Everyone loves a sleek and shiny gold chain. Whether you’re looking for an addition to your gold necklace collection or just trying to find the perfect one, these tips will help you find the perfect gold necklace for your style and frame. This guide will help you find gold chains for men and for women. There are so many different options for chain styles. So, we’re going to break it down and help you decide on that ideal piece.

The most popular types of gold chains

Bead chain

A Bead chain also known as a Ball chain is a chain consisting of small sheet metal balls connected via wires. Each ball is hollow with two small holes on opposite sides. These holes accept a short length of wire with a rivet at the end so that the wire is hooked and bound to the inner wall of the ball. This intricate design is quite complex but surprisingly sturdy for its lightweight feel. Gold chains for women are often designed to be more lightweight for easy wearing. A ball chain necklace is an excellent choice for everyday wear.


Cable chain

The Classic Cable chain is one of the most used chain styles in jewelry. A cable chain consists of identical round or oval links. The chain links can be round or flattened and then interlocked together. As long as each link is identical in size, and interlocked one by one, it constitutes a cable chain. Cable chain necklaces are a sleek and super versatile option to create a pendant necklace or charm bracelet.


Herringbone chain

A Herringbone chain is a flat style chain with a woven texture. The sleek design is common in many textiles, patterns, and in jewelry. It has a flat face with parallel laying slants for a light catching affect. A herringbone chain necklace is very intricate, so it needs to be stored with great care to avoid creating kinks in the chain. Sometimes called a snake chain necklace this style has been recently popularized and brought back into fashion.

Cuban link chain

A Cuban chain can be made from practically any metal. The Cuban link chain also sometimes called the Miami Cuban link chain is a very popular men’s style. It is a variation on a classic cable link chain which features oval links intersecting in a rope pattern. Recently, the style has become popular in more feminine jewelry. Gold chains for men can also be worn by women for a more masculine look. A Cuban link necklace is one of the best ways to rock the “boyfriend” style with your jewelry.


Curb chain

Sometimes confused with the Cuban chain a Curb chain is a similar style but typically has a flatter profile and is much thinner. What makes a Curb chain unique is that the links interlock together when the piece is laid flat. This configuration lays beautifully against the neckline when worn as a Curb Chain Necklace. This is a great pick as a gold necklace for women because of it’s lightweight and unique interlocking pattern.


Rope chain

A rope chain is a necklace or bracelet consisting of small links imitating the shape of a rope. The rope chain was popularized by the Hip hop community and Golden age of rap groups. Rope chains are one of the most popular styles because of their versatility. It is one of the most durable, strong, and texturally interesting chains. Even thinner rope chains are quite strong and can withstand pressure. They are ideal for adding charms or layering up.


Figaro chain

The Figaro chain design comprises two or three small circular links followed by an elongated oval link. The most notable chains are typically designed and crafted in Italy. They are historically and often worn by men. Often the Figaro chain features cross pendants or personalized medallions. Similar to curb chains its links lie flat against each other when worn creating a streamlined look.


Box chain

Box Chains are also known by a few other names such as square link chains, briolette or Venetian chains. The links are made from round wire which is flattened and formed into a box shape and interlinked. Small box chains appear smooth and uninterrupted with a sophisticated appearance. Bigger box chain necklaces, typically worn by men, give a rougher and chunkier appearance. 


Anchor chain

An Anchor chain is an unusual style of chain. It is fairly heavy and durable. It often makes a nice choice for men and for use in jewelry. The chain links can be rounded, like a classic cable chain, or flattened like a curb chain. It is a relatively simple design that holds up well against any pulling or stretching.




How to pick the best necklace lengths for your neckline?

The best way to find the perfect chain length for your neckline is to try out some options. Go into a jewelry store and ask to try on the same style in multiple lengths. For smaller frames a 16” chain or 18” chain might be ideal. For larger frames or necks a 20” or 22” chain might be best. For men, a longer chain is usually preferable as they have thicker necks and broader chests.

Whether or not you’d like to layer your necklaces can also affect which length you decide on. Pairing necklaces of all the same length will become a tangly mess. It’s best to leave at least 1” but preferably 2” between each piece you wish to layer for a cascading look. Incorporating a choker necklace along with the standard lengths creates a lovely look.

If you can’t make it to a jewelry store you can test out the best lengths at home. All you need is a piece of string and a ruler. Measure out your string lengths on a flat surface with a ruler. Cut at multiple lengths to try out the different possible looks on your body for an ideal fit. Once you decide, this will make your search for a gold chain much simpler.


What types of metals are typically used for gold chains?


There are so many options available when it comes to potential chain materials. The most durable and long lasting option is solid gold chains made of either 14k solid gold or 18k solid gold. The karat of gold in 14k jewelry holds up well and is strong enough to wear everyday. A typical 14k gold necklace can cost anywhere from two hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the thickness of the chain and the weight of the gold.

When selecting the right chain for you, material is definitely something to consider. A more affordable option for a chain would be gold-plated, gold-filled, or gold vermeil chains. These will not last forever like solid gold chains but they can be an affordable option. If you’re looking for a fashion piece made of a chunky chain with weight, then brass plated chains would be more affordable and the way to go.


What are the benefits of a 14k gold chain?

Wearing a 14k gold chain is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your look. The benefits of 14k solid gold are many including its durability, strength, and versatility. Real gold chains can be worn in the shower, the pool, and sea without worry of tarnishing. 14k gold is durable and more scratch resistant. It does not tarnish and can easily be brought back to shine with simple polishing. It’s one of the most low maintenance metals for everyday jewelry.


What are the benefits of a gold vermeil chain?

Chains made from gold vermeil are a less expensive but still high quality alternative to solid gold. Often called Demi-fine jewelry, gold vermeil pieces are made through a process called electrolysis. This is a great high quality option for chains because the base metal consists of fine silver or sterling silver. Often this means your piece will be hypoallergenic and not irritate sensitive skin. Even though this is often the case, it is best to buy from a trusted seller. 

Gold vermeil jewelry in the US has to meet certain qualifications. For example, the gold layer on the piece needs to be at least 2.5 microns thick, and the gold needs to be 10k or higher. This means any piece labelled as gold vermeil will be a high quality option.


What are the benefits of a gold-plated chain?

Gold-plated chains are another affordable option for gold chain necklaces. The chains can be made from high quality materials (and often are) but there is no industry standard for the purity of gold plating or its thickness. Under the gold plating, the base metal can be any variety of options meaning it may have lesser quality or irritating alloys. In addition, the plating can wear off easily, exposing the base metal. It is prone to tarnishing or fading which make it a less ideal option for gold chains. If the base metal is made of sterling silver, gold plated pieces can always be plated again and the base material will have an inherent value.


What are the benefits of a gold-filled chain?

Gold-filled chains are typically more expensive to make and sometimes more valuable than gold-plated jewelry. Instead of using a thin coating of gold, gold-filled jewelry items consist of an extra thick layer of gold over a base metal. However, the base metal is often a lower end material. The thickness of the gold layer often prevents this base metal from effecting the appearance of the piece though. With regards to value and quality, gold-filled jewelry is a great option instead of purchasing solid gold. It is considered hypoallergenic because of the thickness of the outer layer of gold. When the gold wear off gold-filled pieces, it does reveal the brass material underneath.


Time to pick your perfect gold chain

When it comes to finding your perfect gold chain for your gold necklace, there are many different points to consider. The chain style you pick depends on your personal aesthetic and style. Many of the chain options would look excellent paired together for a gold layered necklace stack or bracelet stack. This guide can help you pick the best material, chain style, and length for your frame. Now get to shopping and searching for your ideal piece.

 

BY MORANDA BROMBERG