This stunner really lives up to its glamorous French name. “Rivière” describes a style of necklace “comprised of gemstones of the same species that are all the same size and shape or graduate smoothly in size.” It first became popular during the Georgian Period in the mid-18th century (thanks, Antique Jewelry University!). You may also hear this described as a “tennis necklace”:
I purchased this gorgeous piece on eBay for under $75 after winning my first and only bidding war–that’s how serious I was about owning it. It’s made of rhinestones and blackened sterling silver, although from the way it sparkles, you might mistake it for diamonds. I chose not to polish the silver because I like how the dark tarnish sets off the shiny white stones.
This piece is quite dressy, but I always intend to wear it with sweaters and more casual tops. I was inspired by the Italian fashion blogger, Chiara Ferragni, who wears her sparkly rivière strand with even the most relaxed outfits. (As an aside: I was first introduced to Chiari when watching the new Amazon Prime fashion competition show called “Making the Cut” with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. Worth a watch!) The contrast between her glamorous jewels and athleisure conveys an enviable coolness.
If I had the means to splurge on a diamond rivière, I would invest in the Moonshine Diamond Necklace by my all-time favorite jewelry designer, UK-based Jessica McCormack. I adore the playful half-moon shape of the stones against the blackened gold settings with the contrasting yellow gold clasp:
(If I may toot my own horn, I think the rivière I found is quite a good substitute at a fraction of the price.)
You can find rivière necklaces featuring every type of stone imaginable. Anna Wintour has adopted as her signature look (in addition to the dark sunglasses, severe bob, and RBF) layered gemstone rivières in rainbow colors.
They also make frequent appearances on the red carpet:
I love the simplicity, satisfying symmetry, and stunning sparkle of these necklaces. They instantly elevate and add polish to any outfit. Because they’re generally a shorter length, they also layer well with other rivières or longer pendants.
If you’re in the market for a rivière of your vèry own, check out these beauties at various price points:
- Urban Accessories Rhodium Tennis Choker (blue, green) ($58)
- Berricle* Sterling Silver CZ Graduated Tennis Necklace ($143)
- Swarovski Tennis Deluxe Necklace (3 metal colors) ($279)
- Ross Simons Amethyst Tennis Necklace ($295)
- Zoe Lev Pink Sapphire Tennis Necklace ($4,400)
- Blue Nile Eternity Diamond Necklace ($19,000)
Send me pics of your favorite rivières! What would you pair them with?
*Berricle is an excellent resource for affordable CZ jewelry. I’ve purchased many quality pieces from here.