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August 13, 2021

When it comes to necklaces, there are a wide variety of styles to choose from: chains, charms, amulets, pendants, and medallions. Hold on there, pendants and medallions; are these not the same thing? Well, therein lies a technicality. How are these two the same? Pendants and medallions are similar as they’re the centerpiece of your necklace or chain. What’s the difference between pendants and medallions? In this article, we’ll explore just that, so you’ll know what to keep your eye on when shopping for your next piece of jewelry.

What Are Pendants and Where Did They Come From?

For starters, pendants are ornaments that suspend from a necklace, ribbon, or bracelet. With the earliest jewelry dating back to early civilization, necklaces of shells and stones were popular. Ancient Egyptians eventually replaced the rocks with glass beads and pottery they had crafted and turned them into chains.

They were the earliest types of adornment and often served ceremonial and religious purposes and represented wealth and status. Over time, they became one of the best gifts to give to loved ones as a form of affection and endearment.

The use of pendants came to prominence after beaded chains with ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. Appearing as hanging objects on chains, ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks would wear pendants as charms to protect themselves from evil.

Kings and court members would often adorn themselves with opulent gold collars decorated with gemstones and enamel and would complete their neckpiece with an insignia pendant or badge. This marked wealth and demonstrated social status.

How About Medallions and Their History?

On the other hand, medallions are large, flat, rounded disks made of metal. Medallions are typically found attached to ribbons and feature designs and marking on both sides.

When you think of a medallion, you'll typically picture a sizeable, metallic award offered at sporting or military events. You're in the ballpark—medallions are not usually considered part of everyday jewelry or even casual, as, in their proper form, they can appear too prominent. Due to their grand appearance, medallions are ideally part of ornamental gifts and stored in cases.

The medallion’s first sighting connects back to high priests receiving honorary rewards from Alexander The Great while they led the Hebrews. Moving forward, Roman Emperors utilized medallions as political gifts to gift to their army. Gifting became a common practice during the Middle Ages to maintain alliances with those of status.

Today, you'll note that medallions are still relevant in award ceremonies and commemorative events such as the Olympics. Medallions consist of the following metals: gold, silver, bronze, and lead.

How Can You Wear a Pendant Necklace?

Pendants come in varying sizes that allow you to upgrade your style to your preference. Since they are statement pieces that work wonderfully on their own, you won’t need much jewelry once you include pendant necklaces in your attire.

  • Casual: Dress up your favorite t-shirt, tank top, or stylish flannel with a pendant necklace. Keep in mind that all your components should work together before putting on your chain if you include layers.

You can try working with solid color fabrics and minimal patterns to avoid driving the focus away from pendants, especially if they're abundant and unique in appearance.

  • Business: For a day at the office, you can add interest to your blazer or dress with a beautiful pendant. Office attire is typically more straightforward; however, including a pendant necklace is a nice touch that isn't too extravagant.
  • Formal: With formal events, having the freedom to dress up as much as you want is a given! Choosing a pendant made of precious gems and diamonds is the way to go. However, don't be afraid to show off your style by choosing what's best for you.

Pendant necklaces come in various shapes and designs, such as crosses, flowers, music notes, and names. If you're searching for something customizable, you should browse our selection of custom-made pendants on our Gold Presidents website.

What Can You Pair Medallions With?

Medallions can be trickier to accessorize with due to their significant appearance. However, here at Gold Presidents, we're all about customizing your drip.

Medallion necklaces now come in smaller shapes and sizes to accommodate everyone's styles. If you're searching for more creative ways to show off your accessory, you can experiment with the following:

  • Suit Tops: If your medallion comes with additional features such as removable chains and ribbons or a clip-on mechanism, why not take advantage of your styling options? You can clip that medallion to the lapel of your suit jacket or on the outer breast pocket.
  • Belt Clip: Using any belt in your closet, you can clip your medallion to the center to resemble an iced belt buckle.
  • Swimsuits: You can utilize a medallion in a multitude of ways to accessorize your swimsuit. You can use it as a back clasp that ties the strings to your swimsuit top together, or use it as an exciting addition to the side of your bottoms.
  • Shoes and Boots: Get creative with the elastics and ribbons that come with your medallions, or you can purchase options that appeal to your style. Add flair to your pumps or heels by wrapping the ribbon around them for a laced-up look.

So, pendants and medallions—what’s the difference? If you casually accessorize your fits, the answer is that there isn't much that sets pendants and medallions apart from one another. On the other hand, if you're strong at accessorizing and making sure it all comes together, then the answer is everything. Pendants, medallions, amulets; they're used interchangeably but can mean very different things depending on how you want to incorporate their look to your fit. You just have to let their design speak to you.

Are you looking for iced-out jewelry to elevate your drip game? Look no further because Gold Presidents strives to supply our customers with extravagant accessories that are perfect additions to their collections. All it takes is a look through our website and generous selection!

Pendants Vs. Medallions: What’s the Difference?


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