What is a Rosary Necklace?
A rosary necklace is a 5-Decade Dominican rosary -- usually a chain one -- with a clasp added making it more convenient to wear around the neck. The clasp is added near the center or in the third decade (the back of the neck). Larger rosaries do not require a clasp as long as they can fit over one's head, but most common rosaries are too small to fit over the head and so a clasp is needed.
Some people find it odd to wear a rosary necklace, but wearing a rosary on one's clothing has a long tradition, especially among religious orders. Of course, wearing a rosary served a spiritual utilitarian purpose -- not a fashion statement -- making it possible for the christian to easily pray the rosary at any time or place. It can help one to remember to pray throughout the day, as do rosary bracelets, pocket rosaries, rosary rings and other similar items.
Most chain rosaries can be made into rosary necklaces. Cord and flexwire ones can be 'converted,' too, but take a little more work. Any chain rosaries can be ordered as standard rosaries or with a clasp added, making it a rosary necklace.
If you have a chain rosary you can easily add a clasp with basic rosary making tools (rosary pliers and chain nose pliers), thereby creating your own rosary necklace. Or, if you have a chain rosary necklace you can also remove the clasp using the same common rosary tools, changing it back into a standard rosary. Surprisingly-strong magnetic clasps are also available and are best for those who tend to break their necklaces due to activity or have difficulty with mechanical clasps.
A Warning About Rosary-Necklaces
It is important to be careful with Rosary necklaces however. The use of this sacramental has been openly used by celebrities and now everyday people in a blasphemous and sacrilegious way. This is very offensive to the Blessed Mother. She came to Fatima to ask us to devoutly pray the Rosary everyday for peace and for the conversion of sinners.
Rosary-necklaces should not be worn as a mere fashion statement and pagan symbols must never be worn. It is a mockery of what the Rosary symbolizes.
If you are considering purchasing a rosary necklace, please be sure your motives are in the right place. Ask yourself, "Why do I want to wear a rosary necklace?" Your answer to that question will help you identify your motives. Remember it is a sacramental and you should treat it as such.
Also be sure you are purchasing a Catholic rosary necklace. Never wear one that does not contain a crucifix (a Catholic medal like a Miraculous Medal is okay though). Ones with other symbols are not Catholic and should never be worn.