Understanding Measurements

Although this stuff may seem obvious to some, we all had to learn somewhere and unless you make and sell jewellery, I'm willing to bet there's at least some of this that you didn't know. ;-)

The Term "Drop"

The term "drop" describes the length of an item below the point from which it is suspended.

So in the case of an ear jewellery it is the distance from the hole in your ear to the tip bottom of the piece. Seems obvious but I've had people think it meant the distance from the bottom of your ear lobe. Not so. It's the distance from the pierced hole.

In the case of a pendant, it's the distance it dangles below the chain. So whether not it ends up in your cleavage or tangled in your chest hair depends not only on the length of chain, thong, whatever, but also on the drop of the pendant.

Necklace Lengths

These are stated as if you closed the clasp and then measured around the circumference.

Obviously it's not your neck measurement but what's less obvious is how to work out what you need.

A rough guide for necklace lengthsThe easiest way is to take a necklace or pendant chain that you already own and like how it sits on you (be sure to consider the drop of the piece you intend to buy), and measure it.

If you don't have anything, use a piece of string or a shoelace but be sure to hang something on it if it's for a pendant. A chain with a pendant follows a different path around your neck than, for example, a beaded necklace.

As an absolute last resort, use image here to give you an indication. If you're not sure: err on the side of longer. Pretty much any jeweller can shorten a chain for you. Making it longer requires having matching chain in stock, or using a different though similar chain to make an extender.


Lengths of bracelets are given as if the chain/cord were dangled and measured in a straight line.

The way to determine what is right for you is too put a dressmakers (flexible) tape measure around your wrist such that it is neither tight, nor loose. Then add an inch to give you same space.

Note however that you also need to consider the design of the bracelet. It it's a chain with things dangling from it (a charm bracelet), or a string of small beads, the above will work fine. However if the bracelet is made using big chunky beads, you will need to make extra allowance.

If you do not have a flexible tape measure, put a piece of chain or a shoelace around your wrist to get a length and then measure it with a ruler.

If you don't have a ruler... get a grip on yourself and go buy one. This is the 21st century for gods' sake. :-P


Measure as for a bracelet but add another half to one inch depending on where you want it to sit... and note that this will vary depending on whether you are wearing heels or flats.

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