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What's a Riviere Necklace, and How Can You Wear It?

Can you guess which jewelry category is worn by more than 60% of women daily? One of our favorites, the necklace is a highly versatile accessory, providing the wearer a wide variety of options for styling. Necklaces tend to be the top-selling product for most jewelry brands - and it's no surprise why.

In the past, we've talked about sautoir necklaces, which are long, often beaded, necklaces that hang down to the waist or below. Today we want to tell you all about the "riviere" and what makes it unique. If you love color and gemstones, then a riviere may be the perfect necklace style for you. Keep reading for details.

How to Pronounce "Riviere"

First, you may be wondering how to pronounce the word "riviere", so you're shy about saying it out loud. Let's clear that up for you. "Riviere" is pronounced riv-yehr. In French, the word "riviere" means river, referring to the way the gemstone necklace flows like a river around the neck.

What Is a Riviere Necklace?

As the name suggests, the riviere necklace is fluid and water-like, gracefully encircling the neck. Often but not always, the necklace is composed of the same gemstones, typically of the same size and shape, or gradually increasing in size from the clasp to the center. Usually, the riviere won't feature any other types of ornamentation, allowing the gemstones to be front and center. Occasionally, someone might style a riviere by attaching a removable pendant to it. Riviere necklaces are usually quite short as well.

History of the Riviere

The riviere necklace has remained a timeless classic since the mid-18th century. The earliest versions of rivieres featured stones encased in settings with closed backings; then jewelers would string the stones together either on a cord or ribbon. Later in the 19th century, a collet-set or prong setting became the preferred method of setting gems in a necklace. Jewelers moved away from cords and ribbons to metal chains. One particularly notable example of a riviere is the "collier de la Reine" of Queen Marie-Antoinette of France. Rivieres are still incredibly popular today.

How Do You Wear a Riviere Necklace?

We may be biased, but we think everyone should have a riviere necklace in their jewelry wardrobe, since it's such a versatile and fun style. Whether you're layering your riviere with other necklaces or wearing it on its own, it can add a pop of color and playfulness to any outfit. The riviere tends to be a colorful necklace, since it's made up of colored gemstones, but you'll also find rivieres in neutral tones, made with gems like quartz.

Rivieres look especially beautiful with round necklines, but you could also wear a riviere necklace with an off-the-shoulder shirt to heighten the drama of the decolletage. In the wintertime, you can tuck a riviere under a shirt collar, so the color peeks out from under it. They're the perfect necklace for anyone who can't get enough sparkle and isn't afraid of color. If you're feeling especially bold, then you may even want to layer multiple riviere necklaces for a maximalist look.

Our Favorite Rivieres

When it comes to rivieres, we're not afraid to break the rules and create new surprising styles using some of the most beautiful gem colors. We love a non-traditional riviere, so these are a few of our favorite picks.

Riviere Multi Shape & Color Necklace - We offer two color combos in this necklace - one with Blue Topaz, Smokey Quartz, Lemon Quartz, Green Amethyst, Amethyst and the other with Rose Quartz, Green Amethyst, Crystal, Lemon Quartz & Blue Topaz. The multiple shapes together in this strand make it a standout.

Multicolor Riviere Necklace - Playful and colorful, this riviere necklace with multiple gemstone varieties is sure to inspire joy and delight. The Carnelian, Amethyst, Lemon, Blue & Rose Quartz together remind us of summertime.

Riviere Rose Quartz & Blue Quartz Necklace - The soft, pale tones of this riviere necklace style are feminine and inviting. We love how the square shapes of the alternating blue and rose quartz put a modern spin on the traditional riviere silhouette.

Vermeil Multicolor Riviere - Available in two colorways - labradorite and orange sea shell or smoky quartz and aquamarine - this riviere necklace makes the perfect statement, no matter what you're wearing. Add some pizzazz to a casual outfit with this stunning necklace.

Have you ever worn a riviere necklace? Are you interested in trying one? Check out our collection of riviere necklaces and let us know which one's your favorite.


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