What Is Torc Necklace? A Complete Guide

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Torc necklaces have existed since ancient times and even today are an excellent statement piece of jewelry. Seen on fashion runways and sported by popular celebrities, the torc necklace is being revived to suit modern times.

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If you have no idea what the torc necklace is, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s get started.

What is a Torc Necklace?

Spelt as torc, torq, or torque, the torc necklace is undoubtedly gaining momentum in the fashion world today, largely thanks to its introduction in the Paris Couture Week. It’s a unisex accessory that looks stunning on both men and women.

tennon mortice torc necklace
Torc with tennon and mortice clasp. Source: British Museum

Basically, a torc necklace is a large stiff and rigid neck ring made up of metal. This ring is generally a single piece, but it can also be made up of different strands which are twisted together.

The majority of torc necklaces are open at the front, but there are various which come equipped with ring closures and hooks. A lot of them even have tenon and mortice locking catches attached to them.

Since the jewelry often has no hinges and clasps, it is basically designed to fit snugly against your body and to hold on by tension.

Torc jewelry has always been there. Do you remember the golden snakes winding up the arms of ancient Egyptians? That was also a variety of torc jewelry.

History of Torc Necklaces

torc necklace male
Once worn to symbolize power, today torcs are a statement accessory. See this on Etsy.

Torc necklaces were made popular by Iron Age Celts who considered them highly important. It is essential to mention here that the Celts were known for their love of fine jewelry and gold trinkets.

A person wearing a gold torc was considered highly influential at that time. Torcs were considered to be a symbol of wealth and status. This piece of jewelry was passed on from father to son and this way torc jewelry also used to indicate the badge of leadership.

Not only this, but the torc necklace was also associated with supernatural powers. There is a popular Irish legend according to which a magical torc would tighten around the neck of Morann, the son of the king of Ireland from the first century, whenever he provided a wrong judgment. It would loosen again when he changed his judgement to the correct one. This shows the torc’s role as an important and wisdom giving accessory.

What’s more, it was also believed that torc provides a kind of mystical protection to their wearers. You might find it a bit interesting to know that Celtic warriors used to go naked into the battle with a torc on their necks and only a few weapons!

However, torc necklaces were not only related to Celtic culture, but they were also found to be associated with Scythian, Thracian, and Illyrian along with various other cultures of the European Iron Age.

Types of Torc Necklaces

The right blend of technology and fashion has introduced a range of torc necklaces today. Although they no more reflect the influential power or rank of a person, nor do they carry any mystical powers, they surely add a pinch of style to your overall appearance and make you look trendy.

Let’s have a closer look at various types of torc necklaces that are available today:

1- Braided Torc Necklace

braided torc necklace
Torc necklace. Check price here.

As the name suggests, such a necklace consists of two strands which are braided together. Some of these necklaces also have wolf heads to impart them with a more ethnic and spiritual feel.

Braided torc necklaces have a vintage, warrior-like look to them, making them a strong statement necklace. They go well with casual or formal attire. A braided torc bracelet is also an excellent way to incorporate the torc look to your attire.

2- Fusion Torc Necklaces

fusion torc necklace
Modern fusion torc necklace. See it on Etsy.

Keeping the originality alive, there are fusion torc necklaces available on the market as well. These necklaces are shaped like a torc, but the designs are more modern and seamless fit into current fashions. A fusion torc with gemstones or other embellishments can look very stylish. These don’t have the clasps of other necklaces but simply hang around your neck in an intriguing way.

3- Spiked Torc Necklace

Asymmetrical open swirl copper neck torc
Asymmetrical open swirl copper neck torc. Check price here.

If you want a more medieval and boho feel, spiked torc necklaces are the ideal type for you. Such necklaces often look vintage and consist of pendants which resemble the skull of animals. These can be worn by men and women alike and are a strong statement for someone who likes to stand out with their accessory choices.

  • Tribal Torc Necklace
Statement tribal torc necklace. See it on Etsy.

Do you want to have a necklace which resembles tribal jewelry? Tribal fusion torc necklaces are gaining attention these days and have elements of tribal jewelry, with motifs that have been inspired by nature. They add a nomadic feel to your overall look. Essentially, such necklaces have sun and moon imagery, contain various materials like string and wood, and have items like coins and other similar accessories hanging from them.

Types of Torc Jewelry

Similar to necklaces, torc jewelry can be broadly categorized into:

  • Torc Bracelets
Torc Arm Ring
Torc bracelet. Check price here.

Torc bracelets are very popular and in fact, you probably have seen or worn these before without knowing it was torc jewelery! A torc bracelet is a lot more casual than torc necklaces and can be worn on a regular basis on your wrist without causing as much attention as torc necklaces. The bracelet fits snugly around your wrist and, in general, gives a boho feel to your look.

  • Torc Rings

Similar to bracelets, torc rings are also available. These rings are adjustable and fit your finger comfortably. What’s more, you can flaunt a range of them. From snake rings to heart-shaped and others – there is a whole lot of variety waiting for you to explore out there.

  • Torc Arm rings

More prevalent in the medieval age, arm rings were once mainly worn by male warriors, but today they are a fashion statement accessory. A torc arm ring isn’t for everyone, but if you’re fashion confident and want to make a statement, this is one of the best ways to do it. Torc arm rings show strength, independence and confidence. Here’s an example of a torc arm ring.

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To Wrap Up…

Although torc jewelry has its roots in the medieval ages, one thing is evident that this unique jewelry idea is still highly relevant. Whether you’re more into exploring western trends, or if you love vintage looks, torc jewelry has surely got something for everyone.

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