunciation: bō - lō
I think one of our first thoughts when we hear Bolo is to think of the Bolo tie. While this is jewelry and yes, it can be considered a necklace, there is another Bolo that we are much more interested in.  Sometimes called a slide, these Bolo necklaces have a center mechanism that permits the chain to pull through, therefore permitting the pendant to ride high or low.

As a note, I see a lot of bolo's described as lariat necklaces. Although that is not the correct name, keep in mind that using 'lariat' as a key word is completely acceptable. This is true of any type of jewelry - if the general public thinks of the style as something different then by all means use the incorrect word within keywords.

History: Depending on which country and which version you read, no one really knows for sure who wore the first bolo tie. That being said though, that has little to do with the modern bolero or bolo tie.

Bolo ties hit the silver screen over the decades, notably in the 1980 film "Urban Cowboy" which had John Travolta sporting a full neo-Western look. Brian Setzer and his band The Stray Cats helped make bolo ties one of the official accessories of the new wave of rockabilly in the mid-1980s. At the same time, the New Romantic boys were swinging bolo ties around Edwardian collar shirts and finishing the look with a vintage suit coat. This look was exemplified by the Duckie character in the John Hughes movie "Pretty in Pink".

When that exactly transferred to women's jewelry is a bit more difficult to pinpoint.

Descriptive Words: Bolo, Bolero, slider, chain, Lariat

Traditional bolos
The Traditional Bobo Tie
Selro bolo necklace
Selro bolo necklace
AKA Slider Necklace
Fancy Slide bolo necklace
fancy center slider clasp
AKA Slider Necklace
Napier Bolo Slide Necklace
Napier Bolo Necklace
AKA Slider Necklace


Pronunciation: bŏk chān
A metal chain with rectangular links of folded metal, each of which looks like a little book. Victorian-era book chain jewelry is made up of engraved rectangular links that look like tiny books. Large lockets were often included for an elaborate touch.

We have gotten a bit loose with terminology so basically any chain necklace that has a flat rectangular links.

It is good to know that a bookchain necklace is often something else as well. Bookchains are used a lot for fringe necklaces (seen in photos 2, 4 and 5 below). In that case you would use keywords from both categories.

History: The book chain necklace was very popular in the Victorian era and well into the 1900's.

Descriptive Words: book chain (bookchain), panel link, link necklace,

art deco bookchain necklace
art deco bookchain
Bookchain necklace with glass beads
Fringe Bookchain Necklace
Gold filled bookchain necklace
gold filled bookchain
Bookchain necklace with bib necklace beads
bookchain with beads
Fringe Bookchain Necklace
art deco bookchain
bookchain necklace
Enameled bookchain necklace

Brass Bookchain Necklace



Pronunciation: chō - ker
The choker is a short necklace, usually not longer than 15 inches.  It fits snugly around the base of the neck and may include a center pendant, drop, or stone. Prior to the common use of metal clasps, jeweled chokers were often fastened with ribbon.

If the necklace fits and stays around the middle of the neck then it is a collar, not a choker.

Note Photo 4. It may appear to be a fringe necklace but it is not because the outside beads are connected. If they were free floating then yes, it would be a choker and a fringe necklace.

History: In the Victoria Era chokers and dog collars were quite popular.

Descriptive Words: choker, ribbon, necklace, collar, dog collar, Riviere

Sarah Coventry Coker
Sarah Coventry Choker
Trifari Goldtone Choker
Trifari Chain Link Choker
Coro gold tone rhinestone choker
Coro Rhinestone
Eqyptian Revival ChokerEgyptan Revival Choker
multi strand crystal bead choker
Courtesy Lin Anderson
Choker or Bib Necklace
Triple Strand Bead Choker
Triple Strand Bead Choker
Coro Choker
Coro Choker
Hobe Rhinestone Choker
Hobe Choker

(Dog Collar)

Pronunciation: Info
Unlike the choker, the collar fits higher on the neck right over the Adam's Apple. If the necklace fits at the bottom of the neck it is a choker, not a collar.

History: Victorian

Descriptive Words: Choker, wide, ribbon

Ribbon Collar
Rhinestone Dog Collar Necklace
Multi Strand Rhinestone
Kenneth J Lane Fringed Collar Necklace
Kenneth J Lane Fringed Dog
Collar Necklace
Edwardian Collar Necklace
Edwardian Platinum


Pronunciation: fe - stoon
Difficult to describe, the Festoon necklace is made up of multiple chains, usually different lengths and attached to different points. They often have multiple drops or clusters although not all the drops or clusters are the same size.

As seen in the examples, the additional chains tend to loop and serve no real purpose beyond being decorative. Note that Festoon necklaces have several stones or plaques with one main one. This is often confused with a Lavalier that has one stone or plaque.

History: Goes back at least to the Georgian period. Was also popular in the Victorian era.

Descriptive Words: Drop, chain, link, multiple, drape, cascade, waterfall, dangle

Czech glass Festoon Necklace
Czech glass Festoon
Turquoise Festoon Necklace
Note additional chains
Crystal bead drop Festoon
Early with crystal bead drops
Gold ton Festoon Necklace
Main drop with multiples
Florenza Festoon Necklace
Florenza Festoon
Multi chain Festoon Necklace
Multi chain Festoon
Czech Festoon Necklace
Czech Festoon Necklace
Victorian Festoon Necklace
Victorian Festoon


Pronunciation:1920s - 1940s
Flapper necklaces are a series of types of necklaces worn pre WWII. They can be Sautoirs, Multi-strand chains, or Lariats, to name a few. They can measure 50, 60, or even 80+ inches long.

When you have these types of necklaces you want to use keywords from the flapper section as well as the style attributes. It was a time of change. Women earned the right to vote, prohibition was in effect (like that kept anyone from drinking) and the speak easy came into being. Add to that a middle class that became a reality as small business sprung up across the face of the country.

As fashion changed, so did jewelry. The longer the waistline, the longer the necklace.

History: The 1920's was a time to get back to normalcy. A time when a war was won and the United States came out of it as a world leader. A time of celebration and exuberance prevailed.

Descriptive Words: flapper, long, waist length, 1920s, roaring, 20s, multipstrand

long chain flapper necklace
Long Multi Chain Necklace
faux pearl flapper beads
Extra long strand faux pearls
Sautoir flapper necklace
A Sautoir which is also a Flapper
Lariat flapper necklace
braided seed pearl long lariat


Pronunciation: Info
A fringed necklace is exactly how it sounds. It is made up of a main length with some type of fringe around the front. This fringe may be all one length or it can be graduated. The important thing to remember is that the bottom row of beads or whatever material is used to make the fringe are free flowing. They are only attached to the necklace at the top.

Often the way a fringed necklace lays (the shape of it), it can also be considered a bib necklace.

History: The fringed necklace has been around like forever. It is often described as tribal since its roots are really that old.

Descriptive Words: fringe, cascade, waterfall, dangle, drops, tribal, feather

Egyptian Revival Fringed Necklace
Egyptian Revival
Vintage Italian Sterling Fringed Necklace
Italian Fringed Necklace
AB Rhinestone Fringed Necklace
AB Rhinestone Fringe
Victorian Fringe Necklace
Victorian Fringed Necklace

Courtesy Lin Anderson
beaded fringe necklace
Beaded Fringe Necklace
Miriam Haskell Fringe Necklace
Miriam Haskell Fringe Necklace
Hobe Fringed Necklace
Hobe Fringe Necklace

Graduated Bead

Pronunciation: Info
A graduated bead necklace means that the size of the beads get larger as they approach the front of the necklace. Often times there are smaller beads or spacers in between the main beads but those don't really count as far as style goes. The graduated bead is all about the graduation from small beads to larger beads within the necklace.

One important thing to remember is that basically all the beads are the same, just the size changes. Also, these necklaces can also be known by other names, not just a graduated bead, i.e. triple strand, fringed, bib, etc.

History: Info

Descriptive Words: bead, graduated,

Triple Strand Graduated Bead Necklace
AKA Triple Strand
Laguna Graduated Bead Necklace
Laguna Graduated Bead
Richelieu Plastic Graduated Bead Necklace
Richelieu Plastic Graduated Bead
Sterling Graduated Bead Necklace
Sterling Graduated Bead
Finger Coral Graduated Bead Necklace
ADA Fringe Necklace
Retro Graduated Bead Necklace
Retro Graduated Bead
Graduated multi-strand necklace
Multi-strand Graduated Necklace
Multi strand graduated pearl necklace
Graduated Pearl Necklace


Pronunciation: lar-ee-uht
A lariat is a very long variation on the rope, without a clasp, often worn draped multiple times around the neck; the ends can be crossed over, looped, or knotted in various ways. They often have loops or fringe or even knots at each end.

Lariat necklaces can be made from many different materials, including glass or wooden beads and chains made from various metals. They often have loops, tassels, fringe or even knots at each end.

There is never a clasp or a slider with a lariate. The lariat is just one long piece with no hardware (except decorative). That being said, check out the 1st photo below, it does have a slider of sorts. The key here though is that the slider mechanism is basically a loop. There is no locking hardware involed in it as there is in a slider or bolo necklace.

History: From what I can gather, the word is from Spain and dated to about 1825. Now does that mean that prior to then there were no Lariat necklaces? Probably not but we will concern ourselves with more of the present day.

Descriptive Words: Lariat, rope, tassel (tassle), drop, flapper, adjustable

Rope Lariat
AKA Rope or Slider Necklace
gold tone and faux pearl lariat
Courtesy Amy Murphy
mid century handmade Lariat
1940s handmade Lariat
Courtesy Patty Myer

Courtesy Linda Lombardo
Garnet and gold bead Lariat
Garnet & gold bead Lariat
Courtest Mary Ann Wilson
Czech Glass Lariat
Czech Glass Lariat
Courtesy Ruth Weston
stone and gold tone lariat
Pink, lilac and clear AB glass
Courtesy Susan Howell
Lingerie Lariat
Lingerie Lariat
Courtesy Carolyn O'Bayley


Pronunciation: lah - val - ee - air
A chain necklace that ends in a single large pendant or tassel. Often the pendant had additional pendants or tassels, i.e. a chandelier dangling from it.

Note that there is no bale. The center pendant is permanently affixed to the chain. Also, occassionally there are additional chains, see photo 3, which make this very close to being a Festoon style necklace. In my opinion because the connecting stones are moonstones like the center stone instead of metal such as the center piece, this should be considered a Lavalier. Keep in mind though that you should use the word 'Festoon' in your keywords for this type of necklace

History: The lavalier necklace gained its popularity in the late 1600s when Louise de La Vallière, a mistress of Louis XIV of France, favored them. It also shows up in the very early 1900s, often done in gold.

It was quite popular in the late Jugendstil / Art Nouveau period and often was the style of choice for plique-a-jour works of art. Although still seen in contemporary jewelry, its hey day was 1900 - 1930, give or take a few years.

Descriptive Words: pendant, chandelier, drop, Festoon, dangle, tassel (tassle)

Egyptian Revival Lavalier
Courtesy Lin Anderson
Art Nouveau Lavalier
Jugendstil Art Nouveau Lavalier

Lavalier Style Necklace
Large Drop Crystal Lavalier
Courtesy Lin Anderson
rling lavalier
Turquoise Sterling
victorian style lavalier
Courtesy Lin Anderson
chip bead multi strand lavalier necklace
Multi strand Lavalier
Camphor Glass Lavalier Necklace
Camphor Glas Lavalier


Pronunciation: Info

History: Info

Descriptive Words: locket, pendant, picture, keepsake

puffy heart locket
Heart Locket
Courtest Lin Anderson
gold locket
Gold Locket
folding ball picture locket
Folding Picture Ball Locket
Courtesy Lin Anderson
Antique Locket
Antique Locket


Pronunciation: muh-dal-yun
A medal is a medal. It is normally flat and found although sometime oval wheras 'technically' medallions were larger and too large to be worn. That being said, the term is used to describe medals that are used in jewelry. We don't need to be technical here because most people corrolate medallions with jewelry and medals with strictly military or religious items.

So, a medallion would be any piece of jewelry shaped in a flat metal and round plaque. The content of the image is really not important for it can go from commemorating an event to religious to coins to images or designs.

There is one other area that is also considered a medallion and that is a design that imitates an award or military meda or coat of arms, i.e. the Maltese Cross.

History: Medals have been made and hung since the 4th Century so they have a long history and have changed with the eras to represent current designs.

Descriptive Words: medallion, pendant, necklace, drop, medal, coin, commemorative, coat of arms, emblem

multi-strand medallion necklace
Multi Strand Medallion
pendant style vintage medallion
Pendant Medallion
Coco Chanel Medallion Necklace
Coco Chanel Medallion
Vintage pendant medallion
Pendant Medallion
christian pendant medallion
Christian Medallion
Jewish medallion pendant
Jewish Medallion
Maltese Cross Medallion
Maltese Cross
United States Medallion
US Depiction


Pronunciation: Pen-dant
Differences between a Lavalier and a Pendant are a bit difficult to keep straight. We think of a pendant as a piece with a bale. That is true but pendants have not always been on bales. They used to be permanently attached to the base necklace.

An easy way to remember the difference between a Lavalier and a Pendant is think chandelier. A lavalier is more than a single drop. There are always added design elements to it.

Whenever you are selling or searching for a pendant or a lavalier, use the keywords for both of them since there is a lot of confusion out there as to what is what.

History: Info

Descriptive Words: Pendant, Drop, medallion

Waterfall Pendant
Courtest Lin Anderson
Stone Cabochon Pendant
Polished stone Cabochon
Sterling Aqua Marine Pendant
Sterling Aqua Marine
jeweled sterling pendant
Jeweled & Sterling
Courtesy Lin Anderson
Egyptian revival vintage goldtone pendant
Egyptian Revival Pendant
Vintage cross pendant
Cross Pendant
Vintage Cameo Pendant Necklace
Cameo Pendant
vintage art deco style pendant
Art Deco Style Pendant


Pronunciation: ree - vee - air
Short necklace strung with faceted beads, often graduating in size. A rivière necklace is a style of necklace featuring a single strand of gemstones of the same general size and cut.

History: Info

Descriptive Words: Single strand, graduated, choker

single strand riviere necklace
simple single strand
Blue glass graduated bead Riviere Necklace
Blue glass graduated
single strand faux pearl necklace
Single strand faux pearl beads
Multi colored beaded Riviere necklace
Multi colored bead


Pronunciation: Rop

The rope necklace, although it can look like a Torsade Necklace, it is different in the fact that it does not 'un-twist'. It is permanently twisted in the appearance of a rope.

A rope necklace also can include braided necklaces. Some lariate necklaces could be referred to as a rope necklace.

It can be made with a number of different materials including chain link and beads and sizes, from small to big.

History: Info

Descriptive Words: rope, twist, twisted, braided, single strand

small bead rope necklace
Small bead Rope
Twisted chain link rope necklace
Twisted Chain Link Rope
Braided bead rope necklace
Braided Rope Necklace

twisted rope
Twisted chain link and seed pearl necklace
Twisted Chain Link & bead
Braided pearl necklace
Braided Pearl Necklace
braided Lariat Neckalce
Braided Lariate Necklace


Pronunciation: Info
Runway jewelry is almost always over-sized. It makes a statement. It's big. It's bold. It's over the top.

History: This is a relatively new term when it comes to jewelry. The origins, of course, refer to the big jewelry worn on the Runway in Paris and New York.

Descriptive Words: statement, big, bold, runway, wow factor, dangles, drops, oversized, contemporary, fashion, designer, multi strand, chain, link

Courtest Lin Anderson

Runway 1980s

Feathered and looped chains

artsy and tribal

lucite shell

gold tone and stones

Oversized feathered

multi chain and bead pendant


so - twore

A very long chain or beaded necklace often terminating in a tassel or pendant. Often time the pendant was removeable and it could be changed out with different pendants depending onthe dress.

The other very obvious name that is commonly used is flapper necklace since these were popular in the 20s and 30s.

History: The Sautoir as we know it came into being in the 1920's and 30's. Fashion became ver elongated and of course, jewelry followed the theme.

Descriptive Words: sautoir, flapper, beaded, tassel (tassle), lariat

Beaded Sautoir
Beaded Sautoir
bead and glass tasseled sautoir
Tasseled Peking Glass
chain link and bead sautoir
beaded long tasseled
beaded sautoir


so - twore

A very long chain or beaded necklace often terminating in a tassel or pendant. Often time the pendant was removeable and it could be changed out with different pendants depending onthe dress.

The other very obvious name that is commonly used is flapper necklace since these were popular in the 20s and 30s.

History: The Sautoir as we know it came into being in the 1920's and 30's. Fashion became ver elongated and of course, jewelry followed the theme.

Descriptive Words: sautoir, flapper, beaded, tassel (tassle), lariat

Beaded Sautoir
Beaded Sautoir
bead and glass tasseled sautoir
Tasseled Peking Glass
chain link and bead sautoir
beaded long tasseled
beaded sautoir


Pronunciation: sly-der

Very similar to the bolo and the two terms are often interchanged.


Descriptive Words: sautoir, flapper, beaded, tassel (tassle), lariat

Triple Link Chain Slider Necklace
Triple Link Chain Slider





Pronunciation: tawr-sahd
From the Latin word torquēre which means to twist. Although a Bayadere necklace is also a Torsade, not all Torsades are Bayadere since Bayadere is always done with pearls.

That being said, the Torsade is made up of multiple strands. Those strands can be small beads or a mixture of different types of beads or even a mixture of beads and chain or ribbon that are twisted together. What is the important characteristic of the Torsade necklace is the twist.

Unlike a rope necklace, the Torsade is twisted by hand before being worn whereas the rope necklace does not come 'un-twisted'.

Torsade necklaces can also be worn without the twist if desired. The idea of twisting was to give it more of a 'sumptuous' look.

History: Info

Descriptive Words: torsade, twisted, beaded, Bayadere, multi strand, seed bead

Trifari Torsade Necklace
Trifar Torsade Necklace
vintage seed bead Torsade
green seed bead Torsade
coral seed bead Torsade Necklace
coral color seed bead
Joan Rivers Torsade Necklace
Joan Rivers Torsade
seed bead Torsade necklace
Torsade Necklace
Courtesy Lin Anderson

Triple Strand

This is exactly what it sounds like - 3 strands of beads. These beads can be anything from pearls to crystal to stone to plastic. The only requirement here is that it must be three strands.

Do not include long necklaces that can be put around the neck three times. These are not triple strand necklaces. Triple strand necklaces ALWAYS have a clasp of some type.

Some triple strand necklaces can also be classified as chokers or bib necklaces. In those cases also include keywords from that classification.

History: Info

Descriptive Words: triple strand, 3 strand, three strand

triple strand pearl necklace with flower motif
triple strand with flower motif
green triple strand necklace
triple strand beaded

triple strand stylized buckle

Mixture Bead & Chain
triple strand bead necklace
triple strand graduated bead