5 Gemstone Medallion Necklaces Just Right for the 2020 Holiday



Medallion necklaces are jewelry’s MVP this season. Typically designed as circular gold disks, these pendant styles go all the way back to the Greco-Roman era, when they were worn as visible symbols of wealth. Today, the medallion has taken on new resonance as a way to convey meaning via engravings on one or both of its sides, be they initials, birth dates, horoscopes, or symbols.

But the traditional gold circular pendant on a long yellow gold chain has become so popular that it’s beginning to feel a little cliché. That’s one reason why we love colored stone medallions—these are circular or semicircular designs that boast a cluster of similarly hued gemstones, or an artful arrangement of stones in complementary hues, in place of engravings.

Below, we feature five fresh takes on the medallion that can be worn alone or layered with other necklaces for maximum impact.

Novella Statement Pendant By David Yurman

In the Novella collection, David Yurman riffs on one of the brand’s most recognizable collections, Renaissance—the first collection David and Sybil designed together. Using a similarly rich color palette inspired by classical paintings, the line pairs architectural silhouettes with a bold array of gemstones, available in both cool and warm hues.

David Yurman Novella Statement blue topaz pendant
Novella statement necklace in sterling silver with blue topaz and pavé diamonds, $2,400; David Yurman

Kaleidoscope Necklace By Harry Winston

The kaleidoscope is the ultimate toy for anyone besotted with color, so it stands to reason that in the 1990s, when the house of Harry Winston wanted to create an objet d’art for gem lovers, it created the Ultimate Kaleidoscope, a limited-edition jewel for the home. This year, the brand pays homage to that bejeweled creation with a new line featuring medallion necklaces set with gems in symmetrical patterns, swinging from 30-inch gem-set chains.

Harry Winston Kaleidoscope pendant with spessartite garnets
Kaleidoscope platinum necklace with spessartite garnets, blue sapphires, tsavorite, aquamarines, and diamonds, price on request; Harry Winston

Ten Ten Shaker Necklace By Moritz Glik

A piece by Moritz Glik is instantly recognizable. That’s because the New York City–based jeweler’s signature design, the Kaleidoscope Shaker, is like nothing else out there. Enclosed within white sapphire glass, a smattering of faceted gems shift like sand in an hourglass. In this Ten Ten Shaker necklace, the circular frame lends the piece a lovely medallion-like quality.

Moritz Glik Ten Ten Shaker necklace
Ten Ten Shaker necklace in 18k gold with 0.76 ct. t.w. blue sapphires and 0.92 ct. t.w. rose-cut diamonds enclosed in a white sapphire Kaleidoscope Shaker, $9,500; Moritz Glik

Revival Row Necklace By ParkFord

This year’s quarantine wasn’t all bad for Jeanette Park, the designer behind Chicago-based ParkFord: Her new Revival collection is proof of that. Rife with semicircular motifs that recall her hometown’s spectacular architecture, the collection has a number of long necklaces that interpret the medallion style in surprisingly contemporary ways.

ParkFord Revival necklace
Revival Row necklace in 14k yellow gold with tanzanite cabochon and 0.14 ct. t.w. blue sapphires, $2,465; ParkFord

Horizon Pendant By Temple St. Clair

Temple St. Clair’s Horizon pendant is small and made of gold, but its beguiling assortment of rainbow gems—like an eight-gem take on the traditional Indian nine-gem navaratna—sets it apart from the plain-gold styles dominating showcases this season.

Temple St. Clair Horizon pendant
Horizon pendant in 18k yellow gold with tsavorite, ruby, and pink, blue, and orange sapphires, $2,950; Temple St. Clair

Top: Novella statement necklace in 18k yellow gold with citrine and diamonds, $8,600; David Yurman

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JCK Magazine Editor