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What is a bail in jewelry?

white gold diamond pendant and diamond stud earrings

If you own a pendant, it likely has a bail. A bail (sometimes spelled “bale”) is a metal piece that attaches a diamond, gemstone, or pendant to the necklace’s chain and allows it to slide on the chain. They let the pendant hang below the chain. Bails can also be used in other jewelry pieces, but they are mostly seen in necklaces. 

Circled below in red is a necklace’s bail: 

Here is a necklace with a bail versus one without a bail:

necklace with bale on left versus necklace without bale on right

In the necklace on the right, the pendant is simply strung onto the chain, with no extra pieces connecting it to the chain.  

Bails can come in various sizes. For example, this mini initial pendant has a very tiny bale. 

mini initial pendant

However, necklaces with a larger diamond, gemstone, or pendant will need a larger bale to support them.  

If you are looking for a diamond pendant but find the look of a bail to be distracting, or don’t like it when your diamond slides around the chain, you may prefer the look of our stationary pendants. 

stationary pendant

Above: Round Three-prong Martini Lab Diamond Stationary Pendant 

Diamonds set in stationary pendants stay in place and do not move across the chain. They don’t have a large bail above them that can visually take away from a smaller-sized diamond.  


Ritani allows you to design your own pendant where you can choose your favorite setting, then choose your diamond. Create a custom round-cut diamond pendant, teardrop diamond pendant, and more. Or you can browse our collection of preset diamond pendants.  

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