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Holiday Must: The Asymmetrical Letter Necklace


Unquestionably a retail store staple, initial jewelry is as popular as ever, with new hot takes on the style coming in faster than you can stock them.

I’d be willing to wager that most people who regularly wear jewelry have at least one initial piece in their personal collections, but I know many who have plenty more than that. It’s some of these people in my everyday life who spurred me to take note of this iteration in particular—the asymmetric- style chain necklace—as three of them recently wore their own personalized versions.

The style was popularized by designer Maya Brenner in 2007, when she created the Original Asymmetrical Letter necklace.

“Designed to be the perfect baby name necklace, she wanted something fun but that would never go out of style. So she took a gold letter and soldered it onto a dainty cable chain but added a whimsical twist by placing it on the side of the neck,” reads Brenner’s website. “Not only did she like the look of it, she knew that with kids around, a necklace never hangs perfectly centered anyway.”

Anita Ko triple initial necklace
Triple initial necklace in 18k yellow gold with 0.75 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,350; Anita Ko

Practical and chic, it’s no surprise the style spawned many other versions, from Brenner herself and other brands in both the fine and fashion jewelry sectors. While the letter placement is similar in most of these variations, what often sets them apart, like a majority of other initial jewels, is letter font, diamond accents, and even gemstones.

By Chari letter necklace
2 initial necklace in 14k yellow gold with 0.2 ct. diamond, $430; By Chari

If you had asked me to guess which subset of initial jewelry was most popular now, I wouldn’t have hesitated to say letter pendants or disc charms. But three IRL (in real life) encounters with friends and family, while purely coincidental, suggest that the asymmetrical style is making a major comeback—not that it ever left, but as initials go, its popularity is again on the upswing. Consider this a sign to put these styles on your holiday stocking lists.

Top: 3 letter necklace in 14k yellow gold with birthstone, $395; Maya Brenner

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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