Do Necklaces Stretch?

Close up of a bride with a diamond necklace, Do Necklaces Stretch?

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Necklaces are one of our favorite accessories. A simple clasp around the neck, and you've elevated your outfit from every day to outstanding. But what kind of care does a necklace need? Is it possible for a necklace to stretch? We have researched this for you, so you have all the answers that you need!
Yes, a necklace can stretch. It all depends upon how it is stored and the material it is made from.
We will look at popular necklace materials and examine the best way to keep them from losing their shape. We'll also look at which chain types are most durable and how it might be possible to keep a necklace from stretching. So keep reading to find out more.

Why Necklaces Might Stretch

There are many types of jewelry materials on the market today. Precious metal chains like 18k and 14k gold, platinum, and sterling silver are mainstays. Beaded jewelry strung on knotted cords, like pearls and coral strands, is prevalent. In costume jewelry, no material is off-limits: from fishing line to paper beads to brass and bronze. So how do we prevent our necklaces from stretching?

Store Your Necklaces Carefully

When storing jewelry pieces, there are a few tips to keep in mind to prevent stretching.

  • Keep gemstones out of direct sunlight and out of excessive heat or cold
  • Store pieces so they do not touch each other
  • Do not hang necklaces on a necklace tree or hanging rack
  • Take heavy charms off of chains when not wearing them

Use A Vault Tray

Using a velveteen vault tray like this one in a drawer will keep your pieces from touching each other, out of the sunlight, and laying flat to help prevent stretch.

This one can be found on Amazon.

Does 14k Gold Stretch?

Precious metals such as gold and silver are softer than ferrous metals like iron and steel. Therefore, they will tend to stretch and thin if not properly maintained.  Whether it's a child tugging on it, a heavy charm, or improper storage, your necklace can stretch.

Do Pearl Strands Stretch?

Another easily stretched type of necklace is a strand of pearls. Pearls are traditionally knotted on silk cords, with a simple knot between each pearl. Because of the natural fiber and regular wear, it's essential to restring your pearls yearly if you wear them regularly, every 2-3 years if you wear them less frequently. This will prevent gaps and areas of cord exposure.

A gorgeous strand of pearls with double knots is a classic addition to any person's wardrobe.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Does Beaded Necklace Wire Stretch?

Beaded necklaces on either fishing line or coating metallic wire can stretch. The weight of the beads, as well as how tightly the clasp was secured, can both factor into it. Proper storage also makes a difference. So lay your necklaces flat if you don't want them to stretch.

How To Fix A Stretched Necklace Chain

Let's look at some types of chains, and how to go about fixing them if they are stretched out.

Precious Metal Chains

With precious metal chains, such as different karats of gold, platinum, or sterling silver, you will probably need a jeweler to help you out. Stretched chain links can be replaced, or the jeweler can shorten the necklace if it isn't noticeable. This will take specialized tools, and usually a soldering torch for securing the jump rings.

Pearls and Semi-Precious Stones

As we mentioned earlier, for precious gemstone beads strung and knotted on silks, the number one thing you can do to keep it from stretching is proper storage. Do not hang the necklace and store it on its own.

A large case like this is the perfect storage solution for a special necklace.

Click here to see this one on Amazon.

Secondly, be sure to get your pearls restrung every couple of years to keep the silk at its strongest and tightest.

Wire Beaded Necklace

With fashion and wallet-friendly wire beaded necklaces, it is possible to fix the stretch yourself with the right tools. Often it's just a matter of taking off the clasp and using some crimping pliers to refit crimp bead on the end, taking off the excess wire. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, try a local crafts shop where you may find an artisan willing to help for a small fee.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Crimping pliers are a great tool to have around the house for jewelry repairs to beaded jewelry. Use them along with crimping beads to shorten any wire chains that have gotten stretched out from improper storage or the weight of the beads.

What Is The Strongest Necklace Chain Type?

Now that you're aware necklaces might stretch, your next question could be which type is most durable? If you get the most robust chain, then maybe you won't have to deal with repairs and stretching. Keep in mind that most chain types come in a variety of thicknesses. The more delicate thickness of chain crafted from more substantial materials will hold up less well than a thicker chain of the same variety. Here are a few durable types.

The Mariner Chain

With its strong clasping links and heavy-duty looks, the Mariner chain is a super long-lasting chain style. Click to see this one on Amazon.

The Curb Chain

The curb chain is a modern classic. It lays relatively flat on the neck, and because of the weight of the material and the way the clasps link, it is very durable. Click here to see this one on Amazon.

The Cable Chain

Cable chains get less sturdy the smaller in diameter they get, but larger cable chains are sturdier. Click here to see these on Amazon.

The Rope Chain

A rope chain is a stunning classic design that can be as delicate or as chunky as you choose. The advantage of this type of chain is that if it does stretch, it will be hard to tell because of the twisted links.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Now that you're well-prepared to deal with stretched necklaces, and to store them correctly going forward, be sure to check out a few of our other posts here on below.

25+ Types of Necklaces [Inc. Examples]

Can You Shower with a Sterling Silver Necklace?

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